Friday, November 8, 2013

Pre-Printing Press Challenge 2013-2014 Edition

The Pre-Printing Press Challenge
December 1st 2013-December 31 2014

I've seen a lot of challenges for reading romances, fiction, award winning books and many more. Challenges on various themes (King Arthur etc.) and challenges to fit certain criteria, such as the What's In A Name Challenge.

What I haven't seen is a challenge for reading books that pre-date the Printing Press. There's so many good pieces of writing that fit in this category (and I'm not asking you to read them in the original language unless you want to). So, for my first reading challenge, the pre-printing press challenge, I'm asking people to give these ancient and medieval books a try.

I started running this challenge back in 2009 and ran it again in 2010. Since then, I haven't run it, but I'm going to give it another try this year.

Just some rough examples of the sorts of books that count, both histories and fiction:
Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War
Herodotus The Histories
Homer The Iliad and The Odyssey
Greek Tragedies and Comedies
Virgil
Ovid
Plutarch

Beowulf
Norse Sagas
Geoffrey of Monmouth The History of the Kings of Britain

The lists could continue on and on.

The rules of the Pre-Printing Press Challenge:
  1. All books must have come out before 1440, when the printing press was first invented.
  2. Books chosen for this challenge can overlap with other challenges.
  3. Books can be translated into the language of your choice.
  4. All the books you've chosen must be read by December 31, 2014.
  5. You can read 1-3 books, 4-6 books, 7-9 books or 10 or more books if you're feeling particularly ambitious.
  6. The choice of books is up to you. There are no set reading lists, and you don't have to set one when you join.
  7. Post your blog address where you'll be posting your comments on your choice of books in the comments of this post when you join, and tell me how many books you've chosen. I'll set up a link to participating blogs from here.
  8. Above all, Have fun.
The challenge starts December 1st.

My books:
  1. Catullus: The Complete Poems Trans. Guy Lee 
  2. A Choice Of Anglo-Saxon Verse Trans. Richard Hammer
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