Welcome to The Armchair Explorer- a blog about books. Not just reading for the sake of reading though, which I do often and enjoy thoroughly, but reading as an act of exploration and adventure.
I recently stumbled across a TedTalk by Ann Morgan, a London based writer who set herself the task of reading a book from every country in a year. As I watched, I felt my inner child stir inside with excitement. I have never been a person who has a dream career to aim for, or who planned a dream wedding years before meeting someone. Thinking back, I have never had anything in particular I wanted to do when I grew up, or anyway I wanted to change the world. The only goal or dream I remember having as a child, was to learn every language and go to every country. It was a short lived dream, as the realities of time and cost came crashing in. But the idea was joyous to me. By the end of the Tedtalk, I knew this was something I had to do.
Unfortunately, on the same weekend, I found this list of books that I also really wanted to read. I was googling search terms like ‘things I should know/learn’ and ‘books I should read’, because I had recently realised there were whole areas of knowledge I didn’t know anything about, and sometimes didn’t know I should! Just so you know, google doesn’t come up with many quality in depth results- lists including crochet and surfing weren’t really what I was looking for. Online education portals like Khanacadamy and coursera are a better starting point- you can flick through the offered courses and see if there is anything that’s a blind spot. Personally, I have always wanted to learn more about history and read the classics more extensively. That with my ongoing desire to learn languages means I often toy with the idea of going back to university and doing an Arts degree. Or I could use the wonderful world wide web and learn a lot on my own!
So now the plan is to read a book from every county in the world AND the hundred or so on the ‘liberal arts reading list’. While working full time and doing additional study for specialist qualification… Totally doable, right? In the spirit of global reading I was really tempted to also add a list of the best/most important Asian and Islamic works throughout history, but thought that might push me from being borderline crazy into actually being crazy. I don’t have a set time line. Realistically this is probably at least a five year endeavor already. We will see how it goes and take it one day, and one book, at a time.
Join me in exploring the world, from the comfort of an armchair. There are things to learn, and adventures to be had! Alons-y!