Over the centuries, there have been
numerous attempts to decide what should be read
and what shouldn't.
Back in the bad old days, if what you rit was not rid and liked, it was never copied again from the original manuscript. If it were copied, on papyrus or vellum, and it went on being unpopular, the copies were easily burned or the parchment washed of the ink and reinscribed with a more suitable or popular text.
Later, people who should have know better paid printers to make up copies of their books, sans editor, sans sense and, occasionally, sans censor. These limited edition piles of books could be quite easily piled up and burnt if the king or his censor didn't like them. Poof! No more book.
Quite recently publishers and printers have filled shelves, stores, libraries and dumpsters with the detritus of dead trees and deceased analions to the point where the decent literate person has found hermself puzzled as to how to tell what to read and what not.
Personally, when I can't figure out what to read, I just lay down a blank sheet of paper, grab a pen and give myself something to read. I'm not draggin my stupid ass down to a book shop just because I am too lazy to reread any of the hundreds of books and magazines I have laying around the house.
Churches, universities, political glee clubs and concerned citizens who might have a small fiduciary interest in the project have all created lists of suitable reading material for the interested, bored or stupid reader who is unable to create such a list themselves. Book of the Month clubs have sprang forth, banned lists have slithered into the public consciousness and remaindered book tables have filled the malls.
There are those who are purported to have been educated through the use of books who cling to the texts they were trained with and have little time for anything new or different. There are those who were fairly curious readers before they went to uni who were so bludgeoned into insensibility by their semi-literate instructors and lecturers insistence on reading lists and required reading and standardized test and blah blah blah that whence they had crawled out the end of the graduate tunnel they now wince every time they see a pile of paper with a binding on it. Why is it necessary to destroy curiosity in order to educate?
There those are them whom believeth that onlieth oneth booketh in theth world is useful. One book being sufficient to cover all your needs. Except for possibly a copy of "The Joy of Cooking" and maybe a mechanical manual for the family vehicle. But that's it! The ONE Book and a cookbook and a manual... well, with an occasional glance at a veterinarian's guide to preventing colic in ocelots. One really can't live without a little advice. So, to recapitualize, The ONE BOOK, a cookbook, a manual and a little advice. That should do it... unless one plants a garden, in which case a surreptitious flip through an almanac or a Horticultural Husbandry treatise might be allowable if no one sees you do it. Final list, then: The ONE Book
and possibly, an almanac
That's it. No more.
Well, except a printed copy of this list
Just to help you remember.