The BBC recently reported on a woman who made it her goal to read a book from every country around the world because, as she put it, "[her] reading was confined to stories by English-speaking authors."
"At the start of 2012, [she] set the challenge of trying to read a book from every country (well, all 195 UN-recognised states plus former UN member Taiwan) in a year to find out what [she] was missing." To come up with the list, she created a blog called A Year of Reading the World and asked for title suggestions that she could read in English.
Although it was sometimes difficult to come up with titles from other countries that were in English, she said that the effort was worth it. "As I made my way through the planet’s literary landscapes, extraordinary things started to happen. Far from simply armchair travelling, I found I was inhabiting the mental space of the storytellers. In the company of Bhutanese writer Kunzang Choden, I wasn’t simply visiting exotic temples, but seeing them as a local Buddhist would. Transported by the imagination of Galsan Tschinag, I wandered through the preoccupations of a shepherd boy in Mongolia’s Altai Mountains. With Nu Nu Yi as my guide, I experienced a religious festival in Myanmar from a transgender medium’s perspective. In the hands of gifted writers, I discovered, bookpacking offered something a physical traveller could hope to experience only rarely: it took me inside the thoughts of individuals living far away and showed me the world through their eyes."
This is a wonderful idea. If you are a world traveler at heart, you should check out the list at A Year of Reading the World to follow Ann Morgan on her journey.