Read the World Project


I’ve been thinking this week of a long term project to broaden my reading horizons. @NinjaBookBox introduced me to Book Voyage UK, a book subscription service that sends a book from a different country every month. I immediately signed up, of course, but it also got me thinking. Could I read a book from every country in the world? I mean, of course it’s possible, but could I do it within a certain time limit? Say, before I’m thirty?

So, this weekend I made a list of every country, dependent territory and annexed territory I could find online, with a few extra entries for Native people and people without states- my politics degree and a particular political interest in marginalised groups within nation states helped here. I’ve tried to think specifically rather than broadly- for example I’ve broke down the United Kingdom in to its deprecate four countries because otherwise it’s likely that ‘British’ would, by default, become’English’. Likewise, I’ve created a separate entry for Quebec and Catalonia from Canada and Spain for reasons of nationalism; the latter presumably don’t represent the former in culture and fiction. 

So far my list consists of about 250 entries, although I imagine it will grow naturally over time (for example, I’ve just now asked myself ‘should I create a separate entry on my list for Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot?‘). I turn thirty in May 2021, which gives me approximately four and a half years. Achievable? I think so.

I’ll be using the hashtag #readtheworldproject on Instagram and Twitter, should anyone feel inspired to join me, or be interested in simply keeping tabs. I’m going to be reading a variety of books, from fiction and memoirs to short stories and poetry, so if anyone has any recommendations then please get in touch!

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7 thoughts on “Read the World Project

  1. This is an amazing idea and project – I’m really looking forward to reading about it!

    I wish I would read enough to join you, but you’ve definitely inspired me. I might even make a list myself and at least read a few books a year for the list.

    I can’t wait to read how you’re getting on and what you will think of the books. Good luck and enjoy!

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    1. I’m doing it based on where the author is from! Preferably when the book is set there too- so far I’ve read a couple by authors who were born in a country and moved to America and their books are set in their home country AND America, for example. But that’s really my rule haha, I’m making it up as I go along! It’d be great to have you join in! Bex is too 🙂

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