I was just thinking about list reading and the old mechanism of designating TBR (To Be Read) from ARI (Already Read It). You know how we maintain our lists with some code such as "TBRs are in green (or bold or whatever) and the ones I've read are in red (or italics or whatever)"?
Remember those memes that went around a while ago, where you took a particular list and indicated which books you'd read, before passing the list on to others so they could do the same?
What if we passed the list around with everyone's reading accomplishments on it, cumulatively?
I wonder if we could complete an entire list of, say, all Booker prize winners and nominees, just by pooling the reading accomplishments of ourselves and our friends and acquaintances. Maybe no one has read all of them, but together we might have.
Either that, or we'd get stuck calling plaintively out to the Universe, "Doesn't anybody know anybody who's read The Battle of Pollocks Crossing*?
I'm not a big fan of chain letters or memes, so I'm not proposing we do this. I just think it's an interesting idea, the listreader's equivalent of pondering how many angels can dance on the head of a pin or exploring the six degrees of Kevin Bacon.
What do you think the chances are? Could it be that between all of us, we've read everything?
*Man Booker shortlist, 1985