Step 1: List of countries
The first step in this project was to determine a complete list of countries. Who knew it would be such a daunting task?
I have finally decided to go with the following list:
193 UN member nations
Vatican City (UN recognized non-member State)
Palestine (UN recognized non-member State)
Taiwan (Recognized by UN as part of China)
Hong Kong (Recognized by UN as part of China)
Puerto Rico (Recognized by UN as part of the US)
Guernsey (Crown Dependecy of the UK)
Falkland Islands (Overseas territory of the UK)
That brings my total up to 200 countries as of January 2015.
If I read books from other external territories or states that are not recognized as separate countries by the UN, I'll update this list accordingly.
To make things easier, I've divided the 200 countries in to 6 continents and will be updating my reading lists on pages dedicated to each continent. Transcontinental eurasian countries (n = 7) have been assigned to either europe (russia) or asia (armenia, azerbaijan, cyprus, georgia, kazakhstan, turkey) to avoid duplication.
Africa - 54 Countries
Asia - 50 Countries
Europe - 45 countries
North America - 24 countries
Oceania - 14 countries
South America - 13 countries
I will also be including books that deal with the seventh continent Antarctica (even though there is no specific country on the continent).
Step 2: Defining Books from a Country
1. Book is written by an author who is living in or is considered 'originated from that country'
2. The story (whole/part of it) takes place in the country
Step 3: Finding books
This is the most research-intensive part of this process. I like to be thorough in my process and pick books that would represent the country well. I comb through best seller lists, published literary book reviews, book blog reviews, etc to find books that appeal to me. I am not restricting myself to any genre for this challenge. I plan to read a healthy mix of fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, poetry, etc.
Step 4: Obtaining Books
I have various sources of books (both printed and e versions). I borrow books extensively from my public library, I buy some books, some books I receive from authors or publishers as review copies and I borrow some books from friends and family.
Step 5: The Actual Reading
Finding time to read has always been/ is/ will always be a big challenge considering I have a full time job and a demanding family to attend to. But I usually set aside my commute times, lunch breaks and some time in the night to read. It helps that I am a fast reader.