Entry: Pre-Printing Press Challenge 2013-2014 Edition

Wednesday, January 01, 2014 - Book Reading
Entry: Pre-Printing Press Challenge 2013-2014 Edition

From the challenge site:

I’ve seen a lot of challenges for reading romances, fiction, award winning books and many more. Challenges on various themes (King Arthur etc.) and challenges to fit certain criteria, such as the What’s In A Name Challenge.

What I haven’t seen is a challenge for reading books that pre-date the Printing Press. There’s so many good pieces of writing that fit in this category (and I’m not asking you to read them in the original language unless you want to). So, for my first reading challenge, the pre-printing press challenge, I’m asking people to give these ancient and medieval books a try.

I started running this challenge back in 2009 and ran it again in 2010. Since then, I haven’t run it, but I’m going to give it another try this year.

Just some rough examples of the sorts of books that count, both histories and fiction:
Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War
Herodotus The Histories
Homer The Iliad and The Odyssey
Greek Tragedies and Comedies

Norse Sagas
Geoffrey of Monmouth The History of the Kings of Britain

The lists could continue on and on.

The rules of the Pre-Printing Press Challenge:

  1. All books must have come out before 1440, when the printing press was first invented.
  2. Books chosen for this challenge can overlap with other challenges.
  3. Books can be translated into the language of your choice.
  4. All the books you’ve chosen must be read by December 31, 2014.
  5. You can read 1-3 books, 4-6 books, 7-9 books or 10 or more books if you’re feeling particularly ambitious.
  6. The choice of books is up to you. There are no set reading lists, and you don’t have to set one when you join.
  7. Post your blog address where you’ll be posting your comments on your choice of books in the comments of this post when you join, and tell me how many books you’ve chosen. I’ll set up a link to participating blogs from here.
  8. Above all, Have fun.

The challenge starts December 1st.

Pre-Printing Press Challenge 2013-2014 Edition

Pre-Printing Press Challenge 2013-2014 Edition

I’m going for the 10+ level and I’m just extremely excited to potentially find some new/old favorites.  Also, if anyone has a nice big list of books written before 1440, drop me a link please!  :-D

Occasionally Important Information:

"Destination: Void" by Frank Herbert
Entry: Read It Again, Sam Challenge 2014

2 thoughts on “Entry: Pre-Printing Press Challenge 2013-2014 Edition


Good luck! You might find yourself needing it :)

Some suggestions I can give you for potential choices includes:
Anything from the Classical world (Egypt, Rome, Greece)
Bede’s history of England
Chronicle of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds (not the exact title)
Others have used the epic of Gilgamesh
The Quest of the Holy Grail

As I said, good luck.

    Alysha DeShaé

    Thank you! I’m definitely going to put some of these on my list. :-D In fact, the Epic of Gilgamesh will be one of the first I read for this challenge!!

    I came across this site the other day:

    It attempts to give the text in addition to something of a list of titles available. I’m really looking forward to some of these!


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