This is an idiotic question but assuming you're actually serious - it's not the number of books, it's the kind of books. And more than that, how deeply you bother to think about and analyze said books. You can read all 128 Sweet Valley High books, 250 Hardy Boys mysteries, and all of the Nancy Drew canon and remain the moron you seem to be. But if you read just one book apiece (or half, or even a quarter of a book apiece) in a wide range of periods across a wide range of genres you can probably pass for being at least decently, if not "well" read... You might try some Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Virgil, Tacitus, Ovid, Augustine, Boethius, Beowulf poet, Lady Murasaki, Boccaccio, Chaucer, Dante, Machiavelli, Tasso, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Montaigne, Jonson, La Rochefoucauld, Hobbes, Locke, Milton, Defoe, Richardson, Sade, Fielding, Rousseau, Goethe, Austen, Keats, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Balzac, Hugo, Poe, Dumas, Pushkin, Emily Bronte, Charlotte Bronte, Eliot, Turgenev, Flaubert, Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Dickens, Nietzsche, Melville, Karl Marx, Conrad, Conan Doyle, Lewis Carroll, Henry James, Stevenson, Walt Whitman, Hamsun, Joyce, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Mann, Nabokov, Lovecraft, Katharine Mansfield, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Agatha Christie, Steinbeck, Mervyn Peake, Arthur C Clarke, Alfred Bester, Ross Macdonald, Patricia Highsmith, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Flannery O'Connor, Tolkien, Celine, Woolf, Orwell, Bradbury, J G Ballard, Heinlein, Salinger, Pynchon, Ellroy, Didion, Vonnegut, Gene Wolfe, William Gibson, M. John Harrison, DFW, China Mieville, Stephen King, Bolano, Alan Moore, McCarthy, Kelly Link, Murakami, James Thurber, and hundreds of others.
You can skip existentialist thought entirely, it's a system for posers and failures with a complex about how France was cucked by Nazis and therefore life is meaningless
You'll note of course that certain literary subgenres are not covered in this list at all as being well-read also necessarily implies knowing what material is not worth reading. For this reason, I've declined to include christian romance novels, Warhammer 40K or Star Wars novels, werewolf erotica, and all work by black or feminist writers.
>>7658887 That's wrong. I'm sorry, you're wrong. You simply are. I've read all Agatha Christie and Steven King novels, and I am now well-read, so that number was enough. There's actually no need for all of this boring stuff.
Well read means that you have read about a lot of subjects and a lot of authors If I only read Russian 19th century novelists no matter how many novels I read I won't be well read. Reading only fiction won't make you well read. Reading only non fiction won't either
Much as I have a guilty pleasure for the SW novels, and a few are actually pretty decent, reading them gives you a pretty solid idea of what not to do in writing.
Before you respond with that one Schopenhauer quote some of you are fond of, I don't take much stock in the words of someone who was literally cucked and spent most of his life incredibly bitter because of it.
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