The New York Times has given its list of the most notable books of the year. I've read "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" already, and I'm currently reading "Collapse" and "Team of Rivals." So, 3 out of 100.
Would I be a better person if I read more of these? Or would I just be a more exhausted person? Probably more exhausted. Also, how many books would a person have to read in order to sound pretentious when they say something like, "I've read [X] books on the NY Times list."
I don't believe the mere act of reading a notable book would make me a better person, or that reading an un-notable one would make me a worse one. Maybe the reading would mean that I'm a thoughtful person, that I care about the opinions of others and/or the history of things, but not necessarily that I would go out into the world and do great things and thereby be better than I was before I read the books. I could read the Bible all I wanted to but if I didn't apply its principles and teachings to my life, what good would that do?