I've been on a quest of sorts with regards to reading. No, not the one where I read x-number of books in a year. I read as many as I can as a matter of maintaining my sanity. This is the one where I'm trying to go back and read old books that I haven't read before. Some of them are 'important' books for one reason or another. Some are just on my shelves and I'd like to read them to see if they belong there or can be sold to the local used bookstore.
I've done this for a few years now. I pick books I feel like I probably should've read somewhere along the way, but didn't. Some of them are classics in the broad sense of the word like Les Miserables or The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Others are classics in their genre, like Stranger in a Strange Land or Casino Royale, or the first of the cat mysteries by Lillian Jackson Braun. (Right now, I'm reading The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.) Still others are books that were made into films and I want to see if the book is as good as the movie - First Wives Club comes to mind and The Poseidon Adventure.
I'm also reading lesser known works by major authors. (And 'major author' is subjective, of course.) The Labours of Hercules by Christie. The Day of the Guns by Spillane. Kill as Directed by Ellery Queen.
All of them are important, if you look at it from the right perspective. I mean, reading widely expands the mind, enriches the life, etc. Yada yada. I'd probably read everything if I had the time. I think it also helps my writing. Knowing what was written before, how certain writers did certain things. What to do. What not to do.
Or maybe that's just me.
What do you think? Do you read widely? Are you interested in reading older books - even if it's just to see what you might've missed?