The reading list arrived in the summer before I started Oxford and it was really long; like 45 books long!
'But this is my last summer before uni,' I thought to myself. I knew studying English that there was always going to be a lot of reading but this was a whole new level.
I most certainly had what is referred to as 'Imposter Syndrome' at the start; the idea that Oxford have made some sort of mistake. Why on earth had they picked me? It was this fear which meant I worked my way through every book on the list and, you know what, it was utterly pointless. By the time October came around I'd forgotten most of the plots and characters, for it had been a race. So, strike the balance, yes you do need to read some of the list but pick a selection and really think about them when you're reading, rather than racing to finish them and just skimming the pages!
The reading list might arrive before you receive your results. It's worth starting it beforehand but really going for it once you know you have your place.
Not all of the colleges/subjects give out reading lists before the start of term.