I thought I heard something on the radio the other day that among those who read at least one book in the past year, the average number of books read is 20.
I was stunned. I’ve always thought of myself as pretty well-read, but I’m hard pressed to remember even six books I finished last year (if we include titles like Mother Cat’s Busy Day, then the number increases to something like 534). Upon reflection, I realized that I read a lot, but it’s largely newspapers, magazines (The Walrus, The New York Times Magazine, US Weekly), and online articles. Somehow books have taken a backseat to other priorities, and I didn’t even notice it.
So, I decided that I should make some time for reading, and have set a goal of getting through two books a month. Coincidentally, my friend Kelly-in-Vancouver recently challenged herself to read 50 books this year, which puts my little project to shame.
So far, so good. I just finished A.J. Jacobs’s The Year of Living Bibically, an entertaining read that I will come back to another time. I also admit to having read Self Leadership and the One Minute Manager, a fluffy motivational business book that I only read to pad my numbers.
I’m now working on book five – Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything. Then I think it will be time for some fiction. Titles in the queue include A Complicated Kindness, Bill Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy, Flashman on the March, and everything by Cormac McCarthy. If you have any recommendations, pass them along. No Tolstoy or Dostoevsky, please – I’m interested in sprints, not marathons…
2 thoughts on “Reading”
Not counting academic journals and books, I consider myself well read too and I only get in 5-6 books a year.
Quality, not quantity.
Hey C. I picked up “A Short History” today, read about one paragraph and promptly put it down. Just absolutely *not* the book I wanted to read. 🙂
I don’t actually know if I’m going to make the 50 book mark this year, but it’ll be interesting to try at least. I think the problem will be to get enough fluff in to pad out the numbers while still reading some ‘good’ literature to keep my brain from fizzling.
And if you have any suggestions for me, feel free to pass them on.