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…