How To Boost Your "Books Read" Count Really Quickly

I multiplied the number of books I've read this year by a factor of about seven today.  Of course, I did this by reading the twenty-four or so pictures books that we have to have read for our Kid's Lit course this week in one marathon (such as it was) sitting. 

I was a bit embarrassed when Quinn came to the GRC from his PhD course and saw me reading “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs” but what can you do?  (And in fact, this last statement is a minor falsehood which I admit to here, only because I know Shea doesn't like when I take any liberties with my stories and she's sure to call me on this one.  But when the funniest title of the twenty-four or so I read today was “Harry The Dirty Dog” and really, that title's only funny if you look at it with a slightly distorted view, you have to substitute to keep things interesting.  “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs” is a book I read at home on Shea's recommendation actually.) 

I've kept track of the books I've read for the past five or so years – just titles, authors, date of publication and a little blurb about the book plus whether I liked it or not.  I tend to average just over a book a week overall – sometimes more, sometimes less depending on the usual factors – work, home and other time commitments throughout the year. 

I have one classmate who reads ~200 books a year (and I'd suspect there are lots of other people in a program like this who are up there as well) and I know one author who reads about 300 books a year.  Author/professor Aritha Van Herk at the University of Calgary is also famous for reading a book a day which makes her the biggest reader I know at 365/year.  Plus I'm guessing she's not reading genre paperback novels (or picture books for that matter!) that tend to be much quicker reads than literary fiction. 

So anyhow, using Aritha as the ultimate example of a fast reader, let's assume that you read 365 books a year over a lifetime (say from 5-80.)  That's 365×75 = not quite 30 000 books that a really heavy reader can read in their lifetime.  At my current pace, the number is more like 60 books x 75 years = 4500 books in my lifetime.  Why do I find both of those numbers very depressing? 

I've also got a list of all the books I've ever come across that I'd like to read someday and it's probably 15 single spaced pages long.  At 60 lines per page (I think), that's ~1000 books I'd like to read.  If I started on this list tomorrow and never added another book to the list (which is impossible because I add to it every time I surf the Net, talk to a friend, read a publisher or bookstore's catalogue,  watch an author on the Daily Show, walk in a library or bookstore or sit in a class at library school), it would take me 20 years just to get through my existing list. 

Before I start sounding too much like Rainman, I'll leave off with one simple thought – I really need to take a speed reading course!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: