Friday, February 10, 2012

Too Many Books

How many books is too many? I had the same conversation with two distinctly different patrons yesterday. One was with a senior gentleman who said, "I couldn't wait to retire so I could read a lot more of these books". A few hours later a woman in her 20's said, "When I was in college I couldn't wait to get out so I could read what I want to read. I thought I'd be able to read so much more". Both patrons wished they could read more. I too wish I had time to read more. Since my holds shelf looks like that picture, I really need to read more (or I need to want to read less).

I recall reading about someone who was attempting to read 111 books in 2011. At the time it was mid-December and she was just a few books away. There is also a group on LibraryThing.com who were striving to to read 100 books in 2011. At first I thought there was no way I could read 100 books a year. But it got me thinking. I currently read about a book a week. That is 52 a year. If I just listened to more audiobooks on my commute I could easily add another two books a month. Hmmm. If Lee Child wrote 100 Jack Reacher books a year, I'd find a way to get through them. Maybe I need to throw in a few more teen books and/or quick thrillers. I like both genres, but I also like some slower denser literary fiction. Maybe 100 books (or even 112) is doable? 

If nothing else this thought process has led me to look more closely at how much I read, what I read and why. I am logging the books I read and doing it more consistently than I have before. Six weeks into the year I have read 9 books, which if continued would amount to 75 books a year.

Would you like to read more, and if so, how much more? Is it silly to try to reach an arbitrary number of books read just to say I did it?


Jackie said...

I can totally relate. As an English lit major, I couldn't wait to graduate so I could read what I wanted instead of what was assigned to me. 14 months later, I haven't read as many books as I thought I would, but for the most part I've really, really enjoyed what I have been reading, which I think is much more important.

I do think it's silly to be determined to read/finish books you clearly aren't into and just want to finish for the sake of finishing and adding to your "number," though. Life is too short to waste time on books you just don't click with. But this philosophy can result in a lot of half-read and abandoned books.

Linda K. said...

Okay. Who took a picture of my wall to wall book piles!? Two Men and a Truck (actually there were three of them, men that is) just moved over 90 boxes of books in "stage 1" of our move. Before that we had moved what felt like tons of books in smaller boxes and tote bags on our own. There's still more to go but we're waiting for delivery of more book cases, so I think I understand the term too many books. There's something about having access to all those books, whether you've read them or not, that is both challenging and comforting. Will we read them all before we die? Do we care? The joy is in the trying.

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