Friday, March 18, 2011

1000 books (little ranty)

I was surfing around and came across an article that talked about Choosing 1000 novels to read before you die. And the first paragraph says:

So let's say one: reading one novel per month definitely sounds like a manageable project. If over the course of an entire year you read one novel a month, I'd guess that you could probably fit in one extra as well (perhaps during the summer holidays). Embark on this 13-novels-per-year schedule when you're eight (with, say, Asterix the Gaul or Black Beauty) and stick to it until you're 85 (finishing perhaps with Tolstoy's War and Peace or Thomas Bernhard's Extinction), you'd have read a thousand novels in a lifetime. Easy, isn't it?

Now I think some of us are probably way past the 1,000 books in our lifetime mark and we're not even 50 yet. I'm not one of them. I think I may be in the area of 500 so far. This includes novels I read as a teenager (yes I count Judy Blume). Most of my reading has happened within the last 6 years. I am reading between 50 - 80 books a year. Therefore I should reach the 1,000 books in 10 years if I read only 50 a year, which is not my goal, it is more like 75 a year.

But I suppose we are more prolific.

Now of course, I'm not talking about the chunky monkey's like "War and Peace" or "Crime and Punishment". That may take 1 month to read, but an average 300 or 400 page book would take me 10 days at the most, and this is when I'm slacking off or are feeling unmotivated.

But in looking at the cloud (based on the UKs most borrowed library books) -

I can honestly say I've read 26 of them, I did a quick count, and got 108 books listed (more or less). And 20 of them are on my book-shelf in my TBR pile. And there are a few that I do not own, but still want to read. And the most borrowed book, is also my favorite "To Kill a Mockingbird". I wonder how Ms. Lee feels about that? Although I suspect it is borrowed for High School reading, as it seems to be a requirment here in the states in either 8th or 9th grade.

I don't care what the purists say, I think e-readers are a great thing. I see more people reading on their e-readers than I had ever seen a person read a paper book.

Once I was on the subway reading one of the Ayn Rand books (Fountainhead or Atlas, I can't remember) but a young, professional white man was sitting next to me, his friend, another young, professional white man was sitting across from him. I pulled out my book and started reading. He remarked to his friend, "A Book? Man, I haven't read a book in years."


He probably makes between $80K and $100K a year. I can only cringe.

What happens to our youth between High School and Graduate School? My son used to read (for pleasure) up until 8th grade. Once he entered HS, that went out the door. He had to read for school, and most of the stuff was something most teenagers are not interested in. Some of the better things he had to read were "To Kill a Mockingbird", "The Raven", "Game of Thrones", "The Road" and "A Christmas Carol". Before HS he was reading stuff like "Harry Potter", the Star Trek and the Star Wars series. Now that he is in college, he has to read required stuff. When he is home in the summer he doesn't even look at a book. I have a feeling his reading days are behind him. Not that I can say much. From the ages of 14 until 20, I barley read a cereal box. And then I slacked off again from ages 24 to 35 and when I did read it was non-fiction.

Anyway, I digress. I'm hoping to read my 1,000th book in my 50th year. That will be 2017. And I hope to at least have read the 20 or so TBRs that are on my shelf from the list above, that does include the chunky monkey's.


Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

I know what you mean about people and reading. I really can't understand why some people do not like to read. My husband, for example. I have always been a prolific reader, although I did slack off a bit in my twenties. My sons are 8 and 9 and they like to read, especially my younger son. But I worry that they will lose interest as they get older. I mean, how do we get across to them that the benefits of reading are tremendous, without sounding too preachy? It's a dilemma!

I own the book, 1001 Book to Read Before You Die, and I have read many on the list, but I know there are some books in there I will never read. I mean I will try, but some books are just...ugh! For example, A Confederacy of Dunces is on the list and I.Hated.That.Book! I could not even finish it. I too am confident that I will read 1000 books before I--ack!--die. Will they all be from 'the list'? Probably not, but I'm fine with that. =O)

busy91 said...

I read 1001 Books too, I wrote the books I want to read down in a notebook. I've only read a few from that list though.

I don't know if you read my post about my daughter hating to read. I can't even get her near a book, I'm afraid she'll never catch the reading bug.

If you read like me (and I think you probably read more) you'll hit the 1000 mark in 10 years or less.

Wall-to-wall books said...

Great post! Very insightful and interesting. I'm not gonna do the math (like you did, LOL I hate math!) but I usually read at least 1 or 2 books per week - so that aprox. 6 books per month (give or take, depending on the book and my schedule). I read between 70 - 80 books a year for the last couple years. OK thats it, no more math!

I am always so surprised at the number of people I run across that do not read... at all! What do they do with their life? LOL
I can not even imagine my life without reading! It is by far my favorite thing to do. I don't just do it in my spare time, I take time out for reading, and would often rather read than watch TV.

I am not usually a "Classics" reader. I have had to read a few for school. But normally don't care for them. Like you, I tend to read books that are between 300 - 400 pages. Although right now I am reading "A Discovery of Witches" almost 600 pages!!!!

AND... I love my nook color!!!

I guess that's all I have to say about that!

Wall-to-wall books said...

P.S. - I've read 13 books in the cloud.
And none of them are on my TBR list, LOL.

busy91 said...

Wendy, you are about on par with Michelle and me. Only people I know on-line read, my in person friends don't read. Thank goodness for the internet. Can you imagine how much I would read if I wasn't so into movies!! I spend a ridiculous amount of time watching movies. I range between 300-450 movies a year. If I put that time into reading...whoa!

Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

I love movies too, but you've got me beat! I saw Limitless today with my mom and it was AWESOME!