Scared by the NumbersPosted: 2012/05/21
Since adding all of the books from Book Lust To Go to my challenge list (all 1,600+ of them) I have been wondering how much time this has added to the challenge. I was curious. How many years will it take me to finish reading 5,500+ books? Exactly how old will I be when it is all said and done?
First I needed to know how many books I have left to read. The grand total is 5026. This includes books of varying lengths – anything from graphic novels, children’s picture books to 1,000 page biographies. Yikes. Yikes. Yikes.
Then I needed to find out my average reading “speed.” What did I accomplish in a year’s time? On average, I read 109 books a year – give or take a poem, short story or article or two. This average of 109 books included books for fun, books for LibraryThing, and the books on the challenge list. However, here is what I found out from doing the math: if I only read challenge books from here on out it would take me 45 years to finish every book indexed in Book Lust, More Book Lust and now, Book Lust To Go. Scary. I honestly don’t think I will live that long. Frightening. Seriously.
What to do? I refuse to give up reading the books from LibraryThing’s Early Review program. And, and. And! I will not ignore the gift books I receive from family or friends. So. What happens now? I either have to face facts that I will never finish reading 5026 books in my lifetime OR be a little more selective about what takes up my time. I like option #2 better.
Here are my ideas for amendments:
- Instead of reading 50 pages before giving up on a boring book I only read one chapter or 25 pages – whichever comes first. I’m a pretty good judge of what books will bore me to death and which ones I will “book” through (pun totally intended).
- Of the books I have read before instead of rereading them I will install the “Odd page rule.” The odd page rule is to only read the odd pages and skip the evens. (the rule right now is if I don’t remember the plot, key characters or how it ended I have to reread the entire thing. Not happening).
- Third and final change: the movie rights rule. If a book has been made into a movie AND the book author has had a hand in writing the screenplay AND the movie has won an Academy Award I give myself permission to watch the movie instead. I am not a movie person so I doubt this last rule will really come into play that often.
I will be in my 90s when I finally finish the challenge. People have asked me why it matters. They like to point out that Nancy Pearl didn’t read every book she recommends. She had help. People made suggestions. I get it. I don’t care what Pearl has or hasn’t read. Her reading list is not my concern. The pages MY eyes fall upon are what matter and I want to read them all. If I’m lucky.