Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Reading, writing, and arithmetic

When I first began reading at age six, I became hooked. We’d take weekly trips to the library at which time I’d get seven books. Seven books a week x 52 weeks = 364 books a year. In other words, the first ten years of my reading life netted me approximately 3640 books. I probably would’ve continued in this vein, but I started dating; in my new dumbed-down state, I simply no longer had time to read so much. Unfortunately, I also had to work. Reading became something covert; sneaking in a few pages at lunch, or staying up until 1 a.m. to finish a book.

Getting a degree in English was a sneaky way of supporting my habit.
Of course, I also got married and had children. Out of necessity, my intake slowed to a more reasonable amount, say an average of three books a week.

So the way I figure it, taking into account a slow-down of adult intake but a decided increase of picture book consumption during my children's younger years and the seven years I taught ESL, I calculate that since age 16 I've read an additional 7176 adult/YA/MG books --and another 4160 picture books (although re-reading may be the more appropriate term). So the total number of books I’ve read since age six is approximately 14,976.
I anticipate reading at least 6240 more adult/YA/MGs and who knows how many PBs in my lifetime.

"How many books have been published? According to Google's advanced algorithms, the answer is nearly 130 million books, or 129,864,880, to be exact. (Ben Parr’s blog: http://mashable.com/2010/08/05/number-of-books-in-the-world/). Discounting the non-English language books and nonfiction--I read fiction almost exclusively--and adding the increased number of books printed in the three years since the appearance of the article, all I’ve got to say is this:
Too many books, too little time.

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