Saturday, May 12, 2007

Only 2,704 books??

I received a brochure in the mail from the University of Minnesota listing some adult single day summer classes. I was browsing through it and noticed a class entitled "You Have to Read This!". The description reads "If a person read an average of one book per week from the age of 21 through 73, the total would be 2,704 titles." Well, I'd never thought of it that way before and am a bit stunned at this low number. I do average more than 52 titles per year, and while that number goes up every year, I don't know that I'll ever get to, say, 100 titles a year. I think about all the books I already own and want to read, the books I do not yet own but desire, and all the books that will be published in the future that I'll want to read, and am saddened by the fact that I'll never get to them all.

The description of the class goes on to say "Take a day to enrich your reading list and make sure every book you read counts." So for me, I want that to be the take-home message. There is not enough time in life to read books one is not enjoying or gaining knowledge or insight from.

Make sure every book you read counts. I'll try to do that.

6 comments:

Bookgirl said...

Wow, that is a pretty low number isn't it? Especially for us bookworms that just doesn't seem enough. I mean, I think my TBR list may just have that many titles alone! :) But I agree, if a book isn't grabbing me then I put that aside. There are too many other good books waiting in the wings.

StuckInABook said...

Gosh, that is low... I think (when not at university) I manage about 80 a year, but still... You see, I am torn between that being a low number, and feeling AWFUL if I ever don't finish a book. I always think "the author spent months, years on this - and Simon, you can't be bothered to spend a week" and battle on through...

Jill said...

Actually, the idea is based on something written by Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay entitled Books.

But it certainly does make book selection an intimidating event...

Tara said...

Bookgirl, I agree, my TBR list is enourmous! I have definitely gotten better at putting books aside as I've gotten older. I must have just realized my time is ticking away.

Simon, I do know what you mean about feeling guilty for not finishing. It's as if the author is looking over my shoulder.

Jill, thanks for the reference, I had never heard of this before.

Literary Feline said...

I also feel a sense of sadness thinking of all the books I will not be able to read. I collect books faster than I read them, wanting to make sure I have them on hand when their time comes to be read.

Tara said...

Hi literary feline, thanks so much for stopping by! I also collect books much faster than I could possibly read them -see my latest post for a case in point. I think I have the same feeling as you in that I like knowing that they're HERE when the right moment to read them arrives.