1000? 1000? 1000 Books a Year!

October 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm | Posted in Book Blather | 5 Comments

Never mind.  I quit.

I just did a Google search on “1000 books a year” and came up with several people who claim either to have done it or regularly do it.  (Usually they are blog commenters and you have to skim down to find their quotes).

This person was inspired by a religious leader to read more.

waywardclam has ADD and read quite a bit in school, though no longer.

presidentsherrill does it in only two hours a day.

This fellow did it for a couple of years.

This gal routinely reads 500-1000.

This other guy says “there are many of us” who read 500-1000 a year.

(As an historian, I can’t help but wish for some documentation here…)

I wanted to rant.  I wanted to mock “speed readers” and I wanted to crush light genre fiction with my elegantly curved little thumb.

But I give up.  I have no way of knowing what all these other people are reading, what they do for a living, how bright they are, or how much they give to charity.  What it comes down to is that there are plenty of people who read vast quantities more than I do.

And good for them.

Read-a-Thon!

October 13, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Posted in Book Blather | 7 Comments

Can it be that time again?  The October Read-a-Thon is coming right up.  I’m #227.  It’s so incredibly exciting that there are now over 200 people who are willing to get up at 5 AM and read all day.  God bless Dewey.

This time I’m shaking it up a bit by planning to read one really long book, and going on to other things if I finish early.  It looks like either Gravity’s Rainbow or The Faerie Queene, depending on which one I manage to leave alone until the 24th.  They are both just sitting there staring at me, poignantly.

Truth to tell, I’m wallowing in the Slough of Despond right now.  While I know I’ll make my goal of reading 500 books this year, there will be others, most likely several, who read more than I did.  I don’t know why I feel I have to compete in the same “weight class” as people who don’t work day jobs.  I’m not a speed reader and I feel drawn to heavy, complex material.  I’ll never be the fastest and I’ll never read the most.  If anything I might be the biggest narcissist and the most relentless self-promoter.  So as a spiritual exercise I am not going to try to use the Read-a-Thon to run up my title total.

That’s the amazing thing about the Read-a-Thon.  You clear the decks so you can do nothing but read all day; you read for 24 hours; in the aftermath you realize that someone else outread you by 2000 pages.  You think, “How can this be?”  Then you shake yourself and realize that, hey, you just read for 24 hours straight!  It’s better to console oneself with one’s accomplishments and stop worrying about the competitive aspects.

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