Friday, November 09, 2007

How's the Volume?

    Would you say that you read about the same amount now as when you were younger? More? Less? Why?

First, I guess I need to know what we mean by "when [I] was younger." As a child and teen, I was a voracious reader. Back then, obviously, I had a lot less responsibility and more "discretionary" time. Because I had a mother who encouraged reading, I grew up surrounded by books and opportunities to read.

During my college years, I didn't much besides required reading - except during school breaks, when I'd try to fit as many novels as I could. I do remember reading Chaim Potok's The Chosen one fall, probably over several weeks because of my limited reading time, and then taking the opportunity to discuss how its themes applied to me in an interview for a prestigious senior scholarship. In my opinion, using that reference from the world of literature - given that my field was accounting - greatly helped me to be awarded that scholarship! (By the way, when I was in graduate school, Chaim Potok visited the university and I had the awesome opportunity to hear him speak.)

When I entered the full-time workforce, most of my "discretionary" time was spent with friends or television, and for several years I did very little reading - at least for me. (I think I still read way more than the current national average!)

After becoming a stay-at-home mother, I started reading more. In 1992 - when my then only daughter Jelly Bean was one - I started keeping track of the number of books that I read. That year I read 55 books. The year before my second daughter was born - 1995 - was my biggest reading year, with 119 books.

In the past several years (with three school-age kids and a somewhat irregular work schedule) I've been hovering a bit under 100 books per year - except last year when I discovered the Blokus website (for playing games and chatting with other players) and also started blogging. In all of 2006 I read only 56 books - barely over a book a week! This year I've got the Blokus addiction a bit more under control, although I still struggle with what I call "the book blogger's dilemma" - that is, do I spend more time on reading or blogging about what I'm reading (or hoping to be reading)? I'm at 67 and counting ... and I'm hoping to end up with at least 80 books read this year.


  1. You summed up my life as well. I remember staying up all night reading The Stand during one summer break from university. And even when I was reading my least, I still read. It's tough when the kids are little, because you can be so tired at night, that you can't even read, and that is very, very tired.

  2. In school I used to read novels on the eve of my exams. I remember my dad getting mad at me..:D

  3. I've read about 70+ excluding those I didn't manage to track/list.

    I'll be starting on The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas very soon too. It has been sitting in my TBR for too long. :)

    Happy reading!

  4. I think I'm measuring my reading in books per month rather than by week these days, and over the year I suspect it's not more than 25-30. Since this is the first year I've blogged them, I'll know for sure, though - and then I can have a goal for next year, because that seems like a really low number to me!

    I've definitely been caught in "the book blogger's dilemma" that you describe so well (not to mention all that pesky "life" stuff :-))