Friday, July 18, 2008

How Many Books?

Ibis and I were discussing books the other day, and he asked me a question that I haven't been able to get out of my head:

"How many books have you read?"

Not this year, not since school; how many books have you read in your life? A little daunting, isn't it? As the question bounced around in my head, titles from years past washed over me: Lovely Bones, On Writing, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Life of Pi, Memoirs of a Geisha, Metamorphosis, Sense and Sensibility, 1984 the entire Sweet Valley High series, Frog and Toad are Friends, Go Dog Go.... I could do this for days.

How do you even count that? I suppose I could use a rough average of one book per month for my entire reading life (starting at age 6, even though I learned to read at 3 or 4). That would account for the school years when I didn't do as much leisure reading as I'd preferred, although I did read a fair amount of textbooks. I have spurts where I'll read several books per month, maybe one per week, but I think one per month is fair.

So. *whips open handy calculator application*

33 - 5 = 28 x 12 = 336.

I know that's not correct. My rough guess at the time was over a thousand, so maybe I should say three books per month. That totals 1008, so I'll let that be my answer.

I've read 1008 books in my life. How about you?


*****

The ads are up and running. Thanks everyone for your help, especially SpyScribbler for basically walking me through the process!

12 comments:

colbymarshall said...

I have NO idea how many books I've read, and I don't think I could figure it out...hmm....

Melanie Avila said...

I know. He completely stumped me when he asked, and I'm still not satisfied with my 1008 answer.

Melanie's Mom said...

Since moving back to Michigan in 1996, I've probably averaged at least one book per week, maybe a little more. That includes everything from mindless fiction to great fiction to biographies, memoirs, history, political science and travel (lots of travel). Not much science. No philosophy. I've stopped buying as many books as I used to since I bought my Kindle last December.

Melanie Avila said...

I figured you'd knock my socks off. ;)

auria cortes said...

Man, I don't know. Do we include books we reread??? Or books we read when we were kids??? It has to be in the thousands.

Melanie Avila said...

Auria, lol. That was more or less my reaction. Since I read SVH when I was a kid, I'm going to say yes, including as a child.

spyscribbler said...

Wow, I have no idea! There were a few years where I read 2 books a night. I read a book a day for a long time, but during college it was TONS less.

The last few years it's only been somewhere between 50 - 150 or so.

Someday, I want to start reading one book a day again. That's my goal.

Melanie Avila said...

You people blow me away!

Zoe Winters said...

not enough.

WendyCinNYC said...

Sweet Valley High! I loved that series.

I couldn't even estimate, but I read about a book every two weeks or so. Although I had a few years in my early twenties when I was too busy partying to read.

Yeah, those days are gone.

Melanie Avila said...

Wendy, Sweet Valley High books were the only ones I'd read over and over again. I remember my mom expressing concern that I wasn't varying my books, but it's clearly not an issue anymore. ;)

Janna Qualman said...

Wow, that IS a daunting thing to think about. I'm not even sure how to figure my count, though your equation may work.

Good on ya for over a thousand!