The average American read four books last year (2006) according to this article with 25% reading none. Kim and I are both above average readers with Kim being way, way, way above average as, at times, she reads more than four a week.
Kim and I have different tastes in topics but we both typically read “trashy” novels. Her favorite books are romance novels which she has three bookcases full and mine are Michael Crichton, Piers Anthony (a hold over from 7th grade), and some others (like Westerns — don’t ask me why, I don’t have an answer).
I usually read most of my books for the year during our yearly summer vacation. I believe I read 7 books when we went to Maui in 2005 (it was a long flight!) but I read only two when we went to Edisto Beach, SC.
This year, my goal is to read a ton more. I wish I had started this back before Christmas as I read four books in 10 days then. But here it is, two weeks into the New Year and I’m going to post to the world that I’m heading for this goal of 52 books in a year. For some this has been a habit for 25+ years and they seem to have no problems with it. For me it will be more of a challenge as my attention span can be somewhat limited especially if the book sucks. My biggest problem is that I’m not a quitter. I will suffer through a terrible book (like I have done recently with Dune, The Crying of Lot 49 and White Noise) and it will take me forever but I’ll get through them.
So far I have read two books fully in 2008. The first was The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton which the only book of his that I hadn’t already read. It wasn’t anything like his other books and I can’t say that I cared for it that much but it is now part of my permanent collection (I have several books of his to get yet including his four non-fiction books and several of his fiction books most of which were penned under “John Lange”).
The second of 2008 was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life loaned to me by Andy because he knew that I throughly enjoyed Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally. This book has changed my outlook on a lot of things and the content happens to align itself very closely with my fairly recent change in eating habits.
Week three is going to be The Catcher in the Rye. A while ago Kim slowly started collecting famous novels for our reading pleasure. She brought several from home and bought several more at used book stores. There happens to be an unsorted (I hate that) stack next to my bed because we’re literally out of room on our bookcases and I hate IKEA entirely too much to return to buy another anytime soon. I looked through that stack last night immediately after finishing Animal… and picked this one out.
Well, I knew of the book and know of it’s history as one of the most banned and read books in American history. After reading through the first 50 pages last night I can certainly see why it was banned but I’m not sure why it’s so popular with educators. Perhaps I’ll change my mind at the end. We’ll see.
I don’t know if I’ll write about every one of the books I’m going to read this year as I’m sure most of you couldn’t give a shit less and I’m fairly positive that in two years I won’t give a shit either but in order to keep me honest I may just have to. Don’t hold your breath for me to do that or finish my goal. While I am not a quitter, I do have real life duties, geocaching to do, and a class to finish by May which has been severely neglected as of late.
If you have any suggestions of books that you can either loan to me for a week or you know they will be in the used book stores for a reasonable rate, let me know!