Not so long ago on either Facebook or Twitter, an Indie author writing group I follow asked the question: how many books have you read so far this year? (Or at least words to that effect.)
And I was shocked by the answers, because in my view they were so astronomical! Let’s say in 10 months, some people proudly admitted that the number of books they’d read went into the 200 bracket! And I think one person was closer to 300. To me this seems a hell of a lot. It’s just under one a day!
And I’m not calling them liars, and I’m impressed – and green-eyed – that they managed to find enough time in their days to dedicate solely to reading. Now I don’t actually know what these peoples’ careers may be – editors, reviews, or agents – I’d get that. But I guess my point is…what books did these people read? It’s a curious question. I try not to be a book snob – but I can’t escape the fact that I sort of am. And I don’t think I can continue writing this blog without sounding a tad judgemental. But with the number read, let’s say one in two days – then I can’t really see that they’re on the length or complexity of say – War and Peace.
I guess my actual point would be, thinking about it, would be that is it the number of books read in a space of time or the quality? Are they just words on a page or did they flex their brain muscles? Sure we don’t want to be reading the likes of War and Peace all the time. But especially to avid readers should we just read the same types of things or should we stretch ourselves? Like a runner pushing himself just one more mile, or a swimmer just one more length, readers too should push themselves, right?
Of course, some of this is green-eyed envy pure and simple. This year completely separate from this group I decided to record what I’d read in 2013, not so much the number but what. And I’ve enjoyed looking back and reading through the list – very short list by comparison – and remembering what I’ve read and forgotten I’ve read. And sure, for me I was pretty pleased and proud of the number: a whopping 35 so far!