Sunday, January 3, 2010

738 Books

738 Books. That's how many I've got left. To read, ever.

Part of the reason I've been noting the books I've read here in this blog is to get an idea of how quickly I actually read them, and thus how many I've got left to read before I shuffle off this mortal coil. I've read 18 books in the last year, and given average life expectancies and my current age, it means I'll get to read another 738 books (if I knew a bit more stats, I'd produce a nice graph that would show the likelihoods of me reading each particular number of books between 1 and 1500).

The good thing is, this is more than I was expecting. I didn't know of the number would be 200 or 2000; I was expecting something closer to the 400 mark. But it does show I need to think a little more about the quality of book that I read. Each book I read can now be considered 0.14% of all the books I'll ever get to read in my life, and each crappy book is a good one I don't get to read. If I should decide to read the entire oeuvre of a writer who has produced 8 novels, that's 1% of my life's reading.

This doesn't mean only reading the highest literature and non-fiction to be found; it means the books that will affect me the most, and bring me the most enjoyment. A lot of the books I've read over the last year have been of that sort, and I find a Singularity Sky to be as relevant, or even more so than a Vernon God Little. I will, however, avoid wasting 0.27% of my remaining lifetime literary intake on the sequels to Byzantium's Crown.

Of course, I still have the option to expand my intake by spending more time reading. And getting serious about it once I retire. Danny seems to get through about four times as many books as I do, so it's certainly possible.

I intend to keep writing here about the books I read. I've enjoyed it so far, so I'll keep doing it until someone tells me to shut up :)

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