Everybody reads at different rates; some people only get a chance to read on holiday, some every day on their commute to work, some open up a new book and skim read through the pages like a robot whereas others like to take their and absorb each and every word. I would say that I am a relatively quick reader, certainly compared to my husband at least, but these days I struggle to find enough free time in the day to indulge in a good book. The only time I do tend to catch a spare few minutes to read is when I go up to bed and whilst picking up my book is a sure fire way to guarantee me nodding off, it certainly isn’t allowing me to get through as many books as I would like. Before having children, I worked in London and would have an hours commute on the train, the perfect opportunity to read. Holidays were also spent feet up, round the pool, book in hand, cocktail next to me, needless to say those days are gone.
It got me thinking about how many books I could expect to read in my lifetime and I worked out that if I were to read an average of 2 books a month, which allows for the different reading rates throughout my life, and if I were to live until the average life expectancy of a woman in the UK, 82.5, then in my lifetime I can expect to read approximately 1,980 books. It might sound a lot, but compared to the amount of books that are out there and that’s not even including the ones that haven’t been written yet, how can I begin choose which ones to read and which ones to leave?
Amazon have a link on their site for 100 books to read in a lifetime, which I guess is a good starting point and so I challenged myself to run through the list and see how well I had done so far. I am embarrassed to admit that I got a measly 28 out of 100, pathetic! but who actually compiles these lists and if I am only going to read 1,980 books in my lifetime, surely I should be choosing the ones I really want to read? How many times have you read a book only to get a third of the way through and still not get what it’s about, but not wanting to give up on it you’ve persevered, got to the end and are still none the wiser and left completely uninspired. Why should we be wasting our time on these books that do nothing for us? From now on, if I get to page 50 in a book and it’s not floating my boat and I am going to take great pride in laying the book down and starting a new one. A book has got to earn it’s place if it want to be part of my 1,980!
For my next article, I intend to make my own personal list of the top 100 books I believe should be read in a lifetime. And, yes, of course not everyone is going to agree with it, but if nothing else it will act as a record of those books that have struck a chord with me and may even act as recommendations for others. I would love to see your lists of books that would appear in your top 100, so send them in to us and we’ll share them on the page.