I’ve been seeing this around Facebook and I glossed over it for several weeks. This version made me stop and ponder the truth of the statement.
A mere 3,900 books in a person’s life time. Although a book a week is a fabulous goal, I’m not satisfied myself with that number. Thanks to the Reading Log I’ve kept since 2001, I know exactly how many books I’ve read since then. I’m at 1,551 with the current year which is slightly less than double what I would be tracking if I followed the recommend reading.
But it’s not about me, the reader. It’s about the non-reader or the casual reader. To me, the graphic is about choices and how our entertainment time is spent. Reading is an active way to engage our brains in the world, whether it’s through fiction or non-fiction. It’s a form of entertainment, just like television shows or movies. Variety and choices are the key in this world. Over indulgence in anything is too much, no matter how good that thing is.
Yes, this even applies to reading.
I’ve tried to limit my own reading to no more than 52 books a year because there are so many opportunities in life that I miss if I am spending all of my entertainment time in a book. I miss out on movies, art, people, or even physical activities and interactions with people.
I’m only so-so at this. I’m at 20 books for the year, 38% of the goal with nine more months of the year to go. I have found some new activities, new people, to spend my time with.
Reading is part of my soul. I’ll never be a 52 books a year girl. I can’t be. When I try, I miss it. It’s as much of me as my curly hair is and the need to glasses. I’m discovering some television shows and movies that I like (Spoilers: it’s similar to the stuff I like to read.) I spend time coloring, often while listening to an audio book or music.
I get what the graphic is saying. Reading doesn’t have to be your life. But it should be part of it. There’s a supply so deep that a reader won’t plumb the depths in a single life time, even if reading one book a week.