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How Many Books Have You Read?

I was watching Jeopardy! tonight, and one of the contestants reads a lot and keeps track of the books she reads. She has read 750 books since 1988. That averages out to a little more than 3 books a month. I guess that’s a lot; it’s certainly more than I read at this point. But it didn’t seem like an amount to brag about. I think there’s a lot of avid readers who probably read more than that.

So my question to you is: How many books have you read in the past 20 years? If you’re not sure, can you estimate?

| Tags: , 11 comments »

11 Responses to “How Many Books Have You Read?”

  1. exzede

    3 books a month…That’s a lot. I’have never counted the number of books I’ve read, but I could usually finish a 1.5-inch to 2.0-inch thick novel in 2-3 days. That’s about 2 books per week. Since I started reading extensively about 10 years ago, the estimation of the number of books I’ve read would be 520 books. Since I have a tendency to reread books that I find interesting until I know the characters and and storyline by heart, I’d deduct about 50% of the above number, making it 260 books. Not bad, don’t you think?


  2. trish d. dish

    Hehe! You reread books? Huh.

    Yeah, I’d say 260 books is petty good. I just started cataloguing my books on Library Thing, so I’ll have an idea soon of what I’ve read in the past 15 years.


  3. bkclubcare

    I don’t think I could estimate because I think there may have been years I’ve barely picked up a book and then this year, I’m reading like crazy! Spurts, you know? And, I have only re-read The Chronicles of Narnia and was disappointed that I did. I have a friend who reads the same book every certain time of the year (Rebecca) and I thought that was quite odd. But she’s quite odd, too. In a good way!

    Merriest of Christmases! – Care


  4. trish d. dish

    Interesting that you re-read The Chronicles of Narnia and was disappointed. I have a theory (after reading Harry Potter and trying to re-read Lord of the Rings) that books you read as a kid aren’t the same for you as an adult. Such a bummer!

    And what book does your friend Rebecca read every year?


  5. bkclubcare

    oh! The book my friend Mary reads IS Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier! She recommended it for our bookclub because it was about time she read it AGAIN. We also watched the movie.

    You are right on wtih your theory about books read as kids… I’m sure my brain at 11 loved Narnia with a different passion that just didn’t quite re-ignite when 40? I read LOTR series just before the movies hit and must say that I very much enjoyed these. When I was in 5th grade, our teacher read us the Hobbit and I attribute it for giving me a love of reading. So why I didn’t read LOTR when I was young, I have NO idea…


  6. Stephanie

    Gosh, I don’t really know, although in 2007 I only read maybe 25 books (two kids keep me pretty busy)!


  7. Dawn

    I went looking for the stat on that contestant because my husband and I were questioning the year she said.

    Last year I started writing down all the books I read in a year. I read 114 in 2007, which includes all 7 of the Harry Potter, plus rereading 4, 6, and 7. So these were not all little tiny books I read. I also didn’t finish at least five books I started (didn’t hold my interest). And I know for a fact I got a couple hundred pages into them too. My final page count for the year was 42,542, not including the unfinished books.

    I have always been an avid reader and had estimated at the beginning of last year that I read about 100 books a year. Probably more a year in those years I was a stay at home mom. Now I work full time and am raising two kids.

    So since 1988 I’ve probably read close to three times that measly 750. You don’t impress me Miss Jeopardy. lol


  8. trish d. dish

    Thanks for the comment, Dawn! I’m in a book club now, and so it’ll be interesting to see how many books I read in 2008. I’ve found I read a lot more now that I’m in a book club because I feel a need to read at least one book in between our meetings, if not more. I will have read the last three Harry Potter books between our last meeting and our next meeting, meaning I’ll have read over 2000 in two months, which is a lot of reading considering I’m planning a wedding and work two jobs. Phew!


  9. ebony

    750 is a pretty impressive number. The average person doesn’t read 3 books a month. I used to read 2-3 books a week, then I had 5 kids and coupled with work I can’t get those numbers back in a dream! I still try to read 100 books a year, but some years are not as successful as others.
    I’d be interested to know what type of books her list includes. It would take more time to read Herman Melville’s Moby Dick than Evanovich’s One for the Money. Compared to the average Joe/Jane, I think 750 is a decent number.


  10. trish

    Thanks for the comment, ebony. I know the average person doesn’t read 3 books a month, but I was thinking of avid readers…since us obsessed folks are more likely to keep track of what and how much we read. kwim?


  11. wordlily

    I’ve tried to track how many books I read in a year so many times I’ve lost count (ha ha ha!). This is the first year I’ve made it this far in my quest, and I’m on pace to read 52 books this year. I know for a fact that some years I’ve read so many more books than I have this year (20 years goes all the way back to when I read 6+ books a week, every week).

    Even if you calculate just based on this year’s numbers, that puts me over 1,000 for 20 years. And there are lots of people who read waaaay more than me.


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