Thursday, April 02, 2009

9,419 to go.

Ms. Yingling linked to Connect the Plots, who, in an older post, referenced Julius Lester's blog A Commonplace Book, specifically his year-old post on book-reading. Lester quotes a character from Brian Moore's The Dylanist, who figures she only has time left to read about 3,000 books before she dies. This made me really sad, since, like everyone else whose posts led me to read that, it totally isn't enough! But I had assumed that the character was my age (in my mind, everyone is 26 until proven otherwise). So I did the math this morning. Working eight-hour days, I'm reading about two books a week. So follow the math: If I read 2 books a week for the rest of my working career, I will read 4,384 books by my 65th birthday (38 years until age 65 x 104 books a year = 3,952 books, + the 16 books I can get through in the 8 weeks until my 27th birthday = 3, 968 books). Assuming I live to age 80 (that's pushing it, considering my family's medical history) and keep my mental faculties (likely: my grandma is sharp!), I should be able to more than double my book totals, since, when not employed, I can get through a novel a day. Doing the math (15 years between ages 65 and 80 = 780 weeks, x 7 books a week = 5,460 books in those 15 years), I should be able to read 9,420 books, not counting picture books or audio books, before I die, assuming I can make it that long.

I think I can be happy with that number. Thinking back over the last few years, that makes a lifetime total of a pretty decent quantity of books. I'm not sure I'm up to counting what I've already read, but I remember there was one year early in my undergrad (the year I started keeping a written version of this blog, on paper, in a binder) that I read about 200 books. So it's totally safe to say that I will read over 10,000 books in my lifetime. !!!
My husband and I were looking at one of those silly compatibility quizzes, and one of the questions was "How many books do you read in a year?" The multiple choice answers were 2, 3, 4, and 5. Someone my age who only read 5 books a year would only read 315 between now and age 80. Who can be happy with that?

(Side note: I think the Connect the Plots blogger and I should get together. We appear to be the same person, separated by an international border.)

Sorry, this has a gone a bit rambly around the edges, but I think it's very interesting. Do the math for yourself. I think we should use this in some kind of library promotion. It makes me excited.

The Squad: Perfect Cover, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I'm not sure what it was that led me to pick up this book. Reading the back cover, it doesn't seem like something I would choose. I had a great time reading it, though, and I think girls will, too. The author captured very honestly the feelings we have for those girls-- refreshing in a time when it seems most new books are about those annoying over-priviledged over-tanned "young ladies." Toby was a very familiar girl, she probably has a lot in common with the average reader and girls will be able to identify with her. There was some slang, a few fragments, but nothing out of sync with the characters or anything that felt forced. There were some humorous bits, and overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it, which surprised me.

One of Those Days, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; illustrated by Rebecca Doughty. This is a great book! I know some people feel that Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is too negative and gives readers a bad example. This book lets kids know that sometimes bad days happen, but they aren't the end of the world. The drawings are child-like and really capture the characters.

The OK Book, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. I love both the stick figures, with the thick, simple line drawings for the rest of the illustrations, and the message. Drawings are colored very simply and contribute to the strength of the text. All the white space is refreshing: the eye knows directly where to go.
I had picked up these two when I went to see if we had Rosenthal's new Duck! Rabbit!. Alas, no such luck, but it's on its way, and I got to look at these gems.

1 down, + 2 picture books.

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