Friday, November 17, 2006

Too Many Books,
Not Enough Time

My friend Linda, over on Bugwalk has this to say about finishing books that we start. I don't think I've ever heard it said better!
If I’m going to live 40 years, give or take, and there are 52 weeks per year (that part is certain, anyway), and if it takes me, on average, what with one thing and another, three weeks to read a book, there are only 693 books left! If there are a hundred books on my library list, that’s one seventh of all the books I will ever read. That’s why I feel no obligation to finish a book or magazine article that does not immediately grab me.

Linda is younger than I am, so she has more years left. She reads slower than I do, so that factor is less. But, it doesn't matter what the numbers are, the fact is that we only have a finite number of books left to read in our lives. Why waste a moment of that precious time on one we don't like?

8 comments:

J said...

I agree...if a book doesn't catch me, I'll forget about it.

Ron Southern said...

Yeah, buddy! I'm not as bad as I used to be, but my rule in the past was to stop reading if a book isn't good after 100 pages. I have fewer temper tantrums about it now, but I used to be really pissed when some book turned out poorly. I can remember books that I threw out the window or onto the roof of the building next door! (Not library books, though!)

Ally Bean said...

I've learned to do this as I've grown older. I was such a do-bee student that I always thought that I HAD to read everything that I started. Not anymore.

Betty said...

I used to think I had to finish reading every book I picked up. Then, as I got older, I realized that I didn't have to and now, I finish the ones I like and give the others away to people I think they "fit" better.

py Korry said...

I came to that realization years ago after reading (then skimming) the first novel in new Dune series written by Frank Herbert's son.

It was God-awful, so I just donated it to the library.

Anvilcloud said...

Amen! If there's no test to pass, read what you want.

Vervet said...

I agree with this in principle, however I'm just too obsessive-compulsive to NOT finish a book once I've started it.

Linda Atkins said...

Wait just a minute here! I *might* read just as fast as you do. The thing is that I read only five minutes per day, because I fall asleep after that! That's why it takes me so dern long to read a book. Also, I always have two going at a time, one Buddhism-related book and one other book, plus the week's periodicals to get through.