The average lifespan of a male in Ancient Rome was 22 years. The Summer Reading List resulting from the recent contest at One Scheme of Happiness has 450 entries. That would be 20.454545... books per year. Except that 25 of the entries on the list are book series, and one of my suggestions is an annual anthology with at least 24 volumes, so the math is flawed.
Here's some math from this August 2007 article from the Washington Post: 1 in 4 American adults read no books during the year. The average number of books read is 4 if you include those who didn't read at all, 7 excluding them. That means the unadjusted 450 book list would last 112.5 years for the 4-book crowd, only a little over 64 years for the 7-bookers.
I just can't imagine not reading. I usually have two or three books going at once, one Mighty Tome and a couple that are lighter fare. I might start three books at around the same time and finish the two smaller plus five others before the largest of the original three is done. About 2000 - 2500 pages per month is average for me. Given the numbers from the article, I guess this could sound like bragging. Please don't take it that way, I know plenty of folks who read more than I do, have larger libraries than I do, and focus on more serious reading than I do.
I buy 99% of my books at thrift shops and SF Library book sales, the rest at used book stores and discount websites. Many of my books were free, because I'm not too proud to pick up a boxful someone has discarded. Too worn to be sold or donated, they'll go back on the street, tenfold, for the next thrifty reader. A friend left for NY state a couple years ago, leaving me several boxes of Sci-fi/fantasy paperbacks. I haven't even looked through them all, let alone shelving them. This doesn't increase by even 20% the total Sci-fi/fantasy I already had. Fortunately, I've also picked up a couple of discarded bookcases off the street.
Excluding the Sci-fi, I've got somewhere around 350 unread books on the fiction shelves, but many of those are collections that contain 3-5 complete novels. I have nearly as many books waiting on the non-fiction/educational/political/religious shelves. And I keep buying. So my list is well above the 450 level and I hope I have at least 22 years to read them all. Then I can start on the seemingly equally large number of books waiting to be re-read.
Before reading this blog gets any more boring, let me switch to knitting. While at Mom's I got photos of some of the things I've made for her. Here is a hat from the Tweedy Toppers pattern in the Fall 2006 Knitter's Magazine:
The yarn is a mix of two unlabeled thrift shop leftovers.
I won the Haiku contest at My knitting has gone to the dogs. Many great big thanks to Kaessa. There were a lot of great entries, check them out. I'm really excited and looking forward to that package!