So much to read, so little time

If you read one book a week, starting at the age of 5, and live to be 80, you will have read a grand total of 3,900 books, a little over one-tenth of 1 percent of the books currently in print.


I came across this post on the CISG tumblr recently and it stuck in my head. I actually found it quite a distressing thought in a subdued sort of way. There’s an inevitable upper limit on the number of books you can read in a lifetime and, once you begin to think it through, that upper limit constitutes a tiny fraction of the books in print. But I’m also fairly sure it’s a tiny fraction of the books I would like to read. When I think about this it makes me want to be incredibly selective about the books I choose to read. But that kind of selectivity would feel like it was contrary to to the enthusiasm for reading which generates the problem in the first place.

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