How many books do you read in a year?

I read about thirty to forty books a year and numerous magazines, but usually not the personal-experience type of literature.” -Gary L. Thomas, from “Sacred Marriage”

When I ask about key principles for becoming a good writer, I almost always get the advice to read, and read, and read, and read, and read some more. Unfortunately, I’ve let that advice become an excuse for me to avoid the work of writing. I do not advise this. But I do read quite a bit, at least I thought I did until I came across this quote from a book that wasn’t even written to make me feel guilty as a writer.

I keep a record of my reading on this blog, you can check out my bookshelf if you’d like. Chances are I missed some in my recording because I’m far from diligent, but the 2011 Bookshelf says I read 22 books where the 2012 Bookshelf shows I read 19 and partially read 3 more, so let’s call it 20 for the year. That gives me a pace of 20 per year and I’m pretty much on pace for that again this year. I’m reading 1.2 books per month. Gary Thomas, on the other hand – the golden hand that reminds me why he wins awards for his books and I don’t – is consuming almost 3 books per month. I’m still deciding whether I’ll feel guilty or inspired.

How about you? How many books per month or year are you reading? Maybe a better question would be, how many of those words and ideas are you comprehending and retaining? Do you have a routine? Do you have reading goals? 


About ryan85

A son, a brother, a husband, a father of eight, and a friend. A follower of Jesus Christ. A fan of the Seminoles and all teams Atlanta. I write, I read, and teach when I can. I prefer red pens. I'm easily distracted. I've lived in Augusta, GA, northern Minnesota, the beautiful western NC mountains, and Tallahassee, FL - Go 'Noles. I played football for FSU, was on the national championship team in 1999, and took a few snaps with the Pittsburgh Steelers. My favorite colors are fluorescent yellow, and Garnet & Gold. I drive a minivan and think it's cool.
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One Response to How many books do you read in a year?

  1. amberskyef says:

    It depends on how busy that year is. If the year isn’t insane busy, I can squeeze in about thirty to forty. I usually get most of my writing done during the summer, with like ten to twenty books. But this year has been busy, so I’ve only gotten ten in so far. However, now that I’m back to writing, my reading has slowed considerably. I don’t have reading goals, but I am going to make it a goal to do a book review on my blog of every book I read.

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