How Many Books Do You Read?

I’m a reader — more of a reader than a writer.  And I read everything.  Anthony calls me a cereal box reader — the person who at breakfast, will sit and read the ingredients on the cereal box.  I grew up in the small town where the library had a general rule — you could get a library card if you could write your own name.  I remember sitting at the kitchen table practicing my name over and over again, until the K had a straight back and the r was pointed in the right direction.  I was the little girl who would drag home a stack of library books.  When I got older, I saved my money for books.  Now, our apartment is held together by stacks of books. 

I’m also not a picky reader — while I tend to read more poetry and literary nonfiction, I read almost anything (except Romance) on almost any topic.  I go in spurts where I read one type of book or one author.  For example, a few years ago, I read everything by Jodi Picoult. (Beach reading, I know, but we don’t have a lot of beaches in the snowbelt).  One year, I went through a period where I read tons of books on genocide and another year I went through a phase where I read books on Arctic exploration.  Don’t ask me why I go through these streaks — it’s just a lot of things interest me.

Once, one of my colleagues asked me how many books I read per year.  I shrugged.  I really didn’t know.  Like almost everyone else I know, there are certain times of the year where I read more and certain times of the year where I don’t read as much.  During the winter months, I read more.  During finals, where I am reading student papers, fun reading takes a back seat. 

This year, I am going to keep a booklist of how many books I do read.  I just took a look at my January 2010 list — the official tally for this past month is 16 books.  I have read six novels, two books of poetry, two chapbooks of poetry, and six works of nonfiction (including three of books of true crime).  Yes, I have read 16 books this past month, which seems high — even to me.  But that could be that I was off for two weeks and because it’s also nice to snuggle in with a good book when the weather is dismal outside.

Highlights of the month?  The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson and The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood.  Also, Brandi Homan’s second collection of poetry, Bobcat Country, which I just talked about a few days ago. 


  1. SarahJ Said:

    That is a lot of books! I’ve always kept track of what I’ve read, since I was little. Unfortunately a bunch of my journals were lost in a house fire when I was in my 20s, so I lost some lists too. Bugs the crap out of me. I recently found a photo of myself in front of a bookshelf before the fire and I got out the magnifying glass to see if I could make out what they are.

    I go through phases, too. All about China. All about Lincoln. All Dickens all the time. Smile. I am kind of picky, though. LIke at the movies, I think it’s sometimes good to leave the theater.

  2. Karen Weyant Said:

    It is a lot — but I’m facing a very different kind of month, so I have a feeling I won’t be reading quite as much in February….

  3. What amazes me even more than how many books you’ve read is how many reviews you’ve written of what you’ve read — you are a titan of productivity!

  4. Karen Said:

    Well….I would not be too amazed, Marie. I’m afraid that I probably look a lot more productive on my blog than I really am…

    I will post about that subject later!

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