Jump to content

How many books have you read?


Caretaker

Recommended Posts

It's not the size of your library that matters, it's the quality and extent of your reading.

I haven't read a fiction book in years, probably decades, which is a serious imbalance in my reading I know but in the last month I've read four books of history and started, but put aside for the moment, a couple more.

Over the approximately sixty years I've been literate I estimate I've probably read say an average of five a year or three hundred with high levels of reading, including fiction, in the first fifteen years, a decline while I was earning and a dramatic increase in the five or so years since I retired.

How many books have you read over the last month, six months, year? What kind of books do you read? What kind of restraints do you see to reading more, time, money, interest, distractions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, Caretaker said:

It's not the size of your library that matters, it's the quality and extent of your reading.

I haven't read a fiction book in years, probably decades, which is a serious imbalance in my reading I know but in the last month I've read four books of history and started, but put aside for the moment, a couple more.

Over the approximately sixty years I've been literate I estimate I've probably read say an average of five a year or three hundred with high levels of reading, including fiction, in the first fifteen years, a decline while I was earning and a dramatic increase in the five or so years since I retired.

How many books have you read over the last month, six months, year? What kind of books do you read? What kind of restraints do you see to reading more, time, money, interest, distractions?

When I was young I was given early access to the adult portion of the library and was a prolific reader.`Much of my current library consists of history book, mostly concentrating on the political divisions and wars of the 20th century.  Because of my eyes, my physical library is pretty much reserved for reference these days as most of what I read is now electronic so that I can alter the print to my liking.  I also have to limit my reading to about 30 minute segments, no more all day binges.  

Current reading is Book 1 of the John Grimes tales "To the Galactic Rim", old school science fiction.

Recent reading (or re reading) Street without Joy, Killing the Rising Sun, Hanoi's War, A Vietnamese Fighter Pilot in an American War, and Persian Mirrors.  From the Baen free science fiction library various titles just to pass time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Caretaker said:

I haven't read a fiction book in years, probably decades,

Same here. To me, the fact that what I'm reading actually happened makes the reading that much more enjoyable. This blew me away and was better than anything any action novelist could dream up - yet it actually happened. Yeah, sci-fi is an interesting look at what could happen, but it pretty much leaves me cold.

1 hour ago, Caretaker said:

How many books have you read over the last month, six months, year? What kind of books do you read? What kind of restraints do you see to reading more, time, money, interest, distractions?

I go through a book every 1-3 weeks, almost exclusively American history.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, maddmaxx said:

When I was young I was given early access to the adult portion of the library and was a prolific reader.

When I was young, books - and thus, by extension the library - were my refuge from my mom, and a town where I really didn't fit in. So yeah, I was a prolific reader as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I usually have 1 to 3 non fiction by my bedside...in between I will do fiction here or there..murder/suspense type although the occasional romantic fiction might show up...Use to be the other way around..more romance, the occasional murder suspense and once an awhile history...how things change as we age....

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I usually read about a book a week.  I'm on my way to the local library to return the book I got last week and pick up another.  So I have several months a year that I read 4 to 5 books a months and then a few months that I read maybe one book a month.  Weeks with holidays and or vacation I usually read about 3 books those weeks.  My reading was never consistent enough for me to guess how many I've read in my life.  

In HS I hated to read.  Right after HS I started reading and wondered why I disliked it.  Most all of my reading lately has beed mysteries with some history and bios. thrown in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm trying to train myself to get out of bed a half hour earlier and read. It's not hard when I get a good night's sleep, but that isn't every night.

This morning I read a chapter of the bible, followed by most of a short story in my collection of Best Short Stories of America, 1999.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bunches and oodles of books.  Mostly fiction, you sci-fi haters can bite my ass.  History is interesting to a degree, but it seems the same editors who cannot bring themselves to remove the 40% of bloat in every Stephen King novel also moonlight in the history field.

All you fiction haters, what about historical fiction?

  • Heart 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Within the past year I probably read 25-30 books.  Usually fiction, and biographies (most often of musicians).

Our 13-yo daughter is a voracious reader - she might read a dozen books a month.  My total includes some of her books, which are often aimed at a teenage audience.  Maybe easy reads but many are very enjoyable.  Nice to be able to talk about them with her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read a lot more fiction as a kid than as an adult. I started on E.A. Poe in the fourth grade and was reading mystery novels by the fifth--not Hardy Boys type stuff, Earl Stanley Gardner, Alfred Hitchcock anthologies...things like that. I failed my sixth grade reading class because they wouldn't let me read anything above an eight grade level. By high school, I was reading mostly history and technical books with fiction thrown in here and there.  I'd estimate I've read a thousand or more over my lifetime, but I'm more proud of the fact that I've written two and am starting on the third.

  • Heart 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't read fiction either. Literature fucked me up. Maybe it was all the Kafka and Camus. Maybe it was the time I had to read "A Fairwell to Arms" right in the middle of a perfectly good relationship. I don't remember exactly when, but roughly by age 20 I had read all the fiction that I will read in this lifetime. I used to be very bored in high school, so I just sat at the back and read books. Mostly classics.

most of what I read is either history or science. I like reading about physics, mathematics, chemistry, and naturally music

right now I'm reading two books about Baroque performance practice. One is a general book and the other is specific to the classical guitar.

In the last six months I've read from those two plus a book on Italian diction for singers, but these books I don't read cover to cover. I  am working from them, so I read a particular section and then put the ideas into practice on my instrument

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Randomguy said:

Bunches and oodles of books.  Mostly fiction, you sci-fi haters can bite my ass.  History is interesting to a degree, but it seems the same editors who cannot bring themselves to remove the 40% of bloat in every Stephen King novel also moonlight in the history field.

All you fiction haters, what about historical fiction?

Historical fiction is an interesting genre if the author is keeping the story well within the range of real history.  Science fiction on the other hand allows authors to examine interesting concepts like politics within a completely made up location and history that allows some freedom for the author to work in.

  • Heart 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, maddmaxx said:

Historical fiction is an interesting genre if the author is keeping the story well within the range of real history.  Science fiction on the other hand allows authors to examine interesting concepts like politics within a completely made up location and history that allows some freedom for the author to work in.

I enjoy historical fiction.  I can't stand si-fi.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Randomguy said:

 

All you fiction haters, what about historical fiction?

I don't hate fiction, just got out of the habit of reading it. The history I read has to have reference notes and a rational thesis for events. Historical fiction doesn't interest me and if I did look for fiction to read it wouldn't be HF.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I look at it like Caretaker...history itself is a great story

I like to read period accounts....not a history book written by an academic, but the accounts written by a chronicler living in those times. Its great stuff.

I've also enjoyed reading military memoires. Not from famous generals, but from guys in the field living day to day...their view of a campaign. I read the account of a US Captain who had his whole command shot out from under him on the first morning of the Battle of the Bulge. THAT was a story and a half.

if you want a good story, no need to look farther than the actual history of mankind

Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Nate said:

I look at it like Caretaker...history itself is a great story

I like to read period accounts....not a history book written by an academic, but the accounts written by a chronicler living in those times. Its great stuff.

I've also enjoyed reading military memoires. Not from famous generals, but from guys in the field living day to day...their view of a campaign. I read the account of a US Captain who had his whole command shot out from under him on the first morning of the Battle of the Bulge. THAT was a story and a half.

if you want a good story, no need to look farther than the actual history of mankind

Yes history itself is a 'great story' and I like reading history books with an interesting narrative and a good prose style.

Where we differ is in the type. I'm not really interested in reading the memoirs of generals or ordinary soldiers. I prefer to read the work of respected historians whether from an academic background or not who can lay out a well researched and detailed explanation of/for the past.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Caretaker said:

Yes history itself is a 'great story' and I like reading history books with an interesting narrative and a good prose style.

Where we differ is in the type. I'm not really interested in reading the memoirs of generals or ordinary soldiers. I prefer to read the work of respected historians whether from an academic background or not who can lay out a well researched and detailed explanation of/for the past.

now I like books from historians, too, but I was just talking about a relatively recent thing with the military memoirs

I like Barbara Tuchman and Allison Weir a lot. I've also read a lot of Bruce Catton, who writes about our civil war

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Nate said:

now I like books from historians, too, but I was just talking about a relatively recent thing with the military memoirs

I like Barbara Tuchman and Allison Weir a lot. I've also read a lot of Bruce Catton, who writes about our civil war

I read Tuchman's Guns of August years ago. Don't know Weir or Catton. Haven't read any books on the American Civil War, an omission I must correct.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have Guns of August, too. I like the way she portrays the Kaiser as having one of the worst personalities in all of Germany. I'd imagine he was up against some pretty stiff competition, too

She also wrote one of my favorite books on the Hundred Years War called "A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A. Lot.

I read my small town library out of sci-fi & sports fiction while in middle school. I'd read two Solzhenitsyn books in 10/11th grade (if I ever read another, it'll be too soon), I like techno-miltary fiction (Clancy); Special Ops (Marcinko) , a bit of Grisham; a bit of fantasy (Donaldson); I'm not crazy about general history, but I've read some recent biographies & love stuff about the space program & submarines; safety/accident related (Challenger, Chernobyl, Thresher, Scorpion, Columbia, TMI); human performance (Invisible Gorilla, etc.) . When I find an author I like, I'll typically read several.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Nate said:

if you want a good story, no need to look farther than the actual history of mankind

Truth is stranger than fiction, just not as well-written.  History tends to be taken with bloviating assbags who feel they have to pad page counts to be considered an actual account of things.  I have read some decent history, but I want to be there, I want some context, I want succinct accounting of it.  Historic fiction does a decent job of imagining scenarios and making me want to read more about the actual events the stories were based on.

  • Heart 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

well, I'll give you that academic writing can be really dry.

A translation of an academic writing can be even worse

but the one thing about going to period sources is that you are going to the horse's mouth. You don't have a person's opinion or interpretation of events, you have the original source from the period and you get to make up your own mind about things

but you have to be able to have the focus to wade through some really dry text, so if you are really trying to read for enjoyment, you are going to be hating it, that's for sure

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Nate said:

but you have to be able to have the focus to wade through some really dry text, so if you are really trying to read for enjoyment, you are going to be hating it, that's for sure

I spend enough time at work writing dry text.  I'm not spending my spare time reading it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, TrentonStrong said:

I spend enough time at work writing dry text.  I'm not spending my spare time reading it.

well, I like history, so I can manage it

but I can understand where reading translations of period sources isn't leisure reading for most folks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Nate said:

well, I like history, so I can manage it

but I can understand where reading translations of period sources isn't leisure reading for most folks

Don't know about that. I'm currently reading 'Lying about Hitler' by the British academic Richard Evans which has lots of translations of original German documents. As interesting as any detective novel.

https://www.amazon.com/Lying-About-Hitler-Richard-Evans/dp/0465021530

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've read voraciously most of my life. When I was in second grade Sister Agnes Lyola read animal stories to the class, I was hooked on the stories and pretty much taught myself to read.

I read mostly fiction, essays, adventure, and sci fi, I'm amazed at how much of the sci fi has come true.

Now I mostly dick around the internet.  :( 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...