Quality or Quantity?

Quality or Quantity?

December 20, 2011


A little while ago, the following appeared on my twitter feed:

So. Awesome. RT @sarahw: An Illinois school librarian, @MrSchuReads, is 92% of the way to reading 2011 books in 2011. http://t.co/gkRgTPbc

I can’t imagine reading 2011 books in a single year. Part of it is because I have other things going on. But let’s say I didn’t have other obligations and could just sit around reading books all day, every day for a year. I still don’t think I’d be able to read 2011 books, unless we’re talking about picture books (and it looks like the person mentioned in this tweet did just that). And really, would I even want to read that many books in a year? No way. Yes, there are tons of amazing books out there and yes; I’ll probably die without having read most of them. Yes, I find that fact depressing. But you know what? I don’t think the solution is to give myself this kind of challenge. No matter what arbitrary number of books I challenge myself to read each year, whether it’s 100 or 2000, I’m going to miss out on something. Even if I manage to meet the same challenge every year for the rest of my life. I’m never going to be able to read all of the amazing books out there. It’s just not humanly possible. So with that in mind, I’d much rather get the most pleasure out of the books I do read. And I don’t see myself enjoying the act of reading if I challenge myself to read some ridiculously high number of books. I find myself wondering if someone who challenges themselves to 2011 books in a year is only doing it for the bragging rights. I mean, how do you even remember anything about the books you’ve read if your goal is to speed read through them? In some cases, I’m all for quantity, but this isn’t one of them. If giving the choice, I’d rather be able discuss a book in depth rather than be able to say I read over 2000 books that year.


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