Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Longest Book Ever?

And here I was thinking that The Godfather wasn't that long of a book. Hello?! It's taking me forever to read this thing. It's fantastic, though. I don't want it to end. I sense a Godfather-movie-viewing-marathon in our near future. Complete with spaghetti. And cannolis. And some fat men sitting around plotting murders.

Well, maybe minus the fat men.

Which brings me to a thought I've been thinking. I have this goal about reading 75 books this year. But really, that's pretty arbitrary. Some books are big. Some books are small. Some books have big type. Some books are graphic novels and take fifteen minutes to read.

So really, how do you guage 'how many books' you've read? Or am I am just being all Virgo about this? Does it really matter?

It doesn't really matter, I know. Still. If you read War and Peace, Don Quixote, Atlas Shrugged and Les Miserables, that's only four books. Four of the longest books EVER, but still. Do they only count for four?

Only a book geek would worry about these things. I hate to 'pad' my count by adding in some shorties or YA books. I get all caught up in wondering whether only books over 200 pages count, or what. Am I crazy?

Ultimately it doesn't matter, of course. What matters is that I'm packing in maximum enjoyment of many, many books. What matters is that I stuff my brain with lots of new thoughts and new authors and various subjects. What matters is that I have a good time.

But still. I've got some work cut out for me to read 75 books by the end of this year. I'm a tad behind. But it's RIP season (as soon as I finish The Godfather) and I'll hopefully (pardon the pun) rip through a bunch of books really quickly. And celebrate my achievement with... another huge round of books.

Isn't life great?


Eva said...

You know, this is why I don't really worry about how many books I've read. :) I know some people who keep page counts, then divide their page count by 300, and that's how many books they've read. *shrug* I'm more concerned with the types of books I'm reading than with the number. I tried keeping a page count, but forgot with a month! :)

If I had to guess, I'd say the long and short books I read still average out to around 300 pgs/book. I don't really know though!

Tammie said...

i like this post and actually think about this often.

my goal last year was fifty and although i reached it, i definitely felt like i had to pad it a bit by reading some graphic novels. but i also thought that some of the graphic novels ive read are pretty life changing(Persepolis, Maus) so why not give them proper credit?

i already reached this years(obviously much too low) goal but i know i read a lot of mindless fluff when life got crazy. i felt like a slacker at first but then it occurred to me that those books were doing what books are supposed to do, provide escape.

so i suppose if you wanted to get really technical you could factor in content as well. because the hundreds of pages in The Poisonwood Bible are way different than the hundreds of pages in Twilight.

youre right, ultimately it doesnt matter. personally, i count one book as, well, one book. even if its puny. i figure i'll balance it out with a thicker one later on.

Lahni said...

I just do a page count, but even that doesn't really say anything. In August I read over 6000 pages (which was double what I've done in any other month) but I read a lot of young adult and I counted the three Ramona (Beverly Cleary) books that I read to my son. I think it's up to you to decide how you want to track how much you've read. It's not a contest is it?

Stefanie said...

I just keep track of complete books no matter the page count and try not to worry about the total number of books I read, but you that's hard to do. I have to remind myself that quality is more important than quantity more frequently than I'd like to admit.

Daphne said...

I know... I don't really worry about it, but every once in awhile I get all Virgo about it and I wonder what the rules ought to be... but then I try to forget about it. Mostly I just want to be reading as much as I can, however much that is!!

I think we should all use books in whatever way we need: fluff for escape, serious reading for serious mind-building, etc. It's all good.

I'll stick with my one book = one book, no matter what the size of the book. I'll even include the cookbooks that I read cover to cover, because, hey, it's a book!

Susan said...

One book = one book gets my count, Daphne! I was just worrying myself if reading a Shakespeare play counted as a book, and I've decided that for me, it does. :-D And kids books are a book, too!

I'm still aiming for 100 books this year! So I'll cheer you on for reaching your goal, too!