RTW: Reading Habits

It’s Road Trip Wednesday time again! This week, we’re talking about our reading habits, specifically the YA Highway team want to know:

About how many books do you read in a year? Do you want to read more? Or, less?

As I’m sure is true for many readers, the number of books I read per year varies according to what else is happening that year to disrupt my reading schedule. It also depends on the type of book I’m reading. Typically, I can get through a novel much quicker than a theological or historical book, especially when that work is more academic in nature. If I must throw out a number, I would say I average around 50 books a year.

Would I like to read more? Heck, yes! For the simple reason that there are so many books I want to read. But I’m not going to sacrifice quality reading for quantity reading. In other words, I’m not going to speed-read my way through lots of books just to maintain a healthy quota of books read, or to get to all the books I want to read. I don’t like treating books like junk food. Knowing how much time and effort goes into writing a book, whether a work of fiction or non-fiction, I want to be sure I take time to enjoy it, to savor its words, and, at the very least, remember what it was about a week later!

How many books do you get through in a year? Feel free to comment below, or join the YA Highway fun (see the YA Highway blog for details).

On a different note, Doctor Who fans in the UK–take a look at this:

Yes, it’s a TARDIS PC! And not only does it look good, but the specs look very nice too. If only they were marketing them in the US… *sigh* Here’s the website for more details: http://www.scan.co.uk/shops/drwho/tardis

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19 Responses to RTW: Reading Habits

  1. That computer is SO COOL. Seems like the TARDIS is popping up everywhere!

    I like what you said about not being in thrall to a number when you read. I set my number too high this year and found myself sometimes choosing books based on length (or density). But it did motivate me to find more reading time overall, so I will probably set another goal for next year–just one I know I can reach with some long books thrown in.

    • I really don’t want to set a numerical goal. As long as I’m reading books I’ve wanted to read, and enough that my mind is being exercised to think creatively, then numbers are arbitrary.

      If you are going to set goals–as with anything in life–the trick to attaining them is to make them attainable. :) I hope you manage to achieve your goals next year, Mrs. S.!

  2. Want that PC! =D =D

    Okay, before I go into fangirling mode and I’m very close to that right now… I agree with you on not worrying about rushing. I like to soak it all in. But at the same time I like taking advantage of not studying English anymore and enjoying how much more time I have now for the books I want to read for my own leisure rather than for an essay. It still doesn’t mean I’m going to rush but I am getting through more than I used to now that uni is over. There’s been a few books in the past that I’d read in a day but that’s due to seriously being hooked in. The more I read, the more I’m understanding the market better. :)

    So little time, so many books to read!

    • Another good reason to read: to get to know the market. Two years ago I was pretty clueless about YA. I think I have a much better handle on it now, just from having read a lot (relatively, anyway) of YA novels. Hopefully all those novels you had to read for essays will prove their worth to you one day, Robin! :) And yes, I would love a TARDIS PC… if only they made them in the US!

  3. Love the TARDIS computer. Saw some pretty nifty shirts on Threadless inspired the The Doctor.

    • The Doctor’s on the cover of TV Guide in the US, too–the current edition. That’s the equivalent of the The Beatles appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show. A big deal in terms of the show’s impact in the US. :)

  4. That PC is very cool! Though the PC gamer/IT Techcnician in me wonders what the cooling is like and frowns at the underpowered specs but then the fangirl takes over AAHHHH TARDIS PC TARDIS PC.

    • The specs seem good enough to me–though while I work in IT, I’m not a gamer, and don’t have very high demands of my PC hardware. :) But when it comes down to it, who cares?! It’s a TARDIS PC!!! :D

  5. I love to spend time with a book…sometimes I take it slow, and sometimes I just can´t wait to see what happens next and I read faster. I have plenty of time to read….but when I am deep into drafting mode, my reading slows down a lot.
    :D

    • Writing, work, family, and life all eat away at reading time, so I sometimes my reading is nothing more than snatching a chapter or two when I can. But I’m rarely without a book to read. :)

  6. It’s not so much quantity as quality. If you’re writing and have work, family etc, it can be really tough to get to 50 books! I read more the past two years at the expense of friends and a social life :) Partly joking… I also listen to audio books on my commute which is 20 miles each way driving.

    • I’ve not tried audio books, and perhaps I should. It would be easier to “read” at work that way, and perhaps help me get to more books each year. Again, not for the sake of impressive numbers, but there are so many good books I want to read! :)

  7. Sorry, I had to squee over the TARDIS before I could coherently reply here.

    My average over the past couple of years has been around 50, but I agree that it’s not always about the amount you read. And making sure I have enough time for my own writing, eating, sleeping, and interacting with other humans is very important.

    • That’s okay. My blog is definitely a Squee-Over-Doctor-Who zone. Squee away! :D

      I agree that reading needs to be balanced with writing, eating, sleeping, and human interaction. Beyond that, I never want to get to the point where I’m reading for the sake of it–because I have to meet a goal. Along with writing, eating, sleeping, and human interaction, reading is something we do because we enjoy it (okay, so eating and sleeping are also critical for living–but you get my point). :)

  8. Excellent point… I’m the same way, Colin. It always strikes me as odd when people brag about the number of books they’ve read in a year. First of all, how long are these books? How complex? Did they think about what they read before diving into the next cover, just to come up with a big number? I’m all for quality over quantity. That being said, my book number for 2012 (according to GoodReads) is pretty abysmal… but I’ve had a busy year!

    • I know the mechanics of speed reading, and I can see the benefit of being proficient at speed reading for research. But reading for pleasure–as most novel reading should be (though I do enjoy a lot of my academic reading too!)–seems to rail against that kind of speed reading. If you can whip through a book in a matter of hours, and still enjoy it and comprehend it, then that’s great. But I don’t think that’s me. :)

  9. That computer is great. I still want a Tardis cat tower. 50 books is a good number. I feel like the average adult doesn’t read nearly that much. I agree about reading quality versus quantity.

    • I *know* the average adult doesn’t read that many books. In fact, for most adults, I think the figure is closer to 10 a year–at best. And that’s probably optimistic! And yes, that PC is wonderful! :D

  10. Pingback: Emma Maree Reviews | A Scottish YA writer reviews awesome books

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