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Poll: how many books did you read in 2010?

Was 2010 a good year for reading? It doesn't always matter whether the books were good or bad. We don't care if you read them on a Kindle or Kobo or Nook or Sony Reader or iPhone or iPad, listened to an audiobook, or curled up with a hardcover or paperback or papyrus scroll. Just tell us: What's your grand total, the big tally, the number of books you consumed in 2010?

-- Carolyn Kellogg


How to read 462 books in one year

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You want to write right, right?
You want to read, read, read.

This is meaningless. The last two books I read were each 800 pages long: Ron Chernow's bio of George Washington and Tony Judt's history of Post-WWII Europe.

Am I to be dinged as a lazy reader because each took me a month of serious concentration? Is the reader of light romances to be praised because s/he read 100 of those?

9.57% of people read more then 200 books huh? So I guess comic books count then.

I review books however, so I'm not quite certain I count (200+ category, roughly 315 were read this year). If you discount those I'm in the 150 range.


What matters is that you read, that you learn from what you read, that you be passionate and that you share that passion with others. What does not matter is that others claim to have achieved as much or more than you. Did they lie? Keep in mind: these are people who voted on a reading-related newspaper website poll on a day when half the world is out drinking their minds away. (And for the record: I only read about 45 non-comic books this year, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, so neener neener to you.)

I'm a fast reader, and I read 154 books last year from many different genres, but only 143 of them counted. I didn't finish 11 of the 154. Why waste my time on garbage when there are so many good books out there?

I keep a list on an Excel spreadsheet, which is why I know the answer so precisely.

Thanks for asking!

I would put my total for the year in the range of 30-35 for post of the books I read were nonfiction accounts of subjects treated with a diligence that merited me spending over a week or two in reading them - usually in the evening after the workday. Books on strategic analysis, how fish show evidence of the evolutionary map, AfPak crisis, the emperor of all maladies - If the authors spent years fleshing out the body of their labours of love, surely a reader is entitled to spend at least a month digesting it. To those who managed >200 books in 2010, Congrats - you are now the preeminent authority on comic books, TV guides and suchlike!

I read 187 books for a total of 49,443 pages. My page count does not include the various audiobooks I listened to this year, although they are included in the book total. This also does not include the many books I started but have not yet finished reading. I started my page count several years ago in response to a friendly competition in an online reading group, where we decided that a page count was a more equitable way of scoring since some people read fewer titles but lots more pages than others who read many books with a lot fewer pages. My average page count per book was about 264, but again, this isn't completely accurate because I did not assign a page count for audiobooks.


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