Monday, May 16, 2011

Let's Talk Books

My name is Pamela Tracy and I am a Bookaholic. Yes, I am one of the 75% of Americans who read a book last year. Twenty-five percent of Americans didn't. Me? I cannot imagine not hearing the call of hundreds of unread books calling to my from my overflowing stacks...

"Pam, come read me! It's my turn. I promise I'm a page-turner. Remember how excited you were when you found me on the shelf. Please come pick me. I'm gathering dust here!"




I am a statistic as far as being a part of the "I read" portion of the statistic, but then my habits go off the charts, and I'm pretty comfortable that if you're reading this blog, you're off the charts, too.

The average American reads 3 - 6 books a year.

The average adult reads about 300 words a minute, that's 5 words a second. So, reading a typical Harlequin books, say my August release, at 214 pages, takes three and 1/2 hours. If I were to only read 6 such books a year, I'd have spent roughly 21 hours reading.

Six books, in one year, equals 21 hours of reading.

The average American watched television 35 hours a week.

In February, I started keeping track of what I read. I wish I'd done this years ago before I had my son, so I could compare my reading to when I had reading time against having to carve out reading time.

Here's what I know. I don't read six books a year; I read six books a month. Most of them are longer than the Harlequins.

What about you? How many books a year, month, week, do you read?

Pamela Tracy's next Harlequin is an August release.



14 comments:

Leann said...

Pam, I don't want to think about how many books I read per year. 3-4 books a month at least. I can't imagine not reading.

Liz Johnson said...

Thanks incredible! 25% of Americans didn't read a book last year? What on earth were they doing? I surround myself with books and can't imagine not answering their call. :)

I do admit that I'm not always as consistent of a reader as I'd like to be. Sometimes I'll go for a month so consumed with work and writing that I don't finish a whole book. But sometimes (like this month), I'll read a couple book a week.

EllenToo said...

How many books do I read a year??? I have no idea but I've read 141 this year so far. But I have an advantage over most people in that I am retired and have no one at home I need to care for.
I did have a brother that hardly ever read a book however and another one who rarely reads.

PamelaTracy said...

Leann,
I'm with you. I cannot imagine not reading. I get grumpy if three or four days pass and I've not had a go at fiction.

PamelaTracy said...

Liz,
What's more incredible is that statistic has been stagnant for more than a decade. I can remember when I was a new elementary school teacher and read it in the Readers Digest. I brought it up at a teachers' meeting. Most of the teachers agreed that they didn't read outside of school books.

PamelaTracy said...

Ellen, if I could read 144 books in six months, my husband would be thrilled because it would mean that one bookcase would be empty. He'd say, "One down, fifteen to go."

Sheri said...

I read a lot and very quickly. I read anywhere between 2-4 books per week. Two years ago, I kept a list of all the books that I read in a year and it ended up being a little over 125, so that would keep with my average of 3 books per week. I haven't ever timed myself for word count per minute. That would be interesting :o)

PamelaTracy said...

Sheri,
It wouldn't surprise me if there's a reading speeding test online. I'll have to go look. I don't know how fast I read either because I'm always the timer in class.

Melanie said...

I'm like Sheri: 2 to 4 books a week. I've kept an ongoing reading list since 1990, so I know that for the past 10 years I've read at least a hundred books a year.

Sheri said...

There is a reading test online - both for comprehension and for speed. My average was 660 words per minute. I think that's good?? Comprehension was 65%. Probably should work on that a little more. :o)

PamelaTracy said...

Melanie,
Where do you keep your list? I tried a diary, but forgot. I'm doing okay online but even there I get delayed.

PamelaTracy said...

Sheri,
Cool! Where did you go? And you read twice as fast. Were there questions after? Is that how your comprehension came into question?

Melanie said...

Pam, I keep the list in two places. I have a binder that holds the original handwritten lists, in sheet protectors. At first I kept them in a folder, but they started getting tattered. I also keep a Word document on my computer. I just record title and author, so it doesn't take long.

PamelaTracy said...

I've been writing a little review with each one, very non-committal as I don't want anyone to say, "Why, didn't she like mine." I'm also keeping a list of my top ten. So far I've only got three on my top ten.