Do this. Take your age and multiply it by how many books you read each year. Now multiply that number by how many years you have remaining until you hit your life expectancy. What’s your number? Whatever your number, that’s how many books you will read before you die.
Want an example? I’m 61. I average reading 10 books a year. According to the Social Security administration 20 years of life remain. When you multiply those 20 years by 10 books a year it reveals my number is 200. I only have 200 books which I can read the rest of my life.
By doing the math I realized two things: I better keep reading and I must be ruthless in the books I read.
So many books…so little time. This startling fact impresses upon me the need to stop reading worthless junk.
Three years ago a friend and I started a reading club. It became so popular that a couple of times the number in the club swelled to three. All we do is pick a title, read, and then share insights. Now, because of geographical necessity, we meet and discuss our reading over the internet.
Here’s a few of the titles we’ve read so far include:
- Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
- Phantastes by George MacDonald
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Yesterday the entire club debated which new book to read. I replied I wanted to read a classic less than a 100 years old and less than 12,000 pages! (I’m still having nightmares after plodding through Moby.)
If I only have 200 books remaining why would I waste time on reading light weight junk? I refuse to waste my time reading:
- 50 Shades of Stupid
- Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?
- Why My Wife Thinks I’m an Idiot
- Walter the Farting Dog
When you decide to read a book, choose the title with extreme care, knowing you can only read so many books in your life. “Spend” each reading choice with as much caution as you exercise in spending a $100 bill.
In the United States over 300,000 books are published every year. Google reports there are now over 130 million books in print. Some of these books are real gems. But the majority of published books are pure junk.
How do you find the diamonds in the coal bin?
- Google phrases like “greatest books of all time.”
- Go to Amazon where you will discover bestseller lists. Then be sure to check the reviews under interesting titles. Look for a high number of reviews and books with at least a 4.5 rating.
- Become active on a site like Goodreads. A site like this contains a treasure chest of information about what books to read.
- Check out Easton Press, a publisher of fine leather bound books, which publishers a “The Greatest Books of All Time List” list.
Read but choose what you read like a miser spending his last dime.
So what’s your number? And what is the one book you really want to read but haven’t?