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Friday, November 20, 2009

52 Books

I recently finished listening to Six Pixels of Separation Podcast 176 (also Media Hacks #19) -- this episode is a conversation between Mitch Joel and Julian Smith (authors of Six Pixels of Separation, and Trust Agents -- two great books I read this year)

There are many moments in the conversation that are NSFW, mostly because Julian has a tendency be prolific with the use of four letter words -- that's just his style -- but, as always, there are some very thought-provoking concepts tossed about between the two of them.

One of the cooler things in the dialogue was Julian's mention of the 52 book challenge that he has taken for the past several years. Simply, his desire was to read a book a week for a year, and he talks about his continued attempts to do so.

That's just plain cool.

A couple of years ago, I tried to figure out how many books I actually read in a year and so kept a quick and simple journal of the books I'd read, the date I finished reading them and any thoughts I felt were relevant to jot down. It has been useful to look back on the list, particularly whenever people ask me to note a favourite -- this simple list helps fire off memory triggers.

Though I'm a gigantic book lover, I'm also a very slow reader. So my average annual book count ranges between 30 and 40 books per year. Not quite the 52 that Julian was shooting for, but something that I believe is a decent number, particularly for this slow reader.

One interesting point -- annually, I might read about 40 books per year. But annually I buy about three to four times as many (of course, those include books I buy as gifts, but could explain why my "to read" pile is so high that I often don't actually pick up and read a book I bought until several years later.

A decent problem to have, I suppose.

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