Writing

How many books do you read in a year?

I read about thirty to forty books a year and numerous magazines, but usually not the personal-experience type of literature.” -Gary L. Thomas, from “Sacred Marriage”

When I ask about key principles for becoming a good writer, I almost always get the advice to read, and read, and read, and read, and read some more. Unfortunately, I’ve let that advice become an excuse for me to avoid the work of writing. I do not advise this. But I do read quite a bit, at least I thought I did until I came across this quote from a book that wasn’t even written to make me feel guilty as a writer.

I keep a record of my reading on this blog, you can check out my bookshelf if you’d like. Chances are I missed some in my recording because I’m far from diligent, but the 2011 Bookshelf says I read 22 books where the 2012 Bookshelf shows I read 19 and partially read 3 more, so let’s call it 20 for the year. That gives me a pace of 20 per year and I’m pretty much on pace for that again this year. I’m reading 1.2 books per month. Gary Thomas, on the other hand – the golden hand that reminds me why he wins awards for his books and I don’t – is consuming almost 3 books per month. I’m still deciding whether I’ll feel guilty or inspired.

How about you? How many books per month or year are you reading? Maybe a better question would be, how many of those words and ideas are you comprehending and retaining? Do you have a routine? Do you have reading goals?