“Oh, you’re a librarian? You must read a lot.” I hear this phrase more than any other when people learn my profession. I usually say, “Yeah, I like to read.” But I always feel odd responding to that statement. My job doesn’t involve me sitting at a desk reading fiction all day… ever. And how much is “a lot” of books?
I went on a search for the average amount of books than an American read in the past year. A 2007 Washington Post article cited an AP poll that reported one in four Americans read no books in 2006. The typical person in the poll claimed to have read four books in the last year. According to these statistics, my fiction consumption may be above average, but I rarely finish a book in a week. Sometimes it takes me months to finish a book and sometimes I never finish it!
In elementary school I won an award for reading the most books out of anyone else in the school. If I remember correctly, it was hundreds of children’s books. And no, I never won any sports awards. Only book awards. And yes, it is nerdy.
Now 50 books per year seems overwhelming. To read 50 books per year, I’d have to average about one book per week. One book per week seems like an unobtainable amount to consume for me.
And sometimes I feel guilty about it. It’s a weird guilt that I know I shouldn’t experience. I can’t help but feel a slightly guilty when someone asks me if I’ve read 50 Shades of Grey and I say “No, not yet!”
How many books do you read per year? Can you even remember how many books you’ve read in a year? I can’t!
Take the poll below and let me know!