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Heavy readers

tanngrisnir and loveandgarbage point out that last week, Penguin books have cited research showing that heavy readers read four books a year. What?!?! That can't be true *cries* I dread to think how much TV people watch in comparison, even though I'll stick up for television as just as much of an art form as literature.

The research is cited in this article in the Independent, among other places. (It's quite a good article, or at least has a lot of Top 5 lists.)

So, a poll!
Poll #788578 Heavy Readership

How many books do you estimate you read per year?

401 +

Which of the following do you also read at least once a week?

Newspapers (paper copies)
Livejournal blogs (bit of a no-brainer, but never mind)
Non-LJ blogs
Fan fiction / other online fiction
Online news (at least 15 minutes a week)
Online forums

As for me, I read two or three books a week, but only one of them will be both new and at least vaguely intellectual. Usually they're re-reads and/ or comfort stuff - this week (since, er, Sunday) I've read two Lord Peter Wimsey novels and am halfway through a new Dragonlance one, as well as having read 20 pages or so of a RL Stevenson book of essays.

Edit: It has occured to me that maybe they meant "readers who are heavy". Maybe I should put a weight option in my poll ;)


( 16 comments — Comment )
Aug. 8th, 2006 08:33 pm (UTC)
You know, even if you manage to read 100 books each year, you'll never manage to read more than, say, about 8 thousand books. I realized this a while ago, and it worries me. 8 thousand is not enough, damn it!
Aug. 9th, 2006 09:07 am (UTC)
Ugh, no! That's just depressing when I condsider that for the first few years after having children that I didn't even manage one book per month!

Aug. 8th, 2006 08:45 pm (UTC)
You could be right about "heavy". I know martinoh doesn't read anywhere near as much as he would like. :-)

To be fair, it really helps if you commute to work on public transport. Almost all of my reading is done on trams, and occasionally on trains.
Aug. 9th, 2006 01:04 am (UTC)
I think I'd get a lot more read if I could read during my commute, even though it's short. In the summer if I had to take the bus I'd be on it for nearly an hour even though we're only five minutes away from work. The only summer route takes the way back through town instead of going right into Durham.
Aug. 8th, 2006 08:54 pm (UTC)
I don't read as much as I used to, new books that is. I used to go to the local library a lot more but I never seem to have as much time to go and browse. Sigh.
Aug. 8th, 2006 09:00 pm (UTC)
I used to read a lot more books, but nowadays I spend too much time on the internet (both reading and chatting) to get as much read.
Aug. 9th, 2006 02:35 am (UTC)
Seconded. I was an avid reader ... and then I discovered the internet, and things just went downhill from there. I read maybe ten books a year if I'm lucky, in little flurries. I worry that my attention span has been sapped by too much information on demand - I find it so much harder to get into a book now.
Aug. 8th, 2006 09:27 pm (UTC)
I go for long periods without reading any book, then I'll have little flurries of concentrated reading. Right now I'm reading James Joyce (which is more duty than pleasure).

Books used to be terribly important to me. These days they're much less so. When you've read X number of novels you reach a point where no novel is ever going to surprise you again.

Aug. 8th, 2006 10:04 pm (UTC)
Pre-baby I would read upwards of 350 books a year. At university it was probably 800 a year (but then, I had 21 hours of reading time scheduled each week, never mind reading for pleasure). During the last four months of pregnancy I was reading two or three decent-sized novels a day (!). Now I feel horribly slow, having catalogued 80 distinct titles last year (not counting picture books, textbooks, parenting books, knitting books, large chunks of reference books). This year I'm on target for more like 150, and that still feels terribly slow.

PS am reader who is heavy, and the above still applies. :)
Aug. 8th, 2006 10:07 pm (UTC)
What does that make me? The heavy gravity well of reading? And I think I could be described as a light reader. I don't read as much as I'd like.
Aug. 9th, 2006 12:18 am (UTC)
I can't afford to keep reading new stuff, and I confine myself to re-reads.

100-150 pages an hour read rate with 10 hours on the train every week adds up.
Aug. 9th, 2006 01:01 am (UTC)
I would read a whole lot more if I didn't have to be in classes all the time and do reading and homework for those.

Aug. 9th, 2006 02:26 am (UTC)
I answered 53-100, but this year is likely to be a heavier-than-usual year; I might get up to 125 or so.
Aug. 9th, 2006 06:10 am (UTC)
I've always been quite a slow reader anyway, and these days I just don't have time to read as much as I'd like; I commute by car, I don't read at lunchtimes because I like to get out of the office and have a walk, when I get home there's the dog to walk and dinner to make and eat, and I tend to read LJ or other interweb things while I'm cooking because I have to keep getting up and checking and stirring. And by the time that's over and I've made the next day's packed lunch it's usually gone 9, and I'm usually in bed by 10...
Aug. 9th, 2006 08:10 am (UTC)
I said 151-250, but I am conscious I am not reading as much as usual. I wonder what the number would have been when I was reading at my normal rate, particularly considering I would usually be reading 2-4 books in parallel.
Aug. 10th, 2006 12:59 pm (UTC)
When I was younger I used to read a LOT of books. I read as much as possible and really enjoyed it. But ever since the evil depression started (or possibly just before), I just don't have the motivation to read AT ALL. Have been making a point of trying to read more than I had been... but even then my progress is slow, and I am really jealous of all you people that can manage to read 2-3 books a WEEK. Have been advised to try a few young adult books by someone on a book community I joined, so I am currently about a quarter of the way through Northern Lights by Philip Pullman and am quite liking it so far. I think I might actually read the rest of the trilogy. I do read a few books a year about therapies and Tarot, but I consider them more "study aids" than "reading", if you know what I mean. Any "reading tips" are very welcome - I KNOW I used to enjoy reading, I just want to give myself the chance to get back into it.
( 16 comments — Comment )


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