I like books. This is a fact that should come as no especial surprise. Books are one of only two vices I profess to having, the other of course being the magically revitalising nectar that is tea. Over the years I have accrued quite a substantial library, as I discovered to my peril when it came time to move house. I’ve performed a few rough counts in the past, primarily to get a rough idea as to just how much cover I needed for my contents insurance. However, I’ve never actually taken an inventory of the whole library. So this weekend, while taking a break from saving the galaxy and allowing my eyes to stop bleeding from all the pixelated violence I had committed, I decided to check out Goodreads.
As you can see from the picture above, the task of cataloguing my library was by no means a quick job. That’s a whole lot of books. It took a fair few hours, off and on, and several trips back and forth between my desk and the bookcase. But in the end it was done. I didn’t bother with the variety of RPG related books I own and stuck solely to actual book books. I did include to cookbooks though. The website very nicely totted up the total number and told me that it was 229. Two hundred and twenty-nine, fifteen of which are books which I own but haven’t quite gotten round to reading yet. I think it’s safe to say I have something verging on a “problem.” For a start I’m going to need a bigger bookcase, something for which I don’t really have the space to accommodate.
Of course simply adding all of my books wasn’t the end of it. Oh no. Goodreads wanted me to rate them so that it could provide me with recommendations. It’s been a while since I’ve read a lot of these books, so for most of them I’d be rating them from memory. Let’s break it down mathematically: Let’s assume I read a book every fortnight. This being roughly the rate at which I get through books these days what with having less time to read than I used to. Let’s ignore any periods of non-reading or extensions of reading time due to a book being really big, or reductions due to it being really short. This would mean that it’s taken me roughly eight years to read them all. A not entirely inaccurate estimation. But eight years is an awfully long time. I keep meaning to go back and read some of them but I keep finding something new and interesting to draw my attention or finally getting round to reading those books which you’ve always meant to get round to reading. So I’ve been dropping stars onto a lot of books based on the vague recollections as to how much I enjoyed them. Now I’m overwhelmed with niggling feelings of guilt, worrying that I might be doing some books a disservice. As a scientist the only logical way to resolve these feelings is to go back and read all these books and make an informed opinion. It’ll probably take another eight years, but you know what? I’m okay with that.
April 20th, 2012 at 10:18 am
Dude, you have nothing on my book collection… I have three bookshelves that need to be dedicated to book-books. And that’s before we think about Matt’s books, RPG books and cookbooks… I reckon we’re looking at 500 novels in our house, plus the Series I’ve still got at home (Sharpe and Pern, maybe another 1 or 2 I forget), and I’ve probably read about 1/3 of them…
April 20th, 2012 at 12:01 pm
Well you have been at it longer than me. I only really started buying books by the shed load about 3 years ago when I needed to get the bus to work everyday.