How Many Different Books (Titles) Have You Read in Your Life?

Extollager

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#1
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My guess is that this question is one none of us can answer. Some people might even say "I have no idea -- thousands," etc.

My reading life is now something like 52 years, but I have always reread a lot.* Therefore, though I have always had one or more books going for most of my life, I'm not sure that I have read nearly so many books as I might have guessed at first. A few years ago I jotted a quick estimate and hazarded the figure of 850, so let's say maybe 1000 by now.

My guess is that hardly anybody here is such a stick-in-the-mud rereader as I.

If you respond to this thread, perhaps you could give two numbers -- how many years as a reader of books and how many books (beyond picture books, etc. -- so let's say anything from the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew on up to War and Peace) counts.

Plays of evening-length performance count as a book -- e.g. each of Shakespeare's would count as a book title; but not (I suggest) things like Lord Dunsany's confections.

This approach, of course, really distorts the quantity of reading many of us have done. I realize that. Probably many of us have read innumerable sf short stories without having read every story in a given sf anthology or collection. But one has to throw out some sort of rules, even if they seem arbitrary. Feel free to disagree with my suggested parameters.

*I'll start a separate thread on this topic.
 
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Extollager

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#3
If you respond to this thread, perhaps you could give two numbers -- how many years as a reader of books and how many books.
 

pyan

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#4
About 55 years - and I own about 2500 books, all of which I've read at least once. So if you add in all the library books, and those that have been lost, stolen, "lent" (never lend a book unless you can live without it), it must add up to at least 4-5000 books, which averages (very) roughly 2 a week.
 

dannymcg

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#5
48 years reading "grown up" books as opposed to loads of kid stories.
Typically reading around 3 a week, sometimes up to 5 when not much on the television (I tend nowadays to have 3 books on the go at once).

All in all and allowing for family intrusions into my reading life I would estimate about 8.5 thousand - and 70% of those have been SFF.
 

Rodders

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#6
As a Security Officer working shifts, I could get through 7 books a week back in my reading prime. (good times.) There are too many distractions now, so I only really read on the train going to and from work. I probably read one book every 20 days. :(

I must confess that I went through a phase of gaming addiction when I bought my iPAD and didn't read anything for over three years. I swear my IQ dropped even further from it's already diminished starting point.

I'd guess that I've read maybe 4, 000 books. Almost exclusively science fiction, with a smattering of fiction in there.
 

Vince W

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#8
That's a tough one to guess. I'd guess around 2,000+ titles. Life has slowed down my pace, but then I tend to read more than one title at a time as well.
 

BAYLOR

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#9
If you respond to this thread, perhaps you could give two numbers -- how many years as a reader of books and how many books.
If I had to trace back , I would say that I began tentative reading around 1974 or 75. and wasn't an enthusiastic reader till about 1981 . If I go by the the 1974 date , ive been reading books for 44 years. I have no idea of how many ive read, I never kept track of them .
 

psikeyhackr

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#10
More than 20 years ago I counted more than 1,000 in my apartment. But I am the kind of person that if I don't like a book within 100 pages I won't finish it, so maybe 15% of those I never finished. I have since switched to e-books and audiobooks and do text to speech with some e-books, so I would guess in the 2,000+ range but I do not try to count.
 

psikeyhackr

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#12
so I would guess in the 2,000+ range but I do not try to count.
Of course there is the quantity versus quality issue and what is meant by quality.

I read White Fang by Jack London as a kid, but recently checked out Black Beauty and reread White Fang (listened to Librivox actually). I consider Black Beauty to be the more significant book eve though I still like White Fang better. BB describes economic life in London and its impact on people and horses. Karl Marx was living in London at the time. Reviews of Black Beauty make no mention of that.
 

Robert Zwilling

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#15
60 years reading, some years hardly any, other years too many to count. I would guess around 1,200, probably more, forgotten plenty, but the impacts remain. Subjects include science fiction, mysteries, history, science, art, some dramatic classics.
 

Randy M.

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#16
For reading what are recognizable now as YA books (not a category at the time I started reading), I'd estimate my years of reading as 53. Since '94 I've finished 454 books that I've kept track of, and I'd guess the number of individual titles total in my lifetime in the vicinity of 3,000 since I didn't keep track of my reading in my pre-teens and teens, and only sporadically in my 20s, when I was reading more per year than I have since. Marriage and having a daughter slowed me down a bit.

Okay, quite a bit.

In fact, a lot.

A whole lot.


Randy M.
 

Extollager

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#17
Again (this remark isn't directed at anyone who has commented) -- the idea here is to guess how many different books you've read (other than picture books etc) in how many years as reader of same.

Thus, if you have read Capital or Atlas Shrugged 20 times, that counts as one book, not 20.

If you read a lot and don't reread a lot, your number will probably be high.

If you read a lot, and a lot of your reading is rereading, your number will be much lower.

Hope to see those two numbers from more Chronsters.
 

kythe

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#18
I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. But I've gone through phases of reading more or less, so it is hard to measure by numbers. I probably should count reading years starting around age 12, because that was a turning point in reading level and content for me.

In Junior High and early high school I coped by reading almost constantly. In later high school I made more friends and didn't read as much. Back to reading prolifically in college, but when I married and had small children reading took a back burner.

I'm now 41 and for the last 5 or so years I've kept lists of what I read. I'm averaging 20-30 books per year now. To be fair, many of these are short. I went through a long phase of reading mostly classics, for instance, which are generally not heavy or epic novels.

Altogether I would guess I've read around 500 different books. I don't think I could get more specific than that.
 
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Parson

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#19
Hm, tough question. I've been reading books for 57 years. Over the course of years I would say I've read in the neighborhood of 1500-1800 books. I'm sure I've averaged close to 30 a year, perhaps a bit more than that.
 

dwndrgn

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#20
Well, with a 40 hour a week job plus commute, I currently read around 200 books a year. Scale that back every year a bit and subtract the years where I didn't have as good a library and no digital books or audiobooks to add to my reading and carry the one....and I get around 5,000 or so.
 

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