Edward DeWaal

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How many books is too many?

TassieLibraryphotoCan you ever read too many books? Author and Poet Michael Bourne raised the question this week writing in The Millions when he revealed he had read 56 books in 2012, slightly down from the average of 60 books per year he had set himself when he entered a new millenium. To achieve his target he had to read five books a month or just over one book per week. 
 
“For years now, reading has been something like training for a marathon,” he writes.  “I keep mental tallies of how many pages I’ve read per night, and how many more pages I need to read in the next few days to keep to my average. In 2011, after years of hovering in the mid-50s, when my annual average hit precisely 60 — that is, 720 books read over 12 years — I did a private victory lap.”
 
Bourne keeps track of  his reading habits by listing every book he has read dating back over the past 12 years so he can quickly tell how he is tracking, month by month,  to ensure that he fulfills his target. Unfortunately the result wasn’t just  a considerable amount of  great reading but also a compulsion to stick to his timetable and achieve his quota and that took over from pure reading pleasure as motivation.  No More.
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