As I write this, I'm drinking from a coffee mug which has a quote from Thomas Jefferson on one side: "I cannot live without books." This is my guiding motto in life.
Of course, I cannot live without a few other things (i.e., oxygen, Cheez-its, my wife), but books are my primary lifeblood. As anyone who visits my basement library will tell you, I have lots and lots of book-blood. I am surrounded by books--too many books--and annually take in far more than I can ever consume in one lifetime. In fact, it would probably take ten lifetimes to get through my entire library--assuming the intake would stop at one point (which, short of nuclear Armageddon, is unlikely to happen). That's why, at year's end, I'm always curious to see how far I've progressed in my consumption of words.
Last year, I read 54 books with a total of 15,064 pages, which averaged to 279 pages per book.
In 2011, I upped the total by one book, but I read a total of 14,977 pages for an average of 272 pages per book.
Frankly, before crunching the numbers on my calculator, I would have expected this year's total to be much higher page-wise since I read such honkers as 1Q84, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, The Pale King and The Art of Fielding. Then again, I had a lot on my plate in 2011. If I counted the number of times I read through my novel (Fobbit), especially during these past three months of scrupulous line-editing, my calculator would start to sizzle and smoke. With all that lies ahead of me in 2012, I doubt the numbers will be much higher this time next year.
And what about you? How did your year of reading shake out, numbers-wise?