Monday, September 10, 2012

How many books do you have left?

I ran across this sobering formula on the blog of horror writer Dan Wells:
The number of books you’ll read before you die = (Y-A) x B x 12, where:
B = the number of books you read in a month 
A = your current age 
Y = your life expectancy
Based on my age, my reading habits, and my life expectancy as a resident of Georgia, the math for me looks like this: (77.1-34.9) x 2.86 X 12 = 1,448

That’s less than 1,500 books! Maybe, maybe  if I really blow it out in my retirement- or if I live into my nineties like three of my grandparents- I can push that number north of 2,000. But still! What a paltry pile of prose I have left! If there’s ever been a better argument for why you shouldn’t fill your time reading crap, I haven’t heard it. Thoreau said it best:
“Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.”
Improve yourselves, people! Improve your shelves!  J

How many books do you have left? And will you let it affect your next book choice?


  1. Well, depending on whether I go with a life expectancy of 77.7 as per the Salt Lake City area, or bump it up to 86 because I am an LDS female, I still have between 5,959 and 7,254 books left to read. However, the number of books I've read per month this year has been far higher than anytime since I was maybe a preteen, so that may not hold up. But if I can continue to read at that rate (ha!) and live into my 90's, things are looking fairly good. But that's still not enough time (or books) to get me through everything I want and will want to read.

  2. Wait! You mean I WON'T be able to read everything I want to? Noooooooo!