Sunday, July 15, 2012

Making the Most of It

The morning after I started revamping the design of When English Majors Graduate, a coworker proposed a very interesting concept to me.

At this point in our lives, we are able to read roughly one book a month. That's 12 books a year until we die. If we're blessed with a long life, that's a fairly decent number of books. Yet, the number of books a booklover yearns to read grows exponentially year after year, while the number of readable books is still pretty finite. 

I'm banking my eyesight and mental capacity last until I'm 80. Do the math, and that means, starting this month (I'm barely 26), I have 54 years left to read. That's 648 books. Sure, that's a lot. But it's only 648 books. Now, I've never really been one to turn down a book. I've certainly read some stuff I never wanted to read. But, realizing that my list has a definite end--and, God willing, I ever get married or have children, I forsee a lot of noveless months--I should definitely be more selective. Or at very least, more strategic with the pecking order.

Now when someone suggests a book, my brilliant coworker explains his theory and asks if the book should be in his 500. I'm not sure I'm ready to cap suggestions just yet, but I think it's high time I got serious about literature again.


This blog started in the summer of 2009, right after I graduated with a BA in English. A peer of mine, Kristin, and I missed having classes and discussing books. By our senior year, we learned the benefit to critical thinking when reading. In fact, we found it almost impossible not to read like an academic. So rather than schedule our own syllabus and class times, we setup shop on the newfangled blogdom and gave ourselves a place to share.

Since then, Kristin went back to school for a Masters in Education. She's now a full-time high school teacher (English, journalism, writing--hooray!) and coach. I tried to get a Masters in English (Victorian Literature), but I left school to pursue a job in journalism. Kristin and I keep in touch, but our lifestyles are leading us down different literary paths. I really enjoy YA (young adult lit) and hope to add a few books to my list based on Kristin's suggestions.

But, for now, my literary clock is ticking, and I'm looking forward to tackling what I left behind when I dropped out of school, the quarterly book club requirements, my lifetime must-reads--and all the 500-worthy recommendations that come along the way.

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