A few days ago I posted about the word Tsundoku (theres-a-word-for-that.html) - the habit of buying books that get piled up in the bookcase or bedroom but hardly ever opened. I wrote about the reasons why many of us might be "guilty" of this. Well here's a sobering thought that might make you open one or more of your piled-up books.
Research suggests that readers fall approximately into three categories: Average; Voracious; and Super Reader. It further reckons that an average reader will read 12 books a year; a voracious reader 50 and a super reader 80. Now let us suppose that serious reading starts at the age of 10 years (probably earlier for some. I know my grandsons were bookworms from the age of 5). Then consider an average life span of 70 (three score years and ten). That means an average reading "life" of 60 years.
So, in their lifetime, an average reader will get through 720 books; a voracious reader 3000; and a super reader 4800. The British Library holds about 14 million books. Therefore two facts emerge; first you'd better start reading if you want to make a TINY hole in that number; second you'll have to be very selective about what you read if you are not to waste one of your lifetime "allowance" on something that starts to drag halfway through.
In fact things are rather more alarming than this because the figures assume that you have been reading since the age of 10 years. A more sobering way of looking at this is to work out how many books anyone has left to read at any given age. An average reader aged 60, for example, has 120 books "left". For me, aged 74, I must be on borrowed reading time!