If you’re a pretty dedicated reader you may be able to get to reading a book a week, so roughly 50 books a year. Over 70 years of reading at that pace you’d read around 3,500 books — counting comfort re-reads like Harry Potter for the 3rd time. I only know a few people who actually manage to read like that, so presumably, for most of us the likely book reads we will manage is much less than that.
To put that number in context, our local bookstore has around 30,000 books. So if you were to use your entire life’s reading in that store you’d still only be a bit over a 10th of the way through. That’s a lot of books you didn’t even get a chance to start.
I won’t deny that 3,500 books is a lot of books, but whatever you do there will be far more books that you just don’t have time to get to than those you do find time for. So, like for movies, I think it seems wise to be at least a little thoughtful about what books you choose to pick up, and what books you decide to go on to finish.
In the course of making this, I learned that in 2010 the Google Books team estimated there were around 130 million books to choose from.
My Dad, and sketchplanation supporter (don’t tell mum), talked to me about the book a week figure.