This post at Michael Honey's blog struck a nerve:
"The grim calculus: I'm almost 35. Give me, optimistically, 50 more years. I can average a book a week. That's just twenty-six hundred more books, including the ones I want to re-read."
OK, I have a year or so on you, Michael (I can read 50 more books than you!) but there's no way I average a book a week (oh). So, is that it? Only 2500 more books to go? That is scary. As the reading list in the right-hand nav will begin to indicate, I am snowed under with unread books. I must have a backlog of at least 500+ around the flat as I write. Seriously. And I keep buying more?!
Part of the problem is that I know I'll go and get a coffee in a minute and - despite myself - sit there for an hour reading some ultimately worthless Sunday papers. Otherwise, my workload doesn't leave me much time for reading. I don't have to commute to work on public transport (it's a 15 minute walk) so there's no 'forced reading time' there. And yet I love to read, I need to read, I love books. I must have them. I keep buying magazines too - there are two leaning towers of unread magazines in my living room. The number of blogs I read increases steadily; the number of emails I receive likewise (approx 300 a day, across 3 accounts).
Related: For a while, I wanted to keep an 'information diary' for a week, akin to what dieters do in terms of counting calories - keep a track of just how much my eyes consume. Count the amount of information coming in (perhaps even in bits? In the 'information theory' sense of that word, not kb downloaded per webpage). That would be across books, newspapers, magazines, blogs and other sites, emails, printouts thrust in my hand, and so on - ideally also posters I read in the street, notices, directions, tv and radio consumed, PS2 loading screens, things I write etc. That latter list is probably beyond my possible, accurate comprehension, but the former could be done. Might be interesting. Reminds me, somewhat ironically, of a book I really must finish off - Tor Norretrander's 'The User Illusion' [Amazon UK|US], which deals with notions of consciousness and information theory, how much information we can process, consciously/subconsciously etc.
Of course, the exercise would leave me with even less time to read books.