Books, (e)Books and more (audio)Books!

8 Apr

I have 3 books going right now. That is so unlike me. I usually read only one book at a time, all the way through, to the end. But I have recently taken to listening to a book on my Kindle during the times I cannot read — while ironing, getting ready in the morning, driving around, etc. It is a bit like my GPS reading to me, but you get used to it.  And now I have an iPhone (thanks to my youngest son getting an upgrade), so audiobooks will become a regular feature of my walking time. And I cannot give up the feel of a real book in my hands. So 3 books all at once.

So I have a 2 part question for you:

1) Do you read more than one book at a time?

2) Do you read books in more than one format?

I recently read a very interesting article in The Rotarian (excerpted from One for The Books) by Joe Queenan. Queenan states that he reads a lot of books at one time. Currently he is reading 32 books! Not sure I could ever keep that many books straight. And if I read the article correctly, many of those books do not get finished or are an ongoing project taking years. He also challenges himself to read outside the box — spending a year reading only short books, spending a year reading books by authors from Iceland, etc. His thoughts on reading and books are intriguing and I suspect his book will make it into my collection, just not sure in what format. (It is currently available in hardback, paperback, and a Kindle version.)

Why my ramblings today? Because the same article states that the average American reads only 4 books annually — and is satisfied with that! How about you? Do you read when forced. Or, as I suspect if you are visiting my blog, do you devour books? Let me know your thoughts on reading, book formats, etc.


From Goodreads:

13589121One of America’s leading humorists and author of the bestseller Closing Time examines his own obsession with books

Joe Queenan became a voracious  reader as a means of escape from a joyless childhood in a Philadelphia housing project. In the years since then he has dedicated himself to an assortment of  idiosyncratic reading challenges: spending a year reading only short books, spending a year reading books he always suspected he would hate, spending a year reading books he picked with his eyes closed.

In One for the Books, Queenan tries to come to terms with his own eccentric reading style—how many more books will he have time to read in his lifetime? Why does he refuse to read books hailed  by reviewers as “astonishing”? Why does he refuse to lend out books? Will he ever buy an e-book? Why does he habitually read thirty to forty books simultaneously? Why are there so many people to whom the above questions do not even matter—and what do they read? Acerbically funny yet passionate and oddly affectionate, One for the Books is a reading experience that true book lovers will find unforgettable.


27MISHAN-articleInlineJoe Queenan is a humorist, critic and author from Philadelphia who graduated from Saint Joseph’s University. He has written for numerous publications, such as Spy Magazine, TV Guide, Movieline, The Guardian and theNew York Times Book Review. He has written eight books, including Balsamic Dreams, a scathing critique of the Baby Boomers, Red Lobster, White Trash, and the Blue Lagoon, a tour of low-brow American pop culture and Imperial Caddy, a fairly scathing view of Dan Quayle and the American Vice-Presidency.

Queenan’s work is noted for his caustic wit.

2 Responses to “Books, (e)Books and more (audio)Books!”

  1. Sue April 9, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    When I worked (high school English teacher, then school district librarian) I read about 90 books per year, not counting the wonderful picture books I got to read each day as a librarian. Now retired and blogging, I found my actual reading time hasn’t grown all that much. I think I read about 120 books last year and am schedule to do that again. Sometimes I think I should cut back and be more selective, but I am so attracted to even the covers and summaries of most books that I just can’t resist.
    I love the feel of physical books, but find I read slightly faster on my Nook. I usually read only one book at a time, but I will listen to one audio book during the same time span that I am reading a book. You can listen to a book while driving,ealking, cooking, quilting, even cleaning. Audio books make the mundane more interesting.

    • rbclibrary April 9, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

      I am averaging about 120 books/year as well. I hate to rush a book. I think you are right about ebooks reading faster. You wouldn’t think that turning pages or having to reopen them would make that much difference, so I can’t really account for why. I only rarely listened to audiobooks — just for long solo car trips. But I think I am really going to enjoy walking and reading. 😉 Thanks so much for your comments and for stopping by.

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