Social Question

josie's avatar

How much do you read?

Asked by josie (30931points) April 28th, 2011

In recent threads, I was coached that I, or other Americans, should read more.

It is certainly a recurring method of condescension on Fluther to render a judgement that one jelly or another did not read enough or that they read the wrong thing.

It is, I guess, a way of saying that certain poor folks are so provincial and stupid that they need literary guidance.

I enjoy reading, and I read a lot, but I still get admonitions from jellies that I do not read enough or that I do not read the right books.

I was always sort of proud of my commitment to reading and learning, but it crosses my mind that maybe Fluther is really nothing but a literary club and I did not know that.

I guess that I can infer that lots of people on this site must read alot, and that a certain minimum standard must be met, or one is subject to negative intellectual assessment.

So, how much do you read? We will use as a standard “books per month”.

Just curious.

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58 Answers

optimisticpessimist's avatar

When on a reading jag, I devour about 8–10 books a month. When I am not, probably 2 or 3. However, my reading list would certainly leave some people cringing. I am okay with that.

filmfann's avatar

Like Sarah Palin, I read everything.

I read the newspaper every morning. I am currently reading 4 different translations of the Bible. I also am reading a few different books for enjoyment, though some are taking a while to get thru, like the Chuck Palaniuk book “Survivor”, which has been torturing me for a few months.

_zen_'s avatar

As much as I can – a bit less than Sarah Palin. But then, I don’t have that inspirational view she has: the bridge, Russia, you know.

SuperMouse's avatar

My average over the past six months or so is about zero books per month. However, I posit that all reading counts
and that books per month is
not a valid measure. In the last
six months I have read forty or
so text book chapters and
probably more than 50 journal
articles. That is for school
alone and doesn’t count the
blogs, magazines, web posts, newspapers, and writings from my faith that I read daily for pleasure and personal growth.

KateTheGreat's avatar

I read at least 20 books a month. I read sooooo much.

anartist's avatar

I used to read about 2 or 3 books a week. In recent times [for about a year] I have had so many other commitments and complications that I haven’t finished a book in 6 months [and a silly little mystery at that] and can only keep up with about half my newspapers.
* sigh *

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Well,the librarians in my town know my name:)
I read the news every morning and have a book on meditation I read while on the treadmill.A book on Hokusai near the bath tub,The Romantic Manifesto on my nightstand and Mark Twain’s autobiography on the end table in my living room.
I’ll pick them up and read alittle at a time.I used to read alot more for entertainment than I do now because I am learning more about glaze chemsitry and am concentrating on that…..lest I forget,there is also the BS I read on the internet ;)

stardust's avatar

I read 1–2 books per week.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I’ve detailed skimmed about 10 books and 10 30–40 page journal articles in the past 2 days, plus whatever I’ve seen here on Fluther, Twitter, a few news sites, emails, texts… History is a LOT of reading.

Assuming school isn’t taking over my life and forcing me to read tons of books for it, maybe 5 books a month? Plus news (I do it online, but the same sources), Twitter, magazine articles, Fluther, and my internet addiction, which is basically reading things online – Cracked, blogs, etc, not so much with the games. So, probably 6–8 hours a day.

AmWiser's avatar

I read books in spells. When I’m on a roll I might read a book a week. I have books backed up to read for when I get in the mood. I also have about 200 books logged into my Nook, ready to be read.

naivete's avatar

I’m not American, but I am a college student and I get sick of reading textbooks so I tend to avoid books. Before college, I used to read around 2–3 books a month.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Books not as many as I used to, I am lucky to average one a quarter.
I read regularly Le Monde, London Times, WSJ, Washington Post, and NY Times.
Occasionally I read the Jerusalem post and Forward from Syria.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@SuperMouse Agreed. While different people read at different paces, I would venture that hours of reading is a more accurate measure of how much someone reads than books are. Even if you only read books, someone who reads a Shakespeare play hasn’t read the same as someone who reads The Da Vinci Code – Brown’s book is by far thicker (although, definitely easier and junkier, although I love that book.)

tedibear's avatar

I was at 2 or 3 books a week.(So, 8 to 12 a month.) However, we’ve been watching a lot of anime since Christmas and that has cut into my reading time. I miss reading as much and am about to ask for at least one night a week that’s anime free!

Vunessuh's avatar

Man, I feel stupid posting in a thread with everyone who reads so much, but unfortunately, I’m not very well-read. I’m taking this year to really work on changing that. I bought a book called Story not too long ago as well as The Mark Twain Autobiography and I plan on starting them both within the next few days. I also want to reread a few books that I read in high school including my favorite, The Painted Bird. I do like a good story, but I’ve always just found other things to do to fill my time and couldn’t get into it as much as I would have liked.

optimisticpessimist's avatar

@Vunessuh, don’t feel bad. I did say my reading list would leave some cringing.

JLeslie's avatar

I actually consider not reading something thoroughly on fluther, or misunderstanding an answer, not quite the same as reading books and articles in other parts of life. I do think people tend to negatively judge those who don’t read much, especially those people who read all of the time, but a fight back on forth on fluther with someone saying, “you obviously did not read what I wrote,” is just a tiff, so what.

Here is a question I asked long ago about how people judge those who don’t read, if you have any interest. It isn’t exactly what you are asking though.

Coloma's avatar

I’m a big reader, on the computer and books. I have 3 new Amazon orders coming soon.

I’m a seeker of knowledge and knowledge is power! My reading tastes lend themselves to philosophy, psychology, nature, science and biography. Not really into fiction, I like reality too much. lol

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@JLeslie No, it’s not the same, but if reading isn’t your thing, you won’t spend a whole lot of time on websites that require you to read (which, despite popular opinion, does include Twitter).

JLeslie's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Well, for me it is the length of the post. If they get really long, and I am not keenly interested in the topic, I might not bother to read it. If it is a quick back and forth I am more likely to read it, especially if I am online at the time. When it moves quickly with shorter answerse it feels like a conversation, rather than something I need to study.

I can read on fluther for hours, but almost never read a book for hours.

knitfroggy's avatar

I always have a book going. Sometimes I will read constantly, a couple books a week. Other times, I will not be in the mood to read, and will just read a few pages and stretch it out. I got a nook and I have been reading a lot more. I’ve never understood people that didn’t like to read. When I was a kid, the greatest thing that ever happened to me was learning to read. I carried a book with me every where I went. My daughter “HATES” to read. My son, on the other hand, is just like me. He’s laying on his bed reading Diary of a Wimpy kid for the umpteenth time.

ddude1116's avatar

Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to read, and when I do things like to interfere with that, but school does tend to do that. So in good months I’ll read probably between 1,000 to 2,000 pages (depending on the level of books I read, since I go from reading quick books like A Separate Peace and comic books like Watchmen or Sin City, to ridiculous ones like Doctor Zhivago or Great Expectations). I’m a book hound, and I’d like to be more of a one. Summer just needs to get here, so that I can be. Come to think of it actually, I read the quick ones when I’m busy, and the ridiculous ones when I have time, so about a thousand pages a month. However, most of what I read isn’t recent, so I’m rather disjointed from the times, for I don’t care much for the news media.

wundayatta's avatar

I used to read a lot. Several novels a month. Five or six journals. A daily paper, and more.

Then I got sick and since then I only read a few articles from the paper each day and maybe an article from a weekly magazine.

I feel pretty unknowledgable these days and I generally only find out about what is going on when someone on fluther remarks on it and I follow the link they provide.

The truth is that I’m kind of a fraud. I don’t know anything any more.

But I do have an internal model of the world and how it works. So I rely on my model to analyze things even though I have no clue about the answer. I don’t have to know anything about whatever a person is asking about. The model takes it in and spits out an answer. I barely even have to be here any more. By here, I mean in my brain. I think some would argue that I actually have taken leave of my brain. Who am I to argue?

DominicX's avatar

With all the reading and work I have to do for college classes, I don’t read leisurely (fiction/novels) that much. :\

It’s been a few months since I last picked up a novel…

Neizvestnaya's avatar

When I had no computer or device to watch movies on then I read a book every 2–3 days along with whatever newspapers and magazines I could get a hold of while at work. With internet to play on and watch movies then I rarely read a hardcover book unless it’s one I wait on or order.

Blondesjon's avatar

When I’m in the mood I can read 4 or 5 a month. If you count palms, minds, and entrails it’s more.

shame on the rest of you for boosting your numbers. i see how much time you spend here and that doesn’t leave enough time for what you’re claiming.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I’m a dirt poor intellectual from a poor family. I read probably three dozen books a year, or a few per month. I would read more, used to do two or three a week, but then we got a computer at the one job, and I got another job that is out in the woods actually doing things. I’d probably also read more if it wasn’t for the fact that about 75% of the books I read are dense intellectual works rather than novels like my partner is always pushing on me (though there was a period of a month or two in which I mostly read Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels). A lot can be achieved when you can read over 1,000 words a minute and have a 164 IQ.

MacBean's avatar

I’ve read 31 books so far in 2011 and I currently have two more in progress. At least one of those will be finished before May starts, so that’s an average of 8 books a month so far this year.

blueiiznh's avatar

I am about 1–2 per week for pleasure.
about 1 per week for work.
And I have recently started reading everything on fluther since this question was posted.

chyna's avatar

I probably read 4 books a month. I do read before bed every night, at least a chapter.
Edited to add I do read the newspaper every day.

everephebe's avatar

Not enough. That said, it’s pretty damn hard to read too much.
I used to read books like they were the only thing sustaining my being… I miss that.

keobooks's avatar

Before my daughter was born, I’d read 15 – 20 novels per month on average. Some months I’d read more, and some I’d read less. I was stationed at the Reader’s Advisory desk at the library for my job and I was REQUIRED to read at least 4 novels a month. We all read more. We’d get assigned a genre or topic and had to read at least two, and then we had to read two new or two bestseller books. Unless the topic was something I absolutely loathed, I would usually double my requirements and then read several more on my own topics just for fun.

When I was on bedrest the last month of my pregnancy, I read 2 or 3 books a DAY. I was cramming in all the reading I could. Which was smart because once my daughter was born everything changed. I started counting my daily reading in paragraphs. With almost no sleep and having to tend to her constantly, I’d be lucky to get a page or two in. I think it took me three weeks to finish my first novel after the was born.

I’m back up to a book or two a week again. I can only read an hour or so a day now, unless you count the bajillion times I read “That’s Not My Baby” or “Mouse Paint” every single day.

Coloma's avatar

I agree with not really getting those that do not enjoy reading.
Each to his own, but yes, I was a voracious reader as a child, as soon as I could read, it was all over. Being a lover of words, truth, knowledge and writing, the WORST thing that could ever happen to me would be to go blind and lose my voice. lol

I’d be scribbling notes and tossing them at my caretakers. haha

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t think I’ve ever seen the kind of judgments you speak of here on Fluther. No idea who is out there telling you specifically that you read ‘the wrong stuff’ but they, whatever. I love reading, I read all the time during the day, I read articles, magazines, books, newspapers and I spend a lot of time online reading about various things I find interesting. I generally read 3 books at the same time.

gailcalled's avatar

I can’t imagine judging anyone here by how much and what he or she reads. An I don’t remember noticing that there is a group of people who scold others about their reading habits.

One of the many joys of no longer working is having the time to read. At the moment, I have three novels in play, one more novel as a CD on a Sony player that I use for insomnia and a daily fix of the NYT, Slate.com, The Drudge Report, and periodic check-ups on CNN.

This afternoon after many chores, I ended up at the library where I read the latest New Yorker. Utne, People, Harper’s, and the little local weekly rag.

In my downstairs bathroom I have a Spanish I book that I recently bought at a tag sale and my ancient “Introduction to College Mathematics.” These stimulate peristalsis.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I read a minimum of 3 books a week, sometimes I’ve read 3 books in one day, if it was a series I was into. Over the last 3 days, I’ve read 6 books. I read a lot. =0)

_zen_'s avatar

I belatedly read the details, including: I enjoy reading, and I read a lot, but I still get admonitions from jellies that I do not read enough or that I do not read the right books.I was always sort of proud of my commitment to reading and learning, but it crosses my mind that maybe Fluther is really nothing but a literary club and I did not know that.

Didn’t you know that Fluther was recently acquired by Oprah – and we are now part of her Book Club. You’ll get the tweet soon.

Cruiser's avatar

I read all I can….I am having a bit of a struggle realizing I am “reading” as more and more is done online as opposed to a paper book. I am stuck in the notion that it takes turning pages to qualify as reading yet I am reading more than ever and it is online!

I have bookmarks galore and right now I am reading Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: The Ultimate Episode Guide.

A day ago before I got the new puppy I was reading SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR

Kraigmo's avatar

I read about half a book a month while on the toilet. I almost don’t even care the subject matter, I’ve bought up all the crazy Pro-Obama and Anti-Obama nonfiction books at the 99cent store and read them all. I love nonfiction books from the 99 cent store because they (so far) have always been interesting books, and being only 99 cents, they are expendable. Sometimes I’ll take them into the tub and read there, and who cares if it gets all wet.

Then in addition, I read magazines on the internet for about 2 hours every day.

ratboy's avatar

Once, before TV made reading obsolete, I read a book about gnomes or something.

Facade's avatar

I don’t like reading books; they’re too long and drawn out for me. I prefer articles, blog posts, etc. Short writings that give me the info I need.

atomicmonkey's avatar

I don’t read much any more, with little kids and a long drive to work. I’ll get back to my old book quota when things settle down. A few audiobooks now & then but I’m finding I’m more inclined to podcast. The short time I have before I pass out of a night I’ve been dedicating to comics & graphic novels because I can burn through them faster, and it’s what I’m enjoying right now.
I do get annoyed when snooty readers look down their spectacles at you because you haven’t read half a library a month. I never assume lack of knowledge means lack of intelligence, but a lot of people seem to have that opinion. It says a lot about them, I find.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@josie Not having seen these admonitions personally, maybe it’s more a roundabout way of saying they think you’re close-minded? It might not be about the literal amount of reading, but more code for some other critique.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t think I’ve seen that criticism here, either.

I read a lot, but nowhere near as much as I used to (pre-kids). I used to read like @MacBean, but after I had kids I found myself able to read only 5 minutes at a time. I switched to short books and magazines during those early years, just so I wouldn’t lose track of the story. I also subscribed to two newspapers.

Now that they’re older, I’m back to at least a book a week (2 or 3 a week if they’re short) and several magazines at the same time (still nowhere near my prior level). I like to read just about any kind of book, from high art to low pop fiction, unless it’s dry statistics or a bodice ripper. If I don’t have something to read, I start to go a little crazy. I’ve reread most of the books I own many, many times, just to keep my sanity. Rereading the new Stephen King right now.

downtide's avatar

I read a lot. Probably around 8 novels a month. I spend 2–2.5 hours every workday commuting by public transport. That plus my lunch break means I get a lot of reading done. I bought a Kindle for this reason.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@downtide Mmm – the ability to read on my smartphone or ereader has drastically increased how much I do, now that I can spend 1.5 minutes reading waiting in line, 30 minutes during a lull hanging out with friends, etc.

Blondesjon's avatar

@augustlan . . . king kinda cheated on the ending. i think he wrote himself in to a corner.

mattbrowne's avatar

When our children were younger, I’d say 30–40 books a year. Now I’d say about 50–60 a year.

Seelix's avatar

So far this year, I’ve read 15 books, so that’s about 3–4 a month, or one a week(ish). When school is done, I’ll be reading a lot more. I usually end up with about 100 or so books a year (for pleasure; I don’t count school readings, which take over from September to April).

augustlan's avatar

@Blondesjon Which book are you talking about? I’m reading Full Dark, No Stars, which is 4 novellas (I think).

Blondesjon's avatar

my bad. i thought you were talking about under the dome.

augustlan's avatar

I did read that one, too. I remember I liked it, but I don’t remember the ending. I’ll have to re-read that one next!

Hibernate's avatar

Wish I had enough time to read as I did a few years ago .. beside my Bible wich i read daily I barely get to read 1–2 per month. [ maybe I should stop finishing it every 3 months then maybe i’d have more time ]

But it’s nice to see that others read too. Keep it up people.

Jeruba's avatar

I’m not a fast reader. I read for an hour or so every night, but a good-size novel, say 400–600 pages, takes me several weeks. Alongside, I always have at least one other going, and I may go through a couple of short ones (maybe 200 pages), more likely nonfiction, during the same period.

So it’s between two and three a month, probably. I don’t think that’s a lot, but if I read at a faster pace, I’d miss too much and it would be pointless.

I don’t count magazines, but I do read several pretty regularly.

augustlan's avatar

I did re-read Under the Dome, and @Blondesjon was right. King did kind of cheat the ending. I still enjoyed it. :)

keobooks's avatar

My daughter is now 10 months old. I look at my last post on this thread and sigh. I don’t think I’ve read a book that wasn’t made of chew proof cardboard and had more than 3 words on a page in a LONG time. I don’t think I remember what a grown up book looks like.

Blondesjon's avatar

@augustlan . . . Oh, I enjoyed the hell out of it. King hasn’t created a more vile villain since Morgan Sloat. It was because the story was so great up to the ending that I really felt cheated by the way he wrapped things up.

Jeruba's avatar

@keobooks, I sympathize. When my kids were small, I missed out on a lot of reading and wondered if I’d ever get to read a whole grownup book again.

And then one day when they were old enough to read to themselves, I realized that I did all my reading out of their sight, after they were in bed. They never saw me as a reader. That’s when I made it a point to start reading in front of them, modeling the behavior, so they’d see it as an attractive and worthwhile activity.

Now I’m back to bedtime reading again. They’re adults, and their habits are set. One is a constant and omnivorous reader, vocationally and avocationally, and extremely competent at it. The other can barely stand to pick up a book even on a subject he is interested in. There’s only so much you can do.

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