First a disclaimer -- I do not claim to be a typical reader. I recognize that not very many people read as fast or as prodigiously as I do. That said, I will tell you that every year I write down each book I read with a short synopsis and a rating.
This morning I spent some time reviewing my my 2007 book list. Here is what I discovered:
- I have read 116 books this year
- That is an average of one book every three days.
- 20% of the books are non-fiction / 80% are fiction.
- 50% were eBooks / 50% print books
- There are only 30 I would recommend
- 75% of them -- varying degrees of OK to dreadful.
Which got me thinking. . .
There is a myth that just because it is a book, it is valuable; and that books are somehow more worthy and intellectual than watching TV, playing video games or surfing the net.
Trust me on this -- most of the stuff I read was not particularly intellectual and its only value was that it distracted me for a few hours. Of course, there are some exceptions. Most of them (at least those in eBook form) have been highlighted in my Blog.
Back to the list. . .
I am struck by how few of the "older" books are in eBook format. For example, I reread Rebecca last summer; I ended up with a beat up $1.00 paperback since it was no where to be found in eBook format. Anita Burgh, Taylor Cauldwell, and Jean Plaidy are good authors. And yet their work is hard to find in paper, never mind electronic form.
Publishers are forever crying the blues about book sales. So why don't they get it that a good story is timeless? There are a host of books that are as vital and interesting today as they were when they were originally published. eBooks are an inexpensive way to keep book perpetually "in print" and boost sales
Academics and publishers decry the lack of literacy in our culture. Publishers, in particular, might just try being a little grateful. Lack of literacy is the only explanation for most of their income. Just take a look at the current bestseller list -- Clancy, Balducchi, Evanovich, Koonz, Roberts and Patteron! Let's face it, most of us are willing to read crap just for a few hours of entertainment.
Here's to 2008 and a new list.