This year I have read 12,901 pages... to date. I'll probably read one more book to get over 13,000, but maybe 13 thousand is bad luck and I should just stop for the year. This number is counting only books I've completed... not books like Life of Pi that I've started, lost, read some more, and then lost again- with intentions of reading it, but only when I can't put it off any longer. These are only the pages of books I've actually read cover to cover. Unless of course there is some extremely boring prologue numbered with xi and v. In that case, chances are pretty high that I did not read those pages, nor did I count them... mainly because they were in Roman Numerals. Besides, the chance that any book I would read having that kind of prologue... highly unlikely.
So, to the point- 12,901 pages sounds impressive. And it's a lot of books. Fourty-two to be exact. But of the 42 books, 15 were Young Adult novels, six were what I call "chick lit" (all involving some single girl, whose best friend is a gay man, she works in publishing/tv/environmental field, falls in love after being broken hearted... you got the picture... no symbolism here), three were books I read for a book club... (books by people I have a hard time believing have actually published so many books, being the poor writers that they are-I'm naming no names, you might just love them), 12 were actual substantial books... at least I'd like to think so. Only three were nonfiction, which, as sad as that number is... is a dramatic rise in my nonfiction reading. Last year I only read one nonfiction book... for a book club. The year before only one ... for a book club. And the three years before that ... zero. And that's when I started keeping track, but I'm sure there are just big fat zeros as far as nonfiction goes. But I feel like I'm surrounded by people who only read nonfiction, see novels as frivolous... I want frivolous!
I look at the books I've read this past year, and although at times it may seem like an embarrassing assortment ... I'm happy. I read the books I want to read. Not always the books from the high school English teachers summer reading list, not always the books Oprah says I should read. I read what I want to read... maybe it's a classic, a book club must read, or just something with a fun cover that grabs my eye at the library or the book store, but I read not for the symbolism, the number of pages, the deep, literary conversations I can have with other readers, I read to have fun. Period. End.