One of my fellow bookclubbers is always quoting statistics on the number of unread books on her shelf. I have assumed that as I continue to expand my collection at a rate far more rapid than the rate at which I read, that I had probably only read one tenth of what I have on my shelves. Since I can only get to about a book a month [current bookclub frequency], I figured that I probably buy at least five for every one I read... meaning that my percentage unread may at least be going in the right direction... but that I'll never get around to finishing everything I own [which, should really be the point].
So for now, I decided to do a check-in. Since I have all my books listed in a spreadsheet [insert comment here], I decided to do a quick tabulation. Since I also have the propensity to acquire multiple copies of the same book, this isn't exactly perfect but it's a fast way of seeing what percentage of books I have on my shelves.
Total books: 447 [wow, I have a collection problem]
Unread = 304. If I currently read one book a month and do not obtain any more, I will complete my reading in 25 years... roughly the age at which I retire. This assumes that I will continue to have the same amount of reading time now as when I have children [knock on wood]... which is obviously not the case.
Read = 143. I am surprised by this number. If you assume that I roughly started reading 10 years ago [well before I had the bookshelves I have now and prior to my university days], then I have read about 16 books a year [incorrectly assuming that I keep all my books - I usually give away books I dislike]. This seems about right.
This means that I have read 32% of books that are currently on my shelves. So, I've essentially read one third of everything I can lay my eyes on in my apartment. Considering I have some huge volumes, coupled with a lot of unread history books... this is much better than I anticipated.