Create: Z Reads the Backlog

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Enjoying the reading challenge? Z takes the scientific approach. (Of course.)

'Z reads the Backlog'

A close-up on the pages of a book.

You see dear readers, I have a problem. Let me express the problem in equation form.

Let t=time, p = the number of books purchased, and r = the number of books read.

Therefore the number of books read per unit time should be expressed as r/t, and the number purchased p/t.

When I was young read a great deal and had little money, therefore r/t>p/t, so much greater than he had to borrow books from libraries on a regular basis. It was a regular problem to have read all the books in ones possession. The last time that happened was in 2002, when I purchased 'A portrait of an artist as a young man' by James Joyce. I never finished that book, because it got dull, and instead I brought another book. Since they p/t>r/t = which means we have a surplus of books: We have a backlog. Then matters got worse, when I married. Whereas in the past a wife would arrive with a chest of silks and heirlooms Ben arrived with a trousseau of interesting books. And then we got more, we would talk about a book, and buy it on Amazon, and it would arrive, we would browse a bookshop together and buy some more, presents consisted almost entirely of books. Then we got the kindle! Another device to buy books on, and so I did buy books, now when I thought about a book I could read it.

And then something odd happened, I stopped reading. I am not sure why. Perhaps because I was finally diagnosed with dyslexia, and I began to notice that whilst I read a lot, my understanding of what I read was not quite up to par, people in my bookgroup would pick up more from a book than I would. I began to listen to audio books, and discovered I understood more via audio than via paper. And also there was the little matter of saving h2g2 and doing a PhD. I also lost my ability to concentrate on one thing. I think the iPhone did that, every few minutes I stop to check twitter, h2g2 or my e mail.

I have a huge backlog of books. 123 to be precise. I have gathered them together in one space, and photographed them. So the create challenge has inspired me, the plan is to read a book a week and post a review. It will still take two years. Among that pile will be my new favourite author, facts that change the way I think, change the way I view the world and blow my mind. There will be some books I where I want to go and buy everything the author has written, and some that will bore me.

So, join me next week, when I should have finished the first of the backlog. I should have a good chance to read – I am about to fly to Australia next week, I check in on the 23rd and arrive on the 25th.

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