The Re-Reading Conundrum

Picture from back in 2008 when I still had a female roommate 🙂

My dad once made a comment to the effect of, “Whenever I’m around, you are ALWAYS reading. I think you have a book in your hand in almost every picture I take of you.”

I argued with him for a second, but then I checked—

He was totally right.

Lately I’ve been thinking morbid thoughts along these lines:

If I only have 60 or 65 years more to live (give or take), how am I ever going to find time to read all the books on my recommended reading lists?!?!

It’s a question that’s been seriously freaking me out.

If you don’t believe me, let me tell you this—-I’ve actually started to do the math to see if it’s possible, and the numbers aren’t pretty.

I manage to knock out roughly 25 books average a year for the next 60 years, that’s only 1500 books. To anyone else, this probably doesn’t seem like a catastrophe. But between this list of 1,001 books I must read before I die, and this list of 100 most-recommended classics, and this list of all the young adult Newbery winners and runners-up, I have AT LEAST over 1500 books I need to read before I kick it.

And we can’t forget the fact that I actually like to, you know, pick up a random book that’s NOT on a list (heaven forbid) and read that, too.

So this is what I’ve tentatively decided:

I basically can never re-read any book ever again. (I’ll make an exception for the scriptures.)

Or, if I’m really desperate to read something again (like Harry Potter, which I’ve read books 1-4 at least 20 times a piece, no lie), I have to find it on audiobook and enjoy it again that way.

It’s the only way.

The problem is, I actually really LIKE to re-read books—I ALWAYS get more out of a book the second or third time around.

It’s basically the greatest conundrum of my intellectual life right now.

So here’s the real question—should I just simply accept the fact that I probably won’t be able to read all the books I want to in my life? Should I up my ante and discipline myself to read 100 books every year? Should I just throw caution to the wind and READ WHATEVER THE HECK I WANT?

I need answers, people.

What are your thoughts on re-reading? Are you a re-reader?

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