I semi-recently read a post by a book blogger who said she read something like 150 titles last year, and that she had only “counted” all the books that she made it to at least page fifty on.
I was floored…
People actually COUNTED books they hadn’t read all of?
The horror! The horror!
But then I had to take a step back and realize that I might seem a *little*
crazy eccentric to most people because I feel the need to read a book in its entirety before counting it, including (if it has such) the prologue, foreword, introduction, and any appendices it might have.
It is for this reason that you will find, if you go to my Goodreads profile, that I haven’t marked as having read books like What to Expect When You’re Expecting–though I’ve probably read a good 75% of it–just because I skipped over a few chapters that didn’t pertain to me, and I haven’t read the appendix.
Is that weird?
And, to carry this extreme desire to live by the letter of the law when it comes to book counting even further, up until very very recently, you also would have discovered that I felt like I had to read all my MAGAZINES from cover to cover too, though I’ve slooooowly been weaning myself off of that one for the past year or so. (And, considering that at any given point, I have between 5 and 23 magazine subscriptions, that is no mean feat.)
I distinctly remember that the first time I skipped over an article in one of my Oprah magazines (the monthly column by their beauty product specialist), I FELT LIKE SUCH A REBEL. But, since the world didn’t end and I wasn’t even “tracking” my magazine count anyway, I felt okay about continuing to skip across articles or columns that don’t interest me as much, though I pretty much will always read a magazine chronologically. This means that no matter how much an article may intrigue me from its enticing bold print on the cover, I will NOT skip forward to read it but will happily read all the articles before it first.
Other weird issues I have with “counting” books—
- If you’ve been reading for awhile, you’ll already know that I don’t “count” audiobooks as reading. This is why I pretty much never listen to an audiobook unless I’ve physically read the book first.
- If I’ve read the abridged version of something, I usually don’t count it. So, as an example, I read the abridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo in high school, but because I didn’t read the “real thing,” I didn’t count that I’d read the book until a few years back, when I tackled the full version in all its over-1200-pages glory. It is for this, too, that last weekend, when we treated ourselves to a trip to our favorite bookstore that sells used books, I refused to buy the abridged version of Les Miserables, but rather splurged for the uncut version (and will only read that title in its unabridged form, though people consistently tell me the abridged version is just better).
- On my Goodreads account, I don’t count any of the picture books I’ve read, but rather have opened up a separate account for picture and board books. True, this is mostly so I can track how Raven and I are doing on our quest to read her 1,000 different books before she hits kindergarten, but still.
- I also have issues counting books on my Goodreads that I read as a child or early teen. It’s partly because I don’t remember much about what specific titles are about, but it’s also because I don’t want to have to add like 50 million Boxcar Children titles or select which Nancy Drews I got through or admit that I read almost the whole Goosebumps series as a kid. So, for me to “count” something on my Goodreads, I basically have to REMEMBER a decent portion of the book, and I need to have read it fairly recently (within the last half of my life or so).