Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reading as Escapism

I read for the fun of it.

What's fun for me are well-written genre books. With the occasional seasoning of non-fiction.

I've been keeping up a list of the books I've read since 1982 in a blank notebook, which is nearly full. It was really useful in that first decade or so; I could refer to it whenever I was in doubt. Over the last decade, not so much. I have to go through pages and pages, and even with the publishing date, it's a bit of a pain trying to figure out if I've read something. So I read mostly newer books.

My lowest total was in 1991. 20 books read. That was just before the big sports card crash. I had four stores, and I was very, very busy.

My highest total was in 1998: 85 books read.

I seem mostly to read between 40 and 60 books a year.

Last year, I read 60.

Anyway, something that becomes very noticeable is that I actually read much more in the stressful years. When business was bad, or declining.

My worst years, as far as stress and debt and just hanging on were concerned, were between 1992 and 2001; I averaged 65 books a year.

My busy years, 1984-1991 and 2002 and 2009, I averaged 36 books a year.

What's clear, is I bury my head in books when I'm stressed out.

Not to mention the decade that I suffered depression. I'm pretty sure that I was reading well over 100 books a year back then. There was one year where I remember reading a book every day or two.

It was all I could do.

And thank god for that....books probably saved me.

1 comment:

H. Bruce Miller said...

I find that history and biography are almost the only things that interest me anymore. Almost all contemporary popular fiction seems to be dreck.

As I grow older I also find I enjoy -- and understand -- poetry more.