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I’ve been pondering book count as of late. For 2011, I have a self-imposed books read goal of 50. I didn’t pull that number out of thin air, I got it from seeing numerous book groups online (LibraryThing, etc.) regarding reading 50 books in a year. There were also higher number book clubs. 52 books a year (with some groups classifying further as one book a week), 75 books a year, 100 books a year. I’ve yet to see a book group with a higher number than 100 as a goal. But, as I seem to struggle to get to 50 as life intervenes, I picked 50 as it seemed a nice number. A challenge but within reach.

Which brings me to my question. Does page or word count come into question with the members of these groups? Do they purposefully choose shorter books to help them reach the challenge? I ask because I found myself pondering whether I should hold off reading “The Land of the Painted Caves” due to its length. I was already behind pace for the year (according to Shelfari) to meet my goal of reading 50 books when I decided to read it. I knew that reading such a tome would put me even further behind pace. Of course, I had highly anticipated the release of the last book in the series, for years, and finally decided that I would not sacrifice reading the book as soon as possible just to meet an arbitrary goal I’d set for myself. Had I known that the reading would be even further drawn out due to my near constant state of drowsiness when reading yet another detailed explanation of yet another cave, perhaps I would have decided differently… No. I still would have needed to know what happened to Ayla.

But back to my point, page count does count for a lot. Playing around with the stats section of Goodreads (which I like for how it keeps track of my page count and the ability to easily update to Facebook), I found that though I have yet to read “as many” (until this year I wasn’t very tidy in my book tracking) books as 2009 (see?), I have far surpassed it in pages read. Interesting.

So, if I choose to spend my year reading young adult fiction barely passing 100 pages in length while my contemporary chooses to read thick classics, who reads “more”? Sure, I’ll have read more books, but won’t my contemporary have read “more”, in the literal sense.

Sigh. What I won’t do to be rid of a deadline.

My goal for this year is 50 books. At this time, I’ve read 12 and need to read at a pace of five books per month to meet my goal for the year. I’m currently reading quite a few books which are (in no particular order other than what comes to mind first): “The Know-It-All”, “Hotel Iris”, “The Wolves of Andover”, and “Soulless”. I’ll need to finish all of those in addition to another book by the end of the month so as to stay on track this month. I wonder if I’ll be able to fit “War and Peace” into my reading schedule this year?