What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

02 September 2010

I'm reading! I'm READING!! (And the Rule of Fifty.)

I blogged a while back about needing to read more, at the suggestion of Stephen King in his book On Writing. Obviously, I needed some new books, but I also need to brush up on my Spanish for the fall semester, and we don't have any more space on our bookshelves, so for a few days I contemplated purchasing a Kindle, then saw that I wouldn't have it until halfway through September anyway... so I went to the library.

Actually, we already had a few new books in the house from a book sale a few weeks ago, and a little Spanish-book shopping spree I took on Amazon when I ordered my textbooks. So, in a matter of days, I went from reading bits and pieces of whatever book was nearest to reading five books at once:

The Eye of the World, Robert Jordan
Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
Crossing the Threshold of Hope, John Paul II
El Ratoncito de la Moto, Beverly Cleary (The Mouse and the Motorcycle)
El Club Social de las Chicas Temerarias, Alisa Valdés Rodríguez (The Dirty Girls' Social Club)

The Eye of the World passed the Rule of 50, but after about 300 pages, I realised that I was no longer interested. Artemis Fowl did not pass the Rule of 50, so I'm down to three books. All of my Spanish books require reading with pencil in hand to write down all the words I don't know, so even getting to 50 pages may take a while.

And in case you aren't familiar with the Rule of 50, here it is: If you are less than 50 years of age, you give a book 50 pages. If you aren't interested after 50 pages, put it down and move to the next book. (This is an adaptable rule, obviously; sometimes I only need 10-15 pages to know a book isn't for me. And sometimes I need 300.) If you are over 50, subtract your age from 100 and read that many pages; a 60-year-old, for example, would only read 40 pages. A 75-year-old reads 25 pages. A 51-year-old reads 49 pages.

This way, the world of books is more easily conquered (explored is probably a better word) and you also give yourself permission to walk away from a book without feeling obligated to finish it. Apparently, there are those who need that permission.

And I learned this delightful principle when I read Book Lust, by Nancy Pearl-- which is also a good read, especially if you aren't sure what to read next.

For now, unfortunately, my reading for fun must give way to reading for class. But I shall still read in sips.


sparquay said...

Haha, I can't help but think that the rule of fifty is leaned because they have less life left and their time is somehow more precious to them...

Su said...

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's the point. I think she actually states it more or less in that way in the book I read. :)

Timbra Wiist said...

Mike would be pleased to know that you are reading Robert Jordan. . . but displeased to know that you put him down after ONLY 300 pages :P PS, sometimes I wish blogs had a "like" option b/c I also run into that "one handed" problem a lot and then just fail to return and comment altogether. . . right now. . that baby is asleep :)

Su said...

Hee hee! Chad was pleased, too, and then displeased. I wanted to keep enjoying it, but I was bored, and all the wanting in the world was not helping me stay interested in the story. Especially when I had other books to read. :(

mamaphalen said...

I waited until like book 5 to get bored with that series, but made myself read through eight b/c Jes has a cousin that that is all he talks about, and I wanted someone to be able to talk to him, but could not make myself read 9-12.