Extreme readers

Published August 18, 2009

_I was actually going to record this as a kind of video blog, but am missing a rather crucial USB cable that without it means I have to crawl around under desks and dismantle Mr C’s rather tidy cabling. I don’t think he’d thank me for that, but I feel the stories are worth sharing before they get too old, so I’ll post the transcript instead. _

This is also my way of teasing the fact that there may be more in the way of video coming soon.

There’s a lady in Scotland who is about to borrow her 25,000th book from her local library. Actually, she probably has done it by now. She’s 91 years old and has been borrowing books since 1946. Louise Brown, that’s her name, she reads a lot. For the majority of the 60 years she’s been reading, she’s taken at least six books a week, and apparently this is now increased to 12.

12 books a week!

One year, before I had found any particular hobbies I was into, I read 62 books in one year, and I was proud of that. But that’s only 1.2 books a week, not even close to 6. I’m a little bit disappointed in myself.

Still, even 1.2 books is better than I’m managing at the moment. So far this year, I have read the Diary of Anne Frank, and half of Murray Walker’s biography. That one is sitting on my shelf, calling out to be picked up again, but I don’t think I will.

I did start moving towards an audiobook world, but many of the titles available on Amazon and on iTunes are terrible quality.

What I really want is an Amazon Kindle. Piles and piles of books and magazines in the palm of your hand, but in one small device. Only two problems. 1) It is kinda on the expensive side and 2) that doesn’t really matter because it’s not available in the UK yet anyway.

Actually, another person who could do with a Kindle is the guy who is marooning himself on an island on purpose. I believe it’s a privately owned island in Scotland, and former merchant banker Geoff Spice is going to hole up there for the entire month of August in an attempt to quit smoking. There’s no electricity, no running water, and all he’s taking is his stack of books.

He’s mad, right?

Only Harry Potter would be enough to make me forget I’m stranded without water, and even all seven of those books would only last a week or so. I’ve never smoked, but there must be easier ways of quitting than living without electricity for 30 days!

What he needs is a little bit of the willpower that Louise Brown has. No one can read 6 books a week without some major strength of character.

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