1,000 months in which you can read 4,000 books

If you read one book a week, starting at the age of 5, and live to be 80, you will have read a grand total of 3,900 books, a little over one-tenth of 1 percent of the books currently in print.


As a shake-up, the philosopher AC Grayling is fond of reminding people that the average span of human life is less than 1,000 months. “If a third of them you are asleep and a third you’re in Tesco’s,” he says, “the other third, about 25 years, is left to you to live well.”


But how to respond to such a realisation…? Becoming overly discerning about the books you choose to read (“my god I’m one bad novel closer to death”) risks eroding the joys of reading. While thinking in terms of your 1,000 months risks becoming A C Grayling. It’s enough to make me want to embrace a perpetual present. Or perhaps it’s a spur to think about how to approach 2014?

Categories: Outflanking Platitudes

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