How many pages before sleep do you read?

Some of my Brisbane rellies recently came to stay with me. I discovered that my aunt borrows many books from her local library, which she loves. But the only downside is that she has to return them within a few weeks. So she has come up with a formula to ensure that she finishes reading them. Whenever she borrows a book she divides the number of pages by the number of days remaining before she has to return the book to the library. So if she has three weeks before a book is due back and the book is 500 pages long, she knows that she has to read an average of 24 pages per day. If she borrows more than one book then that number obviously shoots skyward. When she was visiting she said she had to read 68 pages a day. I am a slow reader, so I was a tad incredulous at that number. But I was fascinated, so I decided that I would head off to bed that night aiming to read 68 pages before turning off the light. I think I fell asleep at about page 28. 

When I read books I usually have deadlines by which to finish them, but I’m lucky in that they are a little flexible. I would never have thought to divide up the pages into the available time to make sure I finish a book. Do any other gr readers do this? Or do you have other ideas you can share on how you manage to fit your books into the time you have?

Fiat-500-Rosso-Corsa-2This year just seems to have whizzed by even faster than last year. Every year I think about the sort of holiday I would like to take, and every time I think of the 1995 film A Month by the Lake, based on the novel by H E Bates, who also wrote The Darling Buds of May. I’ve always thought it would be wonderful to plonk myself in a huge guesthouse on the edge of Italy’s beautiful Lake Como and spend a month just wandering at the lake’s edge and taking the time to absorb the scenery. To ‘dress’ for dinner, to have a range of fascinating and quirky characters who were also staying at the guesthouse to dine with and talk to, and to spend my days reading in the Italian sun, having adventures on the ferries going to other little towns and attempting to drive on the crazy Italian roads in a little Fiat 500.

But unfortunately not this year. Instead we close our doors just before Christmas and I will head for the veranda with a pile of books, a cup of tea and Baxter lying at my feet in his usual position, on his back with his legs in the air. Still, it’s bliss. All I need is someone waving a palm frond who will wake me for dinner. I might even ‘dress’.

9 responses to “How many pages before sleep do you read?

  1. I know how you feel. My family are big readers – especially Mum. However it’s not until recently that my brother got back into it, reading Robin Hobb. But no matter what I’m reading, I try to get through around 30 pages or so… but if the book is fantastic, I’ll get through a good 60+ pages without even realising it and in about the same amount of time too (which is around 1 1/2 – 2 hours). Yep, I’m a late night reader. There are times I’ll read in my back yard (which I’ve fixed up over the last 4 months or so just so I can read in it… nice comfy 3-chair bistro setting, a gorgeous garden to relax in… no mozzies… yep, that’s the way I like to read in the arvos! 😀

  2. It’s funny you mention dividing the pages. I recently did this for John Safran’s Murder In Mississippi, as I had to finish it before joining in a Google Hangout with the author. I put sticky notes as bookmarks so that I knew where I had to get to each night before I turned out the light. It was very motivating and helped me finish in time 🙂

    I also have a Good Reads goal to read 60 books this year. The widget tells you if you’re ahead or behind, so sometimes I use this technique to keep pace with my reading goal and keep from falling behind.

  3. I would SO like to be able to constantly read X amount of pages a day. Sadly this is not possible for me, but as Tracey (Carpe Librum blog) has already said, I also have a Good Reads Goal, that I set for myself at the start of the year. Mine was to read 35 books this year, and I’ve read 33, just 2 more to go, and only 2 and a bit weeks to do it in, yikes!! I would really love to set a number of pages to be read each day, but life is such a procrastinator. I totally agree with you Rowena about A Month By The Lake, I would also add the novel, Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim, which has been a favourite of mine for many years. To holiday in an Italian villa with an eccentric group of people for a month or more, would be absolutely wonderful! Mind you, I wouldn’t mind having a month long holiday with Ma and Pa Larkin from the H E Bates novels either 🙂

  4. I don’t exactly have a system, I just read the thing whenever I feel like it. Certainly I don’t do anything as complicated as dividing pages. In my current state of, ahem, searching for gainful employment I’ve been bitten by the reading bug, so yeah, just whenever.

  5. First time looker to your blog YES I do the same with husband’s library books for him as his a slow reader cause he has a bit of dyslexia and if I have a book that is in popular demand at the library I do it with them books as well.

    I also read two books at once since I study online at home & have a little medical condition it means I get to have a nap during the day so I have a book I read of a day time before my nap & then one I read of a night time before bed.

    Love your tweets but you can never see my tweets about you as my account is locked and you need to be following me to see my tweets.

    (((( Hugs ))))

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