Thursday, July 16, 2009

Books and Babel Con

Many of you know that I'm active on Goodreads. It's a place to record and review the books you read, and to make contact with other readers, and some writers. I'm enjoying it and am still in the process of uploading information on my books. A Goodreads member commented to me the other day that I "read a lot of books." Here was my basic response.

"Well, I'm fifty years old and I've been a compulsive reader since I was a kid. Not only have I read compulsively but since my mid-teens I've kept records on everything I've read. I'm well over 3000 now and counting. Yes, I am that big of a nerd."

A couple of things about that: First, I didn't mention that I actually own at least 90 percent of everything I've listed as having read. Second, I'm finding as I'm updating Goodreads that I actually have missed recording quite a few books that I've read over the years. I wasn't as thorough as I thought I was. Third, when I first started reading recording books I only wrote down the titles, not the authors, which has often made it difficult to find the books from my past. I continually make new discoveries about books on my list. I enjoy that. And yes, once more, I am that big of a nerd.

In other happenings, this coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday is Babel Con. I will be there every day, so 1) if you're in the area stop by, and 2) after today I won't be posting or visiting blogs until at least Monday. That day might be a recovery day. I trust you'll all survive.

I'm sitting on panels on Pulp fiction, Dreams and Nightmares, Science and the Occult, and will be doing a reading at 11:00 on Sunday. It should be a hoot!

Take care all.
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35 comments:

writtenwyrdd said...

Surely you've read more books than that, Charles? I figure (guesstimating) that I've read at least 5,000 books (and I'm guessing around 10k) seeing as I read one or two minimum per week and have done since I was five, which makes 2236 weeks (I'm a couple years younger than you) and a minimum of 4472 books.

I wish I'd written down all I've read. My GoodReads goal is to eventually get all the books I own in there and try and get in as many of the ones I've read as I can recall.

Randy Johnson said...

I have to agree. You've likely read more books than you think. And that's just the ones for pleasure and not as part of your career.
I'll be sixty later this year and always loved to read. I remember going into the first grade without any knowledge of reading and winning a prize in the class for reading the most books during that first year.

Scott said...

Charles,

'Well read' is a good adjective for you!

The con sounds fun, wish I could go. Have fun !

Charles Gramlich said...

Writtenwyrdd & Randy, I figure I'm a few hundred books shy on my list because I didn't systematically record between the ages of 10 and 15. But I don't think I'm that far off. During graduate school and for the first 12 years or so of my career my reading numbers for books plummetted. I read a lot of journal articles in those days, but I often worked 10 to 14 hours a day and then wrote when I got through with that so I just really didn't average much more than a book a week. Pre college, college, and these days, I average more than 100 books a year easily but the middle years of my life didn't give me that much time.

Scott, and yet I could wish to be better read, my friend.

Travis said...

I enjoy Goodreads and I don't use it nearly as much as I should. It's such a handy tool to keep track of what I'm reading. And interacting with other people and their reading lists is also quite enjoyable.

laughingwolf said...

have fun, charles :)

i've read a lotta books, too... some 4,000 - 5,000+, used to read 5-6 at a time... put one down, pick up another, and never lose my place or what the tale was about... now i get confused when i do that with more than 2 at a time ;) lol

nerds r us! :O

ARCHAVIST said...

I'm a fellow nerd and have noted down every book I've read since I was a teenager - so long ago now

Charles Gramlich said...

Travis, I really went overboard on Goodreads at first, putting up about 2/3rds of my books in just a couple of weeks. Since I've slowed down but I add a few books most days. BTW, I do read your posts on dancing, I just usually have no idea what to say since I don't watch the show.

laughingwolf, I still read three or four at a time, though I often make sure one is NF, one a short story collection and one a novel. Helps keep me clear on waht is what.

Gary, ARCHAVIST, I never knew anyone that did that until I was already well into adulthood and started running into readers online. I thought I was stranger than I really am.

Wil said...

Dammit Charles, don't make me do the Charles Vacation reports again!

Day 2 - Morale was low...

Wil Harrison.com

Cloudia said...

Enjoy the con, Charles!!

Aloha-

Comfort Spiral

Charles Gramlich said...

Wil, I'm sure Heff will pick up the slack.

Cloudia, thanks, I certainly hope to.

Donnetta Lee said...

In retrospect, I doubt that I could ever remember a true total of all the books I've read. I do remember when I first learned to read. I remember looking at a magazine and "sounding out" some words that made sense to me. I thought, wow, I know that word. I'm reading! Have a good break! D

jennifer said...

It sounds like you have a really cool weekend planned. Maybe we could switch places... you could entertain my brother and I could attend Babel Con? Yeah, I wouldn't trade either :)

I wish that I had kept up with the number of books that I have read.

David Cranmer said...

3,000 is quite impressive. And I've come to say the ones who don't read as much as we do are the nerds.

ivan said...

Drat.

I have only just put a blog up on love, work and romance. Would have enjoyed your comments.
But you can't visit due to the commitment.

Erik Donald France said...

That's super-cool, man! The reading, the recording, the rediscovery, and the panels. Bon voyage!

Greg Schwartz said...

have fun at Babel Con!

the walking man said...

Travel well and safely Charles...cya soon you nerd, you.

X. Dell said...

I subscribed to a similar service, Shelfari, and found that the uploading of titles was indeed itself a task. It's funny, but I have tons of books that I made notes on. I still have the notes, but have never compiled them into a coherent package where I can simply upload them to Shelfari. I have to applaud you on your organization.

jodi said...

Charles, you ARE a geek! A cool one, tho. Have fun at the con & let us know how it goes.

Lana Gramlich said...

You forgot to mention that being a presenter at a sci-fi con also makes you that much MORE of a nerd. I'm a nerd, too, as you know, so please do take it as the compliment it was meant to be. :)

Steve Malley said...

Have a great weekend, man!

Charles Gramlich said...

Donnetta Lee, I know I missed quite a few books that I'd read early in my life, and sometimes now I'll find a book on my list that I have NO memory of. But still it's fun.

jennifer, it will be fun, but also kind of stressful for me. I'm not really a fan of social interactions.

David Cranmer, you may be right. I'll start thinking that way myself.

ivan, I'll see if I can get some time over the weekend but will probably be pretty exhausted.

Erik,I love playing around with my books.

Greg Schwartz, thanks dude. Do you ever get to cons?

Mark, thanks man.

X. Dell, I find that if I just upload a few a day I enjoy it.

jodi, I will. Thanks.

Lana, takes one to know one sweetness.

Steve Malley, thanks.

starbender said...

You Sir-are an Awesome reader.

I enjoy reading, but I don't come close to the # of books you have read.

Lee Beth said...

hello. just checking out new blogs and really like yours. feel free to come check out mine.

Charles Gramlich said...

Starbender, age gains you something I suppose. Thanks for visiting. I appreciate it.

Lee Beth, thanks. I will do so as soon as my weekend demands are over. Thanks for visiting.

Greg Schwartz said...

never been to one. horrorfind comes to baltimore every year, and there's the balticon poetry festival thing, but somehow i never seem to make either one. one day....

JR's Thumbprints said...

I'll bet you're having fun! You're so into the whole book scene, I can't see you not having fun.

BernardL said...

Have a good time at the Con. I hope it's profitable too.

Charles Gramlich said...

Greg Schwartz, you should try one sometime. I've met quite a few friends that way.

JR, yep, I had fun. It was tiring but I expected that. I'll post about it.

BernardL, well, as you'll see from the new post I didn't make any money but I had fun.

Natasha Fondren said...

I have always wanted to record all the books I read, but every time I try, I fail. How do you do it?

Charles Gramlich said...

Natasha, by now it's just become a habit for me. I keep my recording notes close to hand so it's easy enough to do.

Barrie said...

I wish I'd kept track of all the books I've read. Good for you!

Mary Witzl said...

Just this past year, I decided to try to keep a record of the books I've read. I've already given up; it's just not goin to work. It's not so much that I'm incredibly well read and couldn't keep up with myself, it's just that I'm incurably lazy.

But I'll bet I'm still a bigger nerd than you are hands down.

Charles Gramlich said...

Barrie, it's kind of cool. Definitely.

Mary Witzl, it takes a while to get in the habit but by now it's just automatic for me. No reason you should necessarily do so, however. And no, you can't possibly be a bigger nerd than I am. :)