Reading my Kindle lately has been enjoyable, but kind of frustrating. I detest with a passion that little % symbol – give me pages please!
Why? Because I’m that sort of oddball who reads a book and likes to calculate how long they have left to go before finishing it. I’m not talking about the ‘x hrs y minutes’ that Kindle calculates by the secret algorithm of individualised reading speed, but ‘if I want to finish X book in Y days, how many pages do I need to read?’
Now, unless the book is from the library or it’s an eARC that’s timed to turn into a pumpkin shortly, it shouldn’t matter. Although I join in the Book Challenges hosted by The Reading Room and Goodreads (‘my plan is to read ten thousand million zillion books in 2014’), the sky isn’t going to fall in whether I meet that target or not. Why do I do it?
It’s fun, in a kind of nerdy way.
It’s all a bit of mental maths. For example, today’s Saturday and I want to finish my current book by Wednesday. It has 300 pages and I have 5 days to read it in. Daily target = 60 pages. I’ve read 200 pages = two thirds done.
It gives me time to think about my next book.
What am I going to read after this? Should it be similar, or different? What’s the opposite of a crime novel, is it a romance?
Appropriate planning on public transport.
Possibly one of the worst case scenarios for me is running out of things to read on the commute home (or even worse, the way to work!) So if I know that I read 50 pages of a particular book each day to and from work and I have 30 pages to go when I get home Thursday…I need to bring two books. Or better still, finish off the book at home and start a new one tomorrow.
I usually read two books a week on average – it depends on what I’m doing and what I have planned. But this doesn’t always work out – chunksters for example. There’s no way I can read something huge in a week. I know that. I don’t tailor the other book I’m reading to be shorter so I make that magic target. Some books are just slower to read (hello S.).
So it turns out that even if I have a target, I’m not fanatical about achieving it. It’s more of a guide. I did use set targets when I was doing Lit (mainly because some of the books were so boring) but now, I suspect it’s more to take stock of where I’m at in my reading.
Do you set page targets? Must you read a certain number of pages every day? Or whatever will be, will be?