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Having recently discovered GoodReads and the group within it called Book Loving Kiwis (I thought it was apropos to join this group as a kiwi myself), I found within these platforms the 2014 Reading Challenge – attributed to GoodReads at large – and the reading challenge called “How many pages in 2014?” A part of the Book Loving Kiwis group.

It sounds simple enough, for the 2014 Reading Challenge you simply make a goal of how many books you want to read between 01/01/2014 and 31/12/2014 and add whatever books you read to the shelf “Currently Reading” – not forgetting to mark it read when you have finished it – and the software does the rest. “How many pages in 2014?” is a group discussion, and you simply keep editing your comment in the forum as you read.

Only a week or so in (having joined later than the first day of the new year), it has proven to be an illuminating experience; I set my goal at 100 books for the year, and it will include those that I will read as a part of my University studies – and though I am still on holiday (until the end of February pretty much) I seem to be chewing through an enormous quantity of (mostly) fiction. Now, I always knew that read a lot; but I had no idea how many thousands of pages I must read, assuming the average book has about 350 pages and staying out of the fantasy section where they jump from 350 pages to 900+. On top of that I’m a fast reader, it is not uncommon for me to power through five or more books in a week; especially if they are the “Oh my God, I can’t put it down even to brush my teeth” kind. Let’s face it, if you’re an avid reader like me that’s exactly the kind of book you spend your days trawling libraries and book shops for – there’s a rush in reading a four hundred page book in twelve hours, if only because you never put it down in that time.

I’m certainly not saying that this is a healthy habit, in fact my family routinely complain that I’m never seen without a book. Honestly, I feel naked if I don’t have a book at least in touching distance. My friends take note that they seldom see me reading the same book two days in a row, and would be frightened beyond belief if upon searching my bag were unable to find a novel in it’s depths – though I swear I would be in a far worse state than they, should one not find a book in my bag (unless of course the book is in my hands which is equally likely). And I freely admit to using the twenty to thirty minute bus trip to University (or home again) as perfect – interuption free – reading time.

So considering all of my – apparently unseemly – reading habits that manage to consume all my free time, I begin to wonder if perhaps I should have aimed higher than a paltry 100 books by year’s end – which works out at a mere two books per week and allows for some larger items that may take three days to read, and assignments to be written. Then, of course, I pick up a delectably chewy novel (Bram Stocker’s Dracula in this instance) and I know that it’s going to take me the whole week to read, but that in a rare exception to the rule I will enjoy every moment of it.


I certainly hope that it is a “Spine tingling” as years of anticipation have made it seem. But for now I leave you with this:

…Sleep well tonight. …– Your friend, ‘Dracula.’