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AS A NIGERIAN YOU CAN READ 1,462 BOOKS A YEAR, BUT…

I read a book within three days. Let’s say every three days I make sure I read a book which probably contradicts yours anyway. Knowing that within the aforementioned days you’d probably have been through with at least two or more books.

The truth is I am well aware the book I complete within three days can be completed in a day even with distraction. I am a very slow reader of books. And even slower when reading books of little interest. But this slowness does not have to come without its reasons.

As a writer with an eye for coherence, articulacy and organisation of words, I usually spend more time on a line or a paragraph dissecting its word usage and the suitability of diction.

I make sure I plunge my eyes into the meanings a paragraph holds until the words are starting to wrap themselves within them, especially an image I find brutally descriptive. I know once it is read with the eyes traversing upon it, there is a chance that I may have it imprinted in memory and be able to call upon it whenever a need beckons.

Sometimes I go back to reading a line or a paragraph I have earlier done without batting an eyelid for such waywardness. Other times it will be borne out of an interest evoked during one of the readings or what it seemingly is stirring inside my head that will make me seek for an emulation while completely pending the book till a later time. In fact, I have had to abandon a book for a reason or another majorly due to my tendency to write at the slightest of feelings, of course, and to browse.

Why am I saying this?

For the last three days I have been reading one of Nora Roberts’ Romance series, Rapture In Death, and which I completed yesterday. I once stumbled upon an article where the writer Charles Chu worked the time spent on Social-media into reading hours and concluded that a lover of books can effortlessly complete 200 books a year using the math.

He said the number of time an average American spends on social-media and on TV yearly which are 608 hours and 1642 hours respectively can be worked into 200 books a year considering a reader reads 200-400 words per minute.

Now, let’s take a look at his workings in view of the Nigeria factor:

A Reader reads 200-400 words per minute (wpm)
Typical non-fiction book has 50,000 words.
200 books * 50,000 words = 10 million words
10 million words/400 wpm = 25,000 minutes
25,000 minutes/60 = 417 hours

That is, one only needs 417 hours a year to read 200 books for that year.

Average hours spent on social-media by a Nigerian = 4 hours
Average hours per year = 1460 hours
Average hours spent on TV = 2 hours
Average hours per year = 1095 hours
Total hours spent per year = 2555 hours

Should we divide 2255 by 417, we will be having 1462 books a year that a book-religious Nigerian can read.

However, one will swimmingly have to point to the fact that the feasibility of this appears effective in workings than in actual sense. There are many factors that are taken into account when we read:

  1. First is interest.
  2. Second is the book that spells this interest.
  3. Third is the convenience in time and environment.
  4. Then lastly, we’ll have to argue about comprehension of passages which varies from one to another.

I still haven’t mentioned what reading can evoke in a reader who has a longing to write and the sanctity of virtual interactiveness which not only tows one with huge following, makes sure one stay abreast with currency, but as well opens windows of opportunities to one and the countless options that abound the virtual world.

Nevertheless, there is nothing stopping you from reading about 200 books a year, unless — my condolences — you do not find your existence deserving of books.

Author: Aremu Adams Adebisi

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