What % Of Your Books Have You Read?

Discussion in 'The Literary Forum' started by Ryan&Amber2013, Jan 10, 2018.

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  1. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Sophomore

    So, in all honesty, out of all the physical and digital books you own, what percent do you think you have actually read?

    For me, I would probably say about 2% of what I own I have read. I find it puzzling that I am fascinated with getting books, then I don't read them. I think I justify this by thinking I will use them one day, and they can be a reference for me in the future.

    Maybe I should start giving them away. But then maybe they still won't be read...
  2. Logan

    Logan Puritan Board Junior

    Not counting things designed for references and not necessarily reading cover-to-cover like Calvin's commentaries, around 60--70% of my physical books. I just looked at my Kindle and out of 700 books I've read about 500 so I'm around 70% there as well.

    That being said, there are some books on my shelf (like Owen's works and Manton's works) that I question whether I'll ever make it to. I also have Brooks' works and Flavel's works and feel I've barely looked at them, though I want to.
  3. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    According to Goodreads I've read 1187 books. I'm currently reading 567. Thing is, I only have about 250 books at my house. So I've read about several thousand percent of my books.
  4. TrustGzus

    TrustGzus Puritan Board Freshman

    Ryan, let me not leave you hanging there alone. I haven’t an idea what my percentage is but it’s much closer to yours.
  5. Jake

    Jake Puritan Board Junior

    Pretty much all books I physically own I have read and want to keep around, or are reference type books that I do not necessarily plan to read cover-to-cover. I own a relatively small number of books now (a couple of hundred). I get most of the books I read (1-2 per week) from my library or via free download (for older works) on-line. If you count the latter category (free downloads) as owning, my ratio gets a lot worse, because digital storage space is cheaper and easier than physical storage space, so I get stuff that is at all interesting whenever I happen across it for free.
  6. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    It depends on what counts as having read a book. Cover to cover, I've read maybe ten percent of my books. But if you count reading at least a chapter, or consulting it as a reference, it's probably about ninety percent.
  7. Brian R.

    Brian R. Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm guessing I've read about 60%-70% of mine. Like Logan I have some larger works that are sitting on the shelf bringing down my average. Just not enough hours in the day.
  8. Beezer

    Beezer Puritan Board Freshman

    I laughed out loud when I read this. My wife asks me this question rhetorically every time a package lands on the door step. My percentage is probably in the single digits of what I've read from cover to cover. I've got improvised book marks hanging out of dozens. I love theology books. I also purchase many for future reference. At any given time I've got a half dozen on my desk that I'm rotating. I had a friend of the family visit once and he remarked "wow, you sure are well read!" after seeing the books I've accumulated and I had to tell him there's a difference between being well stocked and being well read. We both laughed.

    I've got a $50/month book allowance. I've already "advanced" myself my allowance until March. Lol. I love books.
  9. Hamalas

    Hamalas whippersnapper

    Cover to cover I've probably read about 25% at this point. I've probably referenced or used closer to 75% though.
  10. Edm

    Edm Puritan Board Freshman

    My percentage is low. I remarked to my brother last week that I'm currently reading four books. Those are the current rotation. I find topics of interest and read about that in my books or on the internet, then put those books down until another topic becomes my study. I wish I could change that and read cover to cover.
  11. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Senior

    Here's a rough estimate:

    100% of 30% of my books
    50% of 50% " " "
    10% of 95% " " "
  12. E.R. CROSS

    E.R. CROSS Puritan Board Freshman

    A very small percentage.

    If you buy antique books, this problem is circumvented by labelling yourself an antiquarian.
  13. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Sophomore

    At least try to read vol 6. Owen's exposition on Psalm 130 - the bulk of which (somewhere around 100 pages) is his interpretation of verse 4 "But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared." On the extraordinary and rare discovery that there is forgiveness with God.

    Also, don't miss vol 7. The Grace and Duty of Being Spiritually Minded - "To be spiritually minded is life and peace." (Romans 8:6)
  14. Logan

    Logan Puritan Board Junior

    Thanks Ed. I have read probably three or four of Owen's works within those volumes and each was definitely worth it. I will keep these recommendations in mind.
  15. Krak3n

    Krak3n Puritan Board Freshman

    I think I'm another low single digit cover-to-cover reader. I buy books, and I blame you all for the recommendations, read the introduction and maybe a relevant chapter and "bookmark" it on the living room table until my wife eventually carries it to the basement with all the others. Yes, I'd say most books in the basement have bookmarks that will never serve their purpose.

    If a book is longer than 150 pages, and doesn't radically change some aspect of my thinking, I won't finish it. Not as a rule, just a reality.
  16. koenig

    koenig Puritan Board Freshman

    Less than half; I inherited a Britannica Great Books set and I haven't gotten into more than a couple of the 54 volumes in that.
  17. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    If I include the books I donated to the seminary (about 6000), and include my current library, and those I threw away after switching from being an Arminian to a Calvinist, (and I don't include unpublished works I have digitally) I'd range in the 90-95% zone of cover to cover (and some of them multiple times). The last 5-10% are just a few sets I need to read here that include some extended commentaries (Caryl on Job, and the rest of the works of John Newton, some parts of Warfield and Manton, and a couple of technical manuals on language and such).

    Life is short. "Give yourself to reading..." and delete the movies.
  18. Southern Presbyterian

    Southern Presbyterian Moderator Staff Member

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  19. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Actually, I think volume 5 on justification is even more important. It is one of the three best books ever written on justification, the other two being Burgess and Buchanan (though Fesko's more recent work deserves consideration, too).
  20. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Sophomore

    I still haven't read it but I plan to.
  21. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    I confess that I would have to live to be 100 (I'm 69) and read every day to finish all that I have. That is not to say that I don't read every day, because I do, but I wouldn't hazard a guess at what percentage has been read of what I have.
  22. RBachman

    RBachman Puritan Board Freshman

    Hardbound; probably at 80% including my leather bound Hardy Boys series. But digital is like a drug. I keep finding digital stuff for free, and now that I can make them into pdfs and important them into Kindle...I want to shout Hallelujah! I probably won't ready 99% of the hundreds of theological works I have found just this past year, not to mention the 10 or so this past week. It is a wonderful thing to realize that at this moment there are so many fabulous books within my grasp that I cannot read them all in my lifetime. Brothers, we are so wealthy. God is so good. Imagine the past when a good man might have possessed a dozen books in total. Time for someone to start another thread on the "20 books serious theologically inclined believers must read before they die". My one hope to read Robterson's Greek grammer opus before I die, just so I can say that I did. Owen and Boroughs will have to come after him and Knox.
  23. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

    I remember reading an issue of the Banner of Truth magazine where some woman wrote in to commend their work and commented that she bought one book at a time and read the entirety of it before purchasing another.

    On the other side of things, I know of one PCA pastor (who shall remain nameless) who had to have his home's foundation reinforced, to deal with the volume of books in his home.
  24. RBachman

    RBachman Puritan Board Freshman

    One can never have a foundation that is too strong! So I am with the Pastor. After all what if you get snowed in? If you only have one book, you will exhaust it and be unproductive. So excess books may in fact be a virtue.
  25. Berean

    Berean Puritan Board Doctor

    In Houston? :scratch:
  26. mgkortus

    mgkortus Puritan Board Freshman

    According to my Library Thing account, I have 456 titles (it counts multiple volume sets as individual titles). Of the books I own, I have read 112 of them putting me a mere 24.5%.

    Library Thing also indicates how many books you add each month. Using Library Thing made me aware of the fact that I was consistently acquiring more books each month than I was reading. Due to this, I resolved last August to greatly cut back on book purchases and try to read more. Since then I have read 10 books and acquired 18... So I am still behind the curve,.

    So I need to be even more stringent on obtaining books and more diligent in reading them.
  27. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I don't know how you guys find the time to read so much, unless you're in full-time ministry. Here is my schedule:
    7:45am - 5:30pm - wake up and Work.
    5:30pm - 8:45pm - dinner, family time, taking care of the house and other responsibilities.
    8:45pm - 9:15pm - doing odds and ends now that children are asleep.
    9:15pm - 10pm - should be time with my wife, but not always.
    10pm - 11pm - private devotions
    11pm - 12pm - getting ready for bed and relaxing.
    Sunday is the Lord's day so we are with people, and my other day off is typically a chore/family day.
    Also, there are many ministry/spontaneous things which always come up.

    I don't know where I could find the time to read much more than I do, which is really just the Bible, a commentary, and a few minutes of books here and there.
  28. Logan

    Logan Puritan Board Junior

    I eat a packed lunch at the office and read then. I take a full hour and the pages add up. Sundays we have an hour drive each way to church and I read aloud in the car. On work trips I read on the plane and in the hotel quite a bit.
  29. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    The answer to this question is going to change for me. I just inherited about 1500 books from a minister that recently went to glory.
  30. Edm

    Edm Puritan Board Freshman

    I hope you aren't doing the driving to church....
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