If you read one book a month, you probably have less than 800 books left to read in your life.
(I’m 26, so assuming I live to 90, that is 64 remaining years x 12 months = 768 books.)
Ahh! That is barely one shelf in a library!
Even if I read a book every two weeks, and live to age 100, that’s still only 1,776 books remaining. That is painfully small compared to the number of books available to read.
This is why I don’t set a limit on how many books I start, or how many I have on the go at once (usually 3 to 5).
If I start 10x more books than I finish, maybe I can experience ~15,000 books by the time I die.
Thank you to Tim Urban (of Wait But Why) for making me realize this when he said:
Not counting Wait But Why research, I read about five books a year, so even though it feels like I’ll read an endless number of books in the future, I actually have to choose only 300 of all the books out there to read and accept that I’ll sign off for eternity without knowing what goes on in all the rest.
(From his excellent post The Tail End.)
Related reading: Life is Short by Paul Graham.