COVID19 Reading

Day 64: Finite

May 18, 2020

Blame my impending birthday.

I was happily adding books to my 2020 Reading List (it is now LONG!), with contributions from the MMD Guide + other recommendations.

Thus far in 2020, I have read 14. I am halfway through 2 more. This puts me a little bit behind schedule for a tentative yearly total of 40. I believe I read 38 last year though I definitely plowed through a good number over the summer.

I have 27 books that were enticing enough to get put on my list for the year. I was contentedly chugging along, adding to my list. And then I added everything up and all the sudden I felt SO SAD.

Sad because it just made me realize how finite everything is. If I read 40 books/year for the next 50 years (optimistic!), that’s only 2000 books.

That may sound like a lot, but . . . for an entire lifetime? It doesn’t sound like enough. I wonder how many I have read so far, starting with Pat the Bunny and moving on through July Blume and The Babysitters Club and then The Bell Jar and beyond.


Anyway, I am going to add a “Books” tab to the top of this blog later this week so that I can share my reading endeavors & progress.

Um . . . happy Monday?

Note: the above list was going to be in Quintiles but the numbers just kind of got out of hand. Q5 will be a ‘finish whatever looks like the best of what is left’ period!


  • Reply Katherine Bunting May 18, 2020 at 6:30 am

    You have to factor in how much more time you will have at later stages in your life Sarah. My mum who is 81 probably reads a book every 2 days. And even I aged 56 with still full time legal career and daughters now 16 and 20 (how did that happen?) manage to average about 2 a week. So yes not infinite numbers of books but a lot more than 40 a year. It is just too depressing to think of how much of one’s life has already passed, often in a bit of a blur. Just keep on doing what you can to make the most of every day.

  • Reply Canuck May 18, 2020 at 8:12 am

    A good reason to bail on books you’re not enjoying!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 18, 2020 at 9:15 am

      Very true!!!

  • Reply Lisa May 18, 2020 at 9:28 am

    This isn’t helpful, but … if you enjoyed The Gifted School, you’ll probably love Minor Dramas and Other Catastrophes. 🙂

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 18, 2020 at 10:39 am

      It’s on the list!! For fall 🙂

  • Reply Lindsey May 18, 2020 at 9:40 am

    I can totally relate to that “not enough time” feeling when it comes to reading. There’s never enough leisure time as an adult with kids and other obligations to fit in as much reading as we’d like!

  • Reply Ana May 18, 2020 at 9:53 am

    wow, thanks for the buzz kill! haha, no I get it. I’ve had those feelings too, about books, travel, lots of things. I agree that it is reminder to set the bar high on how you do use your time—abandon an unenjoyable book, for example.

  • Reply Amanda May 18, 2020 at 10:30 am

    My book list is particularly long right now because I have not been able to put books in my library queue for 8 weeks! We have a lot of overlap, as many of my titles came from the MMD Guide, too. 🙂 I have an appointment at the library to pick up some holds today. It will be nice to read a tangible book again instead of an e-book.

  • Reply Kayla May 18, 2020 at 11:53 am

    Do you like audio books? I get through WAY more books than usual because I am a huge audio book fan. I listen while I’m driving (makes a 30 minute commute more bearable, but that isn’t happening at the moment #workfromhome), and doing chores or walking or whenever I can sneak a few minutes in. Sometimes I’ll even pop my headphones in and set the sleep timer on my app for 15 minutes and listen as I fall asleep. Usually have to back up 5 minutes or so to catch anything I missed, but it’s so enjoyable for me!

    • Reply A May 18, 2020 at 12:12 pm

      What is this sleep timer thing you speak of? Tell me more! I am constantly wanting that and had no idea it was a thing!

      • Reply Marcia (OrganisingQueen) May 18, 2020 at 2:55 pm

        In all? (definitely for Audible, Libby and Scribd) audio book apps, there is a setting where you can select how long you want the book to play for. I like “end of chapter” but there are specific durations you can select too, like 5, 10, 15, 30 mins, etc.

      • Reply Maria May 18, 2020 at 5:04 pm

        At least on an iPhone, you can also set a timer for X minutes, and then choose to have the timer “stop playing” when it goes off (instead of the usual sound). Works with music, podcasts, anything.

    • Reply Amy May 18, 2020 at 12:31 pm

      Yes! Audiobooks help me get through so many more books because I can listen while I commute to work or workout. You should be able to get some through your library if they have Overdrive or Hoopla (or some such thing).

      I’m a librarian so I totally get thinking there isn’t enough time to read all the books! I try to just enjoy the ones I can read and am not too bothered if I miss a bestseller. I get overwhelmed if I try to keep track of everything people recommend!

  • Reply Emily May 18, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    So happy you’re going to be adding a books tab! And although I sometimes feel similarly when I walk into a bookstore or library — very sad at all the books I’m sure I’m never going to read, and that perhaps there is a book I would love but for whatever reason will never come across — I agree with one of the above readers. I’m sure you will have much more time to read (if you choose) during retirement! Even 40 is quite a good number considering your nearly full-time job in a two-career household with three young children.

  • Reply cbs May 18, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    I think you’ll be able to read more as the kids get older. I just have the 1 and I read for an hour every night and typically get through 60-70 books a year, a number bolstered by quite a lot of work travel where I can get through a book a day.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns May 18, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    I agree with what others said about the # of books you read increasing as your kids get into a less demanding phase of life. I tend to read around 75-80 books/year. Last year I actually read over 100. But we just have a 2-year old and he goes to bed at 7:30. I hang out with my husband for an hour after bedtime and then go upstairs to read for an hour before bed, and I read during naptime on the weekend, too. I have had to be more realistic about what I can read in a lifetime, though, and I am more quick to abandon something that I’m not really liking!

  • Reply Marcia (OrganisingQueen) May 18, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    I came to that same realisation a few years ago but I found it freeing – yay, I can abandon books I’m not enjoying quickly and without guilt.

  • Reply Coco May 18, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    i think the biggest challenge is to decide to sit and read. I often find myself finishing a book in a weekend if I start. If i just put off, and not sit for 10 min, then it won’t happen.
    obviously a good book makes a huge difference. will love to see your reading list.

  • Reply omdg May 18, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    Uh oh… sounds like a midlife crisis coming. Are you sure you don’t want another baby? 😉

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 18, 2020 at 8:41 pm

      I am SURE! 3 is my magic # 😛

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