August 28, 2014 - Summer Reading Re-Cap

I can’t believe it’s September already and I haven’t done my annual Summer Reading re-cap. All the books have been counted, all the pages and minutes read accounted for, and I can finally give you all of the amazing numbers about how many people read how many books! Every year, for more years than I care to remember, I have been reporting the number of pages read in concrete terms. I have converted the number of pages read (or pages listened to, or time spent reading) into inches, then converted those inches into miles, and then plotted that number of miles on a map. Since I have been doing this annually for enough years for this to have become a tradition, and since I’m wise enough not to tamper with a fine tradition, here goes!

This year 419 people participated in the Summer Reading Program. Those participants managed to read 1,327,358 pages, which is quite an impressive number! Now, on to the calculations which begin with this question: “If you laid all the pages of the books that were read end-to-end how many miles would they stretch?” The average size of a page is 9 inches tall which gives us (1,327,358 times 9” or 11,946,222 inches—always show your work if you want to receive full credit.). Then we take those 11,946,222 inches and divide by 12 to give us 995,518 feet and then divide by 5,280 to give us 188.5 miles. And, voilà! If you laid all the pages read during the Summer Reading Program end to end and drove east on I-90, you would end up about 4 miles west of Portage, Indiana. Or heading north and west on I-90 you’d end up about a couple miles east of the Rochester, MN exit. Any way you look at it, that’s a whole lot of reading was done this summer! Congratulations to all the Summer Reading participants.

  • cover art Edgar Allan Poe : the fever called living / by Paul Collins. Describes the personal and professional life of the master of the horror behind “The Raven,” "The Tell-Tale Heart" and other classic works, including a discussion of his rocky relationship with his wealthy adoptive father and his time spent working as an editor and reviewer.
  • cover art Foreign correspondent : a memoir by H.D. S. Greenway. A Bronze Star recipient and “Washington Post” and “Time” foreign correspondent recounts such historical events as the assassination of President Kennedy and the fall of Saigon, detailing the experiences of reporting on half a century of war.
  • cover art Girl talk : unsolicited advice for modern ladies / by Christie Young. A gift-appropriate, illustrated collection of quirky life tips and Twitter advice for media-savvy women combines simple line drawings with whimsical suggestions for everything from starting over in a new city and going to a bar alone to cleaning an apartment and partying responsibly.
  • cover art Never turn your back on an Angus cow : my life as a country vet / by Jan Pol. The star of the hit TV show “The Incredible Dr. Pol” shares humorous and uplifting stories from his four decades as a veterinarian in rural Michigan, tracing his upbringing and education in the Netherlands, his practice in America and the lessons he has learned from a wide menagerie of patients.
  • cover art The organized mind : thinking straight in the age of information overload / by Daniel Levitin. The neuroscientist author of “This Is Your Brain on Music” evaluates how the human brain responds to today's information-driven culture, drawing on the latest scientific discoveries to explore how the brain is struggling or adapting in the areas of attention, memory and decision-making.
  • cover art Mr. Mercedes : a novel / by Stephen King. Months after a crazed hit-and-run driver kills several attendees at a Midwestern job fair, a depressed retired cop and two unlikely allies join forces to find and stop the killer, who has sent a letter threatening another attack. By the award-winning author of "11/22/63".
  • cover art Adultery : a novel / by Paulo Coelho. A novel by the best-selling Brazilian author of “The Alchemist” follows a family woman's efforts to work through midlife apathy by engaging in a passionate affair with a successful politician who was once her high-school sweetheart.
  • cover art Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage : a novel / by Haruki Murakami. The award-winning author of “IQ84” presents a U.S. release of a top-selling work of romantic lyricism set in contemporary Japan.
  • cover art Bittersweet / by Colleen McCullough. The four Latimer sisters, two sets of twins famed throughout 1920s New South Wales for their beauty, train as nurses and become immersed in hospital experiences that spark maturity, independence and respective ambitions that involve complicated choices. By the best-selling author of “The Thorn Birds”.
  • cover art We are not ourselves : a novel / by Matthew Thomas. Raised by her Irish immigrant parents in a 1940s Queens apartment where alcohol and company combine in mercurial ways, Eileen marries an unambitious scientist with whom she endures an increasingly psychologically dark family life. A first novel.
  • cover art Murder in retribution / by Anne Cleeland. When their relationship comes to light, Chief Inspector Michael Sinclair and rookie detective Kathleen Doyle must deal with office politics while trying to solve a series of underworld murders linked to both the Russian mafia and an Irish terrorist group, who are both fighting for a lucrative underground business. By the author of “Murder in Thrall”.
  • cover art Private down under / by James Patterson and Michael White. The employees of the Sydney, Australia office of the investigation company Private are celebrating their office's incorporation when a bloody young man staggers into the building and the agency’s caseload suddenly fills up, in the latest novel of the series following “Private Berlin”.