It wasn't until I saw the number next to each spreadsheet entry that it struck me: I've read a ton of books this year!
In case you were wondering, I group rows from one summer to another, so there is a cluster between, say, summer 2002 and summer 2003 (as well as, of course, a cluster within each summer). I divide the columns into seven categories: Title, Author, Page #, Rating [1-10], Publication Date, Comments, and, recently, Publisher. (Yes, I'm a total book dweeb.)
It's great finally to get these books offline and entered into the spreadsheet, but now I have a mountain of backtracking to do in order to enter all the info for those categories. For whatever reason, a few months ago I just stopped keeping on top of this spreadsheet, dear though it is to me, and now, like tending fallen leaves, I've got a lot of raking, bagging and tossing to do.
In any case, I figured I'd post my reading for this year (from summer 2005 till summer 2006), if for nothing else than to elicit some responses from those of you who have read the same stuff I have. The count for this year (about 9 months) comes to 96 books, which means I somehow averaged about 2.5 books a week. (I guess reading mutliple books at once over a longer stretch of time really pays off!) What's really bizarre is that, including this year's titles, and the four I've read so far this summer, the total count since I was 13 years old is only about 720 titles. Over fourteen years, this works out to approximately 51 books per year (ie., a book a week). At this rate, assuming I don't go blind or become "bibliolergic", if I live another 50 years, I can expect to read another 2,600 books in my life. So, at the most, I can look forward to having read about 3,500 books when I go to meet my Maker.
Somehow that sounds like an extremely low number; then again, I wonder what the average quantity is for book consumption over a longish human lifetime. Maybe if I go for a master's and a doctorate, I can reach multiple thousands.
And yet, lest I get too carried away with numbers, I repeat (mostly to myself) once more the words of Holy Scripture found in Ecclesiastes (my favorite Old Testament book), chapter 12, verses 11 and 12:
11 The sayings of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings that are given by one shepherd. 12 Of anything beyond these, my child, beware. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
And as St. Paul says in I Corinthians 1:
25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 26 Consider your own calling, brothers. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, 28 and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, 29 so that no human being might boast before God. 30 It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, "Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord."
May God give me holy wisdom, not merely "wordly wisdom", nor mere "worldly wisdom." May I never read another book if it draws me from His love, or shrouds His glory. Yet, may I never cease to read if it glorifies Him and propels me to Him.
So, God bless it, here they are for this year. (I would have liked to list the authors as well, but it was just too ungainly transferring more than one column from Excel to Blogger.) Feel free to comment.
Das Wesen des Katholizismus
The Little Prince
The Enormous Crocodile
Refuting the Attack on Mary
Finding God's Will for You
Priesthood Today: an appraisal
The Divine Conspiracy: rediscovering our hidden life in god
Upon This Rock: st. peter and the primacy of
Jesus, Peter & the Keys: a scriptural handbook on the papacy
Rich Dad, Poor Dad: what the rich teach their children that the poor and middle clas don't
Man and the Cosmos: the vision of st. maximus the confessor
The Real Jesus: the misguided quest for the historical jesus and the truth of the traditional gospels
And You Are Christ's: the charism of virginity and the celibate life
Biomimicry: innovation inspired by nature
The Person in the Orthodox Tradition
The Haunting Fetus: abortion, sexuality and the spirit world in
The Pattern of Atonement
Bible, Church, Tradition: an eastern orthodox view
Worthy is the Lamb: the biblical roots of the mass
Any Friend of God's Is a Friend of Mine
The Thought of Pope Benedict XVI
The Doctors of the Church
Zen Buddhism: Parables, Allegories and Koan Riddles as Told by Zen Masters
The Gnostic Gospels
The Innocence of Father Brown [audio]
A Mind's Matter: An Intellectual Autobiography
Breaking the Da Vinci Code
The Art of War [audio]
Against All Odds: Sisters of
The River at the Center of the World: A Journey up the Yangtze, and Back in Chinese Time
Our Lady and the Church
Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Novelle & Das Märchen
The Iron Man
The Scarlet Letter [audio]
On Their Own Terms: Science in
Reaching Out: the Three Movements of the Spiritual Life
Leisure: the Basis of Culture
Saint Philip Neri
The Catholic Church at the End of an Age: What is the Holy Spirit Saying
In the Beginning...': A Catholic Understanding of Creation and Fall
The Bone Parade
Kinds of Minds
Surprised by Truth: 11 Converts Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons for Becoming Catholic
Ignatius of Loyola
Wir kommen, wohin wir schauen: Berufung leben heute
Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science -- from the Babylonians to the Maya
Why Do Catholics Do That?
Socrates Café: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy
The Wonder of Guadalupe: The Origin and Cult of the Miraculous Image of the Blessed Virgin in
Dancing Wu Li Masters: an Overview of the New Physics [audio]
Guadalupe and Her Faithful: Latino Catholics in
Means to Message: A Treatise on Truth
A Historical Sketch of Christianity in
Creation and Scientific Creativity: A Study in the Thought of S.L. Jaki
Benedict XVI: The Man Who Was Ratzinger
The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami?
C.S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea: In Defense of the Argument from Reason
Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why
Along Came a Spider
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Men Who Stare at Goats
Angels & Demons
TBK Fitness Program
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences
The War Against Population: The Economics and Ideology of World Population Control
True Son of Heaven: How Jesus Fulfills the Chinese Culture
The Da Vinci Deception
Church, Papacy and Schism
You Are Peter: An Orthodox Theologian's Reflection on the Exercise of Papal Primacy
Communio: Church and Papacy in Early Christianity
Dialektik der Säkularisierung: Über Vernunft und Religion
The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction?
Fact and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code
Catholic Church in
The Da Vinci Legacy
The Origin of Chinese Martial Arts
The Da Vinci Code
Jesus Among Other Gods
Kerygma and Dogma
Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness
Why Do Men Have Nipples?
Angels (and Demons) - What Do We Really Know About Them?
The Rape of
What Are They Saying About Papal Primacy?
Catholic & Christian: An Explanation of Commonly Misunderstood Catholic Beliefs