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>probably no more than 20,000 (I have some friends -- and have knowledge of some -- who have read quite a bit more).

can you please verify that number? Assuming reading for that past 50 years, that is over a book/day (or 3 books / 4 days reading for 75 years). I'm a slow reader and generally enjoy taking my time reading, but that would be quite the volume.

I don't have any strong way to estimate -- I didn't bother counting them as I read (it wasn't a contest). There were many years where I read around 10 books a week (the library limit). They don't take long to read. I'm 76 and have been reading heavily for 73 years. My library at home has about 13,000 books and for the most part does not have books I read as a child. I still read roughly 4 books a week, etc.

So, as I estimated, probably not more than 20,000.

When I was a kid, I worked my way through our local library in an orderly fashion. I only had to be able to sign my name to get a card. When mom would drop us off for a few hours, we'd pick out our six books (the limit), she'd come get us, and before we got home, she'd chide us on already reading too many of them. We wouldn't make them last until the next visit.

It seemed an agonizing wait until 14, the required age for checking out books from the adult section. I'd read the entire children's section, so I had to wait until after school (pointless school) to read adult books at the library. By 18, I'd read about 20,000 books. Strangely, on turning 18, my reading rate dropped off a cliff.

I didn't get along very well with my sister, so when my mum went to work I went to the library instead of staying home. I was on a first name basis with most of the staff, but also revisited books many times if I particularly enjoyed them, so never got to a high number.

I became a librarian in the end. I rarely read anymore, my attention span and time just don't allow it.

How does one read that quickly with any degree of comprehension, particularly with regard to technical books?

I am a fairly intelligent person, with a large vocabulary, but forcing my "mind's voice" to read faster than a normal conversational pace dramatically reduces both enjoyment and retention of material. Doubly so for anything of technical content.

I believe the enabler to fast reading is to skip verbalization totally - i.e., not a "minds voice" that is speaking quickly, but going from seeing a sentence to getting the concept of that sentence without vocalizing, without ever having had a representation of how that sentence sounds, bypassing the hearing/speech centers of your brain, reading on an abstract purely visual level.

I feel a mental voice when reading e.g. poetry or when writing a draft for a presentation/speech, but all other content is purely visual. I tend to recall the visual location where a fact was written, e.g. that was on the right side of some page around the bottom part, but not how it sounded.

I have no idea how; I was a little kid. I do know I didn't read with an inner voice; I read silently.

How much do you read nowadays? What kind of stuff? (And have you got any recommendations in terms of fiction!?)

Nowadays most of my reading is online, I read about a paper book per week, like most of us. My fiction is mostly SF/Fantasy. My favorite non-fiction is history, entirely predictable. I just finished 1493 last night; it was excellent. Blitzkrieg: From the Rise of Hitler to the Fall of Dunkirk before that, also good, although Len Deighton is definitely opinionated.

I read HN with an eye to suggestions, which has worked out well for me.

Note: I have friends who claim to have read an similarly extraordinary number of books, although in their case it turns out they had actually been 'speed reading' them, which I wouldn't count as reading at all.[1] Some people would disagree with me, however...

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_reading

As I mentioned in another place, the key is remembering what's important.

Sometimes when I get bored reading a piece it would be very nice to get over it fast. But especially when it is a recommended book I want to read the whole even if it feels like a chore. Then I'm looking for excuses not to read at all.

0 is no more than 20,000

100 is no more than 20,000

i don't think verification is needed...

[edited for carriage return]

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