February 10, 2011

Nancy Pearl's Revised 'Rule of 50'

I think I need to follow this rule.  There are so many good and great books waiting to be read, to waste time on a poorly written one.  I can only think of two books I didn't finish, once started.  I even suffered through to the end of the Da Vinci Code.  Speaking of that, Bob recently picked up a mass market book called The Age of Odin, by James Lovegrove.  The title caught his attention, our grandson's name is Oden.  On the back of the novel is this quote, "The kind of complex, action-oriented SF Dan Brown would write if Dan Brown could write." - the Guardian

Nancy Pearl's Revised 'Rule of 50'

"On the spur of the moment, with no particular psychological or literary theory in mind to justify it, I developed my Rule of 50: Give a book 50 pages. When you get to the bottom of Page 50, ask yourself if you're really liking the book. If you are, of course, then great, keep on reading. But if you're not, then put it down and look for another....

"This rule of 50 worked exceedingly well until I entered my own 50s. As I wended my way toward 60, and beyond, I could no longer avoid the realization that, while the reading time remaining in my life was growing shorter, the world of books that I wanted to read was, if anything, growing larger. In a flash of, if I do say so myself, brilliance, I realized that my Rule of 50 was incomplete. It needed an addendum. And here it is: When you are 51 years of age or older, subtract your age from 100, and the resulting number (which, of course, gets smaller every year) is the number of pages you should read before you can guiltlessly give up on a book. As the saying goes, 'Age has its privileges.' And the ultimate privilege of age, of course, is that when you turn 100, you are authorized (by the Rule of 50) to judge a book by its cover."
--Nancy Pearl (librarian, author and action figure) in the Toronto Globe & Mail.

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