Nancy Pearl’s Rule of 50

I’m surrounded by books here on the couch. I’ve been bringing home books again. Despite economic woes and cost-cutting measures, the publishers keep sending out books to booksellers. Their hope is that we will read the Advance Reading Copies (ARCs) and get excited about them and generously hand-sell them when they hit the market in a few months. Independent booksellers are known for their ability to do just this – talk up a book, sell it to their customers and sometimes launch a bestseller. So, when they send them, I often give them a try. I subscribe to the Nancy Pearl Rule of 50 to determine which books to spend my time on. If you don’t know who Nancy is, click here(or paste this in your browser)for more info

Nancy has visited our store twice and she is a delightful kindred spirit when it comes to books. And she has her own action figure. Wow.

The Rule of 50 in Nancy’s own words:

“Believe me, nobody is going to get any points in heaven by slogging their way through a book they aren’t enjoying but think they ought to read. I live by what I call ‘the rule of fifty,’ which acknowledges that time is short and the world of books is immense. If you’re fifty years old or younger, give every book about fifty pages before you decide to commit yourself to reading it, or give it up. If you’re over fifty, which is when time gets even shorter, subtract your age from 100. The result is the number of pages you should read before deciding.

Around me right now are ARCs, regular books, the Yakima Herald Republic, my journal, Eddie Bauer and LL Bean catalogs, the latest Newsweek, an atlas, my Bible, some marketing books, some fiction, Real Simple Magazine and various kinds of junk mail. So to stay sane, I’ll subscribe to the Rule of 50 because there are so many books and there is so little time.

Published in: on October 22, 2009 at 5:38 am  Leave a Comment  

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