You don't hear it so often these days, or perhaps I'm mixing in different crowds, but there was a point when if I asked people what they were reading, they would say 'oh, I don't have time to read'.
Now, everyone seems to be reading but it's a case of not having enough time to read all the books we want to read.
During the Christmas break there was considerable media interest in an article by the novelist David Nicholls who decided, when realising that his 'to read' pile of books was becoming precariously high, that he would wake up earlier in the morning and use the extra half hour to read.
What a lovely way to start the day.
I don't feel quite myself if I haven't got a good book on the go. But I remember when I started my first job and I was startled to find that months had gone by since I last picked up a book. The new challenges and routines meant that the day was comprised work, eat and sleep.
Then I met an elderly, and hugely inspiring and energetic, couple, who told me that they had compiled a list of the books they wanted to read before they died. It was a long list and, even being generous with the three scores year and ten, and attempting to complete a book a week, they knew they would not realistically be able to fulfil it and had to readjust.
From that moment, I vowed to read a book a week myself, though not following any list, just as the fancy took me. And I would record each book, with my thoughts on it, so that I would never run the risk of not knowing whether or not I had read a book before. That was some 20 years ago, and the journals have stacked up on my shelves. In 2012 I read 72 books.
But quantity isn't quality! Arnold Bennett in his book 'How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day' advises thinking as well as reading. He says there are people who "take to reading as better men take to drink. They fly through the shires of literature on a motor-car, their sole object being motion. They will tell you how many books they have read in a year.[!]
"Unless you give at least 45 minutes to careful, fatiguing reflection...upon what you are reading [he goes on], your 90 minutes of a night are chiefly wasted. This means that your pace will be slow. Never mind.
"Forget the goal; think only of the surrounding country."
I would like to say this is my resolution, but with towers of books all around me demanding to be read, it may be some months before I become more contemplative in my reading matter. And I still want to read at least 52 books this year...