The average life expectancy of a UK male is 81.5 years - a figure gleaned from some survey conducted back in 2012.
I just turned 53 at the weekend, which if I'm Mr Average gives me 28.5 years left to read my library.
My dad was 63 when he passed, my granddad was 84. I may have ten years left, or I might get hit by a bus in an hour's time - who knows?
My current reading aim is 120 books a year or ten a month. As I get older and my sight worsens this figure might reduce, or conversely when I retire might actually increase.
Retirement is not yet on the cards.
So far I've logged 86 tubs of 50 books which is 4300 total. I think maybe 30-40 books are duplicates. I probably have another four or five tubs to log - so figure 4500 physical books.
The kindle device has 785 books and 360 documents (mainly books from sources other than Amazon). Total = 1145.
This figure is corrupted by some duplicate downloads of the same thing and a reluctance to purge books from the device once I have read them.
Assuming maybe 25% have been read/duplicated - so deduct 285 = 860.
860 plus 4500 = 5360.
Add in all the PDF printed copies of downloaded books (Munseys, author copies and other sources), plus online Crime Fiction magazines in the stash and we are headed way back over 5500.
5500 divided by 120 = 45.83 years.
Ok - I'm going to live to be 100 and the problem is solved but only if I turn down all future review requests (over 100 declined this year so far), stop visiting Net Galley and Edelweiss, get myself (reluctantly) removed from some generous publishers advance readers lists, and basically acquire a
Can I do it? YES I CAN
No doubt, I will continue to receive drips of books unsolicited but that should dwindle to nothing, once I explain to people and publishers my predicament.
Should I have let this situation spiral out of control to this mad extent? No, but it's done now.
I've been greedy Veruca Salt's even greedier brother!
As a start I've killed off my wishlist on my blog sidebar and I've killed off my 120-odd long Amazon wishlist.
I've opted out of e-mail subscriptions from a few publishers - removing temptation from my path. I've also knocked my Net Galley e-mails on the head.
I have previously agreed to accept and have been promised a couple of books that are due later this year and sometime next year from a couple of people. If they still offer to send them I'm not going to renege on my word, but if they don't arrive I'm not going to complain or sulk.
In some respects I think I might find it quite liberating as although I still kind of feel obligated to read everything an author, publisher or publicist has ever sent me, they might have to wait their turn as I'm planning on reading one of mine, one of theirs, one of mine, one of theirs.
As for new books - I'll be taking things like a recovering alcoholic - one day at a time.
Yesterday I didn't buy a book. Today I won't buy a book!