On Facebook and Readers who Lead…?

I use Facebook, while it’s nice for keeping track of friends, mainly for one thing:  keeping track of the books I read.  I guess I could use other applications to do that but since I am on Facebook once a day (at least) it’s easier just to use the built-in app for it.

But one thing that irritates me is the leaderboard.  I consider myself pretty well read but I know there’re quite a few books I haven’t read.  I’m never going to be in the top ten, and that’s fine with me.  What irks me is that the leaders’ claims seem to be, to me, a tad unrealistic.

For example, the woman in the lead claims to have read over 10,000 books.  Hmmm.  I’ve racked my memory trying to remember all the books I’ve read, and while I know there are a whole bunch that I’ve missed or forgotten about (and a lot of children’s books, both what I read as a kid and what I’ve read to my own child), I would be surprised if the number exceeded much more than a thousand or so.  And I read all the time.

So, 10,000 books.  We’ll assume she’s 30 – she doesn’t look much older.  Say she started reading at 5 years of age – maybe early, but we’ll assume children’s books.  At 1 book a day, that’s around 8,000 books.  Possible?  Maybe.

Except it isn’t.  There are books out there that can’t be read in a day (War and Peace, anyone?).  Even if she didn’t read serious books like that (all Harlequins, maybe) there had to be days where she didn’t have a chance to read (work puts a cramp in my reading time, for sure, as well as family stuff).

Let’s say she did, though.  What kind of quality of books?  If they were all potboilers, then 10,000 is a lot but it’s not very nourishing.  And if she burned through them and didn’t retain a lot, then what was the point?  Entertainment?  Doing that is only slightly better than watching TV!

Harriet Klausner is a (infamous?) name on Amazon that has drawn the same comments.  People say she just reads the summaries of the books and restates it.  Or that she just skims the books.  I don’t know.  But if being in the lead means reading mindless stuff or just skimming like an appetizer rather than tucking in like a main course, I feel pretty comfortable being back at number 870 or so…

What’s your opinion?