462 Books a Year? No Big Deal for One Critic

LA Times critic explains her incredible literary appetite.
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2009 3:21 PM CST
The LA Times' Sarah Weinman details her incredible consumption of books as a critic and columnist.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Determined to read more this year? Critic and columnist Sarah Weinman may be able to help, if her standard doesn't intimidate: She plowed through 462 titles last year. "I read a page not necessarily word by word,” she tells the Los Angeles Times, “but by capturing pages in sequence in my head. The words and phrases appear diagonally, like I'm absorbing the text all in one gulp."

Weinman says she's tried to read slower, but her "natural reading rhythm is freakishly fast." She retains characters more than plot, and enjoys the "electric charge as I read the text and 'hear' the voices" in great books. Roberto Bolaño's 2666 achieved such heights, but many titles last year "were mediocre or forgettable, and if I hadn't been on a subway or captive on a plane or a train, I might not have finished them."