Using the “Rule of 50” When Reading

I came across the “Rule of 50” a short time ago looking at the  Sword & Laser Top Stories on Flipboard and I immediately knew I would be putting it to use. I read over 100 books in 2014, and expect to do the same this year. Most are good to great, but there are a few that, frankly, the “Rule of 50” was designed for.

What is the “Rule of 50”? The Rule of 50 comes from from Nancy Pearl‘s book Book Lust. The essence of it is:

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.

I have applied it once so far, and while I hope not to encounter any more books that I simply can’t get into, I will not hesitate to apply the rule if necessary. I hope that knowing about this rule will make reading easier for you.

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