How much does my To Read list weigh?

I was saying something on the MurkMUSH about how I had 690 things on my To Read list, like I do, and to my amusement said that I’d have to look out–or else my To Read list was going to eventually weigh more than I do. I told him I thought it probably already did, given that physical books are quite heavy!

Therefore, being geeks and interested in actually finding these things out, we determined that clearly, I’d have to work this through. Therefore I present for you the following amusing facts about my To Read list!

I have a total of 689 titles on the list, as demonstrated on my To Read list on Goodreads. (Note that you don’t have to have a Goodreads account to see user data there, so anybody can look at my list!)

Of these, here’s the count of books I actually own out of this list:

271 ebooks. For purposes of this exercise, I will take their contribution to the tally as the combined weights of my nook (roughly 12 ounces although let’s call it 13 because it’s in its case) and my iPhone (roughly 5 ounces, in its case). This makes for 18 ounces, or about 1.1 pounds.

12 hardcovers. Taking Robin McKinley’s Dragonhaven as a representative sample, Amazon lists its shipping weight as 1.2 pounds. Times 12, that’s 14.4 pounds.

114 mass market paperbacks. Taking ‘s An Artificial Night as my sample, I get an Amazon shipping weight of 6.4 ounces. Working that out, it comes out to about 45.6 pounds.

65 trade paperbacks of various sizes. This time I shall use the anthology Fast Ships, Black Sails, with an Amazon shipping weight of 11.2 ounces. This works out to about 45.5 pounds.

This gives me a subtotal of 106.6 pounds.

But wait, the math is not yet done! The numbers I’ve quoted above are only for the books on my To Read list that I do in fact actually own. 227 titles are ones I do not actually possess yet. Here, though, we get into the realm of the theoretical. On one hand, we have the scenario of “I buy all of these remaining titles electronically”, in which case my tally above remains constant. However, if I apply a little thought to this based on my likely near-future book buying habits, I’m going to roughly estimate that 70 percent of these will be purchased electronically. To make the numbers easy, let’s say 160 of these will be ebooks.

This leaves me with 67 titles that I would hypothetically buy in print. Of these, I’d say that at most 5 of them would be hardcovers, 20 of them would be trades, and the remaining 42 would be mass market. Therefore to my previous tally, I should add another 6 pounds for hardcovers, 14 for the trades, and 16.8 for the mass market books. That gives me another rough estimate of 36.8 pounds for the books I don’t own yet!

Which makes my grand total (drum roll, if you please): 143.4.

I therefore still outweigh my To Read list! But only by roughly 20 pounds! Anybody want to place bets on whether it’ll surpass me by the end of the year? ;>

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