175 pages a day – A Contest

This is the stack of books I intend to take with me on an upcoming vacation. Thirteen books, 2,625 pages, 15 days. That’s 175 pages a day. This is actually doable. Two transatlantic flights are involved and we will be on a ship for 12 days. This is a recipe for power reading. The last time we went on a cruise I took 12 books for 14 days and ended up reading 10 of them. Oddly enough, the last time we were on a ship, I also was doing ACOB.

This time, things are a bit different. On the pro-reading side of the ledger, we will be on a private ship (more on that in future posts) and there are likely to be fewer distractions. On the anti-reading side of the ledger instead of going to a beach for a few hours during the day, we are going to be in Italy and Croatia. Destinations bound to keep me busier than a lazy day on a Caribbean beach. We will also probably get Italian television on the ship. The only reason this interests me is because I have been diligently trying to resurrect my college Italian language skills in recent months.

Also, unlike a smattering of a few hundred books in the library of typical cruise ship, the library on this ship has about 2,500 volumes. I am bound to be distracted by this. In fact, I am going to make it my goal to read at least one book that is new to me from the library.

I can already guess which of these books will go unread, if indeed any do go unread. But first, the stack.

Only three of these will count towards my ACOB goals. But, since that is 100 books and I am on track to read at least 120 this year, I have about 20 that don’t need to meet the ACOB goals.

This is something I almost never do. Location-specific reading while on vacation. Not only does the Delia Ephron look fun, but we are actually going to be in Siracusa. Do I read it before we get there, while we are there, or after? I can see benefits to all three approaches. Bound in Venice and The Italians are non-fiction. I couldn’t resist the Venetian setting of The Apothecary’s Shop because we are also going to be in Venice.


When I organized my unread fiction earlier this year, I discovered how many short story collections I own and never seem to read. And since I am not counting any collections in ACOB tally, I wasn’t anticipating getting to any of these this year. I like this mix a lot.


Vacations always make me want to read mass market paperbacks. Doesn’t matter how battered they get and I can leave them behind when I finish them.


I watch a lot of YouTube videos about planes (air traffic control communications, plane spotting, flight reviews, airline news, etc.) so this book should by right up my alley. I bought this in at the train station in Milan in November. Now it’s making its way back to Italy.


Picked this one up at Politics and Prose last weekend when my parents were in town. This is probably the one that I am most excited to start.

My guess is that I am most likely not to finish The Italians. Looks like a fascinating book but I tend to skip non-fiction if given the choice. I’m also a little worried about The Apothecary’s Shop. Although I know nothing about Venice in 1118 AD, I am bound to constantly be second-guessing the author’s research and dialog. The volume I am most likely to pinch my nose and be glad when it is over: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Overall, I predict I will read something over 2,000 pages, but it won’t be 2,625 pages. The person who guesses the closest (over or under) will get the novel of their choice from The Book Depository. (This will include all pages read, even if they aren’t in this stack, and even if I don’t finish the book.) To be eligible, guesses must be posted in the comments below by June 24th. In the event of a tie, the winner will be chosen at random from the winning answer. If the winner is within 25 pages she/he will get to choose two novels from The Book Depository.

24 thoughts on “175 pages a day – A Contest

  1. BookerTalk June 1, 2018 / 6:22 pm

    Your eyes will be too busy taking in the wonders of these places to focus on novels :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dfarabee June 1, 2018 / 7:14 pm

    Oooooh….Tey! Excited for Shilling For Candles. The Greene is also quite good. What a fantastic trip you have planned!


  3. Deen Mutch June 1, 2018 / 7:14 pm

    Even guessing such a number puts my own reading to shame.
    I’m guessing 2107 pages.


  4. Ruthiella June 1, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    Cool! I love it when you do these posts!

    My random guess is that you will read at least 1885 pages. (I am counting on you being distracted I guess). Have a safe and wonderful trip!

    I found The End of Eddy to be a very quick read. I bet you will finish it on the plane. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was a “get it over with” book for me too. I think I would have liked it more if I hadn’t known the “twist”.


  5. Gina Thomas June 1, 2018 / 7:58 pm

    Sounds like an amazing trip, Thomas!
    My guess is 2265 :)


  6. heavenali June 1, 2018 / 7:59 pm

    Wow what a fascinating, varied collection of books. I really hope you enjoy your holiday it sounds so exciting.
    My guess 2143 pages.☺️


  7. JRSM June 1, 2018 / 8:28 pm

    My cunning guess is 2417 pages


  8. barkerforbooks June 1, 2018 / 9:20 pm

    I predict 2100 pages. I’ve read “The End of Eddy,” “Siracusa,” and the Jekyll/Hyde. I enjoyed all three.


  9. Paul June 1, 2018 / 11:17 pm

    2242. Have fun!


  10. weaver21 June 1, 2018 / 11:21 pm

    Enjoy! 2321.


  11. robinreader June 2, 2018 / 12:57 am

    Have a fabulous trip! Great vacation reading stack. Hmmm, you obviously read well on planes and ships. I’ll guess 1999 in the off chance you get really distracted.


  12. Karen K. June 2, 2018 / 2:34 am

    Nice stack — I like that you are specifically bringing books you can leave behind — because you might actually find a bookstore and buy something new!

    I only managed to finish three books on my trip to Italy in 2014 (11 days) but one of them was A Room with a View because we went to Florence.

    I was going to guess 2,319 pages but I actually hope you are so busy on the trip you’ll read less! So my official guess is 1,966 pages. I hope you have a fabulous time and look forward to reading all about it.


  13. RareBird June 2, 2018 / 3:07 am

    I guess 1,957. Looking forward to hearing what you think of Siracusa. Have a great trip!


  14. Liz Dexter June 2, 2018 / 10:57 am

    What a wonderful reading opportunity! I’m going to guess 1,500 pages. Happy reading and boating! BTW I really want to read the pilot one so will eagerly anticipate your review. I hope you read that ON the plane either way!


  15. Susan in TX June 2, 2018 / 11:32 am

    I’ll guess 2381. I knew the Jekyll and Hyde was the doomed book from the first picture – if it is “required” for your COB, at least it will be short…but perhaps not read on the trip…
    Sounds like an amazing trip – I can’t wait to see the pictures! Have a great time! (I try really hard not to use exclamation points, knowing that you don’t care for an abundance of them, but I felt like these two were appropriate. :) )


  16. Annie D June 3, 2018 / 10:00 pm

    Have a wonderful trip. Looking forward to reading about it (private ship?)
    and seeing some pictures. I have a family cruise in about 4 weeks (the beach kind) and then a trip to England and Northern Italy in September – I never do as much reading on vacation as I hope – your goals are admirable.

    I’ll guess 2080.


  17. Pippa June 4, 2018 / 5:36 am

    What a fun idea. My guess is 2354. Have a wonderful holiday!


  18. Grier June 4, 2018 / 7:35 am

    My guess is 2018 pages. I liked Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde but seem to be in the minority. I loved Minnie’s Room. Have a wonderful trip!


  19. Cindy June 4, 2018 / 12:55 pm

    I’m going low (story of my life) and reckon 1630. Thinking the pilot one is a browse rather than a page-by-page, and given that it is a private vessel (swanky!) I am making a wild guess that there will be lots of outings and stuff laid on.

    I read Siracusa in Puglia last year, and enjoyed it, though some of the plotlines stretched my credulity. (Bought it for my husband at the airport, a common excuse to get another book in my case – needless to say he didn’t touch it). Can barely wait for your posts post-trip…I really must get out more.


  20. Kateg June 5, 2018 / 10:56 pm

    I am not well traveled, but I have been to and loved Italy. 1776 pages, although I really want to go less because I want you to enjoy more sights. Have fun!!


  21. Alanna June 6, 2018 / 9:58 pm

    2150. I put The Apothecary’s Shop onto my TBR. I really loved Name of the Rose, and I hope they’re not just using it for literary cred.

    I haven’t been on vacation as an adult, and as a kid and teenager I used to have to fight my family over needing alone time while on vacation, which I usually used to read. I think the most I ever managed was reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when it came out, during a laundromat visit. Fascinated by the idea of reading 10+ books.


  22. Karen B June 8, 2018 / 10:43 am

    You’ve put together an interesting baker’s dozen to read during your fabulous trip. My prediction-2,161 pages. Hope you get to the short story collections as I’ll be anxious to read your reviews. I wonder what treasures the ship’s library will hold…

    Have a wonderful time. Your itinerary sounds amazing.


  23. rickjess June 9, 2018 / 12:54 am

    Did I miss the part where you tell us about the PRIVATE cruise? PRIVATE cruise of Italy…feeling pretty green about now.


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