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Here’s How Many Books You Can Expect to Read Before You Die

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Life is too short to suffer through a book you just don't like. For proof of that, Literary Hub has done some (slightly morbid) calculations regarding how many books you'll be able to squeeze in during your remaining years on Earth.  

The table below breaks down the number of books you'll have time for if you maintain your current reading habits. Twenty-five-year-old women, for example, have 61 years left to live according to the Social Security Life Expectancy Calculator. Assuming they live that long, average readers in that group have 732 more books to read in their lifetimes. "Average" in this case means people who read 12 books per year. Lit Hub also crunched the numbers for voracious readers (50 books per year) and super readers (80 books per year). After pinpointing your maximum capacity, you may want to edit down your reading list to only include books you're genuinely excited about.

25 and female (61 years left)
Average reader: 732
Voracious reader: 3050
Super reader: 4880

25 and male (57 years left)
Average reader: 684
Voracious reader: 2850
Super reader: 4560

30 and female (56 years left)
Average reader: 672
Voracious reader: 2800
Super reader: 4480

30 and male (52 years left)
Average reader: 624
Voracious reader: 2600
Super reader: 4160

35 and female (51 years left)
Average reader: 612
Voracious reader: 2550
Super reader: 4080

35 and male (47 years left)
Average reader: 564
Voracious reader: 2350
Super reader: 3670

40 and female (45.5 years left)
Average reader: 546
Voracious reader: 2275
Super reader: 3640

40 and male (42 years left)
Average reader: 504
Voracious reader: 2100
Super reader: 3260

45 and female (40.5 years left)
Average reader: 486
Voracious reader: 2025
Super reader: 3240

45 and male (37 years left)
Average reader: 444
Voracious reader: 1850
Super reader: 2960

50 and female (35.5 years left)
Average reader: 426
Voracious reader: 1775
Super reader: 2840

50 and male (32 years left)
Average reader: 384
Voracious reader: 1600
Super reader: 2560

55 and female (31 years left)
Average reader: 372
Voracious reader: 1550
Super reader: 2480

55 and male (28 years left)
Average reader: 336
Voracious reader: 1400
Super reader: 2240

60 and female: 86 (26 years left)
Average reader: 312
Voracious reader: 1300
Super reader: 2080

60 and male (23 years left)
Average reader: 276
Voracious reader: 1150
Super reader: 1840

65 and female (22 years left)
Average reader: 264
Voracious reader: 1100
Super reader: 1760

65 and male (19 years left)
Average reader: 228
Voracious reader: 950
Super reader: 1520

70 and female (17.5 years left)
Average reader: 210
Voracious reader: 875
Super reader: 1400

70 and male (15 years left)
Average reader: 180
Voracious reader: 750
Super reader: 1200

75 and female (14 years left)
Average reader: 168
Voracious reader: 700
Super reader: 1120

75 and male (12 years left)
Average reader: 144
Voracious reader: 600
Super reader: 960

80 and female (10 years left)
Average reader: 120
Voracious reader: 500
Super reader: 800

80 and male (9 years left)
Average reader: 108
Voracious reader: 450
Super reader: 720

[h/t Literary Hub]

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15 Powerful Quotes From Margaret Atwood
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MICHAL CIZEK/AFP/Getty Images

It turns out the woman behind such eerily prescient novels as The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake is just as wise as her tales are haunting. Here are 15 of the most profound quips from author, activist, and Twitter enthusiast Margaret Atwood, who was born on this day in 1939.

1. On her personal philosophy

 “Optimism means better than reality; pessimism means worse than reality. I’m a realist.”

— From a 2004 interview with The Guardian

2. On the reality of being female

“Men often ask me, Why are your female characters so paranoid? It’s not paranoia. It’s recognition of their situation.”

— From a 1990 interview with The Paris Review

3. On limiting how her politics influence her characters

“You know the myth: Everybody had to fit into Procrustes’ bed and if they didn’t, he either stretched them or cut off their feet. I’m not interested in cutting the feet off my characters or stretching them to make them fit my certain point of view.”

— From a 1997 interview with Mother Jones

4. On so-called “pretty” works of literature

“I don’t know whether there are any really pretty novels … All of the motives a human being may have, which are mixed, that’s the novelists’ material. … We like to think of ourselves as really, really good people. But look in the mirror. Really look. Look at your own mixed motives. And then multiply that.”

— From a 2010 interview with The Progressive

5. On the artist’s relationship with her fans

“The artist doesn’t necessarily communicate. The artist evokes … [It] actually doesn’t matter what I feel. What matters is how the art makes you feel.”

— From a 2004 interview with The Guardian

6. On the challenges of writing non-fiction

“When I was young I believed that ‘nonfiction’ meant ‘true.’ But you read a history written in, say, 1920 and a history of the same events written in 1995 and they’re very different. There may not be one Truth—there may be several truths—but saying that is not to say that reality doesn’t exist.”

— From a 1997 interview with Mother Jones

7. On poetry

“The genesis of a poem for me is usually a cluster of words. The only good metaphor I can think of is a scientific one: dipping a thread into a supersaturated solution to induce crystal formation.”

— From a 1990 interview with The Paris Review

8. On being labeled an icon

“All these things set a standard of behavior that you don’t necessarily wish to live up to. If you’re put on a pedestal you’re supposed to behave like a pedestal type of person. Pedestals actually have a limited circumference. Not much room to move around.”

— From a 2013 interview with The Telegraph

9. On how we’re all born writers

“[Everyone] ‘writes’ in a way; that is, each person has a ‘story’—a personal narrative—which is constantly being replayed, revised, taken apart and put together again. The significant points in this narrative change as a person ages—what may have been tragedy at 20 is seen as comedy or nostalgia at 40.”

— From a 1990 interview with The Paris Review

10. On the oppression at the center of The Handmaid's Tale

“Nothing makes me more nervous than people who say, ‘It can’t happen here. Anything can happen anywhere, given the right circumstances.” 

— From a 2015 lecture to West Point cadets

11. On the discord between men and women

“‘Why do men feel threatened by women?’ I asked a male friend of mine. … ‘They’re afraid women will laugh at them,’ he said. ‘Undercut their world view.’ … Then I asked some women students in a poetry seminar I was giving, ‘Why do women feel threatened by men?’ ‘They’re afraid of being killed,’ they said.”

— From Atwood’s Second Words: Selected Critical Prose, 1960-1982

12. On the challenges of expressing oneself

“All writers feel struck by the limitations of language. All serious writers.”

— From a 1990 interview with The Paris Review

13. On selfies

“I say they should enjoy it while they can. You’ll be happy later to have taken pictures of yourself when you looked good. It’s human nature. And it does no good to puritanically say, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t be doing that,’ because people do.”

— From a 2013 interview with The Telegraph

14. On the value of popular kids' series (à la Harry Potter and Percy Jackson)

"It put a lot of kids onto reading; it made reading cool. I’m sure a lot of later adult book clubs came out of that experience. Let people begin where they are rather than pretending that they’re something else, or feeling that they should be something else."

— From a 2014 interview with The Huffington Post

15. On why even the bleakest post-apocalyptic novels are, deep down, full of hope

“Any novel is hopeful in that it presupposes a reader. It is, actually, a hopeful act just to write anything, really, because you’re assuming that someone will be around to [read] it.”

— From a 2011 interview with The Atlantic 

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China's New Tianjin Binhai Library is Breathtaking—and Full of Fake Books
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

A massive new library in Tianjin, China, is gaining international fame among bibliophiles and design buffs alike. As Arch Daily reports, the five-story Tianjin Binhai Library has capacity for more than 1 million books, which visitors can read in a spiraling, modernist auditorium with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.

Several years ago, municipal officials in Tianjin commissioned a team of Dutch and Japanese architects to design five new buildings, including the library, for a cultural center in the city’s Binhai district. A glass-covered public corridor connects these structures, but the Tianjin Binhai Library is still striking enough to stand out on its own.

The library’s main atrium could be compared to that of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim Museum in New York City. But there's a catch: Its swirling bookshelves don’t actually hold thousands of books. Look closer, and you’ll notice that the shelves are printed with digital book images. About 200,000 real books are available in other rooms of the library, but the jaw-dropping main room is primarily intended for socialization and reading, according to Mashable.

The “shelves”—some of which can also serve as steps or seating—ascend upward, curving around a giant mirrored sphere. Together, these elements resemble a giant eye, prompting visitors to nickname the attraction “The Eye of Binhai,” reports Newsweek. In addition to its dramatic main auditorium, the 36,000-square-foot library also contains reading rooms, lounge areas, offices, and meeting spaces, and has two rooftop patios.

Following a three-year construction period, the Tianjin Binhai Library opened on October 1, 2017. Want to visit, but can’t afford a trip to China? Take a virtual tour by checking out the photos below.

A general view of the Tianjin Binhai Library
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People visiting China's Tianjin Binhai Library.
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

A general view of China's Tianjin Binhai Library.
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

A woman taking pictures at China's Tianjin Binhai Library.
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

A man visiting China's Tianjin Binhai Library.
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

A woman looking at books at China's Tianjin Binhai Library.
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

A general view of China's Tianjin Binhai Library.
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

People visiting China's Tianjin Binhai Library.
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

[h/t Newsweek]

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