The 27-year-old owner of Veritas Fine Books & Coffeehouse in Garden City has read about 10,000 pages since Jan. 1. That's more than 200 pages a day, but she has a long way to go to reach her goal of 79,349 pages by the end of 2008....
In 2005, she married her business partner, Jared, and they bought a bookstore on the Boise Bench, calling it Veritas....
In 2007, they expanded and moved Veritas to its current location on Chinden Boulevard and welcomed their first child, 1-year-old Alex. He now has an 8-week-old brother, Lucius. Patchin cares for her boys while working 70-hour weeks and spending most of her nights up rocking, nursing and reading aloud from Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina."
Her hands are more than full, but in an effort to preserve her sanity and intellectual edge, she dreamed up 200books.com. The Web site launched on Dec. 31, 2007, with a note about Patchin's quest to read 200 celebrated books in one year, two at a time.
Not only does Patchin read 600 words a minute, she has an 85-90 percent retention rate compared with the average reader, who takes in 200 words a minute and remembers about 60 percent of the content....
"I'm not virtuous that I can read 200 pages a day; I'm gifted to be able to do it. For people who don't have the passion or the capacity, just set a goal for yourself that makes sense," she said. "You don't go out and run 10 miles and get a runner's high the first time. You have to build up to it."
Before launching the site, Patchin decided on the big 200. It could have been an exercise in indulgence. She could have peppered the list with old favorites including Austen and Tolkien and dozens of classics she's been meaning to read.
Instead, she went to Everyman's Library, a Web site created by Knopf and Random House UK to honor the Everyman's collection founded by London publisher Joseph Malaby Dent in 1906. It now includes more than 500 titles, many of which are on Patchin's list of poetry and fiction, nonfiction, religious, philosophical, historical, biographical and children's literature.
Right now, the site gets about 25 unique visitors a day, which is fine with Patchin. She isn't doing this to inspire a nation. She simply loves reading, and she figured a few people might find her quest interesting enough to inspire their own, whatever the tally.I have only spent a few minutes at her blog so far, but I'll definitely be checking back in with her on a regular basis to see how she's coming along in what is probably the biggest personal reading challenge that I've run into so far in 2008. Good luck, Amanda.
"I want to challenge people to read a bit but not in the way of saying, 'You should do what I do.' It's not a big educational thing for the public, but I thought it would be fun to have their input," she said.