President Obama brought six books with him on his summer vacation in Martha's Vineyard. And if he started reading at noon on Thursday and only stopped reading for 8 hours of sleep and three one-hour meals a day, he would finish them up by 10 a.m. on Monday.
Our David Nakamura has the list of books:
- 'All That Is,' by James Salter
- 'All the Light We Cannot See,' by Anthony Doerr (which he bought last fall)
- 'The Sixth Extinction,' by Elizabeth Kolbert
- 'The Lowland,' by Jhumpa Lahiri
- 'Between the World and Me,' by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- 'Washington: A Life,' by Ron Chernow
There's a decent amount of politics buried in the list. Coates's book has received rave reviews for its consideration of the lives of black men in America. Kolbert's book won the Pulitzer Prize for its analysis of how humans are dramatically changing the Earth's environment. Chernow's is a lengthy biography of the first president.
But it is also a lot to tackle in one short vacation. Coates's book is the shortest, at 176 pages. Chernow's is the longest, at 928.
The average person reads 300 words a minute, or 18,000 words an hour. We estimated the average number of words per page for each book (counting the words in several lines, averaging it, and multiplying by the number of lines per page, etc.) and then, the number of words in the book overall. And then we figured that the president of the United States could probably read a smidge faster than your average person, so we gave him 20,000 words an hour.
|Book||Pages||Words per page||Words in book||Hours to read|
|"All That Is"||368||352||130,000||7|
|"All the Light We Cannot See"||531||408||217,000||11|
|"The Sixth Extinction"||336||366||123,000||6|
|"Between the World and Me"||176||308||54,000||3|
|"Washington: A Life"||928||400||371,000||19|
|Hours to read, total:||52|
Fifty-two hours. That's a lot of reading. Of course, Obama is on vacation through next week so there is also plenty of time for him to play some golf, should he chose to do so.