The numbers don’t count

One of the justifications for this rather lonely blog is as a spur to myself, hoping at least to avoid the feeling of regret when I read about something I would like to have experienced. I also wanted to read more. Providence ensured that I have the proverbial hour-long commute, meaning that with some optimisations I’m able (most days) to sit down for 35 minutes and read. Doing so when I go to bed remains mostly an aspiration. In 2013 I’ve completed 47 books, which is a little short of my arbitrary aim of 1 a week. However, even in real terms, that’s a significant increase.

In 2012, when I first started recording these things, I saw 72 films (or events at a cinema). In 2013, I saw 114, an average of 2 a week, suggesting I need to seek more diversity in my activities and that room for cinematic growth is limited.

2012 included only 2 plays, while in 2013 I saw 11.

As for ‘Art’, in 2012 I saw 28 exhibitions, in 2013 107.

Comedy events of various kinds – 2012 – 7, 2013 – 22.

Music – 2012 – 4, 2013 – 26, including a surprising leaning towards classical or pseudo-classical.

There are also other things that can’t be so broadly categorised, such as a ‘BookSlam’, open studios, ‘School of Life’ events (for the “anxious rich”, according to the Economist), looking around the Supreme Court and the Bank of England…

From these figures it should be clear why I didn’t have a foreign holiday. Now I’m wondering whether some of the seemingly extravagant membership packages (e.g. £300 ‘Rising Star’ for Curzon) would actually save me money. Working this out will be quite tedious, of course.

I do think that recording these activities has been useful, if only to myself. Now I have a much better awareness of where and when to investigate, of the possibilities. Yesterday I was challenged to take on something more ‘active’, such as guerrilla gardening. Hmm.

So far in 2014, 13 exhibitions…




4 thoughts on “The numbers don’t count

  1. Tom

    You should perhaps also graph this against available films, exhibitions etc. assuming that these are new things. That would deliver a nice consumption rate and show you how hungry you are, or have been. Books are a little more difficult as they are less dependent upon release and so there is backlog. I am only just about to begin Wolf Hall for instance.

    Another analysis would be length of book – pages/words – and style. Are some books better suited to commutes than others? What is your inter-book interval? Do you immediately start a new one, or intervene with news and magazine reading before embarking on the next adventure? Latency to new book might also be some index of satiation.

    Also, how about the geographical spacing of your films, exhibitions and other events? Does your mileage differ across time slices? How much patch movement is there in your foraging?

    Finally, do you consider yourself in receipt of perfect information about the arts space?

    1. Adam Post author

      The complicating factor for books and films is that a lot of the time they’re not new – director retrospectives etc., though I suppose it would be possible to list all the films available to watch, whether new or old, at my habitual screens. With books in particular I’ve felt a “catching-up” tendency, so the majority have been older books, often much older.

      I think your other questions deserve to be addressed more fully than in a comment, though I shall note that my information about the arts space is, to my profound chagrin, very seriously imperfect.

  2. Pingback: Theatrical Frame of Reference | Ready Reckoner

  3. Pingback: The Numbers Do Count | Ready Reckoner

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