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Category: Inspiration / Topics: Education Opportunity

Spare Time

by Dan Seagren

Posted: July 13, 2014

What do students do with all the spare time when vacation sets in? Or senior?…

What do students do with all their spare time when vacation sets in? Or seniors? Well, some seniors have too much, others too little. But for those who wonder, here is what one senior did.

He receives quarterly journals with articles and book reviews. He was curious so he did some arithmetic, wondering who wrote, how many pages, costs, and above all, what would it take to buy all the books recommended. Now, what do you do in your spare time? Here is what he did.

He discovered that if he bought all 13 books, it would cost him about $572 (one book cost $160 so he bought the paperback for $33). Plus about $85 for tax and postage. Then he tried to calculate how much reading and found out there were some 5,400 pages. That would mean 60 pages per day for the quarter (90 days). He also discovered there were 17 male authors and 2 women but there were only five male reviewers with 3 women doing the evaluating.

Curious, he discovered that all 13 books were published between 2008 and 2012 so they were rather recent but it does take time to get books into the marketplace, to locate them, and then decide which to buy. He also discovered that the books varied quite a bit in price (from $18-$130 not counting the $160 tome he didn't purchase). There were single and multiple authors covering a wide variety of topics with reviews mostly complimentary with a few suggestions. The largest book had 852 pages and the shortest a mere 161.

Now, did he buy all those books? No. Not all interested him although some did. Was it a waste of time? Depends. For him, it was interesting, revealing, surprising (especially the $160 hardcover with a mere 163 pages) and yes, enriching even without out reading anything except what the reviewers wrote.

Now, you no doubt are asking: who was this person? Who would do such a thing? That had to be the greatest waste of time imaginable. Maybe. Maybe not. If you really want to know, this person is the same author who writes these columns. Because he has too much spare time? No, not really, but because he has quite an imagination as well as a curious sense of humor. So now you know the rest of the story.


Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.

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Posted: July 13, 2014

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