Sunday, January 06, 2008

Bragging or shame?

so as a "Christmas" present.. troy and I got my mom 2 tickets to see Wicked when it's playing here in Charlotte. Given the fact that my dad is hard of hearing, and Troy's really not all that in to musicals... we're (or at least I am) banking on that my mom will bring me with the other ticket. :)

ok.. so pretty much I told her out right that she and I are going, but fact remains that she holds both tickets. I need to keep my ass in check for the next 4 months if I want to go.. otherwise she may learn how to sell them on ebay in her free time. or worse.. bring someone else.

anyway.. my point is that I am working on reading the book for which the musical was based on. I don't get to read that often.. but in a 5 minute break here and there, I'm knocking it out a page at a time.

so I was sitting on the toilet the other day and looked down at the book (what can i say.. I'm a mom, and the only real "free time" I get is when I'm in the can. sometimes. at least mostly when I lock the door.)

so on the cover of the book, it boldly states "Over one million copies in print". well.. that's really great. at least for the author. but then I started thinking about what that really means. With the population of the USA being roughly 303 million people.. one million doesn't seem to be such a large number. hang on.. I'm not to the shame part. so yeah.. 1 million in print is about 1 book to every 303 people.

Wicked is NOT exactly a children's book... so when you break down the population by considering roughly 28 percent of americans are under the age of 19... now we're looking at about 219 million people. (I will point out that I recognize that there will be a large reading group from the age of about 10-19 that may enjoy a book like wicked.. but I am also assuming that a comparable number of older citizens comprise a near-blind or fully blind state and would be unable to read a printed copy. so.. tit-for-tat teenagers are cancelling out the blinds. (yes.. I know that is skewed logic, but this a damn blog post.. not a frigging term paper, people))

ok. back to about 219 million. that's about one book to every 219 people. adults. considering most reports point to about 40-44 MILLION adults being functionally illiterate... i'd say it's fair to knock off another 42 folks.

ok.. so now we're at one book to every 177 people. so I did a little more digging. according to a little article from NY times.. there are about 55.2 million couples that are lawfully married. another 6 million of so couples live together but are either not married or are in a same-sex relationship. so that another 61 million couples.. meaning 122 million adults.

oh you know what.. forget it. I'm boring myself.

my point was just that it seems like 1 million copies of ONE particular book seems rather high in an age of digital, audio, libraries and the timeless fashion of sharing a book between friends. I know for SURE that I'm the third reader of this copy (my mom and brother have read it prior to me.. maybe even my dad and sister-in-law have as well...) and I do plan on passing it on to my girlfriends that I swap books with.

because do we REALLY need another thing collecting dust in this world? oh well. I'm not trying to take any merits or money away from the author... I'm just saying out loud that I had an actual minute where I thought about how much I consume. ironic that I was thinking about consumption in the potty... but still... enough pause was taken that one of my resolutions this year is to be a little more green this year.

speaking of green. it would seem that the kiddies are still asleep, and I could be reading more about the life and times of Elphaba.


kittenhead66 said...

it's too bad that kate reinders isn't still playing in wicked. she's rad. i haven't met her but her brother was one of our groomsmen :)

Susie said...

You just reminded me to download the soundtrack from iTunes. I haven't read the book but I've had it forever - since before the show was out. Probably should read it one of these days.

I've missed these posts! MWAH!

Christi said...

My best friend is "going green" this year, and since I feel bad, I'm cutting out paper plates. Now, this means I'll have to wash dishes, like, every other day now or something, but I think it's good for the environment or something. If nothing else, my hubby will be happy he doesn't have to take out the trash as often!

If it makes you feel better, the only reading I get to do is also on the toilet. I've taken to magazines b/c it takes so long to get through books. The last book I attempted to read, I renewed twice, and still I owe $6.00 in overdue fines on!