How many books do college students read?

We previously met Suellen Robinson as Miss Biological Research. Here she's posing by a stack of books that represents the number of books an average coed supposedly would read (back in the 1960s) during her four years at college. The number is 376.

Officials of the Renault car company somehow arrived at this figure when they decided to sponsor a National College Queen Contest.

To read that many books a student would need to finish two books a week during the school year, and a book a week during Summer break.

I'm skeptical that the average college student (either back in the 1960s or now) reads anywhere close to that number. Perhaps they're assigned that many (though even that seems a bit high), but they're not reading them.

Orlando Evening Star - Apr 29, 1964

     Posted By: Alex - Sun May 19, 2024
     Category: Education | Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia | Books | 1960s

Generally speaking, in the sciences, you don't read every book through unless you're particularly interested in its specific subject. You read the chapter that is relevant to your thesis and skim the rest. The aim is not so much to know everything by heart, or even to know it completely, but to know where to find the information should you need more details.
Posted by Richard Bos on 05/26/24 at 01:10 PM

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