READING'S REALITIES Part one: Cost.
Reading's cheap, isn't it? Let's say cheapish Take a new novel, undiscounted, 250-pages, non-"experimental" (ie, easier to read) at £15. An average reading speed of 30 pp/hr (Yes, I know you can read far far quicker but your next-door neighbour hasn't had your educational benefits; hence "average") gives a rate of £1.80/hr, ignoring the second-hand value of the book afterwards.
But other delights should be compared.
Watching telly. Basic spend whooshes up (New flat-screen Panasonic £500, TV licence £145.50, electricity costs per year £25, adding up to an eye-watering £670.50). Yet for that you could be entertained for 8760 hr/yr, assuming you didn't sleep. Let's say a more modest 5 hr/day, amounting to 1825 hr/yr at a rate of 37 p/hr for the first year.
Assuming the Panasonic lasted 10 years the average spend, over the decade, would drop to 12 p/hr.
Going for walks. Say £200 for two pairs of boots. Why? Because you could, theoretically, walk for 6 hr/day every day of the year - 2190 hr. And that works out at 9 p/hr.
Watching opera. Ticket at ROH, Covent Garden £88, getting there if you're a Londoner, say, £15. Opera lasts 3 hr. Rate for snobby intellectual: £34/hr.
Driving car. Say 10,000 miles/year. Depreciation on car £1500, licence (varies) - say £150, insurance £300, fuel costs at 40 mpg £1475: total £3425. Cost per mile 34 p. Cost per hour at average 40 mph: £14. How many miles could be described as pleasurable? In London - none, in Hereford - lots.
To come: Reading's Realities - Part two: Delusions. - Part three: Rewards