Monday, June 10, 2013

Four Welsh ponies and an Arnold Schwarzenegger

Sounds like the opening to a really bad joke, doesn’t it? “Four Welsh ponies and Arnold Schwarzenegger walk into a bar …” (And incidentally, I find it amusing that ‘Schwarzenegger’ is a valid word in my spell check.)

But while I’m having fun here, it’s not actually a joke … it’s the weight equivalent of my former book collection!

Once upon a time, I had a lot of books. Like a lot, loaded into a big walk-in closet that I couldn’t walk into anymore because it was stacked floor-to-ceiling with books. Because I don’t know about you, but I am incapable of throwing away a book unless it is mortally wounded and unreadable. And even then it’s a challenge. Thus, the Closet Of Books.

But, lo, the time came that I decided that it was time to lighten the load. I chose a single bookcase worth of keepers, and called one of those “donate your books” organizations to pick up the rest. One large van later, and just under 2000 books went off to their new homes.

Since then, I’ve held myself to a ‘if one comes in, one has to go out’ policy, and the collection has held steady at 50ish. Which brings me to the ponies and action stars.

You see, I’ve finally gotten serious about losing the (cough, cough) pounds I’ve put on in the past few years, and have been using My Fitness Pal. It’s perfect for someone like me, who loves being graded. “Jessica has completed her diary for today and is under her calorie goal!” Yay! Go, me! It’s also helpful seeing how much those little “I’m bored” snacks add up, and how to eat out without blowing my goals.

But I digress. The thing is, there’s a strong (and sometimes very opinionated) community associated with the website, and that’s where I found this awesome list, entitled: I’ve lost a _______, with different equivalents for each pound lost. One pound? You’ve lost a guinea pig. Sixty pounds? You’ve lost an elephant’s wiener. So far, I’ve lost two human brains.

(My apologies to source of this list. I couldn’t find it. If anyone knows, please stick it in the comments and I'll give credit where due!)

Bringing it back to books, a quick Google tells me that the average paperback is 15 ounces, which is close enough to 16 ounces that we’re going to call it 1 pound. Currently, I have a bale of hay worth of books. Or two car tires and a housecat. Or a human leg, a human head, and a rack of baby back ribs.

Back in the Closet Of Books era, I had four Welsh ponies and an Arnold Schwarzenegger worth of books. Or six linebackers and a medium-size microwave. Or … well, you get the point.

So, guess the number of books in your collection (or your TBR pile, if that’s easier), check out the list below, and tell me … what’s your book weight equivalent?

1 pound = a Guinea Pig
1.5 pounds = a dozen Krispy Kreme glazed donuts
2 pounds = a rack of baby back ribs
3 pounds = an average human brain
4 pounds = an ostrich egg
5 pounds = a Chihuahua
6 pounds = a human skin
7.5 pounds = an average newborn
8 pounds = a human head
10 pounds= chemical additives an American consumes each year
11 pounds = an average housecat
12 pounds = a Bald Eagle
15 pounds = 10 dozen large eggs
16 pounds = a sperm whale's brain
20 pounds = an automobile tire
23 pounds = amount of pizza an average American eats in a year
24 pounds = a 3-gallon tub of super-premium ice cream
25 pounds = an average 2 year old
30 pounds = amount of cheese an average American eats in a year
33 pounds = a cinder block
36 pounds = a mid-size microwave
40 pounds = a 5-gallon bottle of water or an average human leg
44 pounds = an elephants heart
50 pounds = a small bale of hay
55 pounds = a 5000 BTU air conditioner
60 pounds = an elephant’s wiener
66 pounds = fats and oils an average American eats in a year
70 pounds = an Irish Setter
77 pounds = a gold brick
80 pounds = the Worlds Largest Ball of Tape
90 pounds = a newborn calf
100 pounds = a 2 month old horse
111 pounds = red meat an average American eats in a year
117 pounds = an average fashion model (and shes 5'11")
118 pounds = the complete Encyclopedia Britannica
120 pounds = amount of trash you throw away in a month
130 pounds = a newborn giraffe
138 pounds = potatoes an average American eats in a year
140 pounds = refined sugar an average American eats in a year
144 pounds = an average adult woman (and shes 5'4½")
150 pounds = the complete Oxford English Dictionary
187 pounds = an average adult man
200 pounds = 2 Bloodhounds
235 pounds = Arnold Schwarzenegger
300 pounds = an average football lineman
400 pounds = a Welsh pony


  1. I don't want to think about how many Welsh ponies I have in storage. When we were coming back from Australia... I was beginning to think I was going to have to have some of my books find new homes in Melbourne.

    The movers weighed each box and wrote it down to the nearest 100th of kilo - yes - 0.01 kg and we had a weight limit they would send back to the States - I think I had over 10 boxes of books. I think most our move weight was in books.

    I need to be as brutal as you in not allowing new books into the house unless I donate an older book. I now only buy certain authors (my keepers) in paper and others I will purchase an e-book.

    1. Oh, I can so relate. The one move I ever paid people to do for me was during the Closet of Books era, when I was with the ex, who had inherited Grandad's Screw Collection. (Like wood screws, and such, thousands of 'em in all different sizes.) I'm pretty sure if we hadn't had the books and screws, we could've gotten everything into the horse trailer. (Waves to Ann.)

  2. It's amazing what you can find when you google "Weight loss I've lost an elephant penis." Ha ha ha (Link:

    And I feel ya on the book thing. Next time I move, I am going to have to bite the bullet and get rid of a lot of my books. *sigh* It's going to be major separation anxiety.

    1. LOL! See, I Googled "funny weight loss equivalents" and got a bunch of places where it's posted but didn't seem to be original. I didn't think to add the elephant penis in there. Clearly an oversight ;)

      Just think of it as sharing your books with new readers. (Repeats to self as I stick a couple into the local 'Donate Your Books' bin ...)

    2. Btw, I have no idea how much my books weigh. But every time I've moved, I've had to warn them, "You need to add weight because I have a LOT of books." And they never do and it's always much heavier than they estimated.

    3. Ha! Silly boys. And I bet you've got Heavy Text Books and other Scientific Tomes in there, too!

  3. Looks like it's time to clean out again (or read faster), as I'm up to a: Welsh pony, a microwave and a slab of baby back ribs. Oh, and that doesn't count the rest of the family's collection. No wonder the movers always groaned when they walked into our house.

    Good thing we're not planning on moving anytime soon!

    I hear you on the MFP - love the little "you are under goal" message. Now, if I can only get my scale to understand what that means. Hmm...

    1. I was thinking us readers might need something beyond ponies. Maybe 1000 pounds is a Secretariat, 2000 pounds is a Budweiser Clydesdale ... or maybe a VW Bug? Not sure what they weigh.

      Re MFP, I've eaten more fish and apples in the past month than in the past several years. And, ugh, water. Gonna float away ...

    2. Of course, I had to look it up. A VW Bug only weighs in around 2100 pounds. Maybe we need a SUV equivalent?

      Yeah, water. What's the point? It goes in and comes right back out 5 minutes later. How is this doing my body any good? Except for the calories I'm burning by running back and forth to the b-room??? LOL.

    3. LOL! Okay new BWEs (book-weight equivalents)

      1000 pounds = a racehorse
      2000 pounds = a Budweiser Clydesdale
      5800 pounds = an Escalade (with a nod to the BDB)

      Or ... ?

    4. VW New Beetle Curb weight: 1,230 kg (2,712 lb), according to the very authoritative (?) wikipedia

      Librarians may want to use the Sherman Tank (66,800 pounds)

    5. Fabulous! I adore the Sherman Tank addition.

      So we have:

      1000 pounds = a racehorse
      2700 pounds = a new VW Beetle
      5800 pounds = an Escalade
      66,800 pounds = a Sherman Tank!

  4. I have an ENTIRE football team, including the guys who sit on the bench. I really can't get rid of most of them, I re-read all the time. Problem is, I don't have time to go through and find the ones I haven't re-read and get rid of them. I'll probably have to read them again first;-)

    1. Well, at least the football team can help you move all the boxes of books if you ever have to relocate. Wait ... (Jesse pauses, thinking there's a flaw in that logic.) LOL!

  5. Now you really have me. How in the world do you give away a "Library of Congress?" Yup, that's mine alright, one I use pretty often for research, my very own legitimate library. The fiction books and how to write books came later, we don't have tons of those . . . yet. Tom is in charge of fiction though, thank goodness. I have enough trouble with all the others.I could not possibly know the weight of one-thousand little/big/bigger books. Those books and my grand piano keep us rooted.

    1. So we'll put you down for a Cadillac Escalade worth of books, or maybe a Sherman tank!