2011: A Year in Review

Number of books read in 2011:  54

I’m quite happy with this number as it met my goal of a book a week with some change left over.  For a year that included a major move, a career shift, and a number of other largish personal events, this is not too shabby.

Number of Non-Fiction Works Read:  23

This number feels about right – while I’m a fiction guy, there are some amazing non-fiction reads out there and I’m happy that I balanced them off a bit better this year than last.

Number books read written by white males: 39

I’m not sure what to make of this number – I’m vehemently against reading books simply because the author is female (or black, or Asian, or gay,  or young, or Ivy League educated, or Klingon stamp-collecting birdwatcher, etc.).  At the same time, this statistic is a bit lame.

Number of Stephen King books read: 10

Yup – slightly more than one out of every six books I read this year was a Stephen King book.  Granted, a reread of  The Dark Tower series constituted seven of the ten books and one of the books, Black House, was only half-written by King. Still, any way you parse it, it’s a high number – certainly higher than any other author I’ve read in 2011.  What does it say about me? That I love me some Stephen King.  If you don’t like that, take your Harold Bloom and go stuff it.

Number of Repeat Authors: 5

Aside from Stephen King, I read more than one book each from Richard Dawkins, Jon Krakauer, Haruki Murakami, and Herman Wouk.

Number of Paper Books Read:  1

The world has moved on, I’m sad to say, and I’ve had no choice but to go along with it.  With the lone exception of John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids, all of my reading in 2011 has been done electronically, either on my Sony E-Reader or my i-Pad. Am I sad about this? In a way – I miss books as physical objects. I miss the thrill of hunting through used book stores and delighting in my various finds. Clicking through Amazon or the iTunes Bookstore just doesn’t compare. At the same time, dragging Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 around the subway may very well have resulted in a few strained muscles. The plain fact is that e-readers are more convenient than traditional books, both in acquisition and consumption. I’ve made peace with this and do not envision going back to paper for anything more than the occasional touch of nostalgia.

To all my fellow book bloggers, best of wishes in 2012 and happy reading!

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10 comments

  1. Like yourself I’ve been using an E-Reader (Kindle) for pretty much the same reason, convenience & yet my purchase of hard copies is only slightly down due to some of the stuff I read are not yet on an E-book format, so my library is growing but then I’m in an area of the world where this is not an issue. The purchase of the Kindle took quite a while as I ummed & aghhed about it , before a problem with a fractured wrist made the decision for me
    Best wishes for the coming year to you & yours

    1. I can see how a wrist injury would expedite the decision to buy an e-reader. There have been a few selections that I haven’t been able to find in e-format, but living where I do, I wouldn’t be able to get those anyway. Having the Sony Reader and the iPad has vastly increased the number of books I have access to. It’s a real godsend.

    1. I did read 11/22/63 and it was great! Probably one of the better books I’ve read this year. It’s on my backlog of reviews to get around to writing, but we’ll see…

  2. You will love the Game of Thrones series. I read them all sequentially in a month and a half. Now I just have to find other stuff to read til he releases the next book five years from now. 🙂

  3. Congrats on your reading stats! I have a similar conflict about my stats about white/male/US authors. On the one hand, read what looks good regardless of who the author is. On the other hand, it’s troubling when all the authors are the same.

    1. Yeah, I have very conflicting feelings about this. I hate the whole idea that you should read something simply based on the background of the author. At the same time, I feel a little embarrassed that such a huge amount of my books were written by one single demographic. It’s one of my reading goals for this year to be a bit more diverse in my selections – I’m off to a great start by reading yet another white male!

  4. The world moves towards eBooks and I don’t blame you of not having bought paperbacks. In fact, people should be glad you didn’t because the paper saved will allow paper books to run longer. I command you on the non-fiction reading. I read a slightly higher number of books this year, but I haven’t even read half of this number of non-fiction, despite that I am a growing fan of it.

    1. That is very true – I’m only thinking about the future of books by not buying them! I wish it was that noble a purpose, but either way it works out. Before starting this blog, I was mostly a non-fiction reader. In 2010, I surprised myself by only reading a handful of non-fiction. I’m happy that this year balanced out. Happy new years to you!

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