Here we are at the first Sunday Salon for 2013, and I still have some unfinished business from last year to attend to.
I speak, of course, of The Ye Old Annual Bookish Statistics that we bloggers love to keep track of.
As I predicted last week, I finished 2012 having read 57 books. That’s my lowest number yet since I’ve started blogging – and in fact, my number of total books read has actually been decreasing each year. I have some thoughts on this and I elaborate on those (and more) after the number-crunching below. I know my math is a bit screwy in parts … so be it.
I read 57 books and 12 of those were audiobooks.
Total pages read for the print books = 11,784
Total hours listened to (in days) = 5.32 days
I read 33 female authors and 22 male authors.
31 authors were new to me this year.
Genre-wise, fiction remained my most popular choice with 29 books read.
10 books were memoirs.
8 were nonfiction.
5 were short story collections.
3 were poetry collections.
As usual, most of my books read came from my local public library. 26 print books and 2 e-books came from there. (Our library got e-books this year.)
However, thanks to the Mt. TBR Reading Challenge, this was a tremendous year for reading from my own shelves. I read a record-number of 17 books that I purchased (or someone purchased for me) before 1/1/2012.
Then, 3 of those were donated to the library.
I read 2 books that I purchased this year. (I bought more than that, but I didn’t keep track.)
8 books were review copies.
I read 5 e-books on my Kindle.
There were 17 books started that I didn’t/couldn’t finish, which I think is an all-time record for me since I started book blogging. I have no qualms about abandoning a book that isn’t working for me.
I joined 19 reading challenges, also a record for me, but I only completed 8 of them (2nds Challenge, Audiobook Challenge, Fearless Poetry, Memorable Memoir, New Authors, Big Book Summer Challenge, Short Story, What’s in a Name 5).
I failed 11. (A-Z Challenge, Chunkster, E-book, Foodies, Mt. TBR, Non-Fiction/Non-Memoir, Readers Imbibing Peril, Self Published, Southern Literature, Time Travel, Truth in Fiction).
(This track record was also a factor in my decision to eschew most reading challenges this year.)
It took me an average of 6.4 days to finish a book, with reading an average of 32 pages each day.
The average book that I read last year had 206 pages.
The oldest published book that I read was A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1843).
The average age of a book that I read was 8 years, with the median age being 1 year.
The author I read the most was my friend Beth Kephart, with 3 books and a short story collection in which she has a story included:
So what do all these numbers mean? I think it reveals a few things, some of which tie in nicely with a few reading goals for 2013.
1. For whatever reason, the total number of books I’m reading each year keeps dropping. The page count does too, so this can’t be attributed to more chunksters. Perhaps it has something to do with an increased amount of time on Facebook or blogging (although my blog posts are also at the lowest they’ve been since I started blogging 4 years ago.) For 2013, I decided to decrease the number of reading challenges I’m participating in, so I’ll be interested to see if that helps improve the numbers a bit.
2. I tend to read newer books. I can’t help it; the lure of the New Books shelf at the library and the NetGalley page is too tempting. I’d like to add more classics into that mix. Having read just two classics this year (The Years by Virginia Woolf and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens) isn’t so great.
3. This was a GREAT year for reading my own books – and the Mt. TBR Challenge had a lot to do with that. Despite not participating in many challenges this year, I am going to continue with this one.
4. I’d like to increase the number of nonfiction books I read in the next year.
Finally, here’s the grand list of books that I read this year (in reverse chronological order). Links take you to my reviews and I’ve indicated those titles that were part of my Best of the Year lists.
- 57. Letters to Sam: A Grandfather’s Lessons on Love, Loss and the Gifts of Life, by Daniel Gottlieb
- 56. A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens (BEST OF)
- 55. The Queen of Everything, by Deb Caletti
- 54. Echolalia, by Dan Waber
- 53. Married Love and Other Stories, by Tessa Hadley
- 52. Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson (10th Anniversary edition) (audio), by Mitch Albom
- 51. Because You Have To: A Writing Life, by Joan Frank (BEST OF)
- 50. Living in Favor, Abundance, and Joy, by Joel Osteen (audio)
- 49. Dirt: A Story About Gardening, Mothering, and Other Messy Business, by Susan Senator
- 48. The Round House, by Louise Erdrich
- 47. Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter (BEST OF)
- 46. Tell the Wolves I’m Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt (BEST OF)
- 45. Love, In Theory, Ten Stories, by E.J. Levy
- 44. Boleto, by Alyson Hagy
- 43. Steampunk Poe, by Edgar Allan Poe, illustrated by Zdenko Basic and Manuel Sumberac
- 42. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell
- 41. The Middle Place, by Kelly Corrigan (BEST OF)
- 40. Unearned Pleasures and Other Stories, by Ursula Hegi
- 39. The Years, by Virginia Woolf
- 38. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
- 37. In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, by Michael Pollan
- 36. And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic, by Randy Shilts (BEST OF)
- 35. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green (BEST OF)
- 34. Small Damages, by Beth Kephart (BEST OF)
- 33. America’s Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines, by Gail Collins (BEST OF)
- 32. I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections, by Nora Ephron (audiobook)
- 31. No Such Thing as the Real World: Stories About Growing Up and Getting a Life, by An Na; M.T. Anderson; K.L. Going; Beth Kephart; Chris Lynch and Jacqueline Woodson
- 30. Arcadia, by Lauren Groff (BEST OF)
- 29. Next Stop: A Memoir of Family, by Glen Finland
- 28. Shout Her Lovely Name, by Natalie Serber (BEST OF)
- 27. The Lola Quartet, by Emily St. John Mandel (BEST OF)
- 26. With My Body, by Nikki Gemmell
- 25. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger (audio)
- 24. Father’s Day: A Journey Into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son, by Buzz Bissinger (BEST OF)
- 23. Okay for Now, by Gary D. Schmidt (audio)
- 22. The Night Circus, by Erin Morganstern (audio)
- 21. A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness, inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd
- 20. The Beginner’s Guide to Edible Herbs: 26 Herbs Everyone Should Grow & Enjoy, by Charles W.G. Smith
- 19. A Slant of Sun: One Child’s Courage, by Beth Kephart (BEST OF)
- 18. Bridge of Sighs, by Richard Russo (audio)
- 17. Blue Nights, by Joan Didion
- 16. Zenobia: The Curious Book of Business, by Matthew Emmens and Beth Kephart
- 15. The Sense of An Ending, by Julian Barnes (BEST OF)
- 14. The Storm at the Door, by Stefan Merrill Block (BEST OF)
- 13. Baker Towers, by Jennifer Haigh (audio)
- 12. Red Bird, Poems by Mary Oliver
- 11. The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey (BEST OF)
- 10. Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden (audio)
- 9. This Beautiful Life, by Helen Schulman
- 8. American Bee: The National Spelling Bee and the Culture of Word Nerds, by James Maguire
- 7. Night Swim, by Jessica Keener (BEST OF)
- 6. The Forgotten Waltz, by Anne Enright
- 5. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (audio), by Jamie Ford
- 4. Smut, Stories by Alan Bennett
- 3. The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster, by Kaye Gibbons (audio)
- 2. Joy for Beginners, by Erica Bauermeister
- 1. Book of Days, Poems by Jennifer Hill-Kaucher
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