Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Books of 2009

There they are. This is the project I mentioned last week, the messy one my husband wished would disappear. Early in 2009 I started stacking up the books I'd read and before I knew it, I realized it might make a cool photo at the end of the year. So, here they are, minus library books, and a few that annoyed me enough that I've already gotten rid of them. If you click on the photo you can see what is there.

Here are my reading statistics of 2009 (as of right now, and I reserve the right to change these numbers before the end of the year). Here are last years statistics for comparison.

Total books read: 104

Female authors: 89
Male authors: 15

Fiction books: 79
Nonfiction books: 25
Memoirs: 19
Memoirs that are food related: 9
Nonfiction books that are not memoirs: 6 (sad)

Young adult books: 9 + 5 Harry Potter books
Mystery: 15
WW2/Holocaust: 9

ARCs: 29 (obnoxious)

Books that were re-reads: 7

Books published in:
2009: 42
2000-2008: 44
1990-1999: 9
1970-1989: 3
1940-1969: 6
1900-1939: 0
pre-1900: 0

Total pages read = 36,144 divided by 104 = 347.5 average pages per book

Ok, so lets assess all this. First off, it seems I have read way too many ARCs and not enough books of my own choosing. On the one hand I am torn on this subject; I have found some great authors/books that I might not have chosen on my own, on the other hand, I definitely had less 'wow' books than I've had before and more 'fine' books.

I should really read more male authors, and more general nonfiction. I've called this the year of the memoir and that was surely the truth.

I was happy when I totaled up my pages read for the year. I was a little bit afraid that I would find that I read more books, but less pages than last year! That was not the case, as I read nearly 30% more pages than last year - nice!

What about goals? I like to be non-goal oriented when it comes to my reading. It's the only way for me, I think. Having said that, there are a few things I'd like to do this year. I would really like to read more of my Persephone books and Viragos. Another thing I'd like to do is read more of my really thick books. I think I tended to avoid them last year thinking if I was reading 700-800 page books, I'd never have anything to post about. Now that I practice Blog Simplicity, I am not going to worry about that and just read whatever I want. Here are a few books I have in mind.

Coming up later this week, my favorite books of 2009!

In case you are wondering, I got to stay home for Christmas! It was totally blissful watching all that snow come down and know I had nowhere to go. I cooked a great meal and had friends over for Christmas dinner.


bermudaonion said...

I love the way you did your breakdown. I need to work on my year end post, but I'm not sure I'll go into so much detail.

JoAnn said...

I just started gathering all those statistics (not as much of a job since I read half the number of books!), and it's really interesting to see what's there. This certainly was your year of the memoir!! I read a lot less nonfiction this year...will have to change that in 2010.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

You are amazing. Love your summary and the books you read this year were great. I give mine away after I read them in most cases (that is how I justify acquiring more books)...LOL

Iliana said...

What a great summary and with pics!

I totally understand what you mean about the ARCs. I really like being introduced to new authors but I feel like this year I didn't necessarily seek them out myself. So, I've been accepting fewer ARCs actually and really trying to go to my stacks.

Really looking forward to seeing your best of list!

And, of course have a wonderful rest of the holiday :)

Anna said...

I admire you for taking the time to tally all those stats! I'm accepting fewer ARCs these days and I hope to clear the ones I have off the shelves next year. Looking forward to your favorites post!

Diary of an Eccentric

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I love your statistics! I bet I have an even worse ratio of female to male authors! I'll have to start keeping track!

Staci said...

I am in love with your first many books that I would love to grab out of the photo!! Great statistics..I want to break down my reading this year too. I love the idea of blog simplicity and reading what you want to read!! I'm going to be passing on a lot of ARC's this year, they get in the way of what I bring home from the library!! :)

Have a Happy New Year!

Danielle said...

Glad you had a nice Christmas--the snow kept me at home, too! I always enjoy seeing the break down of other reader's reading. I also read far more women authors than men. And pretty much all of mine tend to be written in the 20th century. I like the idea of reading more from your stacks--Needle in the Blood was a great read by the way. I'd like to read more of my Viragos and Persephones, too. By the way, those stacks look familiar...I have a few in my house, too.

Ti said...

What a great idea! I can't keep all of my books. If I love, love, love them, then I give them to friends to read and if I hate them, they get donated or left somewhere. Unless it's something I plan to re-read (like a classic) I won't keep it.

Andi said...

Great breakdown, and I love the idea of stacking up all the beautiful books and taking a pic at the end of the year. Good job!

Literary Feline said...

I love that you posted a photo of all the books you read this year. My ARC and review copy ratio was pretty high compared to my own books this year too. And I definitely read more books published recently than older books. Something I should work on for next year maybe.

I wish you luck with your goals for next year!

Carrie K said...

I love the breakdown and the picture! Congrats on your fabulous literary year!

I'm reading The King's English right now (from the library) but be warned - it has book lists in it - lots of book lists - and my list is getting longer for next year. And I was going to be totally spontaneous. Oh well.

Nan said...

So, let's see. You have a young child, a husband, a job, you travel, and still you read ALL THOSE BOOKS. You have a secret I need to know. :<) I'm having such fun looking over the books in the picture. A great idea. Some of the covers are just beautiful.

Tara said...

Kathy, thanks; it's a fun project for me.

JoAnn, I like nonfiction so I'm not sure why I read so little of it this year.

Diane, I've managed to weed out 40ish or so books, but I tend to hang on to mine. Need more bookcases..

Iliana, thanks! I think one ARC/month is plenty for me! I hope you are enjoying your holidays too, and your new bookcases!

Anna, it's sort of fun to do, esp. to look over all the books from the past year and think about them agian.

rhapsodyinbooks, thanks!

Staci, thank you! I'll be looking for yours stats then! Happy New Year to you too!

Danielle, I enjoyed seeing your breakdown today, we seem to have many similar themes! I've been saying for ages I need to get to Needle in the Blood!

Ti, that fasciates me, what you said about giving books away, If I love,love,love them I hold on tight! I get rid of stuff I didn't care for though.

Andi, thank you!

Literary Feline, Thank you! Your statistics that you did last year inspired me, you know!

Carrie K, thanks! Yes, I've browsed The King's English and peeked at those lists - Dangerous!

Nan, it probably helps that I watch very little tv, never really just plonk down in the evenings and skip around, but mainly the fact that I am not a voracious housekeeper gives me extra time. Ahem.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Tara....I've been studying your books yet again today (we have similar reading taste indeed). I LOVED this post and have gotten so many ideas of books that I MUST add to my list. THANKS SO MUCH

I'm always amazed when people hold on to all the books that they've already read. I could never do that as I have over 600 unread ones so shelf space would be an issue. I have kept about 5 books that I LOVED on the chance I may want to reread them (i rarely reread).

You read some really great sounding books in 2009. Mudbound, Shantaram, Seamstress and several others are on my 2010 list.

Have a great Happy and Healthy New Year.

Les said...

Wonderful photograph!! A piece of art, in my opinion. ;)

You share my love for memoirs. I can't wait to see what you read this year. Thanks for sharing all your stats.

Tara said...

Diane, I am so happy you found some good reading ideas here! That's so interesting what you said about keeping/getting rid of books. I just feel so attached to so many of them and want to keep them, when I see them I remember how they made me feel. I have recently culled about 35-40 books and it pained me a little! Thank you for your wonderful comment.

Les, thank you very much, and ditto to you, for your 2010 reading. Cheers!