As of this moment (and depending on how you count omnibus editions), I have read 30 books in 2011. There’s a pretty good chance that I’ll finish my current book by the end of the year as well. If you’ll permit some navel gazing, here are some stats about what I’ve read this year:
- 30 books in 2011 is a big improvement over the 20 books I read in 2010 (which was itself a pretty big year for me). This might be the most I’ve read in a single year since high school… and it’s worth noting that at least 4 of the books from 2010 were read in December of that year (i.e. this has been a pretty well sustained pace for the past year and half or so).
- According to goodreads, these 30 books translate to 10,964 pages of reading in 2011 (and if you count my current progress, I’m over the 11,000 mark…) This number is perhaps a little suspect, as it depends on print size and spacing and book format and so on, but as an approximation it feels… well, actually, I have no real frame of reference for this. I’ll have to enter in dates for my 2010 reading to see what Goodreads comes up with there.
- 9 of the books were non-fiction, which might also be a record for me (unless you count textbooks or something).
- Most of the 21 fiction books were science fiction or fantasy novels, and my progress this year was definitely fueled by shortish novels (i.e. around 300 page novels)
- The longest novel I read this year was Reamde, clocking in at 1044 pages. The second longest novel was Perdido Street Station, which ran 623 pages.
- 13 of the 30 books were written by women, which is probably another record for me (for a point of comparison, in 2010, I only read 2 books written by women). I should note that this is mostly fueled by Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga – I’ve read 9 books in the series so far, and may finish the 10th by the end of the year.
- Goodreads also provides a neato graph of when you read stuff and when that stuff was published (unfortunately, it’s a little too big to feature here). As it turns out, I read only 2 books that were initially published before 1986, though one of those 2 was published in the late 19th century, so there’s that.
All in all, a pretty great year of reading. For reference, my top 4 books of the year:
- Reamde by Neal Stephenson
- Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon
- Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War by Robert Coram
- “Mountains of Mourning” (novella from Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold)
Oh hell, can we just make the Vorkosigan Saga (as a whole) the honorary 5th best book of the year? Ok then.
Things have slowed down in the latter part of this year, though I think a large part of that is that I’ve been focusing on longer novels and non-fiction, which obviously take more time. Indeed, if I manage to tackle Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid next year, I expect that will drag down my numbers a bit. Of course, I could hold off on that and slot in 4 short novels in its place, but I should really read GEB, as it’s been on my shelf for quite a while… Looking ahead to next year, I’ll definitely be finishing off Bujold’s Vorkosigan novels, and I was given a Kindle for Christmas, so I’m sure I’ll find plenty of things to read there. Perhaps an updated book queue is in order!