Friday, 11 January 2013

Books 2012 - an anlaysis

I know it was eleven days ago, practically ancient history, but with essays out of the way and a bit of free time, I've decided to post up about my 2012 in books. With statistics, because that's just the way I roll.

Firstly, a little preamble: I record every book I read in an excel spreadsheet. This covers date read, title, author, series (if applicable), my rating (out of 5, including halves). Because I'm cool. Ever since I read Art Garfunkel's booklist I've always wanted to keep one, and this is it in its current form. When I'm old, and hopefully computers haven't taken over the world, I want to be able to turn to my grandchild and say read Cormc McCarthy's The Road - I read it when I was 19 in 2011, and it was absolutely astonishing. Or similar.

Anyway, onto the list.

Over the course of 2012 I read 53 books (including one read twice), 3 less than 2011. This is impressive when you consider the 2011 included my gap year travels (6 weeks in Italy - I read around 15 books in that time) and I wasn't at university until the end of the year.

However, there was a great discrepency in total pages read: from 26173 to 14813. These 12000 pages are pretty much Jonathan Strange, Pat Rothfuss and A Song of Ice and Fire which were read in 2011.

Star's (/rating) average declined from 4.04 to 3.83 which I think reflects the amount I'm reading for university, and that I'm not choosing off my own back. Of the 53 read, 21 were for university and the other 31 for pleasure - one was first read for pleasure, then read again to psychoanalyse for my Literature and Psychoanalysis module (Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg)

Of the 31 read for pleasure, 21 were SFF - 2 of which I could also classify as LitFic (Communion Town by Sam Thompson & A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess). 3 were non-fiction, 3 LitFic, and others including a short story collection and Magic Realism - which you might be able to classify as SFF (The Wind-up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami)

I've been reading a lot of blogs on gender discrepancy in reading, and I fear that I fall into that category. If we include all the books I've read this year, we have: 45(!) men, 7 women and one anonymous. Just for personal reading: 27 men, 4 women. This seems a bit shit to me. If we just look at authors, and not multiples (there are multiple of, e.g., Peter V. Brett, Shakespeare, Terry Pratchett, Joe Abercrombie,in there) we have:  37:7:1(anon.) split. (18% female) split, or personal reading: 21:4 (19%). Hmm. Something to work on.

Finally, my 5* books are:

Dying Inside - Robert Silverberg
A Single Man - Christopher Isherwood
Communion Town - Sam Thompson
Brother in the Land - Robert Swindells
The Heroes - Joe Abercrombie

Worst books were:
The Family Reunion - T.S. Eliot
A Case of Conscience - James Blish

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