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Reflection

Reading Habit Analysis for 2009

Today is the last day of 2009. Here’s a recap of my reading statistics for the year. 

This year I read 92 books, less than previous year. I don’t know how I did it. Last year I was unemployed for 3 quarter of the year and did nothing else. This year I am employed, I blog and raise two boys. Then again, do not underestimate the power of using commuting time to read up!  

So as we come to the end of year 2009, I thought I will humour you with some of my boring reading statistics. Since I have been devising and collecting data for so much performance indicators at work, wouldn’t hurt if I use the same skills over here. 

The analysis shows that I read fiction 40% more than non-fiction. Rightly so as my workplace is already inundated with so much serious reading material, I just want to read fiction as a form of escapism outside work. I read books written by Male Authors twice as much as Female authors (third label “Authors” simply means books written by more than one author which may be both male and female author), I wonder if it’s because male authors wrote stuff that I am more likely to read? Most travel writings and non-fictions are written by male writers. And I’m not so much into stuff that women write about, i.e. romance, relationships, chick lit etc. 

I read a staggering 29% of current year edition, together with 2008 edition (22%), make a total of 51% of the books I read are new edition books. They can also be classics re-published new edition. The stats show my tendency in picking up new books. 

My best reading month is October, reading a total of 13 books covering 4,102 pages for the month. The worse reading month is September with a miserable 2 books, and read a half of the book which is getting me nowhere and I abandoned it eventually. That is probably the reason why I decided to do some catch up on the month of October. 

This year I am happy to say I am reading better quality books than last year. Harder to shortlist my top 10 favourites for the year, and I ended up having more wish list that I hope to stock up in my limited shelf space. 

I bought a total of 35 books + 6 Dilbert comics, something that I’m not proud of. I guess this is what happened when you stay near a street that has 4 charity shops and a local library. To top it off you have the omnipresence http://www.Amazon.co.uk. I read books from the local library and buy books from the charity shop to clutter up my living space at the same time. And then I purchase books online and send the books to my office so that I have something to look forward to at work, which again end up cluttering my living space at home. It’s a vicious cycle I say. 🙂 

Comparatively, I am glad that I stick to borrowing books from the library. What I resolve to do next year is to read more of my own pile of books and give them away.

Other useless stats include: 

  • Total books acquired: 35 books + 6 Dilbert comics 
  • Total Books Read: 92 (excluding 9 Tin-tin graphic novels and 4 abandoned books)
  • Total Books Skim Read: 4 books
  • Total Books Reviewed: 91 (99%, except for one that titled “Excel 2007 Foundation to Expert”)
  • Total Books Abandoned: 4 books
  • Total Pages Read: 34,22 (1,308 pages more than last year, but 4 books less than last year’s record of 96)
    Thicksters (400+ pages): 23 (25%) (thickest being 933 for Shantaram and 915 for I know this much is true)
  • Same Year (2009) Edition: 27 (29%)
  • Previous Year (2008) Edition: 20 (22%)
  • Books by same Authors (more than 2 books): George Orwell, Stephenie Meyer, Haruki Murakami, Jason Webster, Tahir Shah, Wei Hui, Richard Templar, Helen Fielding, George Orwell, Aravind Adiga, Paul Torday, Xiaolu Guo, Audrey Niffenegger, Stieg Larsson, Margaret Atwood.
  • 5-star read: 16 (17%)
  • 4.5-star read: 10 (11%)

My Top 10 Best Fiction Read of the year (according to ratings):

  1. The Blinding Absence of Light by Tahar Ben Jelloun
  2. 1984 by George Orwell
  3. Quiet American by Graham Greene
  4. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
  6. Hard boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
  7. The White Tiger Avarind Adiga
  8. UFO in Her Eyes from XiaoLu Guo
  9. Salmon Fishing in Yemen by Paul Torday
  10. Animal Farm by George Orwell

Note: I would like Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, Secret History by Donna Tartt, The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by XiaoluGuo, Girls of Riyadh, Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella to make it to the list too!!! 

My Top 5 Best Non-Fiction Read of the year (according to ratings):

  1. The Caliph’s House by Tahir Shah
  2. Eat , Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  3. Intercultural Marriage : the Promises and the pitfalls by Dugan Romano
  4. Outlier the Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
  5. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale

(For any past review, you can type keywords and do a quick search within my blog.)

As we know all measures are arbitrary unless properly defined and analysed in relation to other measures, and they are:

  • All measures besides “Total books abandoned” exclude the count of abandoned books and graphic novels.
  • Number of pages is not a good gauge of reading efficiency, as pages varied by size fonts and spacing. A little book doesn’t mean I am reading less, a big book doesn’t mean I’m reading a lot more. Although Shantaram and This Much I know is true, is one hell of a long read.
  • The effectiveness of reading is not being measured.

 These are just some of the basic and crude analysis reported for my reading habit. I’ll have to think of more sophisticated Performance Indicators (PI) to measure my reading performance next year!!! The only thing I resolved to do differently next year is to finish reading my own pile of books before I loan any more books. Perhaps I will try out an A to Z challenge next year. I resolve to take it easy on reading next year so that I could get on finishing some bigger items on my To-do list. 

Anyone has some reading stats to share?

Meanwhile, Happy New Year Everyone. May year 2010 be a great year of reading for you!

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About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.

Discussion

6 thoughts on “Reading Habit Analysis for 2009

  1. Pretty amazing display! You put all the other stats reporters to shame! :–) I especially love the time graph. I keep a list of books I complete, but not when. But I have to start doing WHEN just so I can do a graph like that next year!!!

    Posted by rhapsodyinbooks | December 31, 2009, 1:50 pm
  2. It’s so nice to find someone else who likes charts 🙂

    There must have been something strange going on in September as it was also my worst reading month for the year.

    I’m still working on my favourites list – I agree it’s becoming more difficult as I read more books each year.

    Wishing you happy reading and blogging in 2010

    Posted by bernadetteinoz | December 31, 2009, 11:49 pm
  3. I used to love charts, but lately I have developed some form of allergy towards it. I attribute the allergy to the cause of drawing too many of them at work. 😦

    I was impressed with your 106 and wonder how in the world you manage that number?! 😀

    Wishing you happy reading and blogging 2010 too!

    Posted by JoV | January 1, 2010, 9:03 pm
  4. Wow, amazing stats really.
    I rarely complete one in a month, yeah i know.. shameless to even expose myself.
    I aim to read at least one in a month now and make a blog post of it as review.
    Inspired by you!

    Posted by Marvin Lee | January 15, 2010, 1:25 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: 2012 Year End Reading (and Purchase) Analysis! « JoV's Book Pyramid - December 30, 2012

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Mockingjay
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City


JoV's favorite books »
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old-books

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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