Writing this entry is the most difficult thing I have to do this year, one that almost met its early death when my database containing my review ratings and pivot tables all done up on Microsoft Excel 2007 crashed two days ago when I am about to begin my year end reading analysis. 😦
It feels like dooms day.
But… never say die. I maintained another database which kept minimal entry on the book I have read and with that I spent one morning building a year’s worth of database again with extra fields, except for the review ratings of course. The last time I analysed on my corrupted database, I was able to correlate my ratings against author’s gender, against the length of books, against months, against anything that I wish to compare with, now I can’t, unless I look through all 80 entries of my reviews on the blog and input all the ratings into my spreadsheet. And… I am not going to do that. All my virtual TBR list built up in 2010 also went with the crash. Sigh… better luck next year.
The good news I am able to analyse a few basic stuff. I won’t hold anything against you if you like to skip reading some of my boring analytical stats and move on to the Books in 2010 meme! 😀
Number of books read this year
My reading pattern remained fairly constant from Spring to Summer but went through a slump towards the autumn and winter months, I attribute the slump to my holiday plans in that period, as I scour travel guides and reading up on the historical background of the cities I have visited. But I read 21,187 pages this year, compared to 34,294 last year, it is 13,107 pages less than last year.
Male vs Female authors
I have managed to close the gaps between reading books written by male and female authors this year. Last year it was a 23% gap, this year it is 15%. A high 12% of my reading comes from novellas, books which contains less than 150 pages and that was my intent in the beginning of 2010.
An amazing 66% of my reading this year goes to discovering books by new authors. It was fruitful as I have discovered many of my new favourite authors that expanded my 2nd read list.
Fiction vs Non-fiction
Although I valued researched, true stories non-fiction a lot more, it was my intention to read more fictional literature, a good 83% went to it, an increase of 12% from 2009.
Library loot vs reading from books owned or mooched
It is quite shocking to discover that although with the best intention of reading my own books, I ended up reading more from the library. More shocking it is to know that last year’s stats (91% from the library, 9% from own or mooched books) was exactly the same as this year!!! Déjà vu people, I think I should snap out of denial and stop looting from the library. 😉
Nationalities and Locations
I read authors from 18 nationalities but covered 30 different locations in its story setting. This is a new data included this year, hence no comparative trend.
A great 67% goes to reading books published in the noughties (2000’s), but very few from current year edition, only 14 from 2010, and 7 from 2009. A conscious effort to read more classics constituted the rest of my reading and I intend to continue the trend for next year.
A respective 39% of books I have read are translated fictions, I am inclined to increase that by 50:50 next year, but will see how it goes, as the books on my TBR shelves are more of non-translated ones.
I purchased a staggering 104 books this year (and many more titles that I have not included in my list because I have either given them out as a gift or hope to keep and pass them on later). It costs me £99.83 in total which is not bad a haul, I gather. The purchase climb steadily towards the summer, peak at the start of Autumn, take a dip when I was in vacation in October and retained its summer high in the winter months. 😉
My purchase came from many sources, Oxford Road in the city of Reading and my workplace in Bracknell constitute the majority of my purchase and both add up to be 61%. A good 13% came from Library withdrawn stocks. The rare titles, especially translated fictions are purchased through Amazon.co.uk, which provides the most competitive pricing ever in the market.
13% of the purchase are books that I have read and want to keep a copy of it, but the remaining ones are those that I hope to read next year.
Phew, so much for stats, lets do a meme similar to the tradition of the Oscar awards:
Books in 2010
- Best Book of 2010: Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick (the book affected me so much that I thought it is one that everyone should read).
- Worst Book of 2010: Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed. I couldn’t finish it because I thought the writing was bad and none of the characters interest me.
- Most Disappointing Book of 2010: Rabbit Run by John Updike. A book that won the Pulitzer prize and went on to many sequels should be a great read but I feel the book didn’t live up to the recommendation and the praise. It is lewd, senseless and the protagonist is such a loser. Someone had kindly told me that this book is more of a guy’s book and I agreed. Other disappointing books are Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, The Gathering by Anne Enright and Life and time of Michael K by J.M. Coetzee, the last two almost made me want to give up pursuing my Man Booker Prize winners project.
- Most Surprising (in a good way) Book of 2010: The Silver Lining Playbook by Matthew Quick it was surprisingly hilarious, with a heart.
- Book You Recommended the Most to People in 2010: The Islamist by Ed Husain. And Where in the world is Osama Bin Laden? (book review to follow) by Morgan Spurlock which produced a documentary of the same name. With so much misunderstanding in the world about Islam and the Jihadists, these two books offer great insights in understanding how different Muslims around the world are and what they think about Islam and the extremists who terrorise the world in the name of the religion.
- Favourite New Authors Discovered in 2010: So many new authors discovered, and a lot of them are ranked as my favourites. Henning Mankell, YiYun Li, Ian McEwan, Yukio Mishima, Daphne Du Maurier, Banana Yoshimoto, Albert Camus, Xinran, Jeanette Winterson, Hermann Hesse.
- Most Hilarious Read of 2010: Mini-Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella and The Silver Lining Playbook by Matthew Quick, both had me laughing in stitches and they are a joy to read.
- Most Thrilling Unputdownable Read of 2010: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
- Books You Most Anticipated in 2010: I am not the sort of readers who look at what’s about to publish and do pre-order. I am more of a “The last person on the universe who read this book” sort of person, so I am happier to keep a look out on classics that I have missed. So no book on my list qualifies for this one.
- Favourite Cover of a Book You Read in 2010: Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas. It was the cover of this book that attracted me to pick this up.
- Most Memorable Character of 2010: La Prisonniere by Malika Oufkir, Malika and family survived 20 years in incarceration, her courage humbles me. Hotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa – the harrowing experience of Mari in Hotel Iris haunts me no end.
- Most Beautifully Written Book of 2010: The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima. The prose is heartbreakingly beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
- Book That Had the Greatest Impact on You in 2010: Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick
- Book You Can’t Believe You Waited Until 2010 to Read: Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier. I should have discovered Du Maurier sooner!
My Top 10 Read of the year:
- Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick
- After the Banquet by Yukio Mishima
- The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, Yukio Mishima
- Disgrace, J.M. Coetzee
- The Islamist, Ed Husain.
- La Prisonniere by Malika Oufkir
- The Silver Lining Playbook, Matthew Quick
- Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse
- Oranges are not the only fruits, Jeanette Winterson
- Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
Other noteworthy titles read this year:
- Ghostwritten, David Mitchell
- Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
- The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
- A Thousand Good Years of Prayers, YiYun Li
- Yalo by Elias Khoury
- The Outsider by Albert Camus (other title : Le E’stranger, The Stranger)
Other useless stats, if you care to read, include:
- Total books acquired: 104 books
- Total Books Read: 89 (8 not reviewed, excluding 1 abandoned book, read 3 books less than last year)
- Total Books Skim Read: 8 books, many of them are travel guides.
- Total Books Abandoned: 3 books.
- Total Books Reviewed: 80 (90%)
- Total Pages Read: 21,187 compared to 34,294 last year (13,107 pages less)
Thicksters (400+ pages): 4 (4.5%) (thickest being Midnight’s Children at 647 pages)
- Same Year (2010) Edition: 14 (15.7%)
- Books by same Authors (more than 2 books in the span of one year): F. Scott Fitzgerald, Graham Greene, Haruki Murakami, Yoko Ogawa, Banana Yoshimoto, Daphne Du Maurier, David Malouf, Xinran, Milan Kundera, Yukio Mishima, Jeanette Winterson.
Reference : 2009 Year End Reading analysis
- Number of books read exclude abandoned books and graphic novels.
- Number of pages is not a good gauge of reading efficiency, as pages varied by font size 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 Midnight’s Children, is one hell of a long read this year.
- The effectiveness of reading is not being measured.
What do I think about 2010?
I think it’s a good year. I finished 89 books without skim reading, hosted the Read-A-Myth Challenge, hosted Midnight’s Children read-along and finished 8 out of 10 reading challenges.
Plans for 2011?
Well, I have decided not to make any resolution next year, be it personal or reading resolution because I’m hopeless in keeping them! 😀 In principle, I am going to read more from my own shelves. I have signed up for two TBR challenges so that would give me a push to read from my own shelves.
There may be new opportunities, new priorities that take over reading next year. I hope there is a year in the future that I will finish a 100 books!
I am grateful for everyone who reads or follows my blog. May this new year brings you new hope, blue skies and nice things. Happy New Year to you!😀
Reference : 2009 Year End Reading analysis