my year in reading

As a year-end wrap up, here in a nutshell are my reading numbers, by genre. The total books read in 2012 was a little higher than my usual average of about 85. The spike in non-fiction is due to a bunch of books on the pacific northwest and on photography that I read early in the year. This year I was a little light on both fantasy and science fiction, which may account for the stacks of it about the place. note: all books read are ink-on-paper, I read no e-books, though I have several in my Kindle for Mac “library”.

This is through December 29th, but I don’t expect to finish anything else, so this is likely it for the year.

books by quarter for 2012 blogHappy New Year, everyone!

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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12 Responses to my year in reading

  1. Carl V. says:

    I love the chart, Richard. Not surprised that you are heavy on the mystery side, and that doesn’t bother me at all because I’m always interested in the mysteries you are reading. It is a genre I like very much but don’t make near enough time for.

    I have yet to surpass 100 books in any reading year. These last two have been far lower than what they used to be, but on the plus side I have largely enjoyed everything I’ve read with only the occasional complete dud.

  2. Richard says:

    I liked your favorites of the year, Carl, but decided not to do rankings or favorites here. Maybe later, after I have some perspective.

  3. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Good list. I’d say your totals have gone up since retirement, right? Mine have gone down since the internet has stolen my time, but I’ve also made a greater effort to both diversify and read more short stories this year. I am closing in on my goal of 732, which would be two a day (it’s going to be close). I’m guessing my science fiction totals are up this year and the mystery totals definitely down. I’ll have to add it up on Monday and report back.

  4. cgramlich says:

    I love to see this kind of thing. I keep a chart much like this, although not divided by Quarters. Our totals were very close. I read a lot of graphic novels too, which helped push up my numbers a bit since they are usually quick reads, and more novellas probably this year because of the Kindle ebooks. I do’t read many mysteries, but a lot more fantasy than you do. Cool.

  5. My totals are pretty much the same. Maybe if the snow that’s falling right now keeps us house-bound this weekend, I can come up with a cool chart like yours. I know I hit a new high in audio books this year mostly because of my 12 day stay in Rehab after my total knee replacement surgery. And for a few weeks afterward, I was still so befuddled by the Lortabs I couldn’t concentrate on reading but I could listen to audio books…so I did.

  6. John says:

    I read 116 books this year. I haven’t a clue how I managed it. In reviewing the list I see that about one third of my reading choices in 2012 were old 50s paperback originals which tend to be very slim (under 140 pages) so that probably explains the huge number of books this year. My variety is less spread out in genres and I’m ashamed that my goal to read at least one non-fiction book per month swiftly went out the window. I think I’ll post a year end summary of my own this year along with a “Best of…” which I hardly ever do.

  7. Patti Abbott says:

    And a great year it was for you.

  8. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Here are the totals to date (I’m hoping to finish a couple more by tomorrow) – note the numbers in parentheses are short story collections:

    mystery 59 (13)
    fiction 25 (13)
    science fiction 12 ( 9)
    fantasy 3 ( 2)
    horro 3 ( 2)
    western 1
    young adult 11 (includes one each I’d classify as mystery, horror and science fiction)
    graphic novel 4
    non fiction 10

    TOTAL 128 (39)

    I kept track of every short story I read this year, over 700 to date. I’ll at least list the ones I read the most.

  9. Richard says:

    Thanks, Patti.

    Jeff, do you find ss collections read faster than novels?

  10. Jeff Meyerson says:

    It depends on the book and author is the only answer. Some authors (like Patti, for one) who tend to write relatively short stories tend me be faster reads. Then there are thing like Robert Silverberg’s collected stories (which I’m reading on the Kindle) which are longer and denser and (mostly) take longer to read. Most of the collections I’ve read have been single author collections rather than anthologies – just checked, only four anthologies I’ve noticed – which is what I tend to prefer. I’ll just plug along reading one or two a day and it adds up.

  11. Richard says:

    Jeff, yes my reading has gone up since I retired, but it’s been 10 years now, and this is still one of the highest.

    Charles, I added a note to the post that all the books I read were ink-on-paper. It probably doesn’t make any difference, but these days it seems, to me, to matter.

  12. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I did a quick check of the 727 stories I read for the authors whose stories I read the most and I can tell you some totals. First, “classic” authors include John Cheever (72 stories), Bernard Malamud (55), John Updike (55), Alice Munro (15). Mystery writers include John Harvey (18), John D. MacDonald (16), Melodie Johnson Howe (10), E. X. Ferrars (17) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (17), and science fiction and/or fantasy: Robert Bloch (28), Ray Bradbury (18), Lord Dunsany (30), Robert Sheckley (25), Kristine Kathryn Rusch (12), Philip K. Dick (32), Robert Silverberg (32).

    Let’s see who I left out: Patti Abbott (28), Pete Hamill (34), Emma Straub (12), Anthony Neil Smith (11) , Kevin Tipple (17), Bruce Machart (10), Dan Chaon (12) completes the list of all those with 10 or more stories on my list.

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