Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Year In Books (Quantitative)

As in 2011, I used a Moleskine Book Journal to track my reading and provide quantitative data on my reading habits. 

Methodological Notes

I made the decision to shorten "2012" so that 2013 and future years could be tracked fully within a calendar year.  Thus, direct comparison between 2011 and 2012 must be done with the awareness that "2011" = January 31, 2011 to January 31, 2012, while "2012" = February 1 2012 to December 31, 2012. 

In the case of multiple works by the same author, the author was counted each time, not just once. Reread books were counted for each reading. A number of books could be categorized in multiple genres; for the sake of ease, such books were only counted in the genre I (arbitrarily) decided was the best fit. Unlike last year, unfinished books were not counted, though there were definitely a lot fewer of them.  


Total: 90

Fiction: 82
Nonfiction: 8

Male authors: 74
Female authors: 16

Science Fiction: 39
Fantasy: 32
Mystery: 10
History: 4
Philosophy: 2
Math: 1
Memoir/Collected Writings: 1
Romance/Historical: 1


My reading is still mostly fiction, and that still surprises me.  I really think the concentration of the nonfiction I read must just make more of an impact on my memory.  The nonfiction just seems to "weigh" more.  Unlike last year, this year saw more science fiction read than fantasy, as well as more mystery.  The mystery and science fiction numbers, however, benefited from large reread runs of Steven Saylor and Iain M. Banks, respectively.  Quite a bit less math, and no "science" as such, but philosophy makes an appearance.

In terms of gender, I did worse this year than last year, even though I had hoped to combat my rampant sexism as my main goal for reading this year.   I did not break the 100 books barrier, though I'm surprised at how consistent, taking into account the "missing" month, my raw number was to last year's totals.  Extrapolation would indicate that, were "2012" extended to cover twelve instead of eleven months, roughly the same number of books would have been read in both years.  This summer was particularly slow, I thought, for book reading, as for several weeks, much of my reading was of back issues of Archaeology magazine.  I also had several weeks, even a month or two, where I just wasn't much interested in reading.  I thought that might reflect in the numbers, but it doesn't seem to have.  Perhaps I simply caught up.  I have done quite a bit of reading this fall.  


Well, I suppose I'll continue to strive for 100 books read, as well as greater gender equity.  I have a feeling, though, that the latter, at least, might be a very long-term goal.   

Stay tuned for a more qualitative look at some of my favorite and least-favorite books of 2012. 

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