2011 wrap-up

I finished my last book of the year this morning, so it’s finally time to sit down and wrap things up. I read my highest number of books ever this year, 100 (as far as I know, since I haven’t been keeping track for long, but I doubt I ever read this much). This has been fun, although I’m not going to try to match the number in 2012. I usually read in the neighborhood of 60 or 70 books a year, and the number went up in part for two reasons: I counted audiobooks this year for the first time, and I read quite a lot of short books. But I only listened to seven audiobooks, so that doesn’t account for much, and I read some decently long books as well. A full 9% of my reading was the Little House series, though, and those books fly by.

But, whatever. My only resolution for 2012 is not to care about numbers so much (although I will still keep track) and to read whatever I please. So although it’s been fun reading fast (for me) this year, and not going to try to keep it up.

So, a breakdown:

  • Books read: 100
  • Fiction: 67
  • Nonfiction: 33 (I thought this percentage would be higher than last year, but it’s only higher by a little; last year I read about 30% nonfiction)
  • Poetry: 0 (I read part of a book that I didn’t finish)
  • Essays: 9
  • Biography/autobiography/letters: 16
  • Theory/criticism: 6
  • Short stories: 3
  • Mysteries: 11
  • Books in translation: 11

Gender breakdown:

  • Men: 28
  • Women: 68
  • Both:4

I’m usually very close to even between men and women, and I don’t know what made the difference this year. There were the nine Little House books, of course, but beyond that, it was just a matter of what I felt like reading at any particular moment (and the books chosen for book groups).

Nationalities:

  • Americans: 54
  • English: 20
  • Canadian: 5
  • French: 4
  • Irish: 4
  • Finnish: 2 (two books by Tove Jansson)
  • 1 book each by Czech, Egyptian, Nigerian, Scottish, Spanish, Swedish, Swiss, Trinidadian, Virgin Islander, and Welsh writers. Plus one book by authors from various nationalities.

Year of publication:

  • 17th century: 1
  • 18th: 1
  • 19th: 2 (yikes! these numbers are low)
  • First half of 20th century: 22
  • Second half of 20th century: 17
  • 2000s: 22
  • 2010-2011: 33
  • Various time periods: 2

This is way more contemporary writing than usual, 55% from the 21st century. I read a lot of review copies this year, which contributed to this.

Now a word about my riding this year. In a lot of ways, it was an off year for riding: I didn’t race much and I spent a lot of the year trying to get in shape after having fallen out of it. This happened partly for good reasons: my 3 1/2 week trip to Ireland and England was great but meant a lot of missed riding. There were also lost days because of my thyroid problem and because of bad weather, both last winter and this fall (hurricanes, blizzards).

BUT, 2011 is also my second highest mileage year ever, at 5,213 miles. My highest year was 2010 when I rode 6,597 miles, and 2009 is now my third highest when I reached 5,097. So, even though I was often riding slowly, I still rode a lot. I’ve kicked up the mileage in November and December in preparation for winter training and the March racing season, and if keep I my current pace up, I might break my mileage record in 2012. But that’s not a particular goal of mine. We’ll just have to see what happens.

I’d like to write a best-of 2011 list; I’ll be back to do that soon.

15 Comments

Filed under Books, Reading

15 responses to “2011 wrap-up

  1. Sounds like a GOOD year!

    I didn’t even ride 500 miles this year. Partly I was running some, and rarely run and then ride much, and partly I was in England for about 1/3 of the riding season here. Still, not much.

    Maybe I should try to keep track of books? I don’t read much for pleasure. But, can I count for work reading?

  2. I have never tallied my reading, though reading other people’s numbers inspires me to consider doing this. I like the fact that you read internationally–I think that is one of the best ways to really broaden horizons, figuratively and literally. I’ve decided to do a LH book per year, and since Big Woods was last year, Prairie is up next. I ended up reading a lot about LH books though.

    Best wishes for 2012–I always enjoy visiting your blog, though I don’t always comment. You have probably contributed more to my toppling TBR pile than any other blogger–thanks!, I guess :)

  3. I just crunched my numbers this morning and was startled at how much contemporary lit I read in comparison to everything else (especially pre1910). A lot of it was review copies, which I intend to cut down on. I’m with you on not stressing out about numbers. I read more than ever this year too, I think, and I’m not sure that I want to slow down my reading. Mostly, I just want to not care and read what, when, and how much I feel like reading.

  4. I love reading everyone’s stats! It sounds like a very good year – in reading and in biking. In both cases you covered more ground than you expected ;) That is a lot of very recent novels – and not as many 18th century as I normally think to see here. But then it’s fun that each year has its own character and explores different areas. it would be dull if we had to do the same thing all the time. Have a very happy New Year indeed, dear Rebecca.

  5. It sounds like you had a great year with both reading and cycling and you didn’t set out to break any records–sometimes just reading as you like is enough to urge you on! I don’t really care about how many books I read (it’s more a matter of there being so many good books out there that I want to read now….), but I do like keeping track out of curiosity and seeing what sorts of things I read over the course of the year. I also read almost all 20th century (or later) books, too–it’s weird how that happens sometimes. I hope you’re having a great holiday season–Happy New Year Rebecca!

  6. Bardiac — I find that keeping track of reading and mileage has pluses and minuses. I like to know my numbers, but sometimes I care about the numbers themselves too much. I count reading for work, most definitely!

    Jane — thank you so much! I’m so pleased I contributed to your TBR pile :) Reading a LH book a year is a great idea. I read two books about the series as well, and that was wonderful. I wouldn’t mind reading more at all. I’ve found that using LibraryThing helps me with my year-end tally quite a lot.

    Teresa — I agree, cutting down on reading isn’t so much the goal, but if that’s what happens because I read what I want to, when I want to, then so be it. I plan on cutting down on review copies as well. I have one NetGalleys book right now, and it’s the first one I’ve requested in a long time.

    Litlove — happy new year! Yes, it’s interesting how each year has its own characteristics. It was childhood rereading and contemporary fiction for me, it seems. Who knows what next year will bring! It WAS a good year for both reading and riding, and I’m very grateful.

    Danielle — thanks and happy new year to you! I try hard not to care about numbers, although sometimes I can’t help it. I wouldn’t want to give up counting, because it is so much fun to look over the year and see what happened. I’m glad to know we were together in our contemporary reading!

  7. Happy new year! May your reading and riding be joyful and full of discoveries in 2012! Reading stats from others is always fun (esp. compared to mine, i’ll be posting them soon).

  8. That’s a mighty impressive year for body and mind. I hope 2012 brings you all good things (and great reading!).

  9. A very good year in both reading and riding! I’ve never even gotten close to 100 books in a year. I was really heavy on books published in the 21st century too and I didn’t read that many review copies so I was really surprised when I added everything up. Happy New Year! I hope you have a great year of books and bikes :)

  10. Smithereens — happy new year to you! I’ll make sure to take a look at your stats; I agree those posts are lots of fun to read.

    Bookeywookey — thank you, and all the best to you!

    Stefanie — I’ve never gotten close to 100 before either; it’s nice to have done it, although I feel like too many of the books I read I didn’t like or felt indifferent about. Happy New Year to you, and I hope your 2012 is great!

  11. Those are interesting numbers. I’m beginning to listen to audio books and count them as ‘read’… albeit I know the experience is totally different from actually reading it. Also, can you tell me which four Irish books did you read? Cause I’m looking for suggestions for an Ireland Reading Challenge 2012.

  12. Arti — the Irish book I’d recommend most is Molly Fox’s Birthday by Dierdre Madden. I really liked that one. I also ready Colin Bateman’s Mystery Man, which was only okay, Maria Edgeworth’s Helen, which was interesting, but her novel Belinda is better (it would be a great choice, in fact), and Frank Delaney’s The Matchmaker of Kenmare, which I didn’t like at all.

  13. Love the book wrap-up, but have to admit I love the ride wrap-up still more! :) 2011 was crap for me on the bike (or rather OFF the bike) – several injuries and finally the knee surgery – but I have big hopes for 2012! Let’s go get ‘em this year!

  14. Sounds like your cycling year turned out alright even with the drawbacks. Hope next year is even better for you.

    I enjoyed your summation of your reading year — I always enjoy looking over my year with various measures as well. I’ve never tallied up the years of publication, though…that would be interesting. I have a feeling that I’d have a large percentage of contemporary reading as well, mostly due to review copies, also. I read much more current fiction than I used to in the five years since I’ve started blogging.

  15. I never thought much about publication years, either, but the GR stats got me thinking about it this past year. I wish there were stats for my younger reading years stored somewhere, so I could see if it’s all evening out over the course of a reading lifetime, cuz I’m sure that I used to read a lot more classics than I have in the past two years!

    I hope that 2012 is as satisfying on every count (page and mile and otherwise) for you; I’m looking forward to more bookchat!

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