2012 Wrap-Up

I finished two books today and am unlikely to finish another one by tomorrow, so it’s time for my usual by-the-numbers wrap-up. I’ll probably come back and make a list of my favorite books in a day or two. It was a good year for reading; I read 84 books, which is my second highest number, down from the 100 I read last year, but up from my usual 60-70 of recent years. I may have read lengthier books this year than last year, which would account for the difference. This year there was no Little House on the Prairie read-through to bump up my numbers, which is fine. Whatever. My resolution for 2012 was not to care about numbers so much, and I was only moderately successful at that; I still set a goal over on Goodreads (of 75 books) and I paid attention to whether I would reach that number or not throughout the year. For 2013, however, I am not going to set any kind of goal whatsoever, on Goodreads or elsewhere. With a new baby, I’ll be happy if I get to read some books, and I’ll leave it at that. So here are my stats:

  • Books read: 84
  • Audiobooks: 6
  • eBooks: 3
  • From library: 23
  • Fiction: 54 (64%)
  • Nonfiction: 30 (36%, up a little bit from last year)
  • Poetry: 0 (harumph)
  • Essay collections: 8
  • Biography/autobiography/letters/journals: 14
  • Theory/criticism: 3
  • Short story collections: 1
  • Mysteries: 11
  • Books in translation: 6

Gender breakdown:

  • Men: 30 (36%, a little more equal than last year where men were only 28%, but still off the perfect gender balance I used to [accidentally] keep, which is fine)
  • Women: 51 (61%)
  • Both:3

Nationalities:

  • Americans: 46 (55%)
  • British: 24 (28%)
  • Canadian: 2
  • Japanese: 2
  • One each by Bosnian, Czech, Egyptian, Finnish, Irish, and Swedish writers. Plus one book by an author of uncertain nationality (Olaudah Equiano — was he born in Africa or South Carolina?) and three books by multiple authors from various nationalities. There was not as much diversity here as usual, alas.

Year of publication:

  • 18th century: 3
  • 19th: 0 (wow — down from the already low number of 2 from last year! I need to read some 19th-century fiction soon)
  • First half of 20th century: 8
  • Second half of 20th century: 20
  • 2000-2009: 18
  • 2010-2012: 35

I’m reading a lot more contemporary fiction lately, which I don’t like in theory, although I’m enjoying it in practice.

As for cycling, my total mileage is way down this year, for obvious reasons. I rode 3,677 miles, down from 5,213 the previous year. But I rode over 3,000 of those miles in the first half of the year, mostly before I knew I was pregnant. If I’d kept up that pace, I would have been close to my old yearly mileage record of 6,597. That’s a number I won’t see again for a while. I did some races last year, maybe 6 or so, but that’s all over for a while. Next year, I’ll be grateful for every mile I get to ride, and I won’t even think about racing.

And now to think about which books from this year I liked best …

19 Comments

Filed under Books

19 responses to “2012 Wrap-Up

  1. cheer up! Babies take lots of naps–(which means you can, too—-) OR you
    can read! And then there’s reading to the baby–

  2. I don’t know if you’re into fantasy but a friend of mine read the entire Katharine Kerr Deverry series while she was in the last weeks of pregnancy and during breast feeding. They don’t take much thought but are very well written. Did last week’s storm catch you?

    • Thanks for the recommendation, Alex! I’m unfamiliar with that series and will look it up. We’ve gotten some snow here, but no major storms have come through — thank goodness! It’s nice to have some calm weather for a while.

  3. You had a great year considering you are expecting a baby and no doubt have lots of new things on your mind! :) I read mostly 20th c. and later fiction, but next year I want to try and read more books written earlier–and am going to get back to Camilla! I’m looking forward to hearing about your favorite reads. Have a really wonderful New Year and best wishes in 2013 (which is going to be a very exciting year for you!).

    • Thanks, Danielle, and I hope you have a great year! I suspect I’ll end up with a lot of contemporary fiction again this year, particularly as much of it is fairly easy to read and won’t challenge me too much while I’m taking care of the baby! :)

  4. Reading to baby would become a new activity for you. I can say it’s one of the most rewarding experiences of motherhood. It will only be more enjoyable as your child is a bit older and can talk and respond to words and stories. Have a wonderful new year!

    • Arti, that’s great to hear. And in the beginning, I can read adult books to the baby, because the baby won’t care one way or the other! It will be fun to explore children’s books when that time comes. Happy new year to you!

  5. A very good reading year! I was surprised by how many contemporary novels I read this year but I enjoyed them so that’s what matters. I hope baby ends up being a good sleeper so you can get some sleep and so you can read! Happy New Year!

    • I’m hoping for a good sleeper too, Stefanie — what a difference that would make! But regardless, I’m sure I’ll have some time for reading in between my own naps. The trick will be to find books I’m happy reading and can focus on. Happy new year!

  6. I’m looking forward to hearing which books you liked best in 2012. Happy New Year and Happy Baby.

  7. Yes, looking forward to your top picks as well! Enjoyed the numerical summary of the reading year, and I agree that you had a marvellous reading year. I think I need to start keeping track of publication dates too — it is so interesting to see this summary.

  8. Sounds like it was a great reading year! I love other people’s stats but never seem able to do them for myself – sigh. I think it’s innate laziness. And you’ll be back on your bike in no time, as small children love being transported that way (I always think of the Peanuts cartoons!). You might not be able to go quite so fast – although who knows what the back seat driver will prefer – but you’re bound to clock up the miles!

    • Litlove, Hobgoblin is the same way — I don’t think he’d be good at keeping stats either. I’m not sure it’s laziness so much as just focusing on the reading experience itself, in a way that seems healthy to me. You are right about riding with the child, although I may leave that hard work up to Hobgoblin :)

  9. Mr. W

    Wait, under gender, you read 3 books written by “both”? I’m intrigued! Oh, unless they were books co-written by a man and a woman…

  10. I’m in love with reading stats and yours are impressive! (I’m surrounded by numbers in my day job, but sadly not counting books, so whenever I get the chance, I so enjoy it!) I hope that you can sneak in some reading time during naps, and audiobooks are great for nursing time, so don’t worry!

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