Saturday, December 10, 2016

Statistics, odds and ends.

So in a couple of weeks my ten years of reading will be over and I'll start a new year. In ten years' time, I have read 1,358 books (and will hopefully add at least one more to the total before December 31.)

The year in which I read the most books was 2008: 168 books. This was the year after I joined Paperback Swap, and I was reading and trading maniacally. (I was a member for six or seven years, and then I came to a point where the books I wanted to read were not the ones being traded any more. But I found some fantastic books through that site.)

The year in which I read the least books was this year, 2016. Right now my total stands at 69. One reason for this enormous drop-off (I have always easily broken 100 books every other year) was too much time spent following politics online, and another reason was an unrealized need for progressive lenses. I started reading more once I could see better!

I don't set reading goals. I like to let my desires and interests take me where they will. But I really do hope to do better than 69 books next year. I suspect reading will be a good escape in the midst of whatever 2017 holds.

I've listed my good reads, now what about my bad reads? I don't have a lot of one-star books on my list, because if a book is that bad, I usually just don't finish it. I have no qualms about dropping a book--or drop-kicking it! Several one- and two-star books loom large, though:

The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery
Empire, Orson Scott Card
The Ladies of Missalonghi, Colleen McCullough
Little Bee, Chris Cleave
The Crimes of Charlotte Bronte, James Tully
A Handful of Dust, Evelyn Waugh
The Astronaut Wives' Club, Lily Koppel
Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, Katherine Howe
The Storied Life of A.J Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin

These all went past merely bad into the realm of actively pissing me off, for being poorly plotted, under-researched, and/or just plain obnoxious. Fortunately, these books are fairly rare.

I'm excited to see what great reads await me in the next ten years!

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