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
- Men: 28
- Women: 68
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).
- 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.