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The year in books — by the numbers

The numbers will finish off the end of the year book-related posts. I’ve been keeping a book diary since the beginning of 1976. This year I reached a record number of books read, 111. That figure is tempered by the reverse of what affected last year’s numbers. Just as my 2008 reading included a few very lengthy books, 2009 had a number of books that were below average in length.

One of regular features on this blog has been my monthly Bibliolust lists. So how did I do this year? I think I proved the power of lust. Sixty-six books appeared on the lists. I read 38 of them. There were another six I got from the library but ended up returning because, at the time, I didn’t have time to read them before they were due. Another five currently reside in the “TBR” bookshelves next to the bed.

The results are skewed a bit because I tend to include books I know I’m going to be reviewing on the lists. Still, I think the figures bear out that these books appropriately belonged on a lusted for list.

Looking more broadly at my reading in 2009:

Books Read: 111

Fiction: 60

  • Translated Fiction: 23 (38 percent of fiction)
  • Languages: German (5), Arabic (3), Russian (3), French (2), Hungarian (2), Italian (2), Spanish (2), Swedish (2), Norwegian (1), Various (1)
  • Science Fiction: 11
  • Nobel Literature laureates read: 3

Non-fiction: 51

  • History: 11 (21.6 percent of nonfiction)
  • Autobiography/Memoirs: 9
  • Biography: 6
  • Current Affairs: 5
  • Translated works: 3 (5.8 percent)
  • Languages: Chinese, German, Various

Review copies read: 52 (46.9 percent)

Library copies read: 24 (21.6 percent)

My own books read: 35 (31.5 percent)

Potential trend: The nonfiction works included three “graphic novels” (Trotsky: A Graphic Biography, The Photographer: Into War-torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders, and Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History). Personally, I’m not sure about that label since they are nonfiction, not novels.

Absences I’m proud of: No vampire or zombie novels.


Pithy sentences are like sharp nails which force truth upon our memory.

Denis Diderot

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1 comment to The year in books — by the numbers

  • Valerie

    Haha, no vampire/ zombie books for me either, although I did read the classic “Frankenstein”. Enjoy a book-filled 2010!