2011 in books — By the numbers

Want to know what happens when I combine a lengthy vacation with our “empty nest”? It means I read more books than in any year since I started keeping track in 1976. This year I read 147 books, compared to the prior record of 127 last year. And although the number may be somewhat squishy, that added up to nearly 46,000 pages.

What is perhaps most noticeable is the huge increase in e-books. Last year I read 18, 14 percent of the year’s total. This year I read 55, a 205 percent increase. Of course, this only means I’m keeping up with current trends. There were more than 32,000 e-books checked out from the local library, a 657 percent increase over last year, and more e-books were checked out in December than in all of 2010. This also is reflected in the fact I checked out fewer “real” books from the library this year (32) than last (45).

In looking more specifically at 2011, the results are proportionately very close to what they were last year:

Books Read: 147

Pages Read: 45,909

Fiction: 74 (50.3 percent)

  • Translated Fiction: 22 (19 fiction — 26 percent of the fiction– and three nonfiction)
  • Languages: German (6), French (3), Japanese (3), Spanish (3), Italian (2), Albanian (1), Arabic (1), Danish (1), Portuguese (1), Russian (1)
  • Science Fiction: 11
  • Short Stories: 7

Non-fiction: 67 (45.6 percent)

  • History: 13 (19.4 percent of nonfiction)
  • Autobiography/Memoirs/: 12
  • Biography: 9

Humor: 5

Review Copies Read: 36 (24.5 percent)

Books Reviewed: 37

Ebooks Read: 55 (37.4 percent)

I am simply a “book drunkard.” Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.

L.M. Montgomery, The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery, Vol. 1: 1889-1910

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