2011 Year in Review: Books

2011 Year in Review: Books

In 2010, I set a New Years goal of reading 30 books excluding textbooks.

I read 42, totaling 10,697, pages and about 3,744,000 words.

So for 2011 I upped my goal to reading 40 books excluding textbooks. The textbook distinction is important as I am a graduate student. Also, if you are thinking that my reading goals are too low, remember that I am a graduate student!

I created a new spreadsheet this year and ran all kinds of exciting statistics about my reading accomplishments.

The results are:

Books Read 2011 Difference from 2010
Total Δ Percent Δ
Total Books Read 40 -2 -5%
Total Pages Read 12323 1626 15%
Approximate Words Read 4313050 569100 15%
Average Pages 308.1 53.4 21%
Total Hardcopy 26 -2 -7%
Approximate Words Read 124223.08 32461 35%
Average Page Hardcopy 354.9 92.7 35%
Total Audio 14 0 0%
Approximate Words Listened 77375 -6525 -8%
Average Page Audio 221.1 -18.6 -8%

Here how it breaks down in English:

  • I met my goal of reading 40 books (barely).
  • While I read 2 less books than in 2010, the books I read were on average 53 pages longer meaning I read 1626 more total pages. This is a 21% increase in book length, and a 15% increase in total reading.
  • Reading lengthier books is a positive trend.
  • While these numbers include both physical books read and audio books listened to, the increase came from physical books read. While audio books are the trick to reading a large number of books, I think reading more physical books is also a positive trend.
    • I read two less physical books, but they were on average 93 pages longer for a 35% increase in physical pages reading.
    • I listened to the same amount of audio books, which were actually 19 pages shorter on average, for an 8 percent decrease in audio books.

Now for real fun stuff.

Books Read 2011 Difference from 2010
Total Δ Percent Δ
Fiction 28 -3 -10%
Total Pages 10187 1727.0 20%
Average Pages 363.82143 90.9 33%
Fantasy 7 -4 -36%
Total Pages 4120 1038.0 34%
Average Pages 588.57143 308.4 110%
Science Fiction 19 2 12%
Total Pages 5043 1149.0 30%
Average Pages 265.42105 36.4 16%
Philosophy 2 0 0%
Total Pages 1024 -228 -18%
Average Pages 512 -114 -18%
Mystery 0 -1 -100%
Total Pages 0 -232 -100%
Average Pages 0 -232 -100%
Non-Fiction 12 1 9%
Total Pages 2136 -101 -5%
Average Pages 178 -25.4 -12%
Policy 4 -4 -50%
Total Pages 848 -626 -42%
Average Pages 212 27.8 15%
Business 0
Total Pages 0
Average Pages 0
Economics 4 2 100%
Total Pages 465 88.0 23%
Average Pages 116.25 -72.25 -38%
Theology 4 4  
Total Pages 823 823  
Average Pages 205.75 205.8  


Observable Trends

  • The overall trend of fewer, but longer books read is carried by the fiction books.
    • 3 less fiction books read.
    • The books were 33% longer than fiction books of 2010, resulting in 20% more pages read.
  • This was most notable in the “Fantasy” subcategory.
    • 4 less fantasy books read.
    • The books were 110% longer, resulting in 34% more fantasy reading.
    • This trend is mainly driven by four books from George R. R. Martin’s Series “A Song of Ice and Fire” – A Game of Thrones (807), A Clash of Kings (969), A Storm of Swords (924), and A Feast for Crows (978 pages).
  • The “Science Fiction” subcategory increased in all areas.
    • 2 more Science Fiction books read.
    • The books were 16% longer, resulting in a 30% increase in science fiction reading.
    • Science fiction books counted for 5 of the top 10 longest books read.
    • Science fiction also counted for 3 of 5 shortest books read.
  • The Non-Fiction books were noticeably shorter this year.
    • Even with 1 more non-fiction book read, the books were 12% shorter resulting in 5% less non-fiction read.
    • This represents a deliberate focus on fiction literature I had in 2011, but I didn’t mean to let my non-fiction reading slip that much. Since I would have liked to read more non-fiction in 2011, this is a negative trend.
  • Also, I didn’t read any business books in 2010. Since I am pursuing a Masters in BUSINESS Administration, this is a negative trend.
  • I did, however, read several theology books this year. As this was an area I had been wanting to spend more time, this is a positive trend.

Also, I wrote book reviews for The Morality of Capitalism and Failing Liberty 101.

I am currently  working on a review of Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture. Watch the Values and Capitalism website.

Goals for Reading 2012

Read 40 books, excluding textbooks. While I met this goal last year, it was a close call.

Audio books are still acceptable, but I want to continue the trend of reading more physical books. E-reader books count as physical books.

Continue my focus on dystopian literature. I think I’ve learned more about political science from reading dystopian literature than I ever did in school.

Continue to read more hard-science fiction. Again, I think I’ve learned more about theoretical science from reading hard-science fiction than I ever did in school.

Read more business/management books.

Continue reading more theology books.

For those of you who are wondering: Yes, I intend to read the 5th book in George R. R. Martin’s saga, A Dance with Dragons.

And also for those of you are wondering, here are some of the highlights. Thank you to all who recommended books to me this year, and all of these are recommended by myself.

Fiction – Alphabetical by Author, Alphabetical by Title.


Non-Fiction – Alphabetical by Author, Alphabetical by Title.



2 thoughts on “2011 Year in Review: Books

  1. Hey there – just found your blog via SingleRoots. I *love* that your track your reading in a spreadsheet and statistically analyze it. I think we’re kindred spirits 🙂 (Oh – and loved “The Man Who Was Thursday”, too!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s