2012 Year in Review: Books



2012 Year in Review: Books

The actual proposal - I said yes!
The actual proposal – I said yes!

In 2011, I set a New Years goal of reading 40 books excluding textbooks. I read exactly 40, totaling 12,323, pages and about 4,313,000 words. Read my 2011 year in review here.

On a fun note, my fiancé found my 2011 Year in Review quite sexy. Reading has been a significant part of our relationship. I love him, and I love that he loves my love of books.

Anyway, back to the review:

Since achieving my goal in 2011 was very difficult, I decided that it would be a good challenge to repeat. So again, I made a New Years 2012 resolution to read 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!

The results are:

Books Read 2012 Difference from 2011
Total Δ Percent Δ
Total Books Read 44 4 10%
Total Pages Read 11453 -870 -7%
Approximate Words Read 4008550 -304500 -7%
Average Pages 260.3 -47.8 -16%
Total Hardcopy 32 6 23%
Approximate Words Read 90300 -33923 -27%
Average Page Hardcopy 258.0 -97 -27%
Total Audio 12 -2 -14%
Approximate Words Listened 93245.833 15871 21%
Average Page Audio 266.4 45 21%

Here how it breaks down in English:

  • I surpassed my goal by reading 44 books! Beating my goal is definitely positive.
  • Even though I read 4 more books than I did in 2011, the books I read were on average 48 pages shorter meaning I actually read 870 few total pages. This is a 16% decrease in book length, and a 7% decrease in total reading.
  • I am not surprised that the books are shorter this year, because there were several books in 2011 which were almost 1000 pages. I had no intention of seeking books out based on length, so this is a neutral trend.
  • Interestingly, while I read six more hard copy books, they were on average 27% shorter, and conversely, while I listened to two less audio books, they were 21% longer.
  • While audio books are the trick to reading a large number of books, I think reading more physical books is also a positive trend. Also, I think that challenging myself to concentrate on longer audio books (which I did mostly while driving between Washington, D.C. and Tennessee) is also a positive trend.

Now for real fun stuff.

Books Read 2011 Difference from 2011
Total Δ Percent Δ
Fiction 15 -13 -46%
Total Pages 4621 -5566 -55%
Average Pages 308 -55.8 -15%
Science Fiction 13 -6 -32%
Total Pages 3936 -1107 -22%
Average Pages 302.8 37.3 14%
Mystery 2 2
Total Pages 685 685
Average Pages 342.5 342.5
Non-Fiction 29 17 142%
Total Pages 6832 4696 220%
Average Pages 235.6 57.6 32%
Policy 14 10 250%
Total Pages 3306 2458 290%
Average Pages 236.1 24.1 11%
Business 6 6
Total Pages 1778 1778
Average Pages 296.3 296.3
Theology 9 5 125%
Total Pages 1748 925 112%
Average Pages 194.2 -11.5 -6%

Observable Trends

  • The overall trend of more, though shorter, books read is carried by the non- fiction books, where I read 17 more.
  • This is reflected in my reading 13 less fiction books. The 4 book difference is seen in the increase.
  • I categorized books a little bit more broadly this year, which resulted in zero “fantasy” and “economics” books. These books were categorized into “science fiction” and “policy” respectively.
  • I real significantly more non-fiction. I read 17 more non-fiction book, and the books were 32% longer resulting in a quite impressive (if I do say so myself) 220% more non-fiction read.

Results of Goals for Reading 2012

Looking closely at my goals for 2012, I think I was remarkably successful.

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

  • I read six more hard copy and 2 less audio books. Success.
  • Only one of my physical books was read on my IPad Mini, which I received as a gift for Christmas 2012. I anticipate more e-books in the future.

“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.”

  • I read 13 Science Fiction books, most of which fit into the Dystopian or Utopian categories. Success.

“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.”

  • While I did read several books by Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, I’m not sure I read anything that fits into the “hard-science fiction” category. Fail.
  • However, I did recently stock up on Stephen Baxter, Gregory Benford, and Robert J. Sawyer at a used book store, so maybe that will improve in 2013.

“Read more business/management books.”

  • I read six business, management, and marketing books. Which is six more than the year before! Success.

“Continue reading more theology books.”

  • I read nine theology books, which is 5 more than 2011. Success.
  • I also read four policy books which had a secondary theme of theology.

“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.”

  • I actually did not read A Dance with Dragons. So while this technically a failure, I do not feel bad about it as I had not heard good things.

Goals for Reading 2013

I already mentioned my fiancé, who loves and supports my reading habit. However, as we are getting married in July and I fully intend to spend time planning the wedding and enjoy newly-wed life in 2013, I have reduced my reading goals to reading 30 books.

Relatedly, I would like to read more marriage books, preferably religious marriage books.

I have also already mentioned that I have stocked up on Stephen Baxter, Gregory Benford, and Robert J. Sawyer and other hard-science fiction books. I intend to read more of that genre 2013.

I’d also like to read a few more business books, perhaps with a concentration on marketing to reflect my academic concentration in marketing in continuous pursuit of my Masters in Business Administration.

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.

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