The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia
06 January 2010
A year in books
My spreadsheet of books finished during 2009 shows that I finished only 47 books. That’s the fewest since I started keeping a spreadsheet.
The spectrum of books was different in 2009 as well. This year’s list had at least three genres of books that had not appeared on earlier lists:
•first graphic novel
•first book of literary criticism
•first Western that wasn’t a romance
Roughly one-third of the books I read were fantasy, the exact number depending on how one defines the many interstitial books. Nonfiction was second most popular on my list, and historical fiction and science fiction duked it out for third place.
This year only two of 47 books (4%) I read were romances, compared with 15 of 56 books (27%) in 2008.
In 2009, 21 (45%) of the books I read were by people I knew by the end of the year versus 19 (34%) in 2008. I recently started shelving books by people I know separately from other books in my to-be-read stacks, and that should make it easier to find my friends’ books when I’m choosing something new to read.
Missing altogether this year were quilting books and gardening books. 2009 was all about becoming a better writer, at the expense of every other aspect my life. I hope to achieve a better balance in 2010.
What was noteworthy about the books you read last year, and what does your list say about your 2009?
Tomorrow, 7 January, I will be blogging at Novel Spaces at http://novelspaces.blogspot.com on why focusing solely on remunerative tasks is not always the greatest idea.