Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Year of Reading

Today is my birthday. Fifty-six now. Hard to believe. I still feel mentally about eighteen, but when I try to get up out of a chair my true age comes calling. I count my reading year from birthday to birthday. For the past couple of years I've done a post about it on this day, or soon after. Here's another.

My book consumption was down this year. I managed 72 books, which broke a 7 year streak of reading over 100 a year. This is actually my lowest average since 2000-2001, where I read 71 books. I also break my list down by genre. Westerns won this year, with 16 total. That's the most in this genre I've read since 1997-1998. Nonfiction and SF were next with 12 each. That's up for NF and down for SF from last year.

I have done more writing this year than last so that accounts for some of the decreased reading time and decreased reads, but I think more of the downturn is due to a decrease in certain genres. Three genres dipped pretty low this year, poetry, graphic novels, and YA fiction. All three of these are relatively short works compared to some others, meaning that they require less reading time. In contrast, NF works are generally slower reads. Overall, this is probably what added up to fewer total books.

I don't feel compelled to read 100 books a year, although I like to. The only real disappointment was that my average book consumption per year actually dropped a little this year, from 80.15 per year (since age 6) to 79.98. I don't actually have clear yearly records going back past 1987-1988, when I started keeping records like I'm doing now. But I have been keeping a general list of books I've read since my early teen years. I'm sure there are plenty of books that I forgot to write down in those years, when I wasn't quite so obsessive about it. And I probably have missed a number of books I read in the years before I hit my teens. So, the overall averages are just approximations, although I'm convinced they are fairly close.

In other news, I just sent out my third author Newsletter. Most of you who visit here regularly are certainly on the list to get it. But if you didn't and are interested in getting a copy, you can email me or message me on facebook and give me your email address. I send out no more than two a year so it won't clutter your inbox. My email is kainja at hotmail dot com.

Enjoy your day!
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26 comments:

Bill Crider said...

Have a great birthday and do some reading!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Happy birthday! Maybe you'll receive something good to read today and up your average.

Sarah Hina said...

Have a wonderful birthday, Charles.

72 books is still pretty darn good in my book. :)

David J. West said...

Happy Birthday Charles! All the best my friend. My reading list has certainly gone down this last year or so as well.

Brian Miller said...

happy birthday man...i hope you get a few good books...ha...i dunno how many i read this year...i read 2 this weekend...a glutton after grad school...

Chris said...

Slacker. Now go eat some cake and think about what you've done (or not done, as the case may be)!

Heh.

Erik Donald France said...

Hey man, fantastic ~! Happy Birthday cheers ~ really cool to keep track of your reading in a consistent manner.

Strange for many, I think, feeling like a late teenager in a way but also feeling more aches and pains . . . the price of wisdom maybe . . . huzzah ~!

sage said...

Happy birthday! That's still a lot of reading!

Cloudia said...

Happy Birthday, young man



ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
=^..^= . <3

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Charles, a very Happy Birthday to you! I think your reading is pretty good and across some terrific genres too. Thanks for the newsletter. I particularly enjoyed reading your "12 Frights of Halloween"—putting words to our real or imagined fears during Halloween or otherwise.

Charles Gramlich said...

Bill, mission accomplished

Alex, I think I did download a book to my Kindle today.

Sarah, thankee. I'm not too ashamed of 72. :)

David, life happens to reading, it seems.

Brian, most folks don't keep records. I'm just that way.

Chris, cake!

Erik, if only I could believe I'd gained wisdom. :)

Sage, a fair amount.

Cloudia, thankee,

Prashant, I had fun with the 12 frights!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am lucky to read a book a week. So much of my reading is online.

Oscar said...

Migawd, Charles, that's about two books per week, plus all the other work you have to do, plus your own writing, etc., migawd! I'm sending my e-mail address for the newsletter. Thanks.

Ty Johnston said...

I think I only average about 50 books a year, but I've also been keeping track since my late teens, and I'm sure I've probably missed some of the earliest books I read.

Charles Gramlich said...

Patti, I don't do a lot of online reading other than quick stuff on facebook. I use my kindle quite a lot though.

Oscar, reading keeps me sane, I think. It's generally an escape from all the other work I do, especially school stuff.

Ty, I hate to cut back on reading to do more writing but I probably need to. I'm such a slow writer.

David Cranmer said...

Happy birthday, friend. And I know that feeling of remaining 18 on the inside.

Charles Gramlich said...

David, as I'm hearing, that seems pretty common. Guess folks are more alike than we think sometimes.

ivan said...

Well, my Ukrainian brother-in-law, Stashiu (not of Liberty), once said to me, "You read so much and know so little."

Happy Birthday Charles!

I am now 76 (seventy-six), and save for fantasy, seem to know even less.
lol.

Ron Scheer said...

A birthday greeting from me was supposed to go up on your timeline at FB. If not, please accept my belated best wishes for another year of reading and writing, too.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ivan, perhaps it was your brother in law who knew so little.

Ron, it did. Thankee!

Richard Prosch said...

That's still a lot of reading relative to the general public. I've been reading a lot of nonfiction which sometimes goes slower.

Barbara Martin said...

Belated Happy Birthday. Yes, reading is a wonderful pastime, and I must say I have not read as much as I should be doing.

Riot Kitty said...

Hey, happy late b.day! That is a hell of a lot of reading. Here I am thinking I'm cool reading a book a week ;)

Yes, send the newsletter! I believe you have my addy.

Charles Gramlich said...

Richard, it does for me. Requires more study.

Barbara, no matter how much one reads, one is always falling further behind

Riot Kitty, thankee. Will do

jodi said...

Happy Birthday Charles. I hope you are enjoying a frosty mug of your favorite grog with your cake. I can't believe how organized you are!

Charles Gramlich said...

Jodi, somethings are organized. Others not so much.