Doing my part to offset the decline

It is rather fitting that The Long Decline of Reading came across in Twitter today. I decided at the beginning of the year that I was going to track all of the books that I completed this year. Since today is the end of the year and I just finished reading my last book of the year, I thought it was a good time to go ahead and report on what I finished up. I tracked the date that I completed each book, along with the number of pages, in a spreadsheet. That allowed me to calculate some basic stats that I have included after the list.

All of the books listed in italics are rereads. Yes, I reread books periodically.

  1. “On Writing” by Stephen King
  2. “Dead Beat” by Jim Butcher
  3. “Proven Guilty” by Jim Butcher
  4. “Managing Humans” by Michael Lopp
  5. “Requiem for the Sun” by Elizabeth Haydon
  6. “Elegy for a Lost Star” by Elizabeth Haydon
  7. “The Assassin King” by Elizabeth Haydon
  8. “A Song for Lya” by George R. R. Martin
  9. “White Night” by Jim Butcher
  10. “Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  11. “World War Z” by Max Brooks
  12. “Daughter of the Blood” by Anne Bishop
  13. “Heir to the Shadows” by Anne Bishop
  14. “Queen of the Darkness” by Anne Bishop
  15. “Dreams Made Flesh” by Anne Bishop
  16. “Tangled Webs” by Anne Bishop
  17. “A Necessary Evil” by Garry Willis
  18. “The Last Unicorn” by Peter S. Beagle
  19. “King Rat” by China Mieville
  20. “The Born Queen” by Greg Keyes
  21. “Sinner” by Sara Douglass
  22. “Pilgram” by Sara Douglass
  23. “Crusader” by Sara Douglass
  24. “Small Favor” by Jim Butcher
  25. “Beautiful Code” by Andy Oram and Greg Wilson
  26. “Looking for Jake” by China Mieville
  27. “Analog Circuit Design” by Jim Williams
  28. “Song for Susannah” by Stephen King
  29. “Ready for Anything” by David Allen
  30. “The Dark Tower” by Stephen King
  31. “No Ordinary Time” by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  32. “Fireclown” by Michael Moorcock
  33. “Ruled Britannia” by Harry Turtledove
  34. “Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegot
  35. “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey
  36. “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Jester
  37. “The Terror” by Dan Simmons
  38. “Days of Infamy” by Harry Turtledove
  39. “Eye of the World” by Robert Jordan
  40. “The Great Hunt” by Robert Jordan
  41. “The Dragon Reborn” by Robert Jordan
  42. “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi
  43. “Made to Stick” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  44. “The Do-It Yourself Business Book” by Gustav Berle
  45. “I’m Finally in Business for Myself… Now What?” by Mike Sandy
  46. “The Shadow Rising” by Robert Jordan
  47. “Fires of Heaven” by Robert Jordan

That comes out to be around 1 book every 7.77 days. I read somewhere around 21,400 pages which sounds really impressive until I break it down per day (around 58.5 pages a day). When I started tracking all of this, I wanted to average around a book a week and I got really close to that. I was a little disappointed at the 58.5 pages a day, though. On average, I tend to read about a page a minute, so that says that I only managed to read for an average of 1 hour a day. On the other hand, none of this counts the two books that I skimmed for work, nor does it count the couple of books that I started and did not finish. So, I have really read more than that; I am not counting them because I did not finish them.

So far, I think that the book tracking experiment was worthwhile. I feel like I have gotten some value out of it and I plan on keeping it up for the coming year. However, I think I may tweak things a little. Instead of just a straight list of books read, I think I want to have some method of rating the book, but I am not sure what will be best. Perhaps a star system? Maybe just a few sentences on each book? Possibly a combination of the two would be best.

8 thoughts on “Doing my part to offset the decline

  1. Logging these things is good; I would love to see you post as you read. Unfortunately, while I do booklog, um, I don’t read as voraciously as I used to. I think that’s because the time I used to spend reading books, I now spend reading on the Internet. There’s something fundamentally wrong with that, but I have a big behavior change to make in order to correct this …

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  3. I got lazy this year and didn’t track, but this will prompt me to keep track in 2009.

    From your list, I’m interested in possibly reading Beautiful Code and Managing Humans. First off, would you recommend these two? Secondly, if you would recommend them, would it be possible to borrow them?

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