I thought it would be interesting to have a little personal accountability on the blog to kick off the new year – a reckoning. To start things off, I stole the approach used each year by Jessamyn West at Librarian.net. Here’s how it shakes out by the numbers:
number of books read in 2011: 48
number of books read in 2010: 43
number of books read in 2009: 50
number of books read in 2008: 68
number of books read in 2007: 50
number of books read in 2006: 40
number of books read in 2005: 47
Stats for 2011:
percentage by male authors: 75
percentage by female authors: 25
fiction as percentage of total: 86
non-fiction as percentage of total: 14
My personal reading resolutions for 2011 were to read: “…more books by female authors, more non-fiction, more books by foreign authors and/or translated works, more graphic novels, more classics, more books from small presses and “indie” authors, and more books that challenge and broaden my comfort zone.” Let’s break it down to see how I did:
More books by female authors: As pitiful as that 25% is, I actually read more books by female authors this year as I have in any year since I started tracking my books read. Success? Room for improvement in 2012.
More non-fiction: Clearly my reading trends very heavily towards fiction. I enjoyed the non-fiction that I read, there is more work to be done in this area if I am serious about this goal. Which I think that I am. Fail.
More foreign authors/works in translation: Discounting British authors and Téa Obreht, um, that left me with two authors whose works had to be translated into English, Roberto Bolaño and Johan Harstad. Fail.
More graphic novels: Four graphic novels. That’s about typical for me. Fail.
More classics: I finished Moby Dick. That should count twice, right? Fail.
More books by indie presses and authors: Eight books qualify if I don’t count the comics. 16%. Three of those were by people who I know personally. Hey. it’s a higher percentage than my non-fiction on the year. I’m going to call this one a qualified success. But barely.
More books that challenge and broaden my comfort zone: Given the above, I’m going to call this one a failure. Clearly, I was reading almost entirely within my comfort zone.
My 2012 resolutions? I think I can stick with the 2011 goals and try a little harder. What are your reading resolutions for 2012?