2014 Year-End Summary

January 8, 2015 at 9:25 pm (Reads) ()

I’m a bit of a stats geek, so if I keep track of things over the course of a year, I like to go back and review my progress at the end of the year.  I haven’t done that with books yet (in previous years, I haven’t really read enough to justify any real analysis), but last year turned out to be the year that I got back to reading like I used to.  I credit reading George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire near the end of 2013 for it, since it reminded me that there was still a lot of good stuff out there to read, so long as I made the time for it.

First, there are the raw stats.  In 2014, I read 107 different books, equaling 35,123 pages.  For me, any work that was over 100 pages is considered a book, so I also read 18 short stories and novellas, to the tune of 846 pages, bringing the grand total up to 125 unique works read, for 35,969 pages.  Eight of those short stories were e-books, and after doing a bit of research, I counted one page for every two e-book pages if the e-book didn’t have a page count.  I also read 29 graphic novels, which always go so quickly that it feels like I’m cheating to count them as a book read.  That’s a high number, too, thanks to me having fallen far behind on Usagi Yojimbo.

I also started my Unfinished Series project in May of last year, and came pretty close to finishing it out before the end of the year.  I came pretty close (I have eleven books and five series to go), but I didn’t set that as a hard goal for the year, since when I started the project, I had 77 books to read.  I kept adding books to the project, too, which didn’t help.

I thought I hadn’t given up on any books this past year, but I did decide to quit reading the Dune series after God Emperor of Dune, and had gotten about 40 pages into Heretics of Dune when I set it aside, thinking I’d return to it.  I finally decided that I had had enough of the painstaking narrative and weird developments, and after seeing other folks write about how weird the series got beyond that point, I opted to just give it up.  I like what I read, but not enough to keep going down that road.

I also read a non-fiction book of sorts this year, which is pretty rare for me.  Given that the entire book was full of scientific answers to hypothetical questions, though, it’s hard to classify it entirely as “non-fiction.”  It’s close enough to count, though.

I don’t think I’ll read as much this coming year.  I raced through a lot of books, hoping to meet my goals for the year, and I sacrificed a lot of time that could have gone to other things, while reading so quickly that I didn’t feel like I comprehended as much as I could.  I look forward to finishing my Unfinished Series project, too, so that I can move on to some other books I’m eager to read.  I have two unread Stephen King books (which is something I haven’t been able to say since I got caught up on all his works in the late 1980s), Lev Grossman’s Magician series, and Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen series, to name just a few of the books I’ve been waiting to read.  I look forward to reading more good books in the year ahead, but I don’t anticipate getting through the same volume in 2015 as I did last year.

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