Yesterday I added a new page to the site (the tab above labeled “Books”). I had several reasons for creating it:
1) I wanted an easy way of recommending books.
2) I need to keep track of the ones I read so I’ll know if I meet my goal of 65 books in 2009.
3) I was curious to see how many (and what type of) books I read in 2008.
Unfortunately, I didn’t write down all the books I read this past year. So to guesstimate, I was forced to read through past blog entries and search for clues within my notebooks and book shelves. I think I came up with a fairly comprehensive 2008 list, although I’m sure I’m forgetting at least a few (such as library books I read early in the year).
On the “Books” page, you’ll find descriptions of the labels and ratings I used for the books. These are not for my benefit, but for yours. If you’re looking for a five-star MG, YA, or adult book, check out my list. I don’t have enough time to list summaries, descriptions, or genres; but Amazon is good for that. Just type in a promising title and see if it’s your cup o’ tea.
I learned many things while studying my 2008 book list:
~55 books total, averaging just over one book a week. Granted, I read a lot of MG and YA books, which are usually shorter than adult books. But I also read some hefty tomes (like the 900-page OUTLANDER, which took me three or four weeks to read).
~23 YA, 18 adult, 12 MG, 2 nonfiction. That is, two nonfiction books I read completely. I read excerpts of a lot of nonfiction books while doing research, but I don’t count partials toward my book lists. I also like to pull an old favorite off the shelf and reread the best parts, but I don’t count those, either.
~28 urban fantasy/paranormal, 18 fiction, 5 historical fiction (or based on true stories), 2 sci-fi, 2 nonfiction. Of the eighteen fiction books, I think all but two were YA (which means most of my adult books are urban fantasy. I’m sensing a preference here).
~33 of the 55 were audiobooks. Where would I be without you, audiobooks?!
~I gave five stars to 27, four stars to 25, and three stars to 3. Zero two-star or one-star books… not because I’m a pushover, but because I usually only read books recommended to me (or they’ve received critical praise). That way I’m less likely to waste my time on a bad book. I also tend to read several books by my favorite authors.
~Useless trivia: 7 of the books had the word “Grave” in the title. You can guess what that implies about my interests, LOL.
So here’s my challenge to you—keep a 2009 book list. Write down every book you read, and then study the results at the end of the year. You might be surprised by your numbers! My numbers are small compared to some (100+ for Marcy, 200+ for Jen Barnes). But as a busy mom trying to write in her spare time, 55 was higher than I’d expected (plus I try to sleep once in awhile, unlike Marcy, LOL).
If you’re wanting to increase your book numbers, try audiobooks! iPods or mp3 players are ideal for this—read anytime, anywhere! But if you don’t have an iPod, you can also listen in your car (during trips or even during a commute to work). If you’re doing dishes, put a CD or tape-player next to the sink and listen that way (although this probably won’t work if you have kids running around). If you do have an iPod, you can get good deals on audiobooks from iTunes, Audible.com, etc. But they can be expensive sometimes, so I usually check out audiobooks from the library. If your library has a small selection, most likely they can order some through inter-library loans.
Okay, enough preaching for this week! Did anyone else keep book lists for 2008? Any revelations you’d like to share? Any tips for increasing book numbers? I’d love to hear them!
Have a great week, everyone, and enjoy the last two days of 2008! Happy New Year!!