2006 Reading Year in Review - Part 1: Number read

>> Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Well, another reading year done, which means another series of "Reading Year in Review" posts coming up! Like last year, I'll divide the analysis into several posts, hoping that slogging through a shortish post every day will be more tempting for you readers than slogging through a long one only one day ;-)

So, how many books did I manage to read this year? Ever since I started keeping a spreadsheet, back in 2001, the number has climbed year by year, getting to almost 300 in 2005.

2001 - 196 books
2002 - 249 books
2003 - 250 books
2004 - 261 books
2005 - 297 books

In 2006, however, the number plummeted: 201 books, a number only a little bit higher than that of 2001, and much, much lower than that of any other year.

I have an excuse for some of it, since I spent the months of May and June studying in Japan, so obviously I wasn't going to read much then. Still, there were other very poor months, like the one that just ended, and I have no excuse for that other than being generally busy.

Another trend broken (and this is one that I'm only just noticing now, doing this) is that while in past years the average length of the books I read had been going down, in 2006 it was the highest ever

2001 - 63.649 pgs - average - 325
2002 - 77.270 pgs - average - 310
2003 - 78.897 pgs - average - 316
2004 - 78.471 pgs - average - 301
2005 - 78.702 pgs - average - 265
2006 - 66.091 pgs - average - 329

This is something that surprises the hell out of me, especially considering how much I've heard about how book lengths have been going down, and how you just don't get any of those juicy, big books any more. Plus, I've been reading more and more e-books this year, so I had assumed the number would be low, maybe even lower than in 2005. And yet, there it is, a whopping 329 pages.

I guess I am mostly reading regular print books, only in ebook format, rather than books originally published as ebooks. And I also read a good number of long books this year. There are 6 books of over 500 pages (Susan Carroll's Fair Isle trilogy really helped there, as all three were in this category) and 25 of over 400. But then, I look at my 2005 spreadsheet and I see I read 6 books of over 600 pages (that includes those brick-like Harry Potters), and a similar number of over-500 and over-400 pages books than in 2006! I don't know, I just can't figure it out.

Coming up tomorrow: Rereading


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