So this is the official “25 books“ 2009 wrap-up post. I nearly wrote it last night but in the end I only had time to collate the stats and work out the points. But we’ll get to that.
As you can see from the title the magic number was 18. I read 18 books in 2009. Not quite 25. Not even 20. But still quite a few more than I would have read and therefore an achievement. Instead of a book every two weeks I read one every three (roughly, on average).
So since we’re talking numbers let’s do the stats thing. No point in keeping complicated spreadsheets and not doing the stats thing right? In 2009…
- I read for a total of 98 hours and 23mins, or 16mins a day
- My reading speed was 50pages/hour
- I read a total of 4924 pages, or 13 pages a day
- Since I read 18 books this means the books had an average of 274 pages each
- I read one book every 20 1/4 days on average but…
- I only read on 71 out of the 365 days meaning that…
- I averaged 1hour 23mins on days I actually read
- I read an average of 69 pages on those days
- There were long gaps between bouts of reading. The longest was 54days. The next three longest were 40, 35 and 35 days respectively. So there really were isolated but intense periods of lots reading and literally weeks of not.
Enough Numbers What Have You Learnt?
Patience. How about I tell you about how well I did with regard to the “rules” of the challenge? You know the points?
Fair Enough – So How Did You Score?
Here’s those rules:
“1. Read at least 25 books before the end of 2009”
I read 18 books.
“2. No more than 3 (of the 25) can be books you’ve read before. If you read more than 25 can you re-read others.”
I didn’t re-read any books.
“3. You should read at least 3 books by authors you’ve not read before.”
Of the 18, 12 were by authors I’d never read before – Richard Matheson (I am Legend), David Almond (Skellig), W.E.Bowman (Rum Doodle), Stieg Larsson (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), F. Scott Fitzgerald (Great Gatsby), Brian Aldiss (Hothouse),Cally Taylor (Heaven Can Wait), J.D. Salinger (Catcher in the Rye), John Lindqvist (Let the Right One In), (Beowulf), David Peace (1974), Paul Torday (Girl on the Landing)
“4. This should include at least 2 new authors (i.e. not just 3 books by 1 new author)”
“5. At least one book must have been published (for the first time) in 2009”
Heaven Can Wait, Juliet Naked and Girl on the Landing were all new in 2009.
“6. For each of the targets 1-5 deduct a point if you miss it.”
Even though I only read 18 books that’s only one target missed so
“7. If you read a book from a genre you’ve never read before add a point”
I read Horror, Travel Parody, Literary Fiction, Chick Lit., Crime/Thriller, Espionage. That’s six
+6 = 5
“8. If you read a book that you wouldn’t have read but for a recommendation add a point.”
My sister recommended Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I bought and read Skellig because it was on a display advertised as “recommended by Nick Hornby”. Rum Doodle was a secret santa present I wouldn’t have bought for myself.
+3 = 8
“9. If you read a book that can only be bought second-hand add a point.”
Hothouse is out of print.
+1 = 9
“10. If you read a book first published more than 50 years ago and still in print add a point. For books first published more than 200years ago add 2 points. For books published more than 500 years add 3 points and for books written over 1000years ago add 4 point.”
Beowulf dates from somewhere between the 8th and early 11th century. 1026 is the latest date associated with the manuscripts. I’m going to go with the probabilities and call it a 1000+ book.
+4 = 13
I had no 500+ or 200+ books. (Though I would have had if I hadn’t set aside Persuasion) but I had 4 50+ ones – Great Gatsby, I am Legend, Rum Doodle and Catcher in the Rye.
+1 (x4) = 17
So I scored 17points. Which is a fairly meaningless number without something to compare it to.
Speaking of Scores…
Almost forgot, the average score a book received was 7.0 – which means I basically enjoyed most of the books. That’s a little higher than I expected. I guess I remember the few low scoring ones.
So Any Conclusions?
I’ve learnt that given where I am right now, it makes more sense to read stuff I know I’ll enjoy rather than try to force myself to expand my horizons too much. Having said that I also learn that I enjoy genres I didn’t think I would like crime and horror. I also learnt that I tend to read a lot in little bursts – a few hours a day for a few days. I’d like to spread that out a little but honestly I think some of that coms from the way reading works – if you get into a good book you want to read it more.
All in all I feel pleased. By setting myself targets I read more that I would otherwise I and enjoyed most of what I read. I also read things I might not have considered.
I was going to wrap this up by setting out goals for 2010 (no, they’re not the same) but this post is long enough already.