Sunday, December 30, 2007

End of year stats

But first, if you missed Margaret's comments in the 100 Most Influential Books by Women post down the page, she's traced the meme back to its source--Erica Jong--and located Jong's 1998 article detailing why she put together such a list--and who contributed names. Thanks, Margaret!


I read 81 distinct works this year, although since several of these works were novellas or long short stories, I can't say I read much more than I did last year, when I completed 75 books and 35 stories (I didn't track short stories in '07, I'm afraid).

This is the way I broke them down:

Nonfiction: 8

Novels: 62 or 63, depending on whether you count The Unvanquished as a novel or as connected stories; I can see it both ways and can't decide

Books of short stories: 3 or 4, see above

Plays: 6

Book of poetry: 1 (Gilgamesh)

Library books read: 14

Newly acquired books read: 31

Newly acquired books stockpiled for later reading: 141+ (little wonder why a cookbook was the only book I got for Christmas, huh?)

Books "just published" in the last year or so: 34

Works I consider classics: 23
. . .although only 5 out of 13 from my classics priority list completed; 2 others started (of those, one is now in progress and should be finished by the end of January)

Works written prior to the 20th century: 12

Re-reads: 8 (The Brothers Karamazov, Waiting for Godot, Wise Blood, Emma, The Fountain Overflows, No Exit, The Stranger, Death of a Salesman)

Books written by women: 33

Books started that remain unfinished: 6

Authors I read multiple books by: Rebecca West (3), Patrick O'Brian (3), Flannery O'Connor (3), Christina Stead (2), Jane Austen (2), Joseph Conrad (2), D.H. Lawrence (2)

Stats from previous years:

2006: End of Year Reading Stats

2005: A Look Back, A Look Ahead

Obviously, I need to read more nonfiction, poetry, and works by women in the upcoming year. And I need to study my book lists from previous years to see if I can determine when I began to read predominantly male authors; I know I used to read nearly 50/50 without making an effort to do so. Is it because I'm not focusing as much on contemporary literature these days? More than half of my new books were written by women, though, so at least I'm not slighting them at the cash register.

Tomorrow I'll post a few reading resolutions and my list of favorites.


  1. It's so interesting to look back at the year and see what trends there are that we weren't aware of at the time. I ended up with an equal gender balance, but I didn't intend this, and I can see how in other years, with a different reading focus, the gender balance would be different. It makes sense to me that focusing on earlier literature would lead to reading more books by men.

  2. Thanks for posting Margaret's wonderful detective work! I have this list on one of my blogs and have updated it (with kudos to Margaret) with the original source :)

  3. Love your stats! I am afraid to keep track of how many books I buy and then don't read. Very brave of you!

  4. And very stupid! My husband saw it. Fortunately he confused last year's stockpile with this one, so I'm not in as much trouble as I could be. ;)

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