2010 Reading

January 1, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

I managed to read fewer than 300 books for the first time in three years.  It was close, though – I’m past the halfway mark in at least five books right now, and if I’d finished them it would have put me over the edge.  That’s okay, though – I’ve finished with trying to read impressive numbers.

Going through my list, I was impressed with how focused my reading was.  At least half the books I read won some sort of award or recognition!  The few that remained were generally either research, or something lackluster I read for one of my book clubs.  I would say that I continue to enjoy my reading much more when I draw from “best of” lists.

Pulitzers: 10, plus three that belong to Pulitzer trilogies.

Booker long list: 8.

National Book Award: one (short list).

Orange Prize : one.

New York Times Notable books: 33.

American Library Association Notable books: 5.

National Book Critics Circle Award: 4.

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die:  3.

Modern Library 100 Best Novels: none.

Entertainment Weeklynew classics: one.

The Top 10: 3.

Amazon’s Significant 7: 89.

Powell’s Indiespensable: 14.

I’ve also read 124 nonfiction books.  In the interests of full disclosure, I’ve read 10 young adult books and 10 graphic novels.  I catalog my reading on LibraryThing and Goodreads if you’re deeply curious.  (See right column for link).



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  1. Interesting how the majority of your titles seem to come from online bookseller or publication recommendations. While these seem to me like less trustworthy sources for quality books, there are some wonderful books recommended there (I wrote about this a few weeks ago…).

    Amount of books seems to me to be less important than if you enjoyed the books you did read.

  2. There’s something so thrilling about that sheer volume, though…

  3. At Biblibio, I agree, people should enjoy what they read. That’s the main reason I comb through awards lists and recommendations – so I can go straight to the books that have floated to the top. Large numbers of people put a lot of time and effort into those lists, and in my experience it shows. I’ve said before that my reading enjoyment has roughly tripled since I stopped my random browsing and started reading by list.

    I’ve had dozens upon dozens of books individually recommended to me by friends and acquaintances. Sadly, I almost never enjoy these books, but I wouldn’t want to offend anyone by saying so. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if it was easier for me to quit reading a book once I’ve started, but I often find I am cursing myself for reading 300 pages of flat or inconsistent drivel, while continuing to turn pages.

    I pick up much of my reading material based on wandering around bookstores. I’m not kidding myself, though, that I “discovered” these books in any way. They have still made it through the filtration process of the bookstore buyers, the publishers, editors, and agents who came before.

    I’ll have to go through your posts to see how you define “trustworthy” and “quality.”

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