January 08, 2007

2006: reading in review

As I read books, I like to keep track of what I'm reading, so I maintain a database of my reading list in a spreadsheet.1 Partly this is to know where to find stuff I've read, partly to know what I've read (in the past, I have actually taken Larry Niven's novel A World Out of Time out of the library twice without realizing it was something I had already read, years ago), and partly to keep up with how much I've read from year to year.

Anyway, for those of you who like to keep track of this sort of thing (and I know at least some of you read the updated lists in my sidebar), here are some stats:

  • Total books read: 38. Not really a strong showing this year; I'm accustomed to going through a book a week or 50-75 in a year. Some of these were pretty short, too.
  • Fiction books: 20.
  • Nonfiction books: 18. I am including Thomas Keneally's Schindler's List in the nonficton; although it is usually classified as a novel (and indeed I found it with the novels at the library), and the details are somewhat fictionalized, it reads more like a biography than a work of pure fiction.
  • Nonfiction ratio: 47%. I've never read this proportion of nonfiction before, as I'm primarily a fiction reader. (This doesn't count years in school where I read pretty much nothing but textbooks.)
  • Science fiction books: 9 (including fantasy).
  • Christian theology books read: 1. This doesn't count the Bible or all the times I cracked open a reference book, but still: What was that thing I said back on New Year's? Oh yeah: Ha ha, ha ha ha ha.
  • Best book I read: A toss-up between Richard Matheson's collection of stories, Duel, and Donald Kraybill's The Riddle of Amish Culture, both of which I reviewed here.
  • The worst: The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown. Woefully overrated, but at least I slipped it in before the movie came out (just).

Just for comparison's sake, I also watched 88 movies in the same time. When did i start becoming a viewer rather than a reader?


1 Legacy footnote: I maintained my first reading database in 1994, at which time I used the "Cardfile" application in Windows 3.1 to keep bibliographic data for everything I read. I'm sure I still have the lists sitting on one of the thousands of unlabeled floppy disks I've hoarded since 1989, but as far as I know, the last Windows to support Cardfile was Win98.