Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

This past year was the first time I have ever kept track of my reading statistics. I didn’t break it down by category/genre/gender as some people do, but I did find it rather interesting to see how I did this year. I do like comparisons, so I can only imagine that next year’s information will be even more interesting as I will be able to compare my year-over-year performance. It’s the accountant in me; just go with it.

Anyway, here’s how I stacked up this year:

  • 197 books read, of which 35 were audiobooks
  • 54,551 pages total
  • 18.41 days spent listening to audiobooks
  • 150.28 average pages read per day, or approximately 0.54 books read per day
  • 57 percent of the books read were review copies
The only basis for comparison is that I finished 184 books in 2010, so I definitely increased the total number of books read. I know I listened to more audiobooks this year, but I am too lazy to go back and count how many to which I listened in 2010. I think next year will really be eye-opening.
Image: Dog Reads

As for what I read, while it was review-copy heavy, 2011 was an excellent year in books. Here is a list of my favorites for the year:

  1. The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy (audiobook)
  2. Paper Towns by John Green
  3. Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
  4. Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkenan
  5. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
  6. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  7. Doc by Mary Doria Russell
  8. Bossypants by Tina Fey (audiobook)
  9. Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson
  10. The Tiger by John Vaillant
  11. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
  12. The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon (audiobook)
  13. Vlad: The Last Confession by C. C. Humphreys
  14. Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman
  15. Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey
  16. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (audiobook)
  17. Practical Jean by Trevor Cole
  18. Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane (audiobook)
  19. When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
  20. The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum (audiobook)
  21. Monsters in America by W. Scott Poole
  22. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  23. Perfect by Ellen Hopkins
  24. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  25. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
  26. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

I can never narrow down the list to something a bit more manageable, but I will say that Sarah Pekkenan’s Skipping a Beat, Veronica Roth’s Divergent, and Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One are the three books for which I championed the most throughout the year. If you didn’t have the pleasure last year, I highly recommend checking them out this year!

As I mentioned earlier, it was a heavy review copy year. 57 percent is way too high. I suspect this was in part due to my evolution as a blogger. If my first year was figuring everything out, my second year was all about finding my way as a serious reviewer/blogger. Even though I wish I would have read more of my own books and not let review copies dictate my reading list as much as I did, I now know in what direction I want to go next year. Everything is a learning opportunity, right?

Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with my numbers and what I read, except for the number of review books I read. On the website, it was even better. I was nominated for best feature during the Book Blogger Appreciation Week; Armchair BEA grew beyond our wildest dreams. I solidified my relationships with certain publishers and authors. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

I hope everyone had a successful 2011. Here’s to meeting all of your goals in 2012!


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