I’ve been keeping a list of each book, play, or graphic novel that I read since the start of 2006. My friend Bill Leisner introduced me to the process, and I found that it allowed me to realize when I had been watching too much television. But more importantly, I have been able to retain a lot more of what I read, for when I just glance at a list I usually am able to recall the situation in which I read it and access those memories. I’m not sure if that makes sense to anyone, but it works for me.
Since I post a list at the end of each month detailing the books I finished, I decided not to post a year end wrap up a couple of weeks ago. But as I am seemingly writing more and more about graphic novels because the library has an abundant supply, I decided I would run some statistics for last year so at the end of this year I could make a comparison.
This year I completed 230 books, plays, and graphic novels, blowing away my 2006 total of 178, my previous high. However, Sarah Weinman read 462 books last year, so I am sufficiently humbled. It breaks down like this:
• 67 novels (29.1%)
• 21 short story collections (9.1%)
• 45 works of nonfiction (19.6%)
• 29 plays (12.6%)
• 68 graphic novels or nonfiction comic works (29.6%)
Of those 67 novels, 15 were set in the Star Trek universe, including the six novels in the Myriad Universes collections. I was surprised that I read so many graphic novels, but I did read ten collections of Bill Willingham’s Fables as well as the entire run of Brian K. Vaughan’s Y: the Last Man.
My predictions for this year are that I will likely read less that 200 books, though without school to distract me during the late summer and fall I might make it up there. I would also suspect that I will read more graphic novels this year, and that they will make up a greater percentage of the total. Less plays as well since I am not studying drama this semester.
And if you were to only read one book that I did this past year, I think I would have to recommend Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland a shade above Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.