Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, right? Well, I think it’s time I admit that I have a problem: I don’t have enough time to read everything I want to read. I admitted this to myself two years ago in June, and I’m happy to say I have made progress. I think keeping a list of books I want to read and checking off the ones I have read really helps. It’s like a multi-step program toward recovery, only… the list never ends. Hey, I’m improving my literacy rate! But in doing so, I’ve created a new problem by re-awakening the avid reader of my childhood and forgetting that sleep is just as important as getting to the next chapter in my new favorite book. Don’t believe me? Take a look at my reading statistics from 2007…
Number of books: 41. I’m pleased with this number, considering I’m a full-time computer science engineering student, I work part-time, I’m very active with my family, and I’m the editor-in-chief/cartoonist for my college’s magazine. I think the trick is reading before I go to bed. It’s amazing how reading an hour every couple of days cleanses my mind like a gentle sponge bath.
Number of Pages: 14,039. Some books were surprisingly short, others, almost too long. The average length was around 350-400 pages.
Genres: Historical fiction, romance, science-fiction, fantasy, non-fiction, women’s fiction, classics, and young adult. Sometimes I think I should branch out and read something new, but it seems to me the only thing I don’t really read is anything erotic, if I can help it. Any suggestions?
Best loved book: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, by far (review coming later). Why my favorite? This book was like learning to love reading all over again for me. It felt like I was reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time, and I fell irretrievably in love with the characters and the author’s style. I was left with that satisfied calm one gets after reading a classic that is touching, well-written, and still applicable to the modern world. If you have any sentimental or positive feeling for Pride and Prejudice, you will like Gaskell’s North and South, set in England’s 19th Century industrial revolution.
Runners-up were The Thirteenth Tale, Wildford’s Daughter (review coming later), Hurricane Moon, The Extra Large Medium, The Time-Traveler’s Wife, and Stardust.
Least loved book: I rarely dislike books that I read, but I have to admit I sincerely disliked How to Read a Novel. The linked review gives some of my reasons; I felt like the author was complaining a little too much and complaining is a pet-peeve of mine.
Book list in reading order: here.
So as you can see, when reading a good book, I have absolutely no self-control. I’m an addict of the worst kind, lost to the world. So I have to admit, when I think I’ve gotten control over my reading habits and then look at my To Be Read journal, I have to sigh. My list for 2008 already has 48 books… some leftovers from last year that I never got around to reading, and others that I want to read after seeing it in my library’s most recent issue of BookPage.
What’s a girl to do? For shame, it seems I’m sentenced to read until I die. 🙂 How many of you use a book list? If you don’t use a list, how do you decide what to read next? Amazon.com reader reviews and suggested books? Reader blogs? Newsletters like BookPage? This is something I’ve always been really curious about.