« Website Update - Updated Religious Essays Section | Main | Books, A Year in Review - 2008, Part II »

Books, A Year in Review - 2008, Part I

Old Book Bindings, from Wikimedia CommonsJust about a year ago, I started the books section of this blog, with an entry called Books I've Read in the Last Year. It was originally prompted by an article about an AP-Ipsos poll on people's reading habits. Among other things, it pointed out that around 1 in 4 adults in this country hadn't read any books at all in the previous year, and that among those that had, the average number of books read was 6. So, I wrote up the entry to compare my reading habits to the general population.

Well, it's been about a year since that entry, so I thought I'd take a look at how I compared this year. First, here are the books I read, which I've tried to group by subject (as oppposed to chronologically, alphabetically, or any other order):

  1. The Frog Princess (Tales of the Frog Princess)
  2. Dragon's Breath: (Tales of the Frog Princess)
  3. Once Upon a Curse (Tales of the Frog Princess)
  4. No Place for Magic (Tales of the Frog Princess)
  5. The City of Ember (Books of Ember)
  6. The People of Sparks (Books of Ember)
  7. The Prophet of Yonwood (Books of Ember)
  8. The Diamond of Darkhold (Books of Ember)
  9. Once Upon a Time in the North
  10. The Spiderwick Chronicles
  11. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
  12. The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul
  13. Peter Pan
  14. The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde*
  15. Gulliver's Travels
  16. The Jungle Book
  17. From the Ground Up: The Autobiography of an Aeronautical Engineer
  18. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
  19. Tao Te Ching
  20. The God Delusion
  21. The Voyage of the Beagle: Charles Darwin's Journal of Researches*
  22. Dinosaurs
  23. At the Water's Edge : Fish with Fingers, Whales with Legs, and How Life Came Ashore but Then Went Back to Sea
  24. The Parrot's Lament : And Other True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity
  25. Great Mythconceptions: The Science Behind the Myths

*-indicates that the Amazon link is to a different edition than the one I actually read.

Now, on to the analysis.

Okay, that makes for 26 books overall. Actually, it's technically 30, but I'm only counting the Spiderwick Chronicles as one because the entire series is so short. So, I've read more books than last year (13), which probably has a lot to do with the fact that I've made it a point to try to read more.

As far as the genres, I was still a bit heavy on children's fiction. The Frog Princess series was the one most targeted at children and children only. The Spiderwick Chronicles was pretty simple to read, but the story was suitable for all ages. The rest of the books traditionally classified as children's literature I thought were also good for all ages. And I did manage to get in a few books traditionally targeted as adult fiction.

I've been trying to catch up on the classics, as well. I missed out on reading many of them when I was younger, but there are so many references to them that I think they should form a part of our literary base. I still have a ways to go, though, before being able to check off all the books from this list.

I also read more non-fiction this year than last, getting a bit closer to averaging a non-fiction book for every fictional one. I read one memoir and one biography - types of books which I rarely read. I also read two religiously themed books, which is another type that I haven't read much in the past. To round out the list, I did read 5 science themed books, which is a familiar topic for me.

Overall, in addition to greater quantity, I think I was a bit better rounded in my reading this year than last.

Taking a look at last year's entry, at the end, I had a list of the books on my night stand that I'd intended to read. I did manage to read 3 out of 5 of them, which isn't bad, but I still have the two to go.

I commented in that first entry that this section was "also a shameless opportunity to link to Amazon" to try to make a bit of a commission on book sales. If anyone's curious as to how lucrative that's been for me, I earned $7.22 since I started the books section. In addition to a little bit I had from previous commisions from a few other Amazon links I have on my main site, that was enough to get me a gift certificate for $10.21, which I put to good use ordering Donald Prothero's Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters, which is now part of that stack on my night stand. For comparison, it costs me about $5 a month to host this site, in addition to the yearly domain registration fee. The Amazon commission doesn't even come close to making this site break even, so it's a good thing I don't do it for the money.

Stay tuned for Part II, where I'll give a brief review of each of the books.

Update: Part II is now online.


I've been trying to read a lot more as well. I haven't read a book in awhile that didn't make me see something from a new perspective or at least think a little. So, I commend you on your reading. I think I have a gold star around here somewhere. :)

I like the amazon think too. I'm going to copy you and sign up for it.

Post a comment


TrackBack URL for this entry:


Selling Out