book lists, book recommendations, Elizabeth Kerner, Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Lesser Kindred, librarything, Mary Stewart, Mists of Avalon, Nick Hornby, reading, reading habits, reading list, Redeeming the Lost, Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Slam, Sookie Stackhouse, the mortal instruments
Have you have considered the books you’ve read? I mean, beyond just saying “Oh, well, I read science fiction and fantasy” or “I’m a fan of biographies”? When I first started to think about this as few years ago, I just assumed I was a well rounded reader. Turns out, not so much.
For several years, I have tried to actively keep track of the books I’ve read. There’a word file on my computer that lists every book, the date I completed it, and which number it was the year I read it. For me, this is different than using a site like LibraryThing to catalog my readings. Those sites have ISBN numbers and set formats for titles. Additionally, there’s some work involved any time you add a book because it may or may not be the date you actually finished it. Certainly, it doesn’t account for when I picked the book up. Still, it’s useful for getting specific information, even if at time there may be too much information.
Instead, I have a world document. This document is titled 52 Book in 52 Weeks. That title being the goal. Below is an example list. So far, this is the only year I have successfully completed 52 book in 52 weeks. Normally, I tap out at anywhere between 35-40 books. Sometimes more.
Week Title Date Finished
- Mists of Avalon by Mary Stewart 02-25-2010
- Percy Jackson – The Lightning Thief 03-06-2010
- Percy Jackson – The Sea of Monsters 03-07-2010
- Percy Jackson – The Titan’s Curse 03-09-2010
- Percy Jackson – The Battle of the Labyrinth 03-10-2010
- Percy Jackson – The Last Olympian 03-12-2010
- The Mortal Instruments – City of Bones 04-04-2010
- The Mortal Instruments – City of Ashes 04-08-2010
- The Mortal Instruments – City of Glass 04-12-2010
- The Lesser Kindred 06-12-2010
- Redeeming the Lost 06-16-2010
- SotINF – The Alchemyst 06-22-2010
- SofINF– The Magician 06-25-2010
- Sookie Stackhouse 01 – Dead Until Dark 06-30-2010
- Sookie Stackhouse 02 – Living Dead in Dallas 07-02-2010
- Sookie Stackhouse 03 – Club Dead 07-06-2010
- Sookie Stackhouse 04 – Dead to the World 07-09-2010
- Sookie Stackhouse 05 – Dead as a Doornail 07-11-2010
- Sookie Stackhouse 06 –Definitely Dead 07-12-2010
- Sookie Stackhouse 07 – All Together Dead 07-13-2010
- Sookie Stackhouse 08 – From Dead to Worse 07-14-2010
- Sookie Stackhouse 09 – Dead and Gone 07-17-2010
- Sookie Stackhouse 10 – Dead in the Family 07-18-2010
- Slam – Nick Hornby 07-21-2010
- SotINF – The Sorceress 07-25-2010
- SotINF – The Necromancer 07-29-2010
- Guardians of Ga’Hoole 01 – The Capture 08-11-2010
- Guardians of Ga’Hoole 02 – The Journey 08-16-2010
- Guardians of Ga’Hoole 03 – The Rescue 08-18-2010
- Guardians of Ga’Hoole 04 – The Seige 08-25-2010
- Guardians of Ga’Hoole 05 – The Shattering 08-29-2010
- Guardians of Ga’Hoole 06 – The Burning 08-31-2010
- Guardians of Ga’Hoole 07 – The Hatchling 08-31-2010
- Guardians of Ga’Hoole 08 – The Outcast 09-01-2010
- Guardians of Ga’Hoole 09 – The First Collier 09-01-2010
- Guardians of Ga’Hoole 10 – The Coming of Hoole 09-02-2010
- Guardians of Ga’Hoole 11 – To Be a King 09-03-2010
- Guardians of Ga’Hoole 12 – The Golden Tree 09-21-2010
- Guardians of Ga’Hoole 13 – The River of Wind 09-23-2010
- Guardians of Ga’Hoole 14 – Exile 09-25-2010
- Guardians of Ga’Hoole 15 – The War of Ember 09-26-2010
- Google Speaks by Janet Lowe 10-06-2010
- The Wheel of Time 01 – The Eye of the World 12-03-2010
- The Wheel of Time 02 – The Great Hunt 12-09-2010
- Worth the Wait – Tale of the 2008 Phillies 12-28-2010
- The Wheel of Time 03 – The Dragon Reborn 12-31-2010
- The Wheel of Time 04 – The Shadow Rising 01-06-2011
- The Wheel of Time 05 – The Fire of Heavens 01-13-2011
- The Wheel of Time 06 – Lord of Chaos 01-19-2011
- The Wheel of Time 07 – A Crown of Swords 01-28-2011
- The Wheel of Time 08 – The Path of Daggers 02-04-2011
- The Wheel of Time 09 – The Winter’s Night 02-08-2011
What I’ve noticed from this list are a couple of things:
I tend to read in chunks. I’m not sure why this is. But there will be months where I read everything and anything I can get my hands on. Only to suddenly stop for a month or two. That’s fine. Focusing on specific tasks always happens. There’s also an element of burn out. When I read so much so often, I feel the need to take a break. Sometimes, a sense of needing to complete the series I’m reading will take over, but it’s close.
I also noticed that I read a lot more fantasy and, as it will turn out, science fiction, then I had previously imagined. In fact, only 3 of the books I read in those 52 weeks were not fantasy. Not sure how I feel about that. See, I don’t particularly like fantasy or science fiction any more then another type of literature. In fact, my favorite books tend to not involve fantasy and science fiction.
The closest I can imagine is that since I love science fiction TV, mostly Star Trek, my peers assume that’s what I want to read and only recommend scifi and fantasy books to me. This particular proclivity is especially annoying. The other is that many of these books don’t require as much attention. That isn’t to say that Wheel of Time or Guardians of Ga’Hoole are poorly written. They aren’t. It’s just that compared to a book like Slam, which is more literary in nature, they don’t quire much thought.
You’ll notice also, that several series “Guardians” and Percy Jackson are Young Adult novels. That means they’re shorter and targeted at a younger audience. I have no problem considering those books. As long as the story is good, there’s no difference between those and the disastrous Sigma Force novels I’ve read. The real key is story. Some books have it, others don’t.
There’s also a list of books I put down without ever finishing. After all, there are too many good books worth reading. So, yes, I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love reading other stuff. But that enjoyment, at some point, seemed to translate to everyone else as “only get this”. Except my parents. They keep getting my interesting books. “Gideon’s Trumpet.” is one of those books. I’ll explain later.
For now, always be aware of what you’re reading, You never know when it may come in handy.