Some mid-year reading stats

And, just like that, half of 2015 is over. Time for some mid-year reading stats.

First let’s talk about June…

June reading stats

And, now let’s have a look back at the first six months of 2015 in total…

Total books finished so far this year: 44

For reference, I usually average about 36 books a year. Last year I finished 39 books. This year my goal was “a book a week” or 52 books total. Granted, I’ve included my comics trades in that total. Those are each about 150 pages, so I think they should count. But, even if you take them out of the count, I’ve still finished 35 books so far this year. That’s a lot of reading.

Top Five favorite books for the first half of 2015

  1. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (post-apocalyptic)
  2. The Martian by Andy Weir (sci-fi)
  3. Lock In by John Scalzi (sci-fi)
  4. Sword by Amy Bai (fantasy)
  5. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (fantasy)

Update on 2015 reading projects

This year I gave myself two main reading projects. The first was my “diverse reading” project where I planned to read at least one book each month by an author who was not white and/or not American. The second was to read through those books I’d purchased for more than $3.50, but hadn’t read yet — some of which have been sitting there, unread, for several years.

So far I’ve been successful reading a book a month by a diverse author (not American and/or not white), and it hasn’t even been that hard to do. All the books I’ve read so far are books I wanted to read anyway, for one reason or another. I’m pleased that this hasn’t felt like a “chore.” I’m even more pleased at the new worlds I’m being exposed to. I think the biggest impact has been on my empathy, which I thought was already pretty decent, but seems to be getting even more keen as I dive into characters even more unlike myself or any of the people I am surrounded by on a daily basis.

As for my second project, I have made some substantial progress toward un-read books previously purchased for > $3.50…

When I ran my end of year stats for 2014, I came up with 15 books that I’d purchased for more than $3.50 in either 2013 or 2014, but hadn’t read yet. I don’t mind snapping up books on sale and saving them for later, but I don’t like the idea of holding onto books I’ve purchased at (or close to) full price and then not reading them.

So far this year, I’ve read 9 of the 15 books on that list, and I am reading another one from that list right now. I’ll probably be able to squeeze in two more before the end of the year. I’ll take 10 or 12 out of 15 and call that a success.

Of course, since I made that list, I’ve realized that there are at least two additional books that I purchased at full price prior to 2013 and still haven’t read yet. So, starting with 15, removing 10, and adding 2… Here is the remaining TBR:

  1. Wolf Hall: A Novel by Hilary Mantel ($11.82)
  2. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie ($9.99)
  3. The Feminine Mystique (50th Anniversary Edition) by Betty Friedan, Gail Collins, Anna Quindlen ($9.34)
  4. Hild: A Novel by Nicola Griffith ($6.49)
  5. Bring Up the Bodies: A Novel (Wolf Hall Book 2) by Hilary Mantel ($3.99)
  6. Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky: How the Top 1% of Entrepreneurs Profit from Global Chaos by Sarah Lacy ($9.34)
  7. The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2) by Patrick Rothfuss ($14.99)

I’m not sure how many of these I’ll get to before the end of the year. Probably at least Hild, and maybe The Wise Man’s Fear since those are the two I’m most excited about reading. Everything else will probably roll on into next year…

Speaking of next year… I already have an idea for a new reading project for next year. I’m thinking about trying to read any of the current century’s Hugo and/or Nebula award winning novels that I haven’t read yet. There is a lot of overlap between Hugo and Nebula best novel awards, and I’ve read some of these award winners already. But, I’m thinking I’d like to read the rest. So, I’m making a list just in case I decide I want to tackle that as a project next year.

Overall, I’m shocked at how much reading I’ve been doing this year. Even if I slow down my reading pace and only average a book a week for the rest of the year, that’s still another 26 books in 2015! I am going to blow away my normal reading average this year. I’m calling it now: 2015 is the “year of the books” for me.

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