My 2012 In Books
302 books bought, approximately 156 books read, in 4 countries, on 3 continents.
Not a bad year’s ‘work’ for a bibliophile.
I began this blog just over a year ago for several reasons. Partly a place to save and record my favourites quotes, partly a way of sharing my opinions of books with friends and strangers, and partly a way to keep track of my reading habits over time. Given the latter, the first blog entry of 2013 seemed an ideal time to look back over the calendar year and summarise my year in books.
Unfortunately, when I looked back over the past 12 months of blogs, I found that whereas I had been keeping a methodical list of Books Bought since Day 1, the practice of doing the same for Books Read only began in July, meaning that whereas I can say with relative certainty that I purchased a moderately ridiculous 302 books in 2012, (the equivalent of more than one every weekday), I had to extrapolate the quantity of books read from the fact that I got through 78 of the papery pleasures in 6 months.
I am therefore claiming an approximately 2:1 purchase to reading ratio, although given the fact that many of the books bought were presents to be given, and an embarrassing amount were books I already owned and had forgotten about or just felt like buying in a nicer edition, I think the ratio may be quite a lot higher than that.
I wrote 45 blogs in 2012 which were seen by 2,719 viewers, or 7.66 readers per day, (I’m presuming the .66 were children). Apparently, plenty of you had nothing to do on January 22nd, as that was my record viewing day with 73 hits, although I’m sure we can beat that this year. I jazzed things up a bit by figuring out how to include photos in my post, and you were treated to 176 of them, with plenty more to come this year, (not to mention video links!).
Most rewarding for me was the fact that readers came from an amazing 66 different countries, with the UK, US and Japan taking top three spots, (although I expect Guatemala to catch up in the coming months).
Highlights of the year included meeting childhood heroes Michael Rosen and Sue Townsend, and adult heroes Jonathan Safron Foer and Salman Rushdie, at the 2012 Hay Literature Festival and 2012 London Jewish Book Week, (Rushdie will almost certainly be the first review of 2013 next week, having just finished his incredible autobiography ‘Joseph Anton‘), not to mention actually getting to have the briefest possible chat with the charming J.K.Rowling. Technologically, a milestone occurred when author and UK journalist Luke Harding rewteeted my review of his critique of Russia, ‘Mafia State,’ which led to me not only gaining a few more readers, both within Russia and with Russian interests, but also learning what a retweet is.
I discovered new authors, from A.A.Gill to Geoff Dyer to Tibor Fischer, and cemented relationships with favourites, from Alain de Botton to anything produced by the fine folk at McSweeney’s. In a sharing sense, as well as spreading my bookish thoughts with all of you on the interweb, I was thrilled to be chosen to physically distribute books, (in this case, the excellent ‘The Damned Utd.‘ by David Peace), when I got to take part in the incredible international event which is World Book Night.
For the sake of completeness, here is my list of Books Bought and Read in December 2012, and it provides a bit of a shock, (to me, if not to you): for the first time all year, (and, come to think of it, possibly all lifetime), I didn’t buy a single book. Not one. Not even a pamphlet.
True, I am living in the middle of nowhere in Central America with a shelf-full of great books to get through, but even I wasn’t expecting that. The fact that I ‘only’ read seven I put down to the unfortunate circumstance of having a job at the moment, one which saw me running a fairly popular bar a mere week after arriving in Guatemala, but now that I’ve learned how to do that, there should be plenty of time to beat that target of 156 books read this year.
Come join me on that adventure.
Books Bought, December 2012
Books Read, December 2012
‘Born To Run,’ Christopher McDougall
‘Comet In Moominland,’ Tove Jansson
‘Joseph Anton,’ Salman Rushdie
‘Dr.Tatiana’s Sex Advice To All Creation,’ Olivia Judson
‘Maldicíon Eterna A Quien Lea Estas Páginas,’ (‘Eternal Curse On The Reader Of These Pages‘), Manuel Puig
‘Don’t Eat This Book,’ Morgan Spurlock
‘Hope: a tragedy,’ Shalom Auslander