Monday, December 31, 2012

The Year 2012 in Review

December in Review: December was the 'challenge round up' month; hence, I set forth to complete the reading of all uncompleted challenges. In all I read a total of six (6) books by the 27th December with a decision of pushing any book read in the four days left to 2013. The six books gave me a total of 1,490 pages or an average of 48.06 pages per day.The following are the books read:

YEAR IN REVIEW
Books Acquired
Almost all the books read in 2012 (excludes Pdfs)
The objective for 2012 was to make a dent into my unread books. I wanted, seriously, to not be a part of those whose unread books keep piling at a rate ten-times faster than their read. This is an idiosyncrasy of bibliophiles. Consequently, in 2012, it was my decision to purchase less number of books. In the year in review, therefore, I added 39 more books to my TBR shelf. Out of this, I purchased 23 and the remaining 16 were gifts from publishers and friends. This figure compares favourably with the 122 books I added to the shelf last year. With a total of 70 books read in the year, it implies that I reduced the unread books by 31 books. 

Challenges Completed
I completed all the challenges with December 31, 2012 as deadlines. Some were completed early, others late. For instance, the African Literature Reading Challenge was not much of a challenge since the objective function of this blog is to promote African Literature; however, I selected some books for that particular challenge. The 70 Books Reading Challenge required much effort.  The Challenges are:
  • African Literature Reading Challenge (organised by Kinna of Kinna Reads): The ALRC is not a challenge I should have participated in since it is what I do and therefore will be self-serving; however, I participated in it because I support and share the objective.
  • Chunkster Reading Challenge: In this challenge the participant had to read books 450 pages and above. The Chubby level which I chose required the reading of four of such books though I read more than twice as many books.
  • 100 Shots of Shorts (organised by Kinna of Kinna Reads): This was to help me clear some of the single stories I have on my PC. 
  • 70 Books Reading Challenge (note that the link also includes single stories)
Challenges whose deadlines are not in 2012 such as the Top 100 Books Challenge list will proceed into 2013.

Categories of Books Read
I read several books. This year I wanted to read at least one non-fiction a month and also add some translations. The following are the categories of books read: Translations: 7; Non-Fiction: 11; Novels: 32; Novellas: 4; Poetry Anthologies: 4; Short Story Anthologies: 6; Single Stories (uncollected short stories): 15; Young Adults: 2; Plays: 1. These are not mutually exclusive categorisation.

Origin of Authors
The main purpose of this blog is to promote African books. Since 2009 when I started blogging African books have represented at least 80% of the total number of books I read. However, this year things were different. This year 40% of the books I read were by African authors and the remaining 60% were by non-African authors. Buying less number of books meant that I have to rely on my TBR bookshelf which is disproportionately high on non-African books. Besides, I receive more non-African books than the other. Including single stories the percentages were 64% and 36%, in favour of non-African books.

Gender
At 38%, I read more female-authored books in 2012 than any other year since I started keeping track of my basic reading stats (compared to last year's 35%). Besides, since I began blogging in 2009, this year's haul of 72 books is the largest (compared with last year's 56, which was my highest), hence the absolute number of books has increased. Fifty-seven percent are male authors and 5% are both (as in mixed-sex anthologies). I actually don't look out to read or balance the genders and I'm not going to do that. I'm going to read the books as and when they come. If it be all women, good. However, my favourite authors still include Toni Morrison and Nadine Gordimer. The former is one I would want to read entirely.

Pages Read
For both books and single stories, I read a total 18,629 pages (Books: 18,480 and Single Stories: 149). The most voluminous book I read was 568 pages (Franzen's The Corrections). A total of 1,552 pages were read per month and the average pages of a book was 257. On the whole I read a total of 50.09 pages per day (or 1552.42 pages per month), which happened to be my target when I set the 70 books goal.

Year of Publication
The oldest book I read was Sun Tzu's The Art of War published around 500 BCE. Two books (Ama Ata Aidoo's Diplomatic Pounds and Other Stories and Toni Morrison's Home) were published in 2012. The following is a classification of books read:
  • Pre 1800's: 1.5%
  • 1800 - 1899: 1.5%
  • 1900 - 1999: 50.7%
  • 2000 and Beyond: 46.3%
Trivia
  • There were three most read authors, each with three books. It's no wonder that two of the three most-read authors are my two favourite female writers. These are:
  • The country I read most from is America with 25. This is followed by Britain with 13; Nigeria and South Africa follows with 6 each and Ghana with 5. Note that an author counts for every book read so that Nadine Gordimer and Toni Morrison added 3 to South Africa's and America's figure, respectively.
  • The average book rating was 5.13 (out of 6); however, this excludes non-African books which I did not rate. This is a confirmation that 2012 was a good year for reading. The books were interesting.

12 comments:

  1. A lot of good reading for you this year.I enjoyed Mrs Dalloway, The Great Gatsby, The Bluest Eye, Sula, Home, A Farewell to Arms, The Book Thief, Blindness, and Biko's book very much. I read The Corrections but did not like it at all.
    I've been doing "best of 2012" tweets but haven't written a full post yet. I do have a list of what I will be reading this year 2013 so I'm ready. Happy reading in 2013.

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    Replies
    1. My favourite part of reading is looking back at a year of reading. I also enjoyed Great Gatsby and Sula.

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  2. I admire not just your reading lists but also your consistency in reviewing the books you've read. I think it is wonderful! Do keep it up.

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  3. Congratulations on your 2012 review and indeed on your reading and reviewing during the last year. Do keep it up and some of us will continue to look forward to your posts!

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  4. Happy New Year!!! Interesting!! Congratulations

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  5. I get so many good ideas of what to read from your blog!

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  6. Kudos, Nana. I have Mrs. Dalloway and I hope to find the time to read it.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. You might enjoy Mrs. Dalloway. I loved the technicality of the write.

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  7. Looks like you had a wonderful year in reading. Congrats on completing your challenges! I think I purchased more books last year than in the past, but I also read more from my own shelves. Still, I need to read read read before adding more.

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