Haphazard Bookworm

Danielle recently had a look back at the 73 (!) books she read this year, which prompted me to do the same. Although I did better than last year, I read a mere 35 books (so far) this year, 17 of which I blogged. Twenty-two were nonfiction, including several true-life wilderness adventure memoirs. I also read 12 novels, including four Austen re-reads, and some Slaves of Golconda picks. The only new-to-me classics I read were Adam Bede and the first two books of the Bible.

What stands out to me is that very few of the books are part of the “canon” that I want to read. Most of the books were picked up on a whim, which would be fine if I was immortal and had plenty of time to attend to the classics “later.” To be fair, the list does not reflect my ongoing (if glacially slow) studies in Latin, history, and art, but I think I could have done better.

I’m not the sort of person to make New Year’s resolutions, but if I was, I might (theoretically) suggest to myself that when I hear about a cool book I should note it down rather than immediately put it on hold at the library. This would take advantage of my natural ability to put things off and my unnatural short-term memory loss. I might also give myself permission to abandon or skim any (contemporary) books that aren’t up to snuff. Other than that I’m not sure what I could do to devote more time to the great books. Perhaps I could read fewer blogs…? Nah!

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11 comments on “Haphazard Bookworm

  1. Heather says:

    never fewer blogs!!

  2. Danielle says:

    It is so hard deciding what to read…blogs? Books? Library books? Books from my list? Books I see in the bookstore?…..see the conundrum? Well, yes, you obviously do! πŸ™‚ The thing is–from our Slaves discussions, you are definitely a more discerning and thoughtful reader than I am (something I need to work on rather than breezing through books!!!). I don't always pick up things in the story that I really should. And NF, I think, is much slower going, too. I was happy to have read a mere 6!!

  3. Carl V. says:

    35 is great! I use the Amazon wishlist for just the sort of thing you mention. If I hear of something interesting I immediately put it on my wishlist so that I won't forget, but don't have to feel the urge to rush out and buy it…that's not to say that I don't do that anyway, but it helps a little. πŸ˜‰

  4. Wil Cone says:

    Coincidentally, SFP at Pages Turned read 73 too! I read (heard?) a paltry 24 (including two books-on-tape, not including a few partial-reads…7 fiction, 17 non-fiction), which is actually kind of a lot for me. 35 is impressive.

  5. Imani says:

    I don't think that I made it to 70 this year…a little over 65 I think? A few were quite small though: the books from the Penguins Great Ideas series and a slim critical volume on “Reading Cicero”.
    I find that with my recent journal reading and all the blogs and I'm now blogging…I have to make more of an effort to actually get to the books!

  6. Stefanie says:

    35 is nothing to sneeze at! And I have the same difficutly as you, wanting to be more deliberate but reading so often “at whim.” I keep wishlists on my computer, I have one for fiction, one for nonfiction, a short one for science and one for gothic books in case Carl has RIP 2007 challenge. And the lists keep getting longer and longer.

  7. Sylvia says:

    Welcome Imani! I hadn't heard of the Penguin Great Ideas series. Good for them for promoting those books.
    Stefanie, you're so organized! Have you ever thought of becoming a librarian? πŸ˜‰

  8. Kim says:

    Hi!
    Thank you for visiting my blog and your compliments. I love your blog too! Very interesting indeed.
    It also gave me the idea to count the amount of books I read this year. I'm pretty shure it won't be 35.
    Anyway, I will add your blog to my Blogroll. It would be an honour if you would do the same!
    Cheers,
    Kim
    Kimbooktu.wordpress.com

  9. Chuck says:

    I'd be happy with 35. I don't even bother to keep track anymore; I'm sure my count would be nothing to be proud of. Sigh.
    But Monday's the start of a new year so maybe I'll do better.

  10. Stefanie says:

    Hey, now librarian is a great idea! πŸ˜‰
    You'll be happy to know I am in the process of switching to wordpress. Imported all my blogger posts today. Working on the blogroll. And having too much fun with making up categories.

  11. Susan says:

    That's an impressive list of books, Sylvia, even if many of them were read on a whim instead of planned.

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