I started this book blog over on Blogspot in 2010. Many thanks need to go to Bob who inspired me to do so, and therefore gave me one of the most enjoyable outlets for writing and literature that I have had. Since then, I have had moments where I kept it up to date almost religiously, several years where I pretty much ignored it, migrated it over to my own website after a scary article I read about how you can lose all of your blog stuff really easily, and somehow managed to read 250 books. Such a weird symmetry to two big round numbers happening at almost the same time, and certainly one that if I had noticed sooner, I would have tried incredibly hard to make occur simultaneously.
So what to do to mark such an occasion? Well as if reading all the time isn’t geeky enough, and as if blogging about them isn’t just doubling down on that geekery, I have decided to triple threat it by making an enormous spreadsheet of all of the books that I have reviewed here. I can now sort facts and figures for all of the books (I am not going to lie – I even started teaching myself how to use Excel to make it all easier). So herein lies the story behind the first 250 books.
Books read – 250
Pages read – 70,300 (yet another perculiarly round number, but not as strange as if I had read exactly 300 less…)
Average pages per book – 281 (the plays really lower this figure)
Word Read – 35,150,000 (A cursory Google suggests 500 words per page is the average. There’s a couple here that certainly lower that average, but I am just going to go ahead and use it and say that I have read over thirty five million words in the past ten years!)
Most commonly read author – JK Rowling (8 books, although I actually also read The Casual Vacancy when I was not really blogging, so it could have been even higher.
Most books in a series – Harry Potter (8 books because I included Beedle The Bard)
Average Score – 7.5 (I am incredibly generous with my scores. Looking back over the blog though I realise that that was the case even more at the start. Some of the nonsense I was giving high scores to at the beginning is shocking. I am still generous, but I would like to think not stupid.)
10/10 Given – 34 Books
Most Recommendations/Books Bought – Alex (10) and Mum and Dad (6 together and 3 each individually) (How very fitting. My reading habits have been massively shaped by my parents over the years and I am hugely appreciative to them both for instilling a love of reading and learning in me from a very young age. Discovering things like Hitchhikers Guide from my Dad and my love of fantasy fiction from my Mum have hugely shaped who I am as a reader, and books such as Tuesdays With Morrie have hugely shaped who I am as a person. I have known Alex for pretty much the period I have been blogging and she has challenged me throughout – as a person and a reader – and these are three of the most important people in my world – love you all)
Number of Recommendations – 75 (notable particularly because it is another nice round number – 30%. Although it does ignore all of the students who have recommended me books over the years. However, I would like to thank Alex, Mum and Dad, Rob Hyde (7), Bob and Michelle (5 – although I have a tonne of theirs still to read), Faye Dew (5), Mark Holdaway (3), John Gompers (2), Ellie Beaumont (2), Adam Newell (2), Jeni (2), Alinda (2 – although they have a shared one too), Dan Norris (2) James Sheppard (2) and Mr Simpson (2), along with everyone with a single recommendation or gift of a book – Amy and Gavin ,Kaila and Darcy, Becky Sandy, Chris Allum, Hagrid McDonald, Katy George, Maddie Francis, Sam Blanking, Jamie Francis, Bethan Wellbrook, Annette Wickenden, Emily Jackson, Paddy Fairbrass, Julia Bull, Jacqui Campbell, Lucie Jordan, Claire Hogan and Anna Culliford). To those who have recommended, lent or bought me books I still haven’t read yet – I am still going!)
Most Common Genre – Fantasy (23.2% of the books I have read have been Fantasy. I know that it is often not seen as high literature, but I really, really love it. Reading is about so much more than just what is percieved as good, but about what you like to read, and I can’t get enough. I still go through times where I lament the lack of Austen in my life, but I hate it, so until I change my mind, more dragons and swords please!)
Female Writers – 18% (I mean, this isn’t great, is it? I would have thought it was considerably higher, but with the exception of Harry Potter, most of the series I have read have been by men. No excuse though, and I need to start getting that percentage up!)
BAME Writers – 1.6% (However, this is even more embarassing. Pat suggested that I check into this, and I am SHOCKED. I am not even sure where to begin with this, but only four of the two hundred and fifty are by non white authors, and that is awful. I need to look at why that is the case and then think about how to rectify that.)
Books by where the writer is from – UK (134 or 53.% of the books. Not surprised this is top, but surprised that it beat USA into second place by so much – 87 books for 34.2%. Other countries include Ireland (8), Canada (6), Australia (3), France (3), Poland (2), and one each from Pakistan, Italy, Norway, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and the Philippines. Considering trying to read one from each country in the world…)
Oldest Book – Around the World in Eighty Days – 1873
Longest Book – A Dance With Dragons – 959 (Need to break the 1,000 barrier now)
So What Now?
The obvious answer is this – keep reading! Books are really good. I have to remind my kids of that all the time. There is a book out there for everyone and I want to keep this going. So here are some important things for me to do.
- More books by non-white authors
- More books by female authors
- Whittle down some of my book collection by reading some that I can then pass on to other people
- Catch up on some of the recommendations I have not read yet
- Read all of the wrestling books ever (I don’t care that this is a me thing only – I love it!)
- More plays – I need to have read them professionally, and have actually read several that I need to update here)
- Finish some series – notably the Peter V Brett books, and Discworld ones that I have but have just not yet gotten round to finishing – and if I am honest had somewhat forgotten! Dresden could also probably go on that list.
- Poetry – I am not a big fan, but a grand total of zero books seems crazy!
- Book per country – that seems a tall order at the moment, but maybe I could start to break into it.
And overall keep enjoying it! I will keep blogging them all. I have mentioned this before, but this book blog is considerably more for my own selfish benefit than anyone else’s and I have had a wonderful time reading back over it as I put together this spreadsheet and blog post. If nobody ever read it then I would not be offended at all, but it is still incredibly nice to have comments on here, so if you made it this far, then please do drop me a message with your own recommendation of a book I really should have tried, but have missed out on so far.