Collecting Books and Considering Stats

Kevin’s currently-reading book montage

Bum Rush the Page
Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East
The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy
At Home: A Short History of Private Life

Kevin Hodgson’s favorite books »


My Books from 2011
According to Goodreads, where I have been faithfully documenting just about every book I read this year, I have consumed more than 50 books (and counting). I had set a goal for myself of reading 40 books over the course of the year of 2011, and exceeded that by just more than 10 books. I started using Goodreads a few years ago but this last year, I was sort of obsessive with it. It’s one of those spaces that is both a source of book ideas and also a place to add what you know to the general cloud of data.

So, what does the year say about my reading habits?

  • I did a lot of read-alouds with my youngest son. We’re now in that prime age of 7 years old when he is getting to love more complex stories, so Harry Potter, the Throne of Fire series, and more were a hit with him. Another year or so, and the read-aloud moments might be more difficult to sustain. For now, I am enjoying the time together, with a book between us.
  • I read less graphic novels this year than any other year in recent times. I can’t quite say why, but I did.
  • The longest book I read was Reamde by Neil Stephenson, and I still think he could have cut about 300 pages and still had a good book.
  • I had 14 books with the top rating and just one book with the lowest rating. I think I am a generous reviewer.
  • I can’t help but notice a few books on my “current reading” have been there for some time. These are mostly collections but still … get ’em read!
  • I created my own category of “abandoned” books this year. I am at the point where I don’t want to waste my precious reading time with a bad book. I feel guilt when I abandoned a story, but I can live it with (as long as the next book is good)
  • There is a solid mix of fiction and non-fiction in my book pile. I like to mix it up.
  • I have 24 books on my “to read” list, and a pile of books by my bedside table.

So, what is my goal for 2012? Bump it up to 45 books! I think I can do it.

Peace (on the shelves),


  1. Kevin,
    I, too, love Goodreads, and have been using it fairly religiously for about 2 years now. Before joining Goodreads, I never kept track of the books I read. Now, I love going back and doing what you did in this post, looking at trends in my reading life. Reading your post reminded me to go look at my own data for my reading year! Happy new year!

  2. Love this–I have to go play on Goodreads. I had no idea it would do these cool stats and visuals for me! I too, became hooked on goodreads in 2011. Made a huge difference in my reading life.

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