Thursday, January 5, 2017

Books Stats (2016)

I read a lot of books last  year.
I mean ... 137. Most people would agree that is a lot of books, right? I read 102 in 2015, 108 in 2013. My biggest year yet! I don't know if that's something to be proud of ... or embarrassed by! I mean, while reading is looked upon as a good thing, there are other items that need to be accomplished too. The addition of AUDIO BOOKS to my repertoire was new this year and that made a huge difference. It started out as an option while I waited for my basketball boys at practice. Practice was an hour, depending on the local, going back home and coming back just wasn't worth it. So I'd stay and read while I walked. Just listening was easier than actual reading. Once I started on audiobooks, I incorporated into every possibility. In the car, while cleaning the house, while sewing, while taking walks (all my duck/canal walks during the summer), while watching the boy's basketball games and going over their video highlights. Lots of listening!

Is listening to an audio book considered the same as reading a book? I would never say watching a movie is the same as reading the book, but movies and books differ. A lot! An audio book is exactly the same. You are just consuming the book through your ears rather than your eyes. I'd put off audiobooks. Disadvantages include getting distracted (which is SO easy to do), not being able to highlight words/phrases, not being able to quickly flip back and skim sections as needed ... and I read faster than most narrators talk. Many audiobooks do have speed options, and of course you can rewind or jump forward as needed, but it isn't as easy or appealing. That being said, I've learned to love audiobooks. I love being able to multi-task and do two things at once (as I often feel guilty spending so much time "just" reading). Good narrators can really add to the experience, especially with accents or voices my imagination may not have produced on it's own.

Back to the audiobook debate ... one of my pet peeves on Good Reads is that most audiobooks entered do not have page numbers listed. I love looking at the amount of pages! It's a barometer at times... I can read a 500+ page book that goes quickly, whereas a 250 page book can feel like forever. I need to see the number of pages listed, compare them ... add them up at the end of the year.

As I looked back over my books ... 85 books "read" and 52 were audio. ALL digital I believe. Seriously, the thought of reading an actual physical book? Arrgg! I only gave five books top ratings (5star), four and three star reads stood at 61 each, with 10 two star. I HAVE given a one star rating before, but it takes a lot, and didn't feel deserved for any of my 2016 reads (even though I had a few  DNF this year ... did not finish). I've always tried to just finish books before ... but there are so many new novels  waiting for me, why keep reading something if I'm not enjoying it? You can check out more details of my 2016 Goodreads books too ...

The majority of my books were borrowed (digitally) from my library. I did initiate the Kindle Unlimited trial, and I read several books (they also had audio options) during that 30-day span. I also tried to take advantage of my Amazon Prime perk, borrowing a book a month from their lending library. I only bought a couple books ... it's hard to justify when I have so many (library list/kindle cloud) available already.

It was interesting, as I went back and looked at the books from this year ... the audio books really stand out in my memory. For most, I can remember listening to them. I can recall what I was doing (oh yes, that book was while watching the boy's basketball, I remember mowing the lawn with that one, ahh ... cleaning the basement while listening to that). The narrator's voices have stuck in my head, especially if accents were involved. A couple times, I went from an audiobook to actually reading (several series had audio for some but not all the books) and would still read with the same "voice" or inflection I'd experienced thus far. Switching from reading to audio ... that doesn't always work well for me, because I've already formed voices (and sometimes name pronunciations) in my head, prejudicing me against audio in an established series.

I don't have shelves indicating the book topics ... that would be interesting to track too. I'm sure a majority of my reads were post-apocalyptic in premise. Then there is the supernatural ... vampires, mermaids, aliens, werewolves, angels. Several science-fiction and quite a few fantasy. Time travel came up again and again too. Not much (if any) realistic fiction (other than re-reading "To Kill a Mockingbird").

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