Am still waiting for Anush to put up his list. It’s only tradition. This is mostly some cud chewing on reading and books before the list.
I managed 47 books the last year. A pretty reasonable number. Around the end of November I reached 40 books for the year and blogged about it. Going by past history I had predicted 46. I did one better and ended up with 47. In fact the last one was finished on Dec 31st.
The strange part is the number of pages. 2014 saw me reading 14711, while I finished 2015 with 14700, 11 pages short. Pretty freakish when I realised that. And no, I did not count the number of pages, Goodreads does it for you in the “Stats” link. And yes, pages aren’t an accurate number as the kind of print varies. Neither is time an accurate marker as some books can be run through, while some will just hold you in one place, and make you work your way through. If you have any doubts read Salinger’s “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction“. It’s a short book and the second half which is “Seymour: An Introduction” is only 70 pages. Now work your way through it, and you’ll come out feeling like you’ve done 300. And he doesn’t give you paragraphs to rest either. But the point remains, statistics aren’t accurate. I quoted statistics because the numbers seemed interesting, and that’s about all there is to it.
Like years merging, so are the books. I did not discover too many new authors whom I got hooked on to and wanted to read more. Only Mishima. This can be good and bad. Good because, I still managed a good deal and have a lot more to explore in those that I read now. Bad, well, it’s always good to discover other authors, and well, the eternal reader’s problem – amount of time vs number of books/authors. You know how it goes. I also got hooked on to trilogies and spent some time getting into them. I can’t invest in a trilogy in one year. It usually ends up spread over 3. I did get the Galeano trilogy, and hope to read them all in one go. But that’s just being wishful.
I did read a lot more Non-fiction though. Around 25% of the books were non-fiction, which although not too impressive is a clearly climbing number. I did 12 of them this year as against 9 previously. That number has been steadily climbing. Yes, fiction will remain my comfort zone, but am venturing out more often. Which is a good thing.
The moving out of public transport hurt, especially BMTC Volvoes. I cannot read at all in the swaying tempo traveler. It doesn’t help that am surrounded by people I know. Reading is a private affair for me, and I can’t have people questioning me about what am reading. It’s nothing snobbish, just that am not too comfortable doing that with everybody. It’s not like I don’t discuss books with people who read, it’s the opposite, and is one of my favourite conversation topics. Just that I can’t do it in a social setting. The anonymity provided by BMTC buses was sorely missed. And more importantly, the head starts bursting after a while when I read in the cab. I tried audiobooks, but they worked well for the books I chose, but then Amazon’s rate reductions did not work too well for me later on. The thing is, each audiobook costs around 25-30$. If you buy the Kindle book, you get this for cheaper around 3-8$. Now this makes sense, because a kindle book in the US is around 10-15$. But in India, it costs around 3-8$. And then the audiobook price also drops to the US rate, which was nice. But later during the year, noticed that the actual drop was by 3-8$, making me shell out upwards of 20$.*
Looking forward, this year I don’t expect to read more than what I did last time, maybe lesser. But there is hope that the Metro will start in a couple of months’ time, so there might be more more reading done once I move back to public transport. Plus there are a lot more long weekends, so might end up reading more. One never knows. A trip to Blossom’s was done and a horde purchased. Among them Zadie Smith, A.K. Ramanujan, Kalki and a leather-bound Gogol. One Garcia-Marquez was gifted by the good Ashwin. The Galeano trilogy just reached me. All in all, an interesting year lies ahead.
Will put up the list as soon as Anush gets done with his.
*- Ball park figures only. I am sure if you want to disprove me, you can find books that are outside the range, and even prove that the median is not the same as what I have quoted, but the point am trying to make is different.