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A Year in Books: 2008

January 1, 2009

In 2008, I read (or listened to) and reviewed 161 new books, and re-read (or re-listened to) 24 books. Among just the new books, that works out to:

  • One book finished every 2.3 days
  • 48,106 pages (or about 132 pages per day) ( = 131 books at an average of 367 pages per book)
  • 15 days, 0 hours, 8 min of audiobook listening ( = 30 audiobooks)

Considering my goal for the year was 150 new books, I’d say that’s not too shabby!

Check it:

If you want your own fun statistics and pretty graphs, you can download my reading tracking spreadsheet here (now updated for 2009). You just enter your goal for the year, the date you finish the book, the number of pages (or length of the audiobook), et voila! Nerd central.

Oh, and back to my personal stats – I also cleared 77 books from my TBR pile… but added 170. Oops. :)

Best Books of 2008
Although it seems like my reading has occasionally been a bit lackluster in the past few months, in retrospect, I’ve read a lot of great books and a lot of really good books this year. (Check out my 4.5 stars and 4 stars categories.) I’d just like to call out a few that aboslutely blew me away, knocked my socks off, and made me want to skip work and read.

  • Black Ships by Jo Graham
      This was a LibraryThing Early Reviewer book, and it was heads and tails above what I was expecting. I’m not entirely sure it would stand up to a re-read (I’m sure it would still be good, but maybe not socks-knocking good), but at the time, the language and the story were exactly what I was in the mood for, and quite literally took my breath away in parts.
  • Inkspell and Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke
      Inkheart was enjoyable, but not fantastic – I thought it was too long, a little too draggy in parts, and aimed a little too young to be really great. However, I am so glad I decided to stick with the series… Books 2 and 3 of the trilogy were fantastic, full of a fantastic world populated by incredible characters, that really do seem to live even when you close the covers.
  • The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
      I’d read Sanderson’s Elantris in 2007, and thought it was very good, but Mistborn took all of the best parts of Elantris and added on the most well-thought-out, original, logically consistent, and inventive magic system that I’ve ever come across in fantasy. Just superb.
  • Talyn by Holly Lisle
      Another revelation. This was a SantaThing gift from last year, an author I’d never heard of, and not quite what I normally read, but it was just brilliantly dark, twisted, well-written military fantasy. It’s not nearly as well-known as it deserves to be.

What about you, readers? Read any good books lately? :)

Also, here’s wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and book-filled 2009!

34 Comments leave one →
  1. January 1, 2009 2:59 am

    Not too shabby at all! And bonus points for the chart!

    Happy New Year!

  2. January 1, 2009 3:09 am

    Happy New Year! Here’s to a great 2009!

  3. January 1, 2009 3:52 am

    I love your graph! :-) It sounds like you had a great reading year in 2008. I look forward to seeing what you read this year.

    Have a Happy New Year!

  4. January 1, 2009 6:33 am

    Looks like you had a brilliant reading year in 2008, here’s hoping 2009 is even better! Happy New Year!

  5. January 1, 2009 9:35 am

    What a great year in books! Happy New Year!

  6. January 1, 2009 10:41 am

    Thanks so much for the nerd ware! I’ve downloaded it and will spend today filling it out and playing around. I absolutely love it! I didn’t read any of your favorite books from last year, but it sounds like you had such a good year. The girls will be at daycare tomorrow and I’ll be home! Yea Ha! That’s when I’m planning on looking back on 2008.

  7. callista83 permalink
    January 1, 2009 10:49 am

    Thanks so much for providing that spreadsheet!!! I was wondering how everyone got their stats, figure it would take weeks to add it all up by hand.

  8. January 1, 2009 1:17 pm

    Very pretty! :-) Good luck with all your goals in the coming year!


  9. January 1, 2009 3:11 pm

    You actually made a graphic! That’s awesome :D Thank you so much for sharing the spreadsheet.

    Happy reading in 2009!

  10. January 1, 2009 5:44 pm

    I’m sure I’ve told you this before, but I absolutely love the reading graph spreadsheet you made. I used it all this year, and I’m looking forward to see how next year’s coloured line compares to this year’s. :)

  11. January 1, 2009 5:45 pm

    Urgh, I forgot it was 2009. Just flip around the whole this-year-next-year thing in my comment.

  12. January 1, 2009 7:28 pm

    softdrink – I spend enough time playing with Excel at work that you think I’d be sick of it when it came to me free time, but apparently not. :)

    Natasha – Hear hear!

    Literary Feline – I’m looking forward to it as well – Mt. TBR isn’t getting any smaller. ;)

    Bart – I’m setting my goal a bit lower for 2009 – 125 instead of 150 – but we’ll see how it pans out.

    bermudaonion – Happy New Year to you as well!

    Literate Housewife – Oooh, a day to yourself sounds nice – and I’m sure well deserved! Enjoy!

    Callista – You’re welcome! I’m more than happy to share the fruits of my nerditude.

    Lezlie – Likewise!

    Nymeth – If you’ve got any ideas on stuff to add to the spreadsheet, I’d love to hear them. I’m thinking of adding a way for it to differentiate new books and re-reads, since I currently don’t count re-reads towards my totals.

    Memory – I don’t know which version of the spreadsheet you have, but you might want to download the new one and copy/paste your old dates over – there’s some more fun stats since the one I posted last year. Also, I’m going to be making the ’08/’09 mistake for at least a few more weeks yet, so no worries. :)

  13. January 1, 2009 10:36 pm

    Looks like you had a fantastic reading year!

    But that spreadsheet – ZOMG – totally freaking awesome!! Thanks so much for sharing it :D

  14. January 1, 2009 11:54 pm

    I LOVE your graph!!! I’ve never seen anyone do that before–such a great idea. LOL–nerd central. Love it. I have so many excel spreadsheets for books but never thought about graphs.

    Wow! 132 pages a day is fantastic. I think my average is around 60, which I’m thrilled with.

  15. January 2, 2009 12:18 am

    Totally downloaded your graph. Geeking out, right now.

    As for good books… I think Half of a Yellow Sun by Adichie was my favorite find for 2008. I loved it, couldn’t put it down and learned so many things.

    I’m new to the book blogging and challenges, so I can’t wait to be able to track my how my reading changes! Thanks so much.

  16. January 2, 2009 1:59 am

    Hmmm…I felt the same way as you about Inkheart, so maybe I’ll give the rest of the seris a shot!

  17. January 2, 2009 2:13 pm

    Joanne – You’re welcome!

    Trish – I like the fact that I can sometimes tell what books I was reading or what was happening in my life just from the graph (the read-a-thon in Oct. this year is a clear example.)

    Lu – I’ve had Half of a Yellow Sun on my wishlist for ages – I’ve heard so many good things about it!

    Eva – Oh, do. In my opinion, the second book was just miles better than the first.

  18. January 3, 2009 9:04 pm

    A most systematic way of keep tally of the books you read. It looks like an awesome year of reading for you. Keep it up in 09! Happy New Year! :)

  19. January 5, 2009 10:18 am

    Matthew – “systematic” is a very euphemistic way of saying “incredibly nerdy”. :)

  20. January 5, 2009 10:46 am

    That’s a neat chart. You certainly accomplished a lot in 2008! Wishing you the best in ’09!

  21. January 6, 2009 11:12 am

    Anna – Thanks! I hope 2009 is a fantastic year for you as well!

  22. January 6, 2009 7:31 pm

    I wanted to drop by and wish you a Happy New Year. Yes, I know it’s the fifth of the month. I’m so sorry. The book challenges have taken over my life right now.

    Anyway, this is going to be a great year in books! :)

  23. January 7, 2009 5:00 pm

    Wow, what a cool graph :)

    And now I’m totally excited that Black Ships is in my TBR!

  24. January 7, 2009 7:51 pm

    J. Kaye – Everyone’s behind, no worries. Happy New Year to you too!

    Lenore – Oh, I’m anxious to see what you think of it! I really can’t tell whether I liked it so much because it was just that good, or because I was just in the right mood for it, and I don’t know anyone else who’s read it, so it’ll be good to have another opinion!

  25. January 8, 2009 9:56 am

    holy cow…161 books…that is amazing. way to go!

  26. January 8, 2009 11:23 am

    Serena – Thanks! That count is probably a little inflated, since graphic novels and short books like each volume of The Spiderwick chronicles each count just as much as a thousand-page Gabaldon tome, but I figure it’s my graph, I can count it how I want to! :)

  27. purplemoonmyst permalink
    January 14, 2009 10:41 am

    I love your graph! I tried to download the program but it says error connecting to file.

  28. January 17, 2009 9:12 am

    purplemoonmyst – Mediafire was having problems for a bit, but I think it’s back up now. Let me know if you still have problems with the file.

  29. January 17, 2009 3:04 pm

    Thanks for this post! I have to say, Inkheart did not knock my socks off, but you’ve convinced me to try the others. I hadn’t heard of Talyn, although I’ve enjoyed other books by Holly Lisle, and the Mistborn Trilogy sounds great. I’ve added them to my list!

  30. January 18, 2009 9:34 am

    Darla – Ooh, I just went and looked, and Holly Lisle’s got a ton of other books I hadn’t heard of. Any you’d particularly recommend?

  31. January 20, 2009 5:02 pm

    Hi! I’m trying out your neato spreadsheet and was wondering — what format should the audiobook length be in?

  32. January 20, 2009 5:13 pm

    Jamie – HH:MM:SS


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