52 Books in 52 Weeks - Completed!
Well, I did it. After three years of attempting to read a book a week, I squeaked through and managed 52 in 2018. Granted, I spent the last week furiously reading everything I could find under 100 pages.
So, having kept a rather wonderful Google Sheets record of everything I read, I can now throw a tonne of quickly-made charts and graphs to make all of this reading worthwhile!
Total pages read: 11,176
Average book size: 214 pages
Days taken: 359
Average read time: 6.9 days
The last stat really shows how close to the wire it was. I was averaging a book a week, and only just doing so!
The average book size will be affected by two things - there are some hefty books in there, coming in at 400 and 500 pages. Yet there are also some teeny tiny tomes I raced through in the final week.
Oldest book: Bartleby, the Scrivener (1853)
Most read author: Terry Pratchett (3)
Favourite book: The Big Short
Least favourite book: Bartleby, the Scrivener
Longest book: Berlin: The Downfall 1945 (501)
Poor Bartleby. I had a particularly bad Kindle version of this 19th century classic. That factor, added to me trying to rush through the last week, meant I had little time for this story of Wall Street.
Coincidentally, my favourite book of the year, Michael Lewis's The Big Short, also concerns Wall Street. It's fantastic and riveting tale of the downfall of the global housing market and the people who saw it coming. I'd already seen the film, but the book goes into the real nitty-gritty of just how up its own rear-end the financial system had burrowed pre-2008.
Berlin: The Downfall 1945 is a prime example of what held me back this year. Every time I would get going and plowing through a few fiction books, I ended up being dragged into historical non-fiction. At 501 pages it also took me 18 days to finish.
Science fiction, classics and politics dominated my reading list in 2018. It was hard to place every book into a distinct genre, so there are cases where a classic might fall into another section - like with The Time Machine, for example, which could have ended up in the SciFi section.
As explained above, I had real trouble staying away from non-fiction works over the year. Despite them usually being the reason for me falling behind, they accounted for almost half of the books I read in 2018.
A vast majority of the books I read in 2018 were written by authors whose work I hadn't experienced before. I'm more than a little proud of this chart, in particular, which explains why I chose a fancy contrast of colours. It could have been easy for me to just read favourites, but stuck to trying out something different.
Most of my reading time was done on the commute to and from my job(s). Because of that the Kindle app on my phone got a thorough workout in 2018. Only 7 of the books I read were in paper format. Everything else I read on my phone. I would have liked to read more physical books, but I've always found it hard to read a proper book while trying to balance on the Tube.
And that's it! If you want to have a look at the titles I read in 2018, I'll place a link to the spreadsheet here. Would I do it again? I don't think so. The pressure of trying to hit the target meant that I didn't enjoy some books, and ended up buying titles based on their page count, rather than reviews of reputation.
Now I have to find something else to post on this blog to justify my domain hosting prices!