Sunday Salon: BOOKKEEPING – The Reading (Half-)Year in Review, 2011

Everyone else seems to be doing mid-year reflections on their 2011 reading, so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon. It’s usually enlightening to see where I’ve been with books for the last six months, consider how that compares to where I thought I’d be, and try to figure out what’s coming next.

Crunching the numbers (via LibraryThing)

Total books read and reviewed year-to-date: 24 (slightly behind 2010, and including reviews not yet posted here)

Fiction: 14
  • Adult – 14
  • YA – 0
Nonfiction: 10
Published in 2011: 11 (all first editions, no reprints)
  • Personal copies (purchases/gifts. including e-books): 12
  • Furnished for blog tours: 6
  • Furnished for compensated reviews: 4
  • Furnished for review from other sources (publishers, authors, etc.): 2
  • 4 – 5: 11
  • 3 – 4: 12
  • 2 – 3: 0
  • Unrated: 1 (counted in “read” totals but not yet reviewed at year-end)
2011 has been an unusual reading year so far. Technically, the number of “review” books could be even higher; I bought and read four nonfiction books specifically to review and evaluate them for the 2010 Indie Lit Awards, but I’ve counted them in “personal copies.” But even without them, I’m at an all-time high for review-copy reading, and a corresponding all-time low for reading my own books.
Since I’ve contracted to contribute two reviews a month to Shelf Awareness for Readers, I’ve mostly stopped doing blog tours and getting review books from other sources, but I have a feeling that the review/personal-reading balance is going to be out of whack for most of this year. I’m trying to keep up the weekend D.E.A.R. Hour (or more, if I can swing it) I started a few weeks ago, and I hope that helps me stay on top of things so I can make time for the poor inmates of TBR Purgatory, but I think that this will be a record year for current-year reading, regardless.
Since I’m on the judging panel for the Biography/Memoir category in the 2011 Indie Lit Awards, I’m intentionally seeking out current-year publications in those genres, so I’m really not that surprised by the spike in my nonfiction numbers, and I’d actually like that to continue. After my BEA book box arrived, I made a nice chronological stack of ARCs in the hopes that I’d at least attempt to read some of them close to publication time; if I accomplish at least some of that, my 2011 reading in 2011 will notch up even more.
On the other hand, I managed to re-read five books last year and was hoping to manage the same in 2011. I’m not sure that will happen now, but I’m not ruling out the possibility of at least a couple of re-reads…and the group read of The Handmaid’s Tale IS still on for next month! I haven’t read any YA yet this year either, not even during the Spring Readathon, and since that’s become one of my preferred ways of cleansing my reading palate, I really want to fit some of that in too (and not just during the Fall Readathon!).
I don’t tend to set too many goals for myself – in reading or in many other areas of my life – because I’m aware of just how easily they can be derailed by things you didn’t anticipate. At the beginning of this year, I had no idea I’d land a regular, paid review gig – but I did, and that’s a factor that will be shaping my reading schedule for some time to come (if I’m lucky!). However, I’m determined not to let it be the only thing that does.
Have you looked at your year-to-date reading to see trends so far, and to make plans for the rest of 2011?
The Sunday

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