What I Read In 2011: The Year In Review

This year started out fairly promising; I finished three books by February 1st, but that pace quickly slowed, and never really picked up again. In any given year, I usually have several books worth recommending, and that are extremely thought-provoking–unfortunately, there weren’t many of those this year. In fact, a large portion of the year I spent re-reading the Song of Ice and Fire books, along with the highly-anticipated A Dance with Dragons, released in July. A few Star Wars titles crack the list, though I’ve been losing interest in that genre of late. In fact, I was able to obtain eBook versions of all my Star Wars novels, freeing me to rid myself of over a hundred paperback and hardcover Star Wars books. Needless to say, it freed up a lot of shelf-space. That’s also less books I have to move the next time we relocate.

For the very first time, I can announce that I have gone through a whole year without picking up a physical book. 100% of the books I’ve read (and bought) this year have been eBooks. The recent popularity of the Kindle and Nook have really brought the eBook into the mainstream–at long last. I’ve been hooked on eBooks for many years, and have waited for the market to finally catch up; it finally has.

I made some attempts throughout the year to modify my book collection in WordPress to something more specific to what I wanted. At first appearances, it’s possible, but very time-consuming. In the end, I’m not sure the effort would be worth it. Looks like I’ll stick with what I’ve got–for now.

Totals

– 30 books read
– 21 books bought
– $216.31 spent on books in 2011 (avg. $10.30/book)
– $115.51 saved in 2011 by buying eBooks (avg. $5.50/eBook)
– 9,532 pages read (avg. 26.11 pages/day)

There are a few numbers that stand out to me, as compared to last year. First is that the average cost per book is higher, despite buying all eBooks this year. This cost can be attributed to the change of pricing in the eBook industry. This caused both the per book cost to rise, but also the savings per book to drop. Still, compared to the price of purchasing the physical copy, I’m still saving a significant percentage, in addition to gaining the advantages that eBooks provide.

It’s also quite noticeable that I bought far less books than I read during the year. This in itself is rather unusual; I typically buy books about as fast as I can read them. The fact that I re-read the Ice and Fire series eliminated four purchases I would have otherwise made. Still, I didn’t read as much as in 2010. This is magnified by the fact that I did not participate in National Novel Writing Month this year (In 2010, the entire month of November was devoted to writing a book, and no reading was done at all.) Despite the slowed down pace this year, I still enjoy reading books nearly every single day, and do not plan to stop anytime soon.

Below is the list of books I read in 2011.

Books

  1. finished Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear (12/20 – 1/5) [eBook ~320 pp.]
  2. Containment by Christian Cantrell (1/6 – 1/10) [eBook ~248 pp.]
  3. Earth Abides by George R. Stewart (1/10 – 1/24) [eBook ~368 pp.]
  4. Out of the Dark by David Weber (1/24 – 2/5) [eBook ~382 pp.]
  5. Across the Universe by Beth Revis (2/7 – 3/4) [eBook ~416 pp.]
  6. Leviathans of Jupiter by Ben Bova (3/4 – 3/24) [eBook ~480]
  7. WWW: Wonder by Robert J. Sawyer (4/5 – 4/7) [eBook ~352 pp.]
  8. The Second Ship by Richard Phillips (4/8 – 4/14) [eBook ~368 pp.]
  9. Immune by Richard Phillips (4/15 – 4/25) [eBook ~456 pp.]
  10. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (4/26 – 5/9) [eBook ~726 pp.]
  11. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin (5/9 – 6/2) [eBook ~728 pp.]
  12. A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin (6/2 – 6/26) [eBook ~924 pp.]
  13. A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin (6/26 – 7/16) [eBook ~784 pp.]
  14. A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin (7/16 – 8/5) [eBook ~1,040 pp.]
  15. Star Wars: Choices of One by Timothy Zahn (8/6 – 8/15) [eBook ~384 pp.]
  16. Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith #6: Sentinel by John Jackson Miller (8/16 – 8/17) [eBook]
  17. Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith #7: Pantheon by John Jackson Miller (8/17) [eBook]
  18. Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi #7: Conviction by Aaron Allston (8/17 – 8/30) [eBook ~400 pp.]
  19. Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi #8: Ascension by Christie Golden (8/30 – 9/13) [eBook ~432 pp.]
  20. Vortex by Robert Charles Wilson (9/15 – 9/26) [eBook ~336 pp.]
  21. Hex by Allen Steele (9/27 – 10/6) [eBook ~336 pp.]
  22. The Chronoliths by Robert Charles Wilson (10/7 – 10/14) [eBook ~304 pp.]
  23. The Wars Wars by Cameron Stracher (10/15 – 10/23) [eBook ~256 pp.]
  24. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (10/23 – 10/31) [eBook ~656 pp.]
  25. Then Everything Changed by Jeff Greenfield (10/31 – 11/20) [eBook ~448 pp.]
  26. Firebird by Jack McDevitt (11/20 – 11/27) [eBook ~384 pp.]
  27. Stone Spring by Stephen Baxter (11/27 – 12/16) [eBook ~512 pp.]
  28. Earthbound by Joe Haldeman (12/17 – 12/22) [eBook ~272 pp.]
  29. Star Wars: The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi by Ryder Windham (12/22 – 12/27) [eBook ~214 pp.]
  30. Star Wars: A New Hope: The Life of Luke Skywalker by Ryder Windham (12/27 – 12/29) [eBook ~224 pp.]

* denotes recommended titles.

Looking ahead to 2012, there are only two novels currently on my radar that I’m looking forward to. This isn’t to say that there won’t be more throughout the year–far from it, I’m sure. However, it provides me an opportunity to pick up some of the books on my ‘wanted‘ list, as well as searching for new books, and discovering new authors. It’s always exciting to find a new author to get hooked on. There’s precious few these days that can grab–and hold–my interest; those that do keep me waiting around impatiently for their next novel to be released.

Here’s to a 2012 where anything can happen…