Thursday, February 01, 2007

Book-A-Day Post Mortem

So, 200 days, huh? That's the longest I've ever run book-a-day; it's usually only for a month or so at a time. I don't think I'll be doing that again for quite some time.

But let's see what kind of books they were, since organizing and list-making are some of my great joys. My lists are by genre and type of book, mostly, to see how things fell out that way.

Fantasy Novels and Collections:

That's 26 in all; about 13% of the total.

Science Fiction Novels and Collections:

24 of those, 12% of the total -- just slightly less than fantasy. Together they're exactly 25% of the books (but a lot more of the reading time).

Horror Novel:

Just one, and I broke it out from Fantasy just to have another category.

Mystery Novels:

I used to have more time to read mysteries; but three in six months is probably about my average now.

"Mainstream" Novels and Collections:

This is a catch-all category of "non-genre" fiction (and Blind Willow has some fantasy stories in it; I didn't remember how many, exactly, so I put it here), and it still only ends up with seven books. I used to read more books in this category, but I'm reading slightly fewer pure-prose books than a few years ago, and even those have shifted a lot to non-fiction.

Fiction is then 61 books in all, about 30% of the total.


There's 26 books in this category; as many as in Fantasy. Some of these (two-thirds, I think) are decent-length narrative books, and the rest are odd-facts collections, bathroom books, and other pick-up-and-put-down books to read in random moments. So this is another 13% of the total.

Everything up to this point totals 86 books, roughly 43% of the total. If I take out the bathroom books and other cheats (like Mesozoic Megafauna), and just count the read-'em-straight-through narrative volumes, that still comes out to 79 books.

Fake Non-Fiction:

Just a handful of these; but you wouldn't expect this to be a big category. It's mostly books read in odd moments, as I'd expect.


Two! Two! Take that, Horror Novels! (straightens tie) Um, otherwise it's a tiny category that means nothing, and these are not shining specimens of the poetic art to begin with...

So the non-art, non-kid titles total up to 94 books, just a bit under half.

Original Graphic Novels:

And here we have 21 books, in the first of two comics categories. (I'm not entirely sure why I divided them up, but it does seem like there's a difference between a book created as a book and a book that collects previously-published work.) It's about 10% of the total.

Comics Collections (Previously Published Work, strip or page format):

A whopping 55 books here; about 27% of the total and the biggest single category.

Books of Single-Panel Cartoons (or Similar):

And nine books here in the third mostly-comics category. (Fuck This Book is here because I can't bring myself to call it "art," and it doesn't fit anywhere else.) Adding the three comics groups together gives me a total of 85 books, which is a little more than a third of the books I read over the past 200 days.

Art Books (including photography):

And 12 books here, for about 6%. In some of my past book-a-day stretches, this category has been much more dominant; I usually do book-a-day because I have large stacks of books with art in them (either comics or SF/Fantasy art, usually), and want to get through them quickly.

Books for Younger Readers (of various expected ages):

This is a bit of a catch-all; the three "Treehorn" books could have been Original Graphic Novels, and The End would have fit in Mainstream, I guess, and The Beatrice Letters is fake non-fiction. But not all of these nine books would fall out that nicely, so I lumped them together.

A little more than half of the total were books with art in them, of one kind or another. Some of those were quick reads (like Chicken Fat), but many took as much time and thought as a short novel (such as The Best American Comics 2006 or the Hernandez Bros. books). So there's not as much "cheating" as some might think. And I did finish a book every day for 200 days, which is a pointless achievement to be proud of, I guess.

And that's the end.

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