Before Shelfari, I had a collection of maybe 200-400 books. Mostly shelf candy. I would read whenever I felt like it, which was not all that frequent. On a good year, I would complete no more than 10 books. And I would scan an almost equal number of picture books on design, fashion, and domestic divaesque pursuits.
It was in 2007 when my friend, Sana, invited me to www.shelfari.com. It looked like an interesting site, a Facebook for book geeks, and it gave me a solution to my book inventory problem.
Through shelfari, I became part of a book club that changed my reading patterns dramatically.
Now, my shelves are bursting with close to two thousand books. I'm not boasting. I am groaning. And my husband is frowning because our living quarters look like a bookstore warehouse with books spilling out of the shelves onto precious walking space. Books sitting on his futon taking up his TV-watching space. Towers of books that threaten our safety.
So I have tried my best to do justice to the collection by forcing myself to read more and more books every year. I start the year with a plan, a target number of books to read, and it should be a target higher than the previous year's. So far, having a plan is working.
Here's a chart that shows the progression of my reading.
I am fuzzy about the years 2007 and 2008 because I was not purposely documenting my reading back then, but I think these are fairly accurate estimates.
As for 2010, I targeted to read 70 books, and I thought that I achieved that close to midnight of December 31. It turned out that I miscounted, and I actually read 71 books! Yey, me!
Now, I have to admit that the list includes a number of really, really, really short books with more pictures than text, but they are books nonetheless.
So, this is my quantity report for reading 2010.
I read a total of 16,077 pages, not counting the pages of books I have only read partially. That's a summary of 226 pages per book.
Of the 71 books I read:
53 are fiction
18 are non-fiction
12 are children's books
8 are graphic novels or comic books or picture books
14 are Philippine publications
33 are novels
3 are short story anthologies
5 are biographies
3 are travel books
There is 1 business book,
1 self-help book,
and 1 poetry collection.
And the 71 books' titles and authors are:
- Pugad Baboy XX 20th Edition by Pol Medina
- The Passion by Jeanette Winterson
- How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents by Julia Alvarez
- The Game by A.S. Byatt
- The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (reread)
- The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
- High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (reread)
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- The Great Automatic Grammatizator and Other Stories by Roald Dahl
- The Gathering by Anne Enright
- Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
- Mantissa by John Fowles
- Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
- Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman
- The Darwin Awards by Wendy Northcutt
- My Life in France by Julia Child
- Chasing Cezanne by Peter Mayle
- Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
- Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland
- Falling Off the Map by Pico Iyer
- Kubori Strips for the Soul by Michael David
- Best Things in Life, A Second Collection of Comic Strips from Kuborikikiam.com by Michael David
- Postsecret by Frank Warren
- The Pretenders by F. Sionil Jose
- On the Road by Jack Kerouac
- Hallmark Creative and Thoughtful Gift Giving by Leah Ingram
- The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Leguin
- What Now? by Ann Patchett
- While I Was Gone by Sue Miller
- Fables, The Deluxe Edition by Bill Willingham
- The Mystic Masseur by VS Naipaul
- You Can Reach the Top by Zig Ziglar
- A Personal Matter by Kenzaburo Oe
- The Pact by Jodi Picoult
- A Good Year by Peter Mayle
- Boys' Toys Bikes by Hulton Getty
- Wine 101 by Gerald C. Hammon
- Fifty Days by Sarah Quigley
- Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
- Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
- Alamat ng Paniki by Segundo Matias
- Fetch by Becky Bravo, illustrated by Blooey Singson
- Pied Piper
- Ang Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang- Anting Anting, retold by Christine Bellen
- Alamat ng Buwaya by Segundo Matias
- Tell Me About Beatrix Potter by John Malam
- The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
- 4000 Years of Christmas by Earl W. Count and Alice Lawson Count
- Flight to the Stars and other Stories by Samantha Mae Coyiuto
- Billy Bryson's African Diary by Bill Bryson
- Successful Time Management byPatrick Forsyth
- Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
- The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
- Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
- The Many Moods of Plantation Bay
- Picture Palace by Paul Theroux
- Journey to Ellis Island by Carol Biernan
- The Music School by John Updike
- Slaughter House-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- Love, Ten Poems by Pablo Neruda Pablo Neruda
- The Fat Woman's Joke by Fay Weldon
- My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig
- Twas the Night Before Christmas on IPad. by Clement Clarke Moore
- A Loyal Character Dancer by Qiu Xialong
- Blu's Hanging by Lois-Ann Yamanaka
- Teo's Trash Can by Grace D. Chong
- Big Eyes, Small Eyes by Grace D. Chong
- The Magic of Apo Mayor, 31 pages Grace D. Chong
- Half and Half by Grace D. Chong
- Nana by Emile Zola Emile Zola
- The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
When I look at the mix, what I think I should read more of in 2011 are books on business, personal finance, writing, and creativity. I also should read more classics and more books to help me grow in my Christian faith.
I have achieved my target of reading 70 books.
Unfortunately, I don't think it was a year of quality books. Though I have enjoyed reading 2010's books, not one particular title leaps at me now as my automatic choice for my best read for the year. I have a few more days to agonize and choose.
I do know, already, what my worst read is. It's number 54.
In 2011, I will read 80 books. So help me, God.