Book ‘n Stuff

The navel gazing movie stats post made me think about the other thing I do that I have data for: Reading books! Back in 2013, I implemented an Emacs mode for keeping track of what books I had (because I’m the kind of reader that obsessively buys all the books from the authors I like, but I’m also really forgetful, so it just used to be so much work to buy books before implementing this system).

But when I had it, I got other things for free, like a database of when I bought and read books. So:

Huh, I wonder what happened in 2020… did anything in particular happen in 2020? Nah, can’t remember anything…

Oh, and that dip in 2016-2019 was because I started reading a lot more comics.

And I guess buying patterns are pretty related to reading patterns, but with some exceptions, like, what happened in 2022? Oh, yeah, I bought like 40 P G Wodehouse books (which I’m still plugging away at, chronologically — I’ve gotten to 1929, and I now know what a sticky wicket and a century are).

Er… what about books per month?

Yeah, October wins here, which isn’t surprising. Autumn is for reading.

Oh yeah, this is the “to be read” section of my bookshelves — books I’ve bought but haven’t read. Yet! (The books go on a Sedimentary Journey — the oldest ones are on the bottom, and every year I compact the shelves, and the books slowly settle down further and further down…)

It’s fun to have a solid selection of unread books — whenever I’m picking out something to read, there’s so many books I want to read Right Now. But having so many books to choose from can also be somewhat… I don’t want to say “stressful”, because it’s not, but there’s something… Anyway, this year I’ve started using a new methodology: When selecting a book to read, I limit myself to one of the “sections” in the bookshelf, and then next time, I do one from the next section, and so on. I’ve gotten all the way to the top now, and I’m starting over from the bottom again. Seems to be working — I’m reading books I’ve gone “eh, perhaps later” a million times now (like Stendhal’s The Red and The Black).

Anyway! Books, eh? Eh?

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