01 January, 2010

1000 Reviews!

Right, it’s the first of January, and the last book i read (as the previous entry on this blog shows) was the one thousandth since i began the process of writing a review of each book read shortly after finishing it. That surely makes this the perfect moment to offer a small selection of those reviews here. So i’ll post one every two or three days over the next month, till maybe twenty or so are on-line ~ about two percent of the total. Why not?

I’ll be honest about the reviews; i will randomly select them, and i won’t change the selection to choose a better review. In fact, to ensure mine honesty, i have just run a random number generator, so the reviews will be of books numbered: 162, 487, 566, 207, 34, 625, 155, 627, 618, 131, 541, 732, 588, 174, 133, 47, 583, 698, 22, and 42. I haven’t looked yet, so i hope these are good reviews. I’ll post them, either way. The only change i’ll make is in the unlikely event that there isn’t a review at the indicated number (there are a few, probably a couple of dozen, books without reviews, for assorted reasons, mostly to do with software messing up records); if that happens, i’ll take the next in line.

I do reserve the right, however, to edit them before i post them, but that’s nothing new, they are always edited, lightly or otherwise, before being moved to their permanent location in the computer storage.

In the meantime, let’s take a brief look at the statistics (always a fascinating subject), of the books i’ve read and recorded since 1999.

By genre, first, always remembering that these genre choices are purely subjective and somewhat arbitrary (are Jeeves stories humour or short stories, for example):

  1. Autobiography 22

  2. Biography 56
  3. Criticism 26
  4. Drama 5
  5. History 117
  6. Humour 9
  7. Language/Linguistics 11
  8. Reference 3
  9. Religion 26
  10. Children’s fiction 25
  11. Juvenile fiction 74
  12. Historical fiction 27
  13. Humorous fiction 24
  14. Mystery 202
  15. Science fiction 54
  16. Short stories 33
  17. Other fiction 177
  18. Poetry 4
  19. Assorted non-fiction 78

That doesn’t actually total 1000. Oh well; probably to do with my skills, or lack thereof, in manipulating formulae and spreadsheets. Still, it’s a large enough sample to get a picture of what i like to read.

Next, the view by year:

  • 1999 29
  • 2000 113
  • 2001 127
  • 2002 79
  • 2003 85
  • 2004/5 197 (computer error lost about ten months of dates)
  • 2006 136
  • 2007 93
  • 2008 78
  • 2009 63

Again, interesting: Some pretty productive years there, though i wonder if the “big” years tend to have shorter reviews. Last year, 2009, not such a good year for volume, but i read some quite large and detailed books, so that requires more time and devotion. Anyway, there it is.

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