Friday, August 3, 2012

Nine Books Read in July: Or, No, I'm Not Obsessed with Charts

I got to pet a baby goat recently. Made my day.
Lest you think I get "worried" about my reading quota in a general year or month, let me begin by saying that I don't really care about quantity. I care about quality. But I like to track things. I like to compare year-to-year results, and I like to have a quantitative view of what I've been doing. It's why I track my daily writing/editing amounts. It's why I have a spreadsheet to track my income from my jobs. And it's why, for the last four years, I've tracked the books I've read by month, author, and genre.

Which is why I know that in July, I read 9 books! That's on top of a very busy personal month and a very busy work month. How did this happen? Easily: Good books.

I have several authors I stalk. I follow them on Facebook, I read their blogs, I even follow their links. And of those authors, I found a book out by almost all of them in July. In no particular order, the authors were:

  • Gail Carriger, Timeless
  • Jacqueline Carey, In the Matter of Fallen Angels
  •  Sharon Shinn, Jenna Starborn
  •  Laurell K. Hamilton, Hit List
  •  Ilona Andrews, Magic Slays
Obviously, there were four other novels I read, the only other notable one being Richard Castle's Heat Wave, which I enjoyed far more than I thought it would. In fact, I'm currently reading the next in the series, and I hope to find some other TV-to-book novels to see if they're as much fun.

Nine books in a month is not a record for me. In 2010 and 2011, I read 10 books in both Augusts. What this tells me is two things:
  1. A lot of my favorite authors have books that release in paperback around July/August.
  2. I do more reading around birthdays. (From August to early September, I celebrate 4 family birthdays and 3 friend birthdays.) [Side note: I just realized I picked a very challenging time to cut out sugar. I might have to change my goal to cutting way, way down.]
I accept that I'm not quite normal when it comes to my obsessive tracking. My husband and family mock me kindly for it, so I understand if you don't exactly relate to the contentment I feel when I open my Excel sheet and spend twenty minutes crosschecking random stats. However, if you're reading this and quietly agreeing, intimidated to say it aloud, please know, this is a safe place to express yourself. How many books have you read this month? What do you track?

(Incidentally, I am now caught up with my year-to-date reading totals from last year. I'm on target—if I cared about such things—to match last year's reading record of 81 books in a year.)

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