cataloging books

29 August 2003

i’ve kept a record of every book i’ve bought or read since the start of the year 2000. when i began doing it i didn’t really think i’d keep it up. i started keeping track for three reasons:

  • people who see me reading regularly often ask how much i read and i never had any idea what the answer was. did i read a book a week, two books a week? i knew there were certainly weeks where i get through three or four books but also weeks where i finish nothing and i wasn’t sure what the ratio of these two types of weeks to each other was and what average came out at.
  • i’d just bought a new palm pda and it felt like a useful project to put on it. of course i never use the palm anymore and the database is only up to date on my website.
  • i’m a complete geek when it come to having statistics to play with. i never got into statistics at school and college (probably because it’s seen as the girlier side of mathematics, call me contrary but i sometimes feel i picked my college classes because they were the ones where i’d be the only girl) but i’m a sucker for raw data to analyse all the same.

i’ve read 58 books so far in 2003. if i keep reading at the same rate i’ll read about another 30 books before the end of the year. i have only actually bought myself 39 books this year. so i’m reading faster than i’m buying! i think this is some kind of record.

in fact my to be read pile has only 13 books i’ve bought in 2003 still languishing on it. i’ve made a bargain with myself to finish all 13 of those by the end of the year and not add too many more to it. if i manage to read every book i’ve bought in 2003 in the next four months it will definitely be some kind of achievement. i’ll probably celebrate by going on a massive book buying spree in january…

in comparison i bought 127 books in 2002 (a lot of used bookshop raids in there), 99 in 2001 and 103 in 2000. i have no idea why i’ve bought so few books (relatively) this year. i’ve certainly used the library more than in the past few years but that doesn’t seem to account for all the difference.

  • in 2003 i’ve read 26 books i bought in 2003.
  • in 2003 i’ve read 8 books i bought in 2002.
  • in 2003 i’ve read 3 books i bought in 2001.
  • in 2003 i’ve read 0 books i bought in 2000.
  • in 2003 i’ve read 21 books i haven’t bought at all.
  • in 2002 i read 90 books i bought in 2002.
  • in 2002 i read 20 books i bought in 2001.
  • in 2002 i read 8 books i bought in 2000.
  • in 2002 i read 13 books i hadn’t bought at all, or bought before 2000
  • in 2001 i read 60 books i bought in 2001.
  • in 2001 i read 14 books i bought in 2000.
  • in 2001 i read 8 books i hadn’t bought at all, or bought before 2000.
  • in 2000 i read 51 books i bought in 2000.
  • in 2000 i read 10 books i hadn’t bought at all, or bought before 2000.

my record for reading books bought in previous years isn’t good at all. if i don’t read the 13 books on my bookshelves that i’ve bought this year by the end of december i think history shows that i could probably give them away without noticing.

for the time being i’ll hold onto the 29 books i bought in 2002 and haven’t read yet, the 11 books i bought in 2001 and haven’t read yet and the 21 books i bought in 2000 and haven’t read yet. clearing them out one way or another can be 2004’s project.