Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Self-analysis of books & magazines read in 2005

Finally managed to compile a list of items I read in 2005. It started off as a simple list but after reading some other librarians' blogs (I forgot which ones), I noticed they included an analysis of the types of materials read, subjects etc. Pretty useful so I decided to take a bit more time to compile the list.

Summary as follows:
  • Total items read in 2005 = 91 items
  • Fiction Vs Non-fiction = 79% Fiction Vs. 21% Non-fiction
  • Subject composition (top 3 in terms of %) = Fantasy 23%, Science Fiction 23% (21 items each); Society/ Contemporary Fiction 15% (14 items); Military 4%, Art 4%, Science 4% (4 items each)
  • Items from Singapore Collection = 9 (10% of total read)
  • Formats = Books 48% (44 books), Magazines 12% (11 magazines), Graphic Novels 40% (36 graphic novels)
  • Value of items as per Amazon.com prices (excluding Out of Print items) = USD$1,019.13 (or SGD$1,654.35, as at 28 Feb 06 conversion rates)

I'm glad I took time to analyse my reading list. For one, it's apparent that I read a lot less Business-related materials compared to last two years.

Comics/ Graphic Novels made up 40% of total items read. I knew I read alot more Graphic Novels than previous years but I didn't know it was that much! In 2005, I deliberately picked Graphic Novels as a sort of informal "genre self-study". I must have enjoyed them so much that I read more and more of them. They were easy-reading materials (work was particularly stressful last

Fantasy and Science Fiction was still my choice of Fiction genres. I used the term "Society/Comtemporary Fiction" to broadly categorise works of fiction that dealt with social issues (maybe I need to delve deeper since the term could be too broad for analysis).

Out of curiosity, I decided to find out the value of the items (using Amazon.com as the guage), and it came up to be just over USD$1,000. Without our public libraries, I would never have read this much in terms of quantity and monetary value (and this dollar amount is just the purchase price, nevermind the intangible value of the ideas and leisure derived from them).

Another observation for 2005 -- I definitely read less books compared to previous years (excluding Graphic Novels), and one big reason was Blogging and reading RSS feeds. Looking at the books read per month, there was a huge gap from Jan to Mar 2005. My readings only picked up from April 2005 onwards.

Hardly surprising. Blogging and reading RSS feeds takes up whatever time available for reading. However I don't see this as a bad thing since my Reading Diet is a heck of alot richer now that it's supplemented by blogs, and by writing/ blogging.

Parting question - I wonder if other bloggers also find that they are reading less than before, because they are spending some of that time blogging.



  1. Anonymous11:03 pm

    i don't know if you've read enough to count but a huge amount of fiction i read last year was in the form of serialised blog novels.

    At least 6 full-length novels, as well as innumerable short stories.

    I haven't read more of these as a direct result of my own blogging but more due to the fact that blogs are such a perfect platform for the serial novel.

    Also been exposed to a lot more authors due to spending more time online with RSS and reading blogs. Same with music. Close to 90% of my new music is found out through mp3 blogs. Same with authors and lit blogs.

    I just got an iPod so am considering downloading audiobooks and ebooks, but i love that deadtree smell too much to make the switch as yet...

  2. Did you keep a personal log of items read or loaned from the libraries or is there some nifty way for one to get a readout of one's library loan history? I've always wanted to ask someone in the know about that.

  3. i should try analysing my readings some day too. i don't read much lesser because of blogging and RSS. i just work less :D

    to my employer: i was just kidding!

  4. Billy - care to share the links for those blog novels?

    Wandie - I keep a personal log. Unfortunately, there's no "nifty way" to get a printout. It's possible (via IT dpt), but not something you can do on demand.

    TinkerTailor - You could tell your employer you "work less" because you work smarter, and output not necessarily any less. And it's due to the resultant efficiency from blogging and RSS :)

  5. Anonymous1:48 am

    here u go -

    monster island
    monster nation
    monster planet
    thirteen bullets
    simon of space
    someone comes to town, someone leaves town

    365 tomorrows
    magazine of fantasy & science fiction
    scribbles and lies

    sorry bout the high concentration of sci-fi and horror but seems like these are the genres more likely to be found online. other than slash fiction, ergh.

  6. Thanks for the list, Billy. I guess readers of SciFi & horror are more likely to be those inclined to read online.


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