The Purge

KonMari-ing my books
KonMari-ing my books by Flickr User: Kars Alfrink

I want to read more.  When I get in this mood and I’m totally pumped to get reading more.  You would think that I read right?  Well, sometimes you can’t.  If the kids are all over the place I can’t read, I have to stop every few seconds to do something.  Not that I mind.  I love my kids, but it is not the best way to get through a book.  So sometimes, when I’m psyched to read, but I can’t actually read, I spend time on Goodreads.  It is the facebook of reading.  The social site for readers.

I have been on there more frequently in the past few days, and I take a look at the number of books read and the number of books I want to read.  This is scary.  I’m upside down on my numbers.  While it is encouraging to know I have no lack of books that I want to read, I would really like my read number to be higher than my to-read number.  As things stand now I’m at 717 to-read and 595 read.

This is after a few hours of purging already.  I didn’t write anything down, but my to-read number before the purge started was around 760 or 770.  That means I purged around 23% of the books on my to-read pile already.  What did I drop from the to-read shelf?

Goodreads Finding Duplicates
Goodreads Finding Duplicates

My first stop was finding duplicates.  I didn’t know that Goodreads had this tool, but it was there when I went looking for it, so no idea how long it has been there, but it made dropping the duplicate books very easy.  I had about 25 duplicate books.

Then I started to go through my to-read list book by book.  This is the super frustrating part.  As I look through the list I keep seeing books I don’t remember adding.  Why did I add this?  I click on the book to look at the detail page.  No friends have read this and like an idiot, I didn’t put anything in the recommended by field.  SO frustrating.  The next step is the read the synopsis and figure out if I still want to read this book, if not it’s gone.

This is how I’m purging or if you like “pruning” my Goodreads to-read list.  I’m about halfway through my shelf now.  I’m hoping to get that 717 number down to something that is more manageable.  On the bright side, I’m spending so much time on Goodreads that I found this beauty of a 404 page:

Goodreads 404
Goodreads 404

San Diego Comic-Con for Book Lovers

Signed SDCC2016 Books
Signed SDCC2016 Books

I’ve been at the San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) for the last three days.  I have been lucky, and gotten to go to Comic-Con for the past several years.  The last three years, I have concentrated on getting complimentary advanced readers copies (ARC) from publishers at the event.  All the big publishers are there:  HarperCollins, Disney Publishing, Penguin, Del Rey, etc.

Pictured above are those books which I was able to meet the author and get their books signed.  Only one above, Life Debt, was paid for.  This is one I have been excited for, so paying was no big deal!

Obtaining books at Comic-Con is not difficult but it takes some research.  I plan out my days before hand.  Looking to see who will be signing in what booth at what time.  But much harder than the planning is getting tickets.  Approximately 130,000 people attend Comic-Con and getting tickets to the show is extremely difficult, but tickets are open to everyone.

Unsigned SDCC2016 Books
Unsigned SDCC2016 Books

The photo above are the books that I have gotten from the first three days, Wednesday – Friday.  I’m going to go again tomorrow and on Sunday.  Today alone I received 15 copies of books, well 14 books and one audiobook.  My backpack was VERY heavy!

I’m very happy to have the opportunity to meet the authors and publishers of some of my favorite books.  I thank them all for being there!  I’m excited for the last two days of the show.

Books Bought in February

February 2016 Book Buys
February 2016 Book Buys

February was an unexpectedly slow buying month for me.  I found these three at the local libraries used bookstore.

I bought All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque because it was the reading group book of the month at least a year ago with one of my virtual reading clubs The History Book Club.  Ever since they had this as their reading pick, I’ve been trying to track it down at used bookstores.  I finally had some luck and found a decent copy last month.  I’m excited about this because it qualifies as a foreign books since it was originally written in German and translated by A. W. Wheen.

Next, I found a Penguin Classic in its beautiful black and white paperback binding.  I had no idea what Silas Marner was about before I grabbed it, but you can’t go wrong with George Eliot, so I grabbed it.  I’m reading now on goodreads it is..

George Eliot’s tale of a solitary miser gradually redeemed by the joy of fatherhood.

Okay sounds good.  This was $2 and looks like its never been opened.  MSRP is $7.  Not a bad savings.

Lastly, I’m very excited that I found More Book Lust by Nancy Pearl in the same bookstore.  I got it for $1 and it is in the best condition.  I would think it has never been opened.  Very happy to have grabbed this as I have the first book, Book Lust and I absolutely loved it!  They are great references to have around!  It says on the cover there are 1,000 new recommendations!  Sweet!

100 Books in a Year

Stack Of Books
Stack Of Books by Indi Samarajiva

Now, I’ve never read 100 books in a year.  Well, I probably have, but I don’t count the books I read to my kids in good reads, so only 96 in a year a few years back.  So, when I saw Aliza Weinberger’s article, What happened when I tried to read 100 books in a year, I was intrigued.

I would have liked to see more reviews in the article.  All her ratings where listed but nothing too much about what she thought of the books.  Just a few little sentences here and there.  To me it was more about her journey reading 100 books and less about what it meant to her or why she was doing it, other than just to do it.

She does later say:

…this project wasn’t really about the number of books I could read. It was about finding books that made me feel what reading had always done for me: that connection, that sheer joy of reading a book that both entertains and moves me.

That was nice to see in there.  The worst part was all the little gifs and advertisements that popped up while I was trying to read the article.  I can’t take Mashable articles seriously with all this junk popping up while I’m trying to read a article that genuinely interest me.  Good content is not going to keep me on the site, if it is observed by all this other stuff.

I was going to read another article that Weinberger linked to on Mashable, but I gave up after having so much trouble loading the first article.  I hope they clean that site up, thy have some good content.

I don’t think I will have as rough a time reading my hundred as Weinberger did.  I know what I want to read, I have a TBR shelf of hundreds of books.  Getting through them all will be the tough part.  Wish me luck!

The Best Books I Read in 2015

Book Lust
Book Lust. Sums 2015 up well.

Just as in previous years I’m writing a post about the books I read in 2015. I read 87 books in total, below is the breakdown. This year I’m adding a few metrics which I think will be interesting. Like, how much I saved by borrowing books from the library ($807.40) and what percentage of the authors I read were men (67%).

Fiction was the majority of my reading at 60%. Fantasy (20%) and Science Fiction (21%) being the largest portion of all genres. Read a few series this year, meaning I read 8 books by Holly Black (Spiderwick Chronicles), 3 from C.S. Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia), 2 from Timothy Zahn (The Thrawn Trilogy) and 2 Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson). Paperback was the least popular binding at on 17% of my reads.

Most of my books came from the library (37%). Longest audio book I listened to was Capital at 1,503 minutes (25 hours), shortest was The Hamburger: A History at 180 minutes (3 hours). Total audio listening was 11,751 minutes (196 hours, 8.2 days).

Longest book I read was Hadoop in Practice (536 pages), which was for a class and I didn’t read every page. Next was All the Light We Cannot See at (530 pages). Shortest was 30 pages, a short story called Percy Jackson and the Singer of Apollo. In all I read 14,560 pages.

The longest it took me to get through a book was Capital (195 days), Michelle and I listened to it in the car. Shorts books included a lot of the Spiderwick Chronicles, in all I finished 12 books the same day I started them.

I finished the most books in July (20). The most popular book (according to goodreads) I read was The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The least was Valkyrie.

So how does this year compare to previous years? Well, I read the most I have in the past 3 years, but still not as much as 2011, when I read 96 books. That big 100 is still just out of reach. Maybe this year…

Some of my favorite books of the year were:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Dracula

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

Falling Up

Tuck Everlasting

The Nixie’s Song

How Reading Changed My Life

The Wrath of Mulgarath

Siddhartha

The Field Guide

Departure

Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason

The Read-Aloud Handbook

Dark Force Rising

The Last Olympian