Posted in History

2013 ~ A Bookish Summary

2013 Statistics

shelfoverflowNumber of books read in 2013: 63
(Read 37 in 2012)
5 were rereads.
Average rating: 2.96 (out of 5)
Read 2/3 fiction and a solid 1/3 non-fiction.
(80%/20% split in 2012)
71% were by authors I hadn’t read before.
(Up from 50%-ish in 2012)
71% were in some electronic form.

Only 20% were by female authors.
(Down from 40%-ish in 2012)
I read 38 short stories in the first half of the year before I stopped keeping track. About 1/3 of those were by women.

28%Β  of the books I read had something to do with magicians or spiritualism.

Aside from being bitten by a magic bug, the biggest change in my reading habits in 2013 was my use of NetGalley to read and review books pre-publication. A full third of the titles I reviewed were ARCs. To some extent, I’ve been using NetGalley to sample some genres that I don’t read often, and the results have been a mixed bag. My average rating for ARCs was 2.64 (out of 5) and there were a few ARCs that I did not finish. On the other hand, half of my Best Read of 2013 were ARCs.

Bookish Resolutions for 2014

I generally only make one resolution: I will not buy books in the New Year. This is a resolution which generally keeps my book buying to minimum, but doesn’t do much for my shelves of non-read books. For 2014, I’m changing it up a bit with two resolutions:

Concerning Acquisitions

Read two books I already own before acquiring a new book, “acquiring” defined to include ARC requests and check-outs from libraries. Ideally, I’d like to go 2:1 by book format: Read two physical books before buying any new physical books; read two already acquired electronic books before acquiring new ebooks.

To help set a good habit and/or cultivate a little leeway , I’m going to be joining the TBR Triple Dog Dare:

Hosted by Ready When You Are, C.B.

Read only books in your TBR pile or on your library reserve list as of January 1, 2014 for the entire months of January, February and March. The TBR Triple Dog Dare will end on April 1, 2014.

Clear My “Research” Shelf

I have 17 books, non-fiction and fiction, that are somewhat related to the Abbott/Joseffy project. I should, you know, read them.

  • Dunningers Complete Encyclopedia Of Magic by Joseph Dunninger
  • Houdini on Magic by Harry Houdini
  • The Life and Many Deaths of Harry Houdini by Ruth Brandon
  • The Magician and the Cardsharp: The Search for America’s Greatest Sleight-of-Hand Artist by Karl Johnson
  • World’s Best Card Tricks by Bob Longe
  • The Expert at the Card Table: The Classic Treatise on Card Manipulation by S.W. Erdnase
  • Linking Rings: William W. Durbin and the Magic and Mystery of America by James David Robenalt
  • Facts, Frauds, & Phantasms: A Survey of the Spiritualist Movement by Georgess McHargue
  • The Magician’s Study: A Guided Tour of the Life, Times, and Memorabilia of Robert “The Great” Rouncival by Tobias Seamon
  • David Copperfield’s Beyond Imagination ed. by David Copperfield
  • David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible ed. by David Copperfield
  • The Spirit Cabinet by Paul Quarrington
  • The Magician by Sol Stein
  • The Final Confession of Mabel Stark by Robert Hough
  • Eyeing the Flash: The Making of a Carnival Con Artist by Peter Fenton
  • River City Empire: Tom Dennison’s Omaha by Orville D. Menard
  • A Dirty, Wicked Town: Tales of 19th Century Omaha by David L. Bristow

These are only the physical tomes. After a look at my downloads and bookmarks (at Google Books and Open Library), I have a good two or three dozen other books that might be useful. I have my work cut out for me!