Sunday, January 1, 2017

Books Read in 2016

As I updated my reading progress this year, a few people had trouble grasping how I read so many books.  Reading is my favorite activity. That should be enough explanation, but here's some more.  I read instead of watching movies.  In fact, I believe that I watched not even one movie in 2016, which may be the first time that has ever happened.  Think about how much time you have spent watching movies, and there you go.  There's nothing surprising about watching lots of movies, and there shouldn't be anything surprising about spending that same time reading lots of books.

I also watch very little television.  That's more time freed up.

I don't read every word of every book.  I don't need to read the obligatory explanation of how Frank is older than Joe, their father Fenton is a detective, and so on in every Hardy Boys book.  I skim or skip over those paragraphs.  That saves time.

I am reading children's books.  Most of them do have at least 150 pages, but they are nowhere near as long as the average book for adults.  This means that I can read more children's books than I could adult books.

In "How to read 462 books in one year," Sarah Weinman explains her reading technique.  "What also seems to happen is that I read a page not necessarily word by word, but by capturing pages in sequence in my head. The words and phrases appear diagonally, like I'm absorbing the text all in one gulp, and then I move on to the next sequence I can absorb by paragraph or page."

I can't do what Sarah describes, but I do sometimes read individual paragraphs diagonally.  It considerably speeds up reading.

Now that I have explained, let's get to the point of the post.

I began 2016 reading the later titles in the original Hardy Boys series.  In the first few weeks of the year, I made the decision to read all of the Hardy Boys Digest, Undercover Brothers, and Adventures books.  This was a rather large commitment, and I did have doubt as to whether I could force myself to read all of them consecutively and in a timely fashion.  Actually, I knew that I could, but I knew that I couldn't allow myself to read much else, if anything, and that I had to stay strong and focused on just the Hardy Boys books.

By April, I was up to around #85 in the Hardy Boys Digest series.  As I just mentioned, I knew that I had to stay focused in order to get through around 150 additional Hardy Boys books.  If I were to continue reading books at the pace I had set to date, I would be able to read 282 books by the end of the year.  I then set a goal to read 300 books by the end of the year, and by the end of April, I had increased my pace to be on track to read slightly more than 300 books by the end of the year.

I set the goal to read 300 books by the end of the year in order to guarantee that I would be able to read through all of the Hardy Boys books by August.  I had to keep on task.

I reached my goal of 300 books in early November.  Not surprisingly, my pace abruptly slowed almost to a halt.  I majorly slacked off during the first half of November, partly because I reached my goal and partly due to many distractions.  I had decided to add several lengthy series to my list of books to read, and all of those books will take me at least 1 1/2 years to read even if I go very fast.  I needed to motivate myself into speeding up again.  Otherwise, I'd never get the books read that I want to read.

I had to set a new goal for myself in order to motivate myself to keep going.  At that time, I appeared to be on track to read around 325 to 330 books by the end of the year. I wasn't sure how much further I could go, so my initial goal was to push as far as I could to 335, 340, or 345 books.  I read fast and furiously in the second half of November and settled on a new goal of 350 books.  Somehow, I would read at least 350 books by the end of the year.

My pace in the first half of December was short of what I needed, but once I was off work for the holidays, I had the necessary time.  I read books as fast as I could, on some days completing two books.  By Christmas Eve, I had read 342 books altogether. I had one week to go.  My goal was so close that I could almost touch it.

At about 11:30 PM on December 31, I finished my 355th book of the year.  Obviously, I don't party on New Year's Eve, unless you consider reading to be the same as partying.

Next is a list of what I read by month and in the order I read the books.  I sometimes had to read out of order while I waited for books to arrive in the mail.  For the Hardy Boys Digests, I drove around to local stores purchasing what I could over a several week period as I awaited my complete set in the mail.  This resulted in me reading a random assortment of the entire range of titles.

January:  26 books

Hardy Boys #46-58
Hardy Boys Revised Text #4-7, 9, 10, 12-17, 19

February:  21 books

Hardy Boys Revised Text #20-23
Hardy Boys Digests #64, 81, 59, 123, 136, 168, 71, 173, 176, 131, 178, 154, 159, 164, 180, 187, 90

March:   22 books

Lance Todd #1, 2
Hardy Boys Digests #61, 60, 62, 63, 65-70, 72-80, 82

April:  36 books

Morgan Bay Mysteries #5
Hardy Boys Digests #83-89, 91-107, 109-119

May:  31 books

Hardy Boys Digests #120-122, 124-129, 132-135, 137-151, 153, 156, 157

June:  45 books

Hardy Boys Digests #158, 160-163, 165-167, 169-171, 174
White Princess by Elva Ditmann
Hardy Boys Digests #175, 177, 179, 181-186, 188-190
Hardy Boys Undercover Brothers #1-20

July:  42 books

Hardy Boys Undercover Brothers  #21-37, super editions #1, 2
2007 Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys Super Mysteries #1, 2, 3, 4
Nancy Drew Diaries #11, 12
Hardy Boys Adventures #1-12
The Seventh Hour by Tracey Ward
Morgan Bay Mysteries #1
Ashfall Trilogy #1, 2, 3

August:  27 books

Morgan Bay Mysteries #2-4, 6-8
Wynn and Lonny #1-6
Brains Benton, The Case of the Crossed Wire
Jenny Dean #1-4
Twilight Where Darkness Begins #1, 3, 4, 6, 10, 13, 8, 2, 11, 5

September:  21 books

Twilight Where Darkness Begins #7, 9, 12, 14-26
Dark Forces #1-5

October:  24 books

Dark Forces #6-12, 14, 15
Lois Duncan, I Know What You Did Last Summer
Lois Duncan, Killing Mr. Griffin
Nancy Drew Diaries #13
Hardy Boys Adventures #13
A.S. Maxwell, Secret of the Cave
Lois Duncan, Don't Look Behind You
Lois Duncan, Summer of Fear
Lois Duncan, Stranger with My Face
R. L. Stine, The Baby-Sitter
Lois Duncan, Down a Dark Hall
Lois Duncan, Daughters of Eve
R. L. Stine, The Baby-Sitter II
Lois Duncan, The Third Eye
Merivale Mall #1
Richie Tankersley Cusick, The Locker

November:  25 books

Lois Duncan, The Gift of Magic
Lois Duncan, Locked in Time
Lois Duncan, They Never Came Home
Lois Duncan, Ransom
Lois Duncan, Gallows Hill
Sweet Dreams, Love by the Book
Nightmare Hall #2 The Roommate
Merivale Mall #2-12
Lois Duncan, The Twisted Window
Richie Tankersley Cusick, Fatal Secrets
Richie Tankersley Cusick, The House Next Door
Richie Tankersley Cusick, Summer of Secrets
Richie Tankersley Cusick, Someone at the Door
Richie Tankersley Cusick, The Drifter
Diane Hoh, The Accident

December:  35 books

Richie Tankersley Cusick, Silent Stalker
Richie Tankersley Cusick, Overdue
Mysteries in Our National Parks #1-8, 10-13
Girls of Canby Hall #2-13    
Mysteries in Our National Parks #9
Mystery Solvers #4, 1-3    
Girls of Canby Hall #14-17                                  

The very first book I read in 2016, Hardy Boys #46, The Secret Agent on Flight 101, was the only book I read in 2016 that I had already read before.  Of the 355 books I read in 2016, 354 were for the first time.  That's quite an accomplishment.

In 2017, I expect to read quite a few books for the second time, based on what I intend to read in the near future.  I also expect to read at least around 300 books in 2017.

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