2008 in Review: Reading

It’s time for the Reader’s Choice Awards over at Urban Fantasy Land! Head on over before midnight on January 30 to vote.

Guess how many buttons are in Sarah’s button box for your chance to win a copy of Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn. Leave your guesses by 5 pm EST, January 19.


Near the beginning of 2008, I joined LibraryThing and started to seriously track my reading for the first time. My goodness. I really had no idea. In 2008, I read 388 books. (If you’re morbidly curious, you can look at the whole list.) I’d say at least a dozen of those were either quite short, or were anthologies in which I only read one or two stories. But still. No wonder my “to watch” piles of dvds and videotapes never gets any smaller!

How did I manage to read so many books? Well, I really do read fast. Always have. Then I took Efficient Reading in college and it turned me into a speed reader. Add to that the fun of slogging through technical and academic prose for my master’s degrees – reading fiction is bliss after that whole academia thing.

I also read while I knit. I’ll pause for some of you to say “Oh, I could never do that!” That’s what I thought, too. Many, many thanks to my friend Lisa for convincing me otherwise. I’ve previously described the process of teaching myself to read while knitting. A good bookholder is critical; Limedragon has a great list of various bookholders and how they worked for knitting.

And then I realized… I have no bookish pictures for my reading post! Eeep! So allow me to present proof that I can toss nearly anything on my floor and get cat photos…

“Hmm. No ‘nip. No pink feathers. This is lame.” -Mayhem

“Mmmm… May doesn’t realize that books can be very tasty, even without ‘nip.” -Chaos

“Hey! I’m hiding here!” -Chaos

“I’m good at hiding. You so can’t see me.” -Chaos

“Hmm. This looks like a trap.” -Mayhem

32 thoughts on “2008 in Review: Reading”

  1. Hey! What’s that pink thing in the background of the first picture?!

    Chaos looks like Gandalf when he tries to hide under his Blankie of Invisibility.

  2. That’s so funny…I was just thinking the other day about the list of books that you review for us and wondered how you got it all read, plus knitting, plus work. I had decided that you, in fact, do not sleep or are really a Highlander well-disguised in our mortal world!

    I must train myself to do this. Once upon a time, I was a Lit major who read. Now I knit. These must be combined. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. I forsee a new feature here at Chez BlackKitty — “silly things my cats are interested in”. I can’t believe they are playing in a library book.. silly kitties.

  4. Ah, one little knitting trick taught and you live on in history ;->

    I would accomplish no knitting without this skill, such is life right now.

    I have gotten over the “fear” of knitting at work meetings and, in this time of many meetings to work on process mapping for the future EHR system, have gotten some work done on the various pairs of large socks that have found their way on to my needles.

    I have taken to asking people their shoe size before committing to a pair of socks ;->

    Your reading numbers are inspiring! I have slowed down considerably of late. Not enough time during the day and can’t read and run (outside at least).

  5. That is trick I may have to learn. Since I started my new job last June within a block of the library I have discovered the joy of checking out a zillion books to read. I guess there are worse addictions! I’ll have to go check out your list.

  6. Chris- I don’t think I get through quite that many, but it’s a book a week, at least. I also read fast.

    If only I could retain some of it. Ah, well.

  7. With my constant search for related things in posts…can you imagine if you’d let us guess how many books you’ve read this year (like the button box)? There is absolutely NO WAY I would have guessed 388.

    But you’ve got me curious, too. I have no idea how many I’ve read. Must try this LibraryThing out. (And then, must try knitting while reading. And then, must get rid of dog and find cat. No, wait… that’s not where I was going… see what happens when you look at too many pictures of black kitties? They’re taking over!)

  8. Peekaboo Chaos!

    I’ve always meant to ask… you’ve mentioned your library queue a few times, does it work like Netflix, or is it an online book request feature? (I’m curious because the St Paul library has the latter, and it can only do up to 10 books a time; I can’t save/request anything ahead of time beyond that number.) Thanks! : )

  9. I think you need to invest in a dust-jacketed version of the OED; Chaos won’t “fit” under anything less.

    I’ve thought about learning to read while knitting; my friend Elsie does it, but she knits by feeling the stitches, and I don’t hold my knitting that way–I need to see what I’m doing. I do like poetry, and I used to have many poems memorized that I’ve forgotten. So, when I have mindless knitting to do, I get out a book of poetry, read the poem I want to memorize and then knit, reciting the poem to myself as I go. I can check at the end of a row how I did. Perhaps an odd habit, but I’ve been enjoying relearning old favorites, and soon I may be smart enough to move on to new poems.

  10. I can read while doing just about anything, treadmill, makeup, drying my hair, cooking…

    My kitty used to like to chew on book covers, book covers and photos.

  11. That’s pretty prolific. I have much (but not all) of my library in LibraryThing, but I haven’t been using it to track what I read. I’m not sure how feasible that is going to be for me with all of my books lately being from the library.

    I can read when I knit, but normally I prop something (like a salt shaker) on the pages to keep them in place until I need to change. It makes both my knitting and my reading a little slower but not too much slower, but I can get both done then so it is still a win!

  12. That reader’s pillow is fabulous. I can’t knit everything and read but I can knit some things and read.

    Isn’t it fun tracking your books? I’d’ve never guessed. There’s been 388 vampire romance novels published? 😉

  13. You need to get Chaos a bigger book!

    I just finished Casting Spells tonight – I couldn’t put it down. Thanks to you and Jeanne! I’ll have to look for some of her others now.

  14. I know that yesterday was DeLurker Day, but I did not get a chance to read your blog yesterday. I wanted to let you know that I really enjoy reading your blog for may reasons, knitting, the cats and your book lists. I have found several authors based on your list. Now I have one for you, have you read Magic Bites and Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews? If not, I think you would enjoy them.

  15. Wow 388! I probably could read while knitting, I’ve just never given it a proper chance.

    Chaos, you’re going to need a mighty big book to hide in. 😉

  16. I’m “Delurking” by way of Tink’s blog… I do the WWC with the gang. I love your photos, and your blog is really cool so far. I’ve been running late this week, it’s been hectic, but I’m glad I persevered and Delurked by!!

    Have a great week!!!

    Aunt Jackie (AJ for short)

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