More About Books

It looks like I’ll have read 88 books in 2012, that is if I manage to get The Great Mistake by Mary Roberts Rinehart finished before the end of the year. That’s quite a pathetic amount of books crossed off the to read pile, compared with 2011 anyway when my total was 103. I think I must have read more chunksters this year though and the winter last year was worse, which meant that I felt no guilt at all about going back to bed to read on freezing cold winter mornings, when I was stuck in the house anyway, not wishing to brave icy pavements.

That’s my theory anyway. I haven’t counted the books which I’ve bought throughout the year, which is a wee bit of a worry, but I’m sure that I can’t have bought as many as 88, so I must be eating into my TBR pile but I’ve also been downloading books to read on my Kindle, I’ve not counted those ones either, because that road leads to madness I think!

I seem to have been neglecting my Richmal Crompton’s ‘William’ books this year, I’ve only read one of them so I’m going to be reading the next one from my boxed set soon. They always make me laugh and I think we could all be doing with a bit of reading fun at the moment, given the disastrous news from all quarters of the world. If you’ve never read a William book you can download a taster from Project Gutenberg here.

Getting back to some more books which I got for Christmas:

I saw The Scottish Countryside Its Changing Face, 1700 – 2000 by Rosemary Gibson, for sale in The Works. That chain of shops has gone downhill a lot since they were taken over a while ago and the book selection isn’t nearly as good as it used to be but I love this book. I was attracted to its cover. To me it looks like an old embroidery, it was a quarter of the price it should have been and it has interesting information about bridges and the building of roads in Scotland and lots of places that I’ve visited or lived near, old plans, photos and some old maps which again, look as beautiful as needlework. There are chapters about canal building, railways, new towns, such as Tobermory, and the clearances as well as large estates, harbours and lighthouses. It should keep me busy for a wee while.

Celia Fiennes

I also got The Illustrated Journeys of Celia Fiennes 1685 – 1712. This is another book with an attractive cover but I got to it by a convoluted journey myself. After discovering the woodblock illustrations of Clare Leighton I was doing a wee bit of research on her on the internet when I saw that her teacher had also taught a woman called Celia Twistleton Fiennes. Obviously a relative of the explorer Ranulph Fiennes, who is off exploring a frozen piece of the planet again, as I type.

However when I looked for Celia Fiennes I got to this book which I fancied the look of immediately. I find it fascinating that Celia Fiennes, the daughter of a Cromwellian colonel, had the urge to explore the length and breadth of England, quite an undertaking in those days, especially for a woman. The exploring genes in that family seem to have been strengthened over the years, rather than diluted. The book has lots of lovely illustrations and was another internet buy because I could have looked for it for years in secondhand bookshops and it might never have turned up.

I still have a few more Christmas books to write about, but that’ll do for now!

14 thoughts on “More About Books

  1. I’ve only gotten 54 read and my goal was 65. You did better than me. I hope I got everything I read recorded! Next year I am going to write each book down in a journal like you do as soon as I read it. Maybe I’ll keep a better record that way.

    • Peggy Ann,
      This year I’m starting to write down all the books which I want to read in my jotter too because I keep putting recommendations on random bits of paper which are lying around and then can’t find them or can’t interpret my hieroglyphics!

  2. I wish we had more second hand (used) bookstores in our area. My favorite is a renovated big stone barn about 30 minutes away in the country. Love going there.Where do you store these lovely books??

  3. I’m afraid I bought more books than I read this year, so even though I cleared out quite a few for donation to the library sale – I’ve still ended up with a larger TBR stack. I’m really going to try to do better about reading that pile down in 2013. Hopefully I won’t find too many new books to buy – as I’m eyeing the Celia Fiennes book.

  4. I’ve read 193 books this year – 104 if I finish one today, which I think I’ll manage. Last year it was 103 too – but Goodreads tells me that this year it’s over 5,000 more pages than last year! So counting books isn’t such a reliable statistic, but then counting pages isn’t either – font size etc. I suppose the thing is the enjoyment rather than the number.

    I agree about The Works – I’ve stopped going in these days, but the Rosemary Gibson book looks interesting. I know of the Celia Fiennes book but haven’t read it. I wonder if Barter Books has a copy? One to look out for next time I go.

    • Margaret,
      I’ve only recently joined Goodreads – we should be friends on it! I didn’t know they could calculate the number of pages read. It’s such a shame about The Works, you used to be able to get some really interesting books there. I hope you have luck the next time you are at Barter Books.

    • Jo,
      We should be friends on Goodreads too! I’ve started off slowly on it but I’m beginning to get into the habit of updating my reading on it.

  5. I think I read 85 books this year, which is almost the highest since I started keeping records (about 12 years ago). I write mine down and use Goodreads, and my count on Goodreads is just a tad lower. Haven’t tried to figure out what I left off there.

    So we are reading at about the same pace… except I think you read a lot of really long books this year. The page statistics at Goodreads are nice, except that the count there is not always the same as the edition I am reading. I am sure it all evens out in the end.

    • TracyK,
      I’ve used my Kindle to read long classics as I’m sure I can read them faster on it, probably just because the font is clearer, whether it’s mass market paperbacks or really old editions, the book print is usually terrible.
      I really wish I had thought of recording everything I was reading years ago too.

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