2013: Words In Numbers (A Brief Statistical Interlude)

on Monday, December 30, 2013
Strap on your pocket protectors, it's time for another expedition into a world of crap I don't understand. Yes, instead of giving proper thought to the drafting of my Book Of 2013 announcement, I have been playing with Excel trying to work out how to make it add a long list of numbers (surely there must be a button for this). Three hours on and... success!!!

So here it is, my year in mathematical form (this year with a bit more explanatory memoranda).

Total Number of Pages Read: 36,830

Longest Book: In a year of pretty heavy bricks (The Luminaries at 834, The Son at 562, The Redeemer also 562, The Invention of Hugo Cabret at 530), it was Stephen King's supposed masterpiece The Stand that absolutely clobbered the competition at a whopping 1,325 pages. Alas, it still wasn't a patch on Misery.

Shortest Book: They say size doesn't matter, and a fair few short books I read this year proved more than their weight in paper. All the wonderful Finlay Lloyd Smalls (Bruno Kramzer, NY, Anxiety Soup, Nothing Ventured and The Dark Days of Matty Lang) clocked in at 60 pages, while Colm Toibin managed to scrape in a Booker nomination in just over 100 with The Testament of Mary. Elie Weisel's Open Heart was 79 pages, The Library of Unrequited Love was 96 and The Amber Amulet only 86. But it was Matthue Roth and Rohan Daniel Eason's absolutely gorgeous kids' book My First Kafka that made those others look like Proust at a mere 32 pages. You know what they say about small packages...

Average Length of Books Read in 2013: Yes I understand the statistical fallacy of this sum, but my average book was 241 pages long. And while no single book actually came in at that number, Peter Terrin's The Guard was 242 and The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, My Name Was Judas, Donnybrook and The Giant Beard That Was Evil were all 240.

Time Spent Reading (Based on an average reading speed of 90 pages an hour): 404 hours. That's almost 17 days. And to think, I could actually have slept if I wasn't so hopelessly addicted to the written word.

And there it is, Litnerds. The cold hard facts of 2013. As I learnt in year 7, when my teacher threw me out of class and refused to teach me, you can't argue with maths.


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