Reading Lists

I love to read and reading lists fascinate me.

I bought a Kindle ereader in 2011 and its resulted in some large changes in my reading habits. I own a lot of paper books, there's 1300+ in the house according to our Readerware database (databases are even fancier lists), but pre ereader most of what I read came from the local library. Every three weeks I'd come back with a pile of 6 to 8 books, at least one non-fiction and one book for looking at (art, craft photography). I'd look on the recently returned shelves, the books the librarians had put on display, and keep a special look out for local authors and writers outside the WEIRD (western, educated, industrialised, rich, democratic). So there was a lot of serendipity in what I bought home. I don't think I've been back to the library since I got the ereader.

Post Kindle, the choice of potential books is huge. Not just from I also make use of dotepub and grabmybooks to make copies of online short stories and blogs to read later. This large choice has a downside in that I'm sure1 I now read less local authors and more in the science fiction fantasy (sff) genre than previously. The upside is that if I hear about a book then I can be reading it that day2.

Reading lists can be about what someone else thinks you should read (eg. "The Western Canon") or about challenges to change what or how much you read. This blogger's project where she read one book from each of the 196 countries in one year and her previous project really inspire me to widen my reading. Being a data freak and a rule bender I'm in the process of going through my ebook collection (stored in Calibre - more lists) and tagging the books with the author's country and gender. Any countries I've already bagged in the last year (maybe two years) I'll discount from the 196. After that I'm going to try and fill in the rest not with full novels but as many short stories as possible, preferably ones available online so I can share. I'm sure my bias to sff will prevail and I'll also try for a 50/50 male/female split.

  1. I think if I log on the the local library site I can download a copy of my borrowing history (more lists) and do a comparison of pre and post ereader reading. No, too geeky. 

  2. Most books. I'll write a post soon about the odd gaps in availability of ebooks for non-USA customers on Also the differences in pricing and how to set up a proxy server on the amazon e3 cloud to help with these issues.