Goodreads Page Stats

The better metric for tracking how much I have read, in my opinion, is the number of pages. The number of books is okay, but the reality is reading a 50-page novella is not nearly the same commitment as a 1,500-page tome. (I might prefer a statistic for words when looking at my daughter’s reading counts.)

Unfortunately, Goodreads used to include the stats page in the challenges, but they removed the link to it. It is still there. (For now.) You can build the link to it by:

  1. Go to your profile. In the top right corner is your user photo in a circle. Click it.
  2. Click the Profile link.
  3. Replace the URL up through show/ with “https://www.goodreads.com/review/stats/”.
  4. Add “#pages” to the end.
  5. You should have a URL that looks like: https://www.goodreads.com/review/stats/999-name#pages

The page has buttons for books, pages, and publication year.

  1. Books: The number of books read broken down by year.
  2. Pages: The number of pages read broken down by year.
  3. Publication Year: A graph with year published in the vertical axis and year read in the horizontal axis.

The TBR Long Tail

My “to be read” (TBR) list is long. Too long. Over a thousand books long.

Part of the problem is Goodreads. I will hear about some book say on the radio, open up the app, find it and mark it TBR. Often enough, I will find that I already have. There are 207 TBR physical books I own and 156 TBR Kindle books.

That puts me almost in the realm of where the author of Coming to Terms With My Unread Pile is. Enough are virtual I do not have the same problem. And I never have a fear of not having something to read.

  1. I have several I am reading on at any given time, so finishing one means reading more on another(s) until I pick something else.
  2. Given every year I have the goal of reading some specific, I separate out those books so I can make sure I pick up those when I need to start something new.
  3. I buy books for cheap (used, sales), so I am not spending that much per book but still obviously a lot on them.

 

This section resonated:

For a while I made great progress [in reading through the books], cutting the pile down by a third. But eventually I once again started acquiring books faster than I could read them. Several factors contributed to this. Obviously I buy a lot of books but I get surprisingly number for free either as gifts or through library conferences and book festivals. However they were acquired, my unread pile has become a series of three piles.

Goodreads does point out a glaring issue. Some of them all have the date “January 10, 2008” which I am going to guess is when I imported my collection from LibraryThing into Goodreads. In eight years I have not read these seven books. The TBR counts by year:

  • 2015: 350
  • 2014: 195
  • 2013: 175
  • 2012: 84
  • 2011: 104
  • 2010: 2
  • 2009: 6
  • 2008: 10

I had hoped the distribution of books by year would start high and quickly fall off into a relatively low numbers by the end. Essentially a Long Tail. Too bad real data is messy. :'(

There is now a temptation to go read the 2008-2010 books just to get them read. Eighteen is not bad at all. But, the sad reality is there is no way I’m going to read everything on the TBR list. The 363 ones I own is doable in 5 years if I buy nothing at all in that time. (Unlikely.)

Goodreads Power User Guide

Click-bait: 11 Ways To Love Goodreads Even More

I use the stats for my resolutions to decide how many books to do in any given year and especially picked 25,000 for this year because of the low page count. The app is how I ever remember to add what I am reading and finished. A couple books have come my way through the Giveaways. And I have tons of shelves.

A friend’s bad taste in books has made me skip over a few. While I am connected to several past dates, I doubt “I saw you read <some great book> too from your Goodreads” profile would fly very well. Though, OKCupid does have a section on favorite books. The Goodreads compare tool would probably work better.

And this is cute…

Add the book from your Currently Reading shelf to your email signature.

THE book? I only get down close to that in the few days prior to New Year’s Eve as I try to go into the next year new.

Resolution Progress 2015: End

OK, the year is completely done, so here is where I am with each resolution.

Yoda the weighlifter smack talk resolution
Bro lift even, do you?
  1. Read 52 books. The goal was 52. I read 70. My Goodreads user challenge. Looking at pages, I managed to read 19,669 compared to an average of 21,815 for the prior four years. So while the number of books is good, they were lighter. (I think my bar was highest with something like 33,000 in a 9 month window in 8th grade, so I could do much better.) SUCCEEDED.
    • Read at least 50% by female authors. Of the 70 books read, 49 are by female authors, so I am on well above with 70%. There at the end, it slid by 5%. (4 by males in the first quarter, 2 in the 2nd, 6 in the 3rd, and 6 in the 4th. So I started off strong but trailed off once it was clear the goal was in hand.) SUCCEEDED.
  2. Weightlifting:
    1. Bench 185 pounds (1RM equivalent). My best during the past month or so is 192.5 1RM. SUCCEEDED.
    2. Squat 245 pounds (1RM eq). My best during the past month of so is 250.83.  SUCCEEDED.
    3. Deadlift 300 pounds (1RM eq). My best during the past month of so is 289.83. FAILED. I started at 151.66 about 3 months in and improved by 138.
    4. Drop to about 15% body fat. No progress. A monitor thingy says 24.7% which is down from calipers saying the suprailiac is 25.6%. FAILED.
    5. Bring HIIT up to about 50-50. No progress. FAILED. I did not put enough priority on as I thought I would in setting the goal.
  3. Take a trip at least 300 miles away from home. Completed first quarter with a trip to Amelia Island and Jekyll Island. And a second trip to Mexico Beach at 378 miles. SUCCEEDED.
  4. Declutter Part II. No progress. FAILED.

Resolution Conclusions

On the whole, there were more resolution successes than failures. Of the failures, the deadlift resolution was 6.7% shy which at the rate of 11.5 improvement a month, I might hit the mark in another month. According to my trainer, deadlift is my most disadvantaged lift because I am so tall. So, the resolution might have been too ambitious despite choosing something lower than 305 off that random blog that inspired the resolution.

Resolution Progress 2015: Third Quarter

OK, the year is about three quarters done, so here is where I am with each resolution.

  1. Read 52 books. Three-quarters of 52 is 39. I am close to done at 49. My Goodreads user challenge. With 5 in progress now, and 3 more than half read, this should be complete soon.
    • Read at least 50% by female authors. Of the 49 books read so far, 37 are by female authors, so I am on well above with 75%. (I’m unlikely to fall beneath 50% by even reading all male author books through the end of the year.)
  2. Weightlifting:
    1. Bench 185 pounds (1RM equivalent). My best during the past month or so is 171 1RM. That is 64 up from the 107 1RM back at the start of the year. And 20 up from three months ago. Just 14 more to go by the end of the year, I think I can do it.
    2. Squat 245 pounds (1RM eq). Completed at the half.
    3. Deadlift 300 pounds (1RM eq). My best during the past month or so is 278 1RM. Looks like since July the gain has been about 62 pounds. This looks manageable as I just need another third of that progress to hit the goal.
    4. Drop to about 15% body fat. No progress.
    5. Bring HIIT up to about 50-50. No progress.
  3. Take a trip at least 300 miles away from home. Completed first quarter.
  4. Declutter Part II. No progress.

Resolution Progress 2015: First Half

Here is where I am about halfway through the year.

  1. Read 52 books. A half of 52 is 26. I am a few books ahead at 34. My Goodreads user challenge.
    • Read at least 50% by female authors. Of the 34 books read so far, 28 are by female authors, so I am on well above with 82%.
  2. Weightlifting:
    1. Bench 185 pounds (1RM equivalent). My best during the past month or so is 157.5 1RM. That is 50.5 up from the 107 1RM back at the start of the year. Just 27.5 more to go. I was recently happy to manage two 45 lb plates on the bar 5x5s. Guess I get to be a big boy now.
    2. Squat 245 pounds (1RM eq). My best during the past month or so is 262.5 1RM. That is 155.5 up from the 107 1RM back at the start of the year. That completes the goal. Guess I will reset for another 105 pounds for 350.
    3. Deadlift 300 pounds (1RM eq). My best during the past month or so is 273.33 1RM. That is 121.67 up from the 151.66 1RM last quarter. Just 26.67 more to go.
    4. Drop to about 15% body fat. No progress.
    5. Bring HIIT up to about 50-50. No progress.
  3. Take a trip at least 300 miles away from home. Completed first quarter.
  4. Declutter Part II. No progress.

 

Resolution Progress 2015: First Quarter

I figured I would get back to doing quarterly reviews of progress on the resolutions for the year.

  1. Read 52 books. A quarter of 52 is 13 (the same as a suit in a deck of card). I am a few books ahead at 16. My Goodreads user challenge.
    • Read at least 50% by female authors. So far only 3 are by male authors, so I am on track with 81%.
  2. Weightlifting:
    1. Bench 185 pounds (1RM equivalent). My best during the past month or so is 145 1RM. That is 42 up from the 1RM back at the start of the year. Just 40 more to go.
    2. Squat 245 pounds (1RM eq). My best during the past month or so is 169 1RM. That is 62 up from the 1RM back at the start of the year. Just 76 more to go.
    3. Deadlift 300 pounds (1RM eq). Finally recently did my first deadlift and started at two 45 plates for 5 reps, which is a 151.66 1RM. Still learning form, so the weight was very manageable.  Just 149 more to go.
    4. Drop to about 15% body fat. I did buy a set of calipers with a chart which says my suprailiac is 25.6%. Since I figured 25-30%, this is about what I expected. But I have a long way to go. Visually, I can see veins and muscle definition emerging, which is encouraging.
    5. Bring HIIT up to about 50-50. No progress.
  3. Take a trip at least 300 miles away from home. I did take a 825 mile trip for Mom’s birthday over a weekend. We went to Amelia Island and Jekyll Island. That was fun.
  4. Declutter Part II. Lost some of the progress made. Some of the pants now too big for me are separated out and put away. I’ll give it some time before I donate them. Started organizing and boxing the books I’ve read.

Goodreads Imports Amazon Purchases

When Amazon bought Goodreads, the main hope for me was a tighter integration.

Many of the books I read have a variety of editions, so I have to figure out which one to select on Goodreads. Different editions might even have the same cover, so it can be a challenge. If the book is an ebook, then the ASIN is definitive.

Importing my purchases into Goodreads would be easier on me. So I do love the new Add Your Amazon Books to Goodreads. It only shows those books I’ve purchased on Amazon but not added to Goodreads, so I do not have to scroll through hundreds of books to find the new purchases. They are also organized so the newest purchase sits first. Finally, it does not automatically add books which means I have to mark them as to-read, currently-reading, or read one-by-one. That is fine, as I have some sets I bought on Amazon that I list individually on Goodreads.

Overall, I am pretty pleased and caught up on some listings I missed.

A listing of oddities…

  • If Goodreads librarians did not add books correctly, then the there might be a mismatch in editions.

Review: The Painted Bird

The Painted Bird
The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosiński
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I chose to read this book for Banned Books Week 2013. A quote from that September 14th blog post:

In tenth grade, this book was assigned to us. It was the most difficult book I had read to that point, but it was also by far the one I wanted to finish most. Traumatic is a good word to describe reading this book. And it has taken a couple decades to want to try reading it again.

Due to a number of parents complaining about the book, our teacher took back the copies. I marked this book as read on Goodreads, but I do not think now I really did finish it. So I plan on finishing it and making it right.

So now I have finished it.

I still think this is the most difficult book I have ever read. The main character suffers constantly from things I can only describe as torture, rape, and assault. I have seen some complaints about the amount of sex and torture in A Song of Ice and Fire. The child in this book is under the age of 12 and goes through more in the first 100 pages than the entirety of ASoIaF. Reading it was an emotional struggle, but I think a book that brings out that much emotion is good.

It lost a star for the ending. The last 30 or so pages left me wondering why they were included as they felt like an entirely different book. Maybe that was something like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder where after so much terror a normal text no longer feels right.

View all my reviews

Movie Before Book? Or Book Before Movie?

She asked what I was reading. So I told her Dust of Dreams and showed her the book. She said I am smart. This launches into a weird conversation culminating in the question. She asked, “Is it weird I watch the movie before reading the book?” A little over a year ago a friend asked me the same question.

My response was I have done the same thing. I pointed out I watched the first three Harry Potter movies without reading the books. But, then I really was confused about the story of the third one enough, I ended up getting the books and reading them before catching up on the movies. But that is not really a good example.

So what do you do? Movie first? Book first? Both ways depending on mood?

My thoughts…

    • Some movies made no sense to me, so I went back to read the book, and watched the movie again. The 2nd time around, the movie made much more sense. So often I try to read the book first, so I can enjoy the movie without feeling lost.
    • Some stories seem not that interesting. Why invest 10-20 hours reading a book when I can just watch a 2-3 hour movie?
    • Books allow me to give my own visual identity to characters, places, and things.
    • Watching the movie gives a director’s visual identity to characters, places, and things.
    • For me, movie first or middle relies on the director’s visual identity instead of my own. I guess it depends on whether I like the director’s take over my own?

Anyway, I also showed her Goodreads as she was interested in what I thought about a book. (I have not read it. But maybe it can hook her up with friends who have?)

Oh, and it is rather intelligent to call others smart. It feels nice.