Statistics that matter only to me

In 2018 I finished reading 143 books, bringing my yearly average for the last eighteen years up to 121.

During the twentieth century, I pretty much read what I wanted when I wanted (aside for school assignments, of course) without operating from lists or keeping any permanent records. In 2001 I decided to keep a list of what I was reading and what I wanted to read, and that action set a pattern that I continue to follow today. Typically I am reading selections from four or five different books every day, not including the Bible which I read through once a year. But I read through sets of similar books: fiction, philosophy, history, science fiction, or the like. Last year I read through the Christian medieval writers, from Boethius’ The Consolation of Philosophy through the anonymous The Cloud of Unknowing. I finished a series of science fiction/fantasy and then turned to ancient philosophy, including Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero. I finished a series of books related to the Nixon administration and Watergate. I also read novels written by Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Portis, Chaim Potok, Marcel Proust, and Thomas Pynchon.

In addition to reading, I also wrote and published. In 2018 I published a study of the parables of Jesus, a collection of essays (most of which appeared first on this blog) called My Best Friend’s Rotten Wife, a study of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, and a collection of short stories.

And, of course, I wrote for this blog. In 2018 I received 7,805 views from 5,223 visitors. I realize that many of my readers have considerably more views and visitors, but I aim for quality rather than quantity. (Who else recently said the same thing?) During the past year my most popular post was “23 Odd Facts about Man in the Moon,” which I suspect must be featured on some Andy Kaufman fan web site. The runner-up was “Hello, my name is Joe,” which I know is featured on a web site about robocalls. Next came “Did Jesus ever have a panic attack?” an essay which I included in My Best Friend’s Rotten Wife. In fourth place was “Four Heavens,” explaining the uses of the word “heaven” in the Bible, including what it means in Genesis that “God created the heavens and the earth” and Paul’s reference in II Corinthians to the third heaven. Finally, a post that I wrote during the 2016 presidential campaign—one which received more than a thousand visits that year—is still performing well. Evidently Google and other search engines consider me a reliable source to answer the question, “Is Donald Trump the Antichrist?

I hope to continue to be a prolific reader and writer in 2019. I have already finished three books which I started last month, and I have several writing projects in store as well. May all of you enjoy your reading and your writing this year. J.

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13 thoughts on “Statistics that matter only to me

  1. I feel guilty for not reading more. I usually fall asleep shortly after beginning a book, unless I’m completely interested in the subject matter. I admire your stamina and for setting these goals for yourself. Your writing reflects your knowledge and I suspect your knowledge comes from so much reading. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have me beat. This past year was 112 books, and an average of 101 over fourteen years. But, technical books (having written / modified more than 50 of those over that timeframe) have never been included in the list, nor has inspirational books prior to three years ago. So, that would goose up the numbers a bit. I am actually trying to cut down, focusing more time on writing and reading other people’s blogs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are correct. Some baseball and football, but only when my favorite teams are playing. Some old movies or TV shows from DVD or VCR tapes (no streaming). Very little live TV, unless I’m tracking bad weather. J.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you–I will. I suspect that, reading a variety of books, I am reliving the best part of my college days. I loved having four classes on different topics, reading and writing and studying several things at once. J.

      Liked by 1 person

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