Visualizing Books

One of the worst feelings I’ve encountered is the feeling that information is constantly seeping out of my brain. As someone who loves learning, realizing the rate that information is headed out of my head can be scary. It happens the most when I’m discussing books, how much do you really remember from that book you read 18 months ago? Do you have to re-read books every few years to keep the information in your brain? One way I’ve begun to address this problem is just keeping a simple log of what I’ve read and a couple key takeaways from the book. Nothing major — I aspire to really remember and internalize a point or two from the 400 pages I’ve slogged through.

A side effect is that I have the beginnings of a neat database on my reading habits. I wish the database was much larger…but I’m sure I’ll get to all the classics someday! Let’s start by looking at fiction vs. non-fiction by year:

Looks like as I’m getting older, I’m moving away from the fiction. In general I’m happy with the relative upward trend we are seeing. How about some most commonly read authors?

Here fictions tends to dominate — while I’m a GOT fan, I certainly wouldn't consider George R.R. Martin to be my favorite author, but since I tend to spread my non-fiction reading around no one author stands out. The only non-fiction writer who makes it to this list is the individual I would consider my favorite: Sam Harris.

At the moment I’ve just produced a cursory dive into what I’ve read — but I’m excited to keep this charting project up and see how it plays out in the years to come.