Ok, this has been a long time in the making, but I had a wedding to plan this year 🙂
Last year I started a challenge to read at least 30 books. I love reading, I love books, and recently I haven’t been putting enough spare time aside to read. I used to read an awful lot, not just books and journals for my University course, but also books on my hobbies and interests, and of course, a whole lot of fiction. I am a bit of a SciFi fan, I love a bit of Fantasy 😉 but I also like to pick up new authors and genres that i have never read before.
I signed up to Goodreads, and thought I’d try a 30 books in a year challenge. On Goodreads you can keep track of books you have read, and books you would like to read, see what other peple are reading and what they think, find lists of books worth reading (or not), and add your own reviews. this go me thinking and I decided to record what I read and when, and create something at the end of the year as a bit of a project for myself, and an exercise in information design.
I actually got these finished some time ago, but haven’t had a chance to get the final finished pieces printed and photographed until just before the wedding.
Each line represents a book, and they are placed around in a circle with the distance between each one equal to the time taken to read the book (I included the months for some extra exposition). The coloured circles on the edge (purple, blue and green) correspond to the genre (see the legend) and the size of the circle corresponds to the amount of pages. The orange – red circles correspond to the time of day that I read the book (again see legend).
As you can see, I ended 2011 having read 42 books in total – 12 more than my challenge 🙂
This following piece showed each book – The coloured circle tells the genre and size of book; the grey circle corresponds to the amount of time it took to read. As you can see some books I flew through regardless of the amount of pages, whereas others took me longer… (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell took me over a month…)
I used overlapping opaque circles and a circular theme for the designs, and kept the same colours – blues and greens for the genres and yellows and reds for the time taken, so that there was a contrast between the two.
Finally, I compared the authors, the bigger the text, the more books by the author that I had read that year. I used pale and dark blue for alive and dead male authors and pale and dark pink for alive and dead females. Most of the authors were alive and male, with only one dead female author, and less than a third of my authors were female – I really should remedy that! I carried on the style of overlapping opaque circles for this design as well.
I had each design printed as big posters – and they looked good as large-scale posters.
Along with these prints, I also wrote a review for each book – which you can find here on my Book blog: Laurapakora Book Blog, along with all the reviews and updates on this year’s challenge – to read 50 books, and at least one book with a title starting with every letter of the alphabet – The A-Z Book Challenge…