Monthly Archives: April 2014

Book traffic report #3

Flying books

In this household brimming with books, we’re continuing to take a year-long look at how books make their way into (and out of) this place. Three months in, things are getting very interesting. I’ve decided to categorize the incoming and outgoing books in some additional ways.

At the end of March, the two columns on my home office whiteboard tallied up as follows:

Incoming: 17

  • 17 paper books / 0 digital books
  • 9 purchased / 7 received / 1 borrowed from the library
  • Of the 9 books purchased, 6 were purchased online and three were purchased in stores or in-person transactions (Book City, Ben McNally’s and directly from an author at a reading).
  • All 7 received books were complementary copies from publishers or authors.

I’ve observed from the outset that I’d like to see more of our purchases taking place in physical bookstores, where possible. I confess I’m a bit surprised that our online purchases are still as high as they are, but I’ll point out that two of those purchases were for rare books obtained from non-Amazon vendors’ web sites.

Outgoing: 16

  • 15 outgoing books were contributed to three local Little Free Library boxes.
  • One tattered, outdated technical reference book was consigned to the recycling bin.

2014 to date: 34 books incoming, 47 books outgoing

I’ve added some new categories by which I’m going to track incoming and outgoing books. First, I’m going to note whether a book is read (by my husband or me) or not yet read at the time I tally things up each month. Obviously, a new incoming book is likely to be unread initially, but I’m interested to see how many of those books are read by the end of the year. Also, how many books are we sending back out into the world that no one in this household got around to reading?

So far this year, a total of 14 incoming books are read and 20 are unread, and a total of 35 outgoing books have been read … and 12 books that have lived in this house unread are now back out in the world, presumably to join a household where they will be read.

I’ve also categorized incoming and outgoing books as fiction, non-fiction (including reference) and poetry.

So far this year, 23 fiction, 7 non-fiction and 4 poetry books have arrived, and 21 fiction, 24 non-fiction and 2 poetry books have departed.

Our outgoing numbers continue to illustrate that we have an abiding affection for our local Little Free Library boxes.

Let’s see how the books fly back and forth this upcoming month!

Flying books image from