Looking back at 2013 in books: for me, this year was a lot about exploring new regions and authors, and also: exploring new technologies.
I started to read more "globally" in 2012, trying to read books from each continent - and not just books set in a place there, but written by an author who comes from there. that is how i came across ome of the most fascinating reads of this year, for example: "Leaving India - My Family's Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents". Or the Granta country collections, like "Granta Pakistan" and "Granta Brazil".
The global reading had a side effect: I also watched more international films, by directors from different countries.
In 2014, I definitely want to continue this approach in 2014, and look for countries I havn't "visited" by book yet. This is the "visited country" list so far: Books from around the world
It took a while for me to warm up to ebooks, and it was a rational argument that at first made me try them: you can take several books with you on a trip, and all of them are summed up to the size and weight of one paperback.
But there's another huge advantage: there are a lot of books available as e-books that are just a fingertip away: classic reads that are now available as free e-book, and also a lot of indie books that can be ordered without the hassle of international shipping and postage. And there is a whole world of self-published e-books, and some of them are just fascinating and wonderful. Another advantage: you can send longer articles, texts etc. to your reader and then read them there instead on the computer screen.
I didn't really count the numbers, but I guess by now my reading is half printed books, and half e-books. And the reading turned more adventurous. Every now and then, I browse the e-book lists and try some unknown books. Here's one of my fav links for that: "e-book list travel" + "e-books free travel".
That's where I found books like "The Kindness of Strangers - Penniless Across America" (link), "One Autumn in Europe" (link), "The Lost Mountain: 44 Days in the Pyrenees" (link), "Journey to Ki: Highest Monastry of the World" (link)
2013 - The Year in Reading
It's always difficult to pick the "best of" books of a year, here are three:
- Leaving India by Mina Hajratwala, the book i mentioned at the start, an amazing book that is like a tree of family life reaching through 5 continents
- Mountainfit by Meera Lee Sethi: the story of memoir-style novella about a summer as volunter in a Swedish bird observatory - with reflections on life, language, journey, the world. one of the books i re-read just some months after reading it the first time.
- How Proust can change your life by Alain de Botton - an unusual, witty, intelligent and reflective read that accompanied me on a journey from start to end as philosophical literary travel companion
And here's an overview of my year in reading:
- Books 2013: overview in images
- Books 2011-2013: in a list by country
- The collected book blog posts in the blog: bookshelf