Number of Words Read in Spanish After Another Six Months of Reading

Know what this number heavy blog really needs? More numbers!

It’s been another six months since the last time I added up the total number of words that I’ve read from books in Spanish.  That last time had been six months after the previous time I’d added them up, so at this point it’s a bit of a tradition to look back and reflect on what I’ve read so far and if there are any conclusions to draw from that.

As I said last time, this is a bit iffy, because I can’t really rely on any definitive sources for the word counts of different books, and there’s some variance on what information you can find online from one source to another.  I’m also doing some light rounding on these numbers for ease of clarity.  Before sitting down and adding things up, I’m going to go ahead and predict that I’ve read less words in this past six months than I had in the previous blog, thanks to a change in how I’ve been spending my time, but more than in the first blog.  Let’s see how I did.

  • Música Soul 96,100 words
  • Tiempos Interesantes 93,400 words
  • Mascara 85,400 words
  • Pies de Barro 94,100 words
  • Papá Puerco 95,100 words
  • ¡Voto a Bríos! 105,200 words
  • El País del Fin del Mundo 94,900 words
  • Carpe Jugulum 98,400 words
  • El Quinto Elefante 107,400 words
  • La Verdad 105,000 words
  • Ladrón del Tiempo 102,400 words
  • El Asombroso Mauricio y sus Roedores Sabios 63,700 words
  • Ronda de Noche 92,800 words
  • Los Pequeños Hombres Libres 75,000 words
  • Regimiento Monstruoso 114,800 words
  • Un Sombrero de Cielo 79,300 words
  • Cartas en el Asunto 99,300 words
  • ¡Zas! 91,500 words
  • La Corona de Hielo 85,000 words
  • Dinero a Mansalva 99,000 words
  • El Atlético Invisible 106,700 words
  • Me Vestiré de Medianoche 95,000 words
  • Total Word Count from the Past Six Months: 2,080,500 words
  • Previous Running Total Word Count: : 4,601,800 words
  • Current Running Total Word Count: 6,682,300 words

Well, my prediction came true at least.  I was optimistic as I typed out the prediction that I’d be closer to the previous six months’ word count of ~3.2M than to the first count of ~1.4M, but I wasn’t confident enough to stick it in the prediction.  I should have stuck it in, because I squeezed past that goal by a cool 280k words.  Ah well.  I was also planning for one final push this last week to have Snuff included in this word count, that didn’t end up happening, for reasons that I’ll get into on this week’s breakdown.  Overall, though, I’m rather satisfied with these numbers.  It’s amazing to think that I’m now over five million words read in Spanish and gonna be scraping ten million here sooner rather than later.

It’s interesting to look back and consider how I’ve grown and developed in my Spanish skills and how that relates to word count, because as a reader I don’t feel like I’m tremendously further along than I was two million words ago, or even three or four million, maybe.  The Discworld books are pretty dense, but they’re not super dense by any means, they’re of a similar reading complexity to the Dresden Files that I read before them, and I was able to comprehend both series to a similar level, I think.  Maybe that’s another case of self-deception that I’ve noticed before, and were I to reread Dresden Files I’d discover I missed a ton the first time around—or, perhaps more accurately, had been able to fill in stuff I missed with my previous familiarity with the series in English—but I think it has less to do with general comprehension and more to do with general familiarity.

When I’m reading books now, there’s very little cognitive effort to consider them as Spanish anymore for me.  I barely even really notice the language when I’m reading them anymore, it’s just comprehensible text in a language that I understand well enough to read books for pleasure in.  I can’t say for sure that it felt like that back in the Dresden Files days, and I know for sure it didn’t feel like that in the Harry Potter days, but it’s feeling more and more like that now.  At a certain point all of this language stuff becomes way less about learning the elements of the new language and way more about bombarding yourself with the new language over and over and over again until it’s so natural it doesn’t feel “new” anymore.

I still have a ways to go, especially when it comes to bombarding myself with listening experience, but the best thing about keeping track of word counts is that they never shrink.

Now then, let’s look at this week’s numbers, and brace yourselves.

Tuesday 10/29

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, 1 episode of Arte Divierte, ~50 minutes

Wednesday 10/30

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, ~100 minutes

Thursday 10/31

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 3 episodes of Kiwillius, 1 episode of La Zona Cero, 1 episode of Bojack Horseman, ~90 minutes

Friday 11/01

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 3 episodes of Kiwillius, 1 episode of Andrea Ga, ~90 minutes

Saturday 11/02

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, ~100 minutes

Sunday 11/03

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, ~70 minutes

Monday 11/04

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, ~90 minutes
  • Total Duolingo: 140 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total watching/listening: 14 YouTube episodes and 1 tv episode, 590 minutes
  • Total Time: 9 hours 50 minutes

So, as alluded to, this was a disaster of a week.  As I mentioned at the tail end of the last blog, I was suffering from what I thought was food poisoning.  Turns out it wasn’t food poisoning, but rather an illness that absolutely destroyed me for the following week.  It got really bad, closest to the sickest I’ve been in my life (winner is still 2009 when I was one of the afflicted in the H1N1 swine flu outbreak in the states), and I spent almost the whole week bed ridden.  In the past when I’ve been sick, it’s proved to be a bit of a boon for this blog, as I am suddenly given a lot of extra free time to read and watch stuff.

Yeah, didn’t work out that way this week.  I was too sick to focus on much of anything.  I had enough energy to get through some Spanish stuff every day, but I could barely read stuff on websites without getting exhausted.  I gave up on trying to keep up with book reading pretty quickly and gave myself permission to just watch what I could, not worry about anything else, and let myself heal.  I even broke with standard tradition of how I go about blogging and didn’t work on this at all over the weekend, because I was just too out of it.  I half joked with myself over the weekend that after last week’s entry about pushing through even when I didn’t have anything specific to blog about, that this week I would end up taking my out and just posting numbers to save myself from needing to work on it.

Fortunately, I went to bed Sunday feeling like I might have been through the storm and woke up Monday feeling like myself again.  I still didn’t get a ton done in terms of study time on Monday because let me tell you, being too sick to read leaves your life in a state of disaster once you are well enough again and I’ve been running around trying to piece things back together, including writing this blog.  Tuesday of next week might be a little low as well as I put things back in order, but I’m hopeful to ramp back up into a normal state of affairs again.  Hopefully, we’ll see.

Anyway, that all said, I did get some pretty good time in watching things.  I’ve given more and more time over to watching videos by Kiwillius, who is just my style of LPer.  Which, if you’re keeping score, is someone who is surprisingly incompetent at most games, but fails in an entertainingly amusing way.  I’m aware that’s slightly mean to say, but it’s true, and hey, it works.  So welcome, Kiwi, you fit right in with Daniel San and the Game Grumps.

This was also the (rather disappointing) end to another month, so let’s look at the month’s numbers, too.

  • Total Duolingo: 560 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total Watching/Listening: 21 tv episodes, 89 youtube videos, and 3 podcasts watched, 2,250 minutes
  • Total reading: 1 and 2/3rd books read, 1,950 minutes
  • Total writing: 1100 words written, 150 minutes
  • Total Speaking: reading out loud, 900 minutes
  • Total Time: 72 hours 50 minutes

And here’s the breakdown for money spent.

  • Me Vestiré de Medianoche, Fiction, Ebook, Amazon, $8.31
  • Snuff, Fiction, Ebook, Amazon, $9.35
  • El Mundo Según Garp, Fiction, Used Copy, Thrift Books, $7.19
  • Netflix Subscription Standard HD Plan, Television and Movie Streaming, $10.99 per month, $10.99
  • Amount Spent on Fiction Books: $24.85
  • Amount Spent on Services: $10.99
  • Total Spent: $35.84

An okay month, considering the disaster end.  Everything’s a little low compared to normal months, as would be expected, but it was mostly insulated from the damage of this week thanks to the month ending halfway through.  This illness is going to have a greater impact on November, which has started off horrendously and derailed some of my plans, including a modest NaNoWriMo that I was contemplating doing.  I’m probably still going to do it in some fashion, just not perfectly inline with November, per sé.  I don’t know, I’m waiting until everything else is smoothed out before worrying about all of that.  On the plus side, being so sick really took the rest of the edge off from quitting smoking, so I’m feeling less antsy.

Aside from the lower totals, the amount spent looks a little different, because Amazon started charging sales tax on ebooks.  In thinking back on it, I’m sort of surprised they weren’t doing that before?  I just didn’t really notice.  Anyway, hardly matters.  I made mention at some point this month that I got a used book in the mail, and there it is, even if I haven’t gotten started on it yet.  Reading plans got thrown under the bus this week.

Speaking of things being tossed under the bus, this is where I traditionally share writing numbers, and I almost don’t want to, thanks to how embarrassing they are.  But, well, in October, I wrote 7,232 words for blogs.  And that’s it, no fiction at all.  Yeah, I’m depressed about that, too.  That was the big reason I was planning on the NaNoWriMo thing, to start turning that around, but then the sickness came and knocked me over right as that was supposed to start.  As I said, I’m feeling generally better about things, both from my general health perspective, but also in terms of the anxiety that was making it really difficult to focus on writing.  As that’s passing, I’m confident that next month’s writing numbers are going to look a heck of a lot better than this month’s.

That aside, on the language front, I don’t really have any grand plans going into next month beyond “get back on track after that plague,” which I think is a perfectly noble sort of plan.  I’m still running around trying to recover from hitting the pause button on my life for a full week as it is and will probably still be running for a day or two.  Hopefully all that clears up quickly.

Anyway, I better get back to smoothing things out now.  TTFN.

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