Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2014 reading statistics

I've mentioned a couple of times in the last few days that I tracked my reading statistics last year and that I was going to be doing a full post about them. Guess what? IT'S STATISTICS TIME, Y'ALL.

Reading strategy
Okay, so first of all, I've mentioned a few times that I adopted a slightly different reading strategy during 2014. In the past, I've always been strictly a one-book-at-a-time reader. And when a book turns out to be dense or slow going or I'm just not into the story and don't really want to pick it up? It definitely had an impact on how many books I was reading.

But then I started my Classics Club challenge, which requires me to read a book a month through until 1 January 2019. And so that automatically meant that I was reading at least two books at a time, because I prefer to take my Classics Club books slowly and read them across the course of the month to get a true appreciation for them, rather than rushing through because I want to get back to more modern reads.

And one of my goals for 2014 was to reread more, so I decided to adopt a strategy of reading three books at any given time - one Classics Club book, one new book, and one reread. This meant that I was usually racing through either the new book or the reread, and I'm pretty sure this strategy is why I read 104 more books in 2014 than in 2013.

So. There you go.

Pages read
Another one of my reading goals for 2014 was to track how many pages I read a day. Sure, Goodreads tracks your total page count for you, but it inevitably ends up wonky because your edition isn't featured on Goodreads or it doesn't have the page numbers listed or the page count is out by like ten pages for some reason. Plus, I wanted to see what my average number of pages a day worked out to.

I read a total of 102,281 pages in 2014, an average of just over 280 pages a day. Obviously, I read more some days than others, and I generally read a lot less when I was travelling (partly because I was busy and partly because I was only reading one book at a time). The lowest number of pages I read in a day was 20 pages on our last day in Portugal, and the highest number of pages I read in a day was SEVEN HUNDRED AND TWENTY back in February on a day when I clearly had no life whatsoever...

Rating

Yes, I made a series of pivot charts to tabulate my statistics. You're welcome. The vast majority of the books I read in 2014 got favourable reviews. As you can see, I used half stars quite a lot, and other fractions of stars a handful of times. Clearly, I'm pretty generous with my four star reviews, and fairly strict with my five star reviews. On the plus side, I only read eight one star books, which is reserved almost exclusively for "things I want to throw at the wall".

Genre

I'm kind of surprised by how many contemporary books I read in 2014. The vast majority of those 69 contemporary books were young adult or new adult. I'm also a little surprised that I read 57 fantasy books, considering urban fantasies (which is my fantasy sub-genre of choice) generally fell under the paranormal category (42 books). Although that DID include 14 Discworld books, every Throne of Glass book, and a decent chunk of Tolkien, so...yeah.

Really, the one I'm most surprised about is the dystopian books. I only read five books that classified best as dystopian in 2014, and I'm not sure if that's because the trend is on the wane or if it's because at some point I decided that the real world was close enough to a dystopia at times and stopped reading them... And the dystopian books that I DID read? I rated 80% of them at 2.5 stars or less.

Setting

Welp, that's a little depressing. Just shy of 40% of the books I read were set in the US. And another 22% were set in the UK. That big fat "Other" category? That's reserved for fictional universes created by the likes of Terry Pratchett, Sarah J. Maas, Garth Nix, and J.R.R. Tolkien. I read a mere 14 books set in Australia, and yet somehow manage to read two books set in Antarctica?!?! Go figure...

Gender of author

Admittedly, this category is a little problematic, because gender is a spectrum not a binary option etc etc etc. It's also a little problematic because in some cases, such as The Silkworm, the book was published under one gender but it was really the other. Or both (I'm looking at you, Ilona Andrews). But essentially, I read a crapton more books by women than men. Not intentionally, of course. That's just how it turned out. (Eight books into 2015, and I have yet to read anything by a male author. Whoops???)

Gender of narrator

Again, this is a little problematic because gender is complicated etc. But I still read far more books with female narrators than male narrators. Which probably says more about YA books than anything, I suspect...

Young adult books

This should surprise precisely no one. YA is my jam, and it's really obvious. I only needed to read five more YA books and five less other books (which, incidentally, includes middle grade books and new adult books), and it would have been a 50-50 split.

Australian books

38 books by Australian authors isn't too shabby, but it makes me a little sad that so many books written by Australian authors aren't set in Australia. Because seriously - only 36% of these books were set in Australia. I'm not saying that Australian authors HAVE to base their books here, that's crazy talk. And interestingly, this is one area where the books weren't US-based. Instead, the non-Australian based books were largely set in the UK or Europe.

Diverse books

I've talked about these already as part of my Diverse Books project for 2015, but it's worth representing in visual form because DAMN. That is pathetic. Especially when you consider the fact that those 24 diverse books? Twelve of them were only PARTLY from the perspective of a diverse narrator. Sigh.

Rereading

I reread a whopping twenty two books (out of 171 books) in 2013. And one of my goals was to reread more often in 2014. I still read far more new books than books I'd already read, but I think this was a fairly significant improvement! (104 rereads in 2014) I'd like to get this closer to a 50-50 split this year, but I'm not entirely sure that'll happen.

So. There you go. That's a break down of my reading in 2014!

Do you think there's anything else I should be tracking in 2015??

K xx

4 comments:

  1. Well that was interesting! And this isn't meant sarcastically. It's pretty epic you took the time to track all that and make shiny statistics and such. The amount of pages you read will never cease to amaze me but okay.
    Once upon a time I had a one book only policy but that got thrown out probably sometime around me trying to read David Copperfield in English at 17 or so. Which was a complete debacle and took for-freaking-ever.

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  2. This is a great idea! I might have to do it for 2015!

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  3. I'm a freakishly fast reader, AND I read exclusively in my first language. I'll never fail to be impressed that you can read books in English.

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  4. I'm a pretty slow reader regardless of it being in English or Swedish. At this point, unless it's Austen time and earlier, reading English isn't a problem at all. And believe me, I am constantly amazed by that myself. Especially since I was barely passing my first 4 years of English at school. But I owe this in large to books and TV shows.

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