Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Reading in 2014: A Detailed Analysis


For a few years now, I have been collecting data on the books I read and then analyzing the information I have collected at the end of the year. Over the years, I have curated the list of questions you'll see below. In 2013, I put together a spreadsheet that allowed me to record even more information: book title, author, star rating, category and sub category, publisher, publication date, which month I read it, whether I owned it or borrowed it, whether I was re-reading it, and if someone recommended it. In 2014, I added the following information: number of pages and format.

For a complete list of my books, go HERE. Without further ado, here are the stats...

How many books did you read in total?

88: an average of one book every four days. I read 173 books in 2010, 144 books in 2011, 148 in 2012, and 109 books in 2013. The number of books has been steadily going down as I move away from reading only romance

What was the average star rating?

3.943 (where ratings were from 1 to 5, with 0 for DNF (didn't finish)). The large number of re-reads and books by trusted recommendations are most likely responsible for this. Number of books and star ratings: 5 stars (49), 4 stars (12), 3 stars (13), 2 stars (7), 1 star (0), DNF (7)

How many works of fiction and how many non-fiction?

Nonfiction & Poetry: 12, Fiction: 76, a ratio of 1:6.
In 2010, the ratio was 1:57; in 2011, it was 1:15; in 2012, it was 1:18; and in 2013, it was 1:15


How many books by male versus female authors did you read?

Male: 11, Female: 77. Male authors read were 12.5% of the total.
In 2010, the number was 3% of the total; in 2011, it was 5%; in 2012, it was 7%; and in 2013, it was 5%.
Last year, all books by male authors were nonfiction; this year, it was a mix of nonfiction and fiction


How much romance versus all other genres?

28 non-romance vs. 60 romance, which is 68% romance of the total number of books read.
All the non-romance books were in the following categories: children's and young adult fiction, literary fiction, mystery, poetry, and non-fiction.
In 2010, I read more than 85% romance, 79% in 2011, 82% in 2012, and 88% in 2013


What were the categories of the books and how many books did you read in each category?

Medieval (1), Tudor (1), Georgian (1), Regency (49), Victorian (6), Edwardian (1), Western (1), Contemporary (3), Mystery (4), Fantasy (1), Women's Fiction (1), Literary Fiction (6), Children's & Young Adult (3), Novellas (1), Poetry (3), Memoirs (3), and General Nonfiction (7)

How many books did you read each month?

Jan (11), Feb (9), Mar (15), Apr (6), May (9), Jun (7), Jul (9), Aug (6), Sept (5), Oct (6), Nov (3), Dec (2)

Did you mostly buy, borrow, or re-read?

Public Library: 22, New: 26, Personal Library: 40. I read new books and re-read old ones roughly equally. I bought more books this year than last year, but far less than previous years

How many books did you read in the different formats?

Mass market paperback (56), trade paperback (15), hardcover (13), folio (3), audio (1)

Did you read books in any genres new to you?

Manga, fantasy

Which publishers' books did you read the most?

Fawcett (21), Signet (11), Avon (6), Bantam(5)

How many self-published books did you read?

3

Which were the oldest and newest books, by pub date?

"The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran (Sep 1923) and "Rogue Spy" by Joanna Bourne (Nov 2014)

Which were the longest and shortest book titles?

Longest Book Title: "The Ultimate Guide to Dorothy Dunnett's The Game of Kings: An illustrated, encyclopedic resource of translations and historical, literary, ... in the order in which they appear in the book" by Laura Caine Ramsey

Shortest Book Titles: "Escape" by Joan Smith, "Douglas" by Grace Burrows, "Venetia" by Georgette Heyer, "Longbourn" by Jo Baker, "Silkworm" by Robert Galbraith, "Devilish" by Jo Beverley


Which were the longest and shortest books?

"The Game of Kings" by Dorothy Dunnett (543 pages) and "Women Who Dared" by Evelyn Beilenson & Lois Kaufman (80 pages)

Who were the most-read authors of the year?

Joan Smith (12), Joan Wolf (6), Michelle Martin (5), and Loretta Chase (5)

Which of the authors who were new to you in 2014 would you read in 2015?

Dorothy Dunnett, Rick Riordan, Molly O'Keefe

Any books in translation?

None

Which was your top favorite book?

"The Game of Kings" by Dorothy Dunnett—it's one of the finest examples of historical fiction

Which was your surprise favorite book and why?

"Titan's Curse" by Rick Riordan, a middle-grade novel. I was surprised by the complex world-building, which remained true to the historical facts of the relevant time period.

How many books did you read due to someone’s recommendation?

I read 21 books on recommendations from friends: jobev, sunita_p, liz_mc2, kaetrin67, simhedges, younglibrarian, Wee1, dougalgodfrey, __marijana_, janga724, mirandaneville, jobourne, superwendy, janetnorcal, redrobinreader

Which book would you not have read unless recommended by someone?

"The Game of Kings" by Dorothy Dunnett. It is a Big Fat Book, and I wouldn't have had the courage to approach it if it hadn't been highly recommended by many people

Did you read any books you have always been meaning to read?

"The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion, "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran, "Stradivari's Genius" by Toby Faber

Which books that you read in 2014 do you think you will re-read in 2015?

Books by Joan Wolf, Joan Smith, Michelle Martin, Georgette Heyer, and Dorothy Dunnett

Which authors do you predict you will glom in 2015?

Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles and re-reads of Georgette Heyer and Laura Kinsale

Which types of books would you like to read more of?

LitFic, books by male authors, British police procedurals, poetry, and nonfiction. My list for 2015 is already long; it might very well take me into December

What information are you missing in your data collection for 2014 that you'd like to add to 2015?

A review of a sentence or a few words


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