Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Detailed Analysis of the Books I Read in 2015

For a few years now, I have been collecting data on the books I've 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 in, 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. In 2015, I started writing short reviews in monthly recaps and tallying up my monthly book expenditure.

Without further ado, here are the stats...

How many books did you read in total?

84: an average of one book every 4 days.
I read 173 books in 2010, 144 books in 2011, 148 in 2012, 109 books in 2013, and 88 in 2014. The number of books has been steadily going down as I move away from reading only romance

What was the average star rating?

4.2 (where ratings were from 1 to 5, with 0 for DNF).
Number of books and star ratings: 5 stars (5), 4 stars (20), 3 stars (12), 2 stars (3), 1 star (2), DNF (1)
I really lucked out this year with my reading material choices. It was a stellar reading year.

How many works of fiction did you read?

Fiction: 62, Everything Else: 22; the ratio of Other to Fiction was 1:3.
In 2010, the ratio was 1:57; in 2011, it was 1:15; in 2012, it was 1:18; in 2013, it was 1:15; and in 2014, it was 1:6

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

Male: 19, Female: 65. Male authors read were 23% of the total.
In 2010, the number was 3% of the total; in 2011, it was 5%; in 2012, it was 7%; in 2013, it was 5%; and in 2014 it was 12.5%.
Last year, all books by male authors were nonfiction; this year, it was a mix of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry

How much romance versus all other genres?

54 non-romance vs. 30 romance, which is 36% romance of the total number of books read.
In 2010, I read more than 85% romance, 79% in 2011, 82% in 2012, 88% in 2013, and 68% in 2014

In which categories were the non-romance books?

All the non-romance books were in the following categories: children's and young adult fiction, general fiction, mystery, poetry, and nonfiction.

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

Medieval (3), Georgian (1), Regency (16), Victorian (2), Western (1), Contemporary (10), Mystery (8), Fantasy (3), Religious/Inspirational (3), General Fiction (8), Children's & Young Adult (9), Novella (1), Poetry (8), Memoirs (4), and General Nonfiction (7)

How many books did you read each month?

Jan (10), Feb (5), Mar (5), Apr (9), May (6), Jun (7), Jul (8), Aug (8), Sept (7), Oct (10), Nov (7), Dec (2)

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

Public Library: 52, New: 14, Personal Library: 18

How much money did you spend on books?

$35 on new books

How many books did you read in the different formats?

Mass market paperback (35), trade paperback (20), hardcover (17), folio (1), e (9), audio (2)

Did you read books in any genres new to you?

Harlequin Contemporary Super

Which publisher's books did you read the most?

Signet (6), Harlequin (5)

How many self-published books did you read?


Any books in translation?


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

Oldest: North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell (1854)
Newest: Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas (2015)

Which were the longest and shortest book titles?

Longest Book Title: I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

Shortest Book Titles: Heartless by Mary Balogh, Madelena by Sheila Walsh, Shadowskin by Shveta Thakrar, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, Wonder by RJ Palacio, Truckers by Terry Pratchett

Which were the longest and shortest books?

Longest Book: Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale (544)
Shortest Book: Poetry of Walt Whitman by Edited by Jonathan Levin (47)

Who were the most-read authors of the year?

Mary Balogh (4), Loretta Chase (3)

Which of the authors who were new to you in 2015 would you read in 2016?

Anthony Trollope, Elizabeth Gaskell, Leo Babauta, Atul Gawande, Terry Pratchett, Helen MacInnes

Which author's books that you read in 2015 do you think you will re-read in 2016?

Laura Kinsale, Georgette Heyer, Joan Wolf

Which authors would you like to read in 2016?

Gretchen Rubin, Ray Bradbury, Salman Rushdie, Molly O'Keefe, Ellis Peters, Deepak Chopra, Donna Tartt, Steven Pinker

Which was your top favorite book?

Romance: This Gun for Hire by Jo Goodman
Other: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Which was your surprise favorite book and why?

Miss Cayley's Adventures by Grant Allen was a surprise given that it was written in the Victorian era by a man and featured a single woman's intrepid adventures as she traveled around the globe. Not quite Hester Stanhope, far more madcap, but very independent in thought and action. She was received with respect and on an equal footing by whoever she met. I enjoyed Allen's atypical characterization of his era

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

I read 50 books on recommendations from friends; 60% of the total number of books

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

The Warden by Anthony Trollope
His Wife for One Night by Molly O'Keefe

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

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
The Great Wall of China by Franz Kafka
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

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

General fiction, books by male authors, British police procedurals, poetry, plays, nonfiction, translated books, and most importantly, reading diversely.

What information are you missing in your data collection for 2015 that you'd like to add to 2016?

No new information for 2016. In fact, I decided to stop recording the month part of the publication date for next year. Most books have only the year mentioned on the copyright page, and I had to go hunting on Amazon for the month, which was not feasible for out-of-print books.


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