Thursday, January 1, 2015

Crunching Numbers: Overview of My Reading Stats 2014

A lot of people find it hard to believe that I read over 250 books a year. Do I skim? No. Sometimes I'll skim through a book to familiarize myself with something that's popular, as part of my job, but I don't count that as a book that I've read. Then how do I do it? I spend 3 or 4 hours each day reading and listening to audiobooks. On days when I'm not working at the library, I sometimes read for 8 hours. So, yeah, it's excessive.

Total books read in 2014 = 277 (I haven't counted picture books.)

What kind of books did I read?

Adult fiction (a mix of realistic fiction, speculative fiction, historical, and thriller/suspense + others)164 (59%)
     - includes 16 (6%) short story collections
     - includes 10 (4%) poetry collections (I don't know why I didn't make a separate pie slice for them but I'm not going to start over.)
Adult non-fiction (mostly memoir, biography, science & history) = 56 (20%)
YA = 41 (15%)
Children's fiction & non-fiction (not picture books) = 16 (6%)

Who wrote these books?
Canadians = 62 (22 %)
Edmonton authors = 5 (2%)
Americans = 116 (42%)
British/Irish/Scottish = 48 (17%)
Japanese = 6 (2%)
Other countries = 45 (16%)
     Read in translation = 17 (6%)
     Read in French language = 3 (1%)

Women (as sole creators) = 115 (42%)
Men (as sole creators) = 98 (35%)
Queer authors/queer content = 50 (18%)
Aboriginal & People of Colour (as sole creators) = 51 (18%)
(Note that there is overlap in the author categories above, as in a single author who could be a female queer Canadian POC.)

In what format were these works?

Regular print books = 119 (43%)
Audiobooks = 84 (30%)
Graphic novels = 64 (23%)
eBooks = 10 (4%)

Compared to last year's stats, not much has changed, except in format. This year I listened to more audiobooks (84 vs 67) and read more graphic novels (64 vs 34). My eyes give me more trouble as I age, so I'm a little more likely to listen to audiobooks while I relax instead of picking up a paper book. In the past, audiobooks were reserved for activities that precluded holding a book.

Credit for my intake of graphic novels nearly doubling probably goes to the Oh Comics podcast (and the Panels website). While I prefer standalone graphic novels, I got hooked on trades because of great stuff like Saga, Rat Queens, Sex Criminals, Afterlife with Archie, Kevin Keller, The Fuse, The Wicked and the Divine, FBP, Suicide Risk, Pretty Deadly, and Lazarus. (I'm excited about volume 1 of Lumberjanes coming out in April 2015. I don't count reading individual comics as "books," no matter how many times I go through them. But they totally count when they are bound together. It's not logical, so don't ask me to explain.)

Last year I noted that I wanted to read more local authors in 2014, but that didn't happen. Nine of the books I read last year were by Edmontonians and only five this year. I did read a few more books by Canadians than I did last year, yet American authors still make up the largest slice of the pie.

The #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign prompted me to focus on this aspect when I was compiling stats today. Although I didn't consciously select my reading based on this criteria, I'm pleased to see lots of works by PoC.

Creating pie charts was fun. Now, time to start my reading for 2015!

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