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2011 by the Numbers

January 3, 2012

I thought it’d be fun to tally up some stats on my 2011 reading and share the results with you. I’m quite happy with my type and style of reading, so the stats are just for curiousity’s sake; I don’t feel a giant desire to change most of them. And for extra fun, this year I made graphs! (Note that if you are not a nerd, you should look away now.)

First I’ll show the graphs for all of my reading, then I’ll divide it out into fiction and nonfiction.

This is the graph that makes me happiest! The vast majority of my reading was at least good this year, and look at all of those wonderful ones. :)

E-books have been a godsend for dealing with my fibro and sjogren’s, but a lot of the books I want to read are still paper-only. About halfway through the year I discovered some really fun podcasts, which began to edge out audiobooks.

What a surprise: my library is my primary source! ;) Most of the books from my own shelves were rereads too. hehe Almost all of the review copies were from Netgalley. (Public domain represents the books I added to my ereader for free.)

There’s so much richness in rereading that I’d like to do it even more often!

A pretty typical split for me. I can’t imagine living without either.

Would you believe that just a few years ago, I read far more men than women?! My, how times have changed.

I’ve come a long way in a couple years!

I didn’t pay attention to what nationality authors I was reading during the year, so it’s interesting to see what I ended up with. :) (Note that this stat is only based on author, not on the setting/topic of the book. So a book about Sierre Leone by an American author is in the US category.)

I’m not super-focused on translated literature, since a lot of the international authors I read write in English.

Now let’s take a closer look at my fiction reading…

See my above comment re: gender. :)

You might be wondering why this isn’t closer to 50/50, in light of my references to my goal of ‘equal POC/white author reading.’ Well, that only applies to modern authors, so I don’t try to balance my older (pre-WWI) reads. And I don’t worry about rereads either, since in the past most of my reading was of white authors. When I take those two out, I get a much more equal number. :)

I was hoping to read more European authors in 2011, and I definitely succeeded, although that number is slightly inflated since I treat Scotland as part of Europe (hello M.C. Beaton and my newest literary crush, Hamish Macbeth). This year, I might focus a bit more on Central & South America (or treat it as ‘Latin America’ instead of popping Mexico into North America…dividing up the globe is tricky). But I definitely play favourites with certain regions, because it’s just plain fun. ;)

The 20th century leads the pack!

So most of my reading was based on books written in my lifetime. :) I used to worry about how biased my reading was towards contemporary publications, but then I realised that a lot of that has to do with my other reading interests (POC authors and international ones), so I’m not terribly bothered by it anymore. Ideally, I’d still like to bump up my pre-1950 reading a bit, but I’m just as happy for it to stay the way it is.

And finally the nonfiction…

This is the only stat that really surprised me: I would have thought it to be balanced or even slightly tilted towards the men.

I managed to stay pretty balanced here! I don’t aim for a 50/50 split in my nonfiction reading, for a variety of reasons, but I do still hope to incorporate a variety of voices.

Now you see why I’m hoping to diversify my nonfiction authors a bit more in the coming year! It’s always good to get different perspectives on issues.

Obviously, most of the nonfiction I read is current! Except for personal nonfiction or philosophy stuff, I tend to prefer reading the latest scholarship.

At that point I’d exhausted the easily-gathered numbers (based on the way I structure by books read page) and my mom and I had finished our marathon DVD session, so I decided that would be all. But wasn’t it a fun year?

(P.S.: I don’t track these numbers during the year! I just went through my books read page, where I include a bit of information along with the book’s title and author, a few times and added them all up a couple of days ago. The search function is quite helpful!)

26 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2012 6:08 am

    Eva, I am in utter awe of your superior nerd powers. My OCD library-worker nerd heart skipped a beat when I say the graphs. (initiate s l o w c l a p)

  2. January 3, 2012 6:48 am

    Love, love, love the graphs, Eva! I’m impressed at all the different stats you track. I pay attention to books & pages read, # pages/book, ratings, author gender, and library vs. owned. This year I’m also watching fiction/non-fiction. I’m not sure I could keep up with more!

  3. January 3, 2012 8:45 am

    I like looking at the finished numbers at the end rather than keeping up with them all year…it’s more of a true picture of my preferences, patterns etc. than if I were to manipulate the data throughout the year :) From one nerd to another :)

  4. January 3, 2012 10:04 am

    Yep. Ridiculously fun, this post. Ridiculously fun. :D

  5. Jenni permalink
    January 3, 2012 10:25 am

    Really interesting stats. Makes me want to take a closer look of my own reads from the past year. And maybe I’ll make some reading resolutions for this year based on them.

  6. January 3, 2012 11:30 am

    I love looking at stats! I am no good with commenting on them, but very interesting Eva :) You are doing so well with the POC authors!

  7. January 3, 2012 11:57 am

    I love the graphs. I keep track of some those details through out the year. I seem to consistently read more books by women than men.

  8. January 3, 2012 2:16 pm

    Great graphs! Interesting post, Eva.

  9. January 3, 2012 3:03 pm

    You had a great 2011 reading year Eva and it is wonderful that you support your library as much as you do!

  10. January 3, 2012 3:07 pm

    Impressive! I included graphs in my post, but I stopped after 3 because my head was swimming with too many numbers. I really should keep a spreadsheet to make it easier at the end of the year, but I’m not that organized. :)

  11. January 3, 2012 3:31 pm

    I love the charts and the reading summary. Happy New Year! I am excited to follow your adventures in 2012!!

  12. January 3, 2012 3:35 pm

    Nice graphs!

    I was actually a little discouraged at how my own reading leaned toward more recent books, but yoru comment about how your particular interests will naturally point you toward newer books makes sense. One of the things I really want to do is read more international classics, which would feed both interests at once, but I also want to remember to delve deeper into my favorite 19th-century authors, which I largely failed to do this year.

  13. January 3, 2012 4:03 pm

    Eva! What a great way to display your 2011 stats – makes me want to do mine, just for me. :-)

  14. January 3, 2012 5:43 pm

    wonderful stats eva ,I so envy people that are good at record keeping I m not ,all the best stu

  15. January 3, 2012 5:46 pm

    God, I love graphs. Especially book-related graphs. That is all :-)

  16. January 3, 2012 6:31 pm

    Neat graphs! It’s interesting to look at what we read over a year. I look forward to your Latin American reads this year, as that’s an area of interest for me. (I blame high school Spanish, ha.) I’m hoping to get a few in this year myself, actually.

  17. January 3, 2012 7:23 pm

    Wow, I don’t keep nearly that detailed of stats… I could probably figure them out afterwards, but too much work. I might add a couple more categories to my Week in Review posts and Monthly Wrap-ups because people seem to enjoy stat posts at the end of the year and I am all about making things easy.

  18. January 4, 2012 4:11 am

    I envy your balance. I never gathered stats on gender and country of origin but will start this year. Also plan to do more re-readings in 2012.
    My wishes for a New Year filled with good reads!

  19. January 4, 2012 7:42 am

    If you can manage to track them down through your library, Eva, then I highly recommend watching 90s TV adaptation of Hamish Macbeth (with Robert Caryle as Hamish) on DVD.

  20. January 4, 2012 2:47 pm

    This is great! I love infographics and will do something like this for sure to evaluate myself at the end of this year…

  21. novelinsights permalink
    January 4, 2012 5:41 pm

    Oh my goodness how long did this take you to compile (or maybe you cleverly do it as you go along…). I LOVE your graphs. Nerdiness offset by pretty colours which is the way I like my stats. Happy New Year Eva!

  22. January 5, 2012 7:14 am

    I love love love the graphs! I mean to do this for my own reading but haven’t had a chance yet. So much fun to see it all in pictures like this. Looks like it was a great reading year.

  23. January 5, 2012 6:58 pm

    I do so love some graphs! I track all the info through the year but haven’t managed yet to do graphs as such!

  24. January 6, 2012 5:41 am

    I’m really impressed with how easy that search function sounds. It let you pull out a lot of data quite fast and produce some pretty graphs.

  25. January 7, 2012 8:09 am

    As a librarian assistant at a public library, I applaud you for using your local library. I can’t think of a better place to find books…and for free too.

  26. January 31, 2012 9:59 am

    *drools* your graphs are absolutely fantastic, and LOVED seeing your stats. I heart being a nerd :D

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