2011 by the Numbers
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!)