Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Jenny's 2013 Reading by the Numbers

GoodReads seems to disagree with itself as to whether I read 238 or 240 books this year.  I think the accurate number is 238, since the stats for end of year include two books I abandoned (but not all 26, so curious.)

238 seems high.  238 seems impossible.  I'm sure I'll hear a lot of these things.  Well, some of those are individual short stories that I counted because they were award nominees and I was reading them as single shots.  Some of them are poetry, which while short, I always read at least twice.  Some are cookbooks.  So clearly, some are not that lengthy.  On the other hand, the longest book I read in 2013 is Infinite Jest, at 1,079 pages.  I have the feeling that the numbers balance out.

Books by Format

Print: 150 (77%)
eBook: 44 (19%)
Audio: 34 (14%)

Interestingly, 41/44 of the eBooks were advanced reader copies from NetGalley, so I still very much prefer print.  The three eBooks I actually purchased were in moments of desperation, usually because I needed to get a copy in time for book club or a podcast.  Or they were a really good deal.  I bought far more eBooks than I read, since I always forget I bought the Kindle Daily Deal types.  Whoops.  About half the audiobooks were also review copies, but I do have an Audible subscription and pay for about half.  Print is always a mixture of new, used, swap, and library books.

Books by Genre

Foodie: 25 (11%)
Graphic novels: 11 (4%)
Memoir: 13 (5%)
Novella: 13 (5%)
Poetry: 22 (9%)
Science fiction and fantasy: 55 (23%)
Short stories: 22 (9%)
Travel: 10 (4%)

These aren't all the genres, only those I'm interested in tracking.  I guess what's left is the general, literary fiction, and some non-fiction.  And some of these crossover, particularly memoir with foodie or memoir with travel.  I'm happy that my poetry number has gone up, and I want to keep it around 10% if I can.

Award Winners and Nominees

Last year, I read all the nominees for a lot of award, so much so that it took 25% of my reading time, and some of that reading was not satisfying.  This year I pledged to only read the books I was interested in.  Quite a few of my abandoned books of 2013 are from award nominees that I dumped, and are not reflected in these numbers.  Added up as a sum total, this still takes up 21%, but many of the Booker-NBA-Orange overlapped.  The number is about 18%, a definite dip from 2012.  It feels great to gleefully abandon what isn't working!

Hugo: 17 (7%)
Man Booker Prize: 6 (3%)
National Book Award: 11 (4%) <- pretty directly 6 novels and 5 poetry finalists
Nebula: 2 (.008%)
Nobel: 0
Orange Prize: 3 (1%)
Pulitzer: 0
Tournament of Books: 15 (6%)  <- many of these I had already read for other reasons though!

Reading for a Purpose

I often read books for challenges, podcasts, and book clubs, but these are all part of my interests.  I don't look to decrease these numbers.

Around the USA Challenge: 31 (5%)
Around the World Challenge (includes The World's Literature group's focus on Turkey): 69 (29%)
Great African Reads: 2 (.008%)
International Book Club (in person, just joined in September): 2 (.008%)
League of Extraordinary Dorks Book Club: 6 (3%)
SFF Audio Podcast readalongs: 13 (5%)

I think 2013 was a great year in reading!  Tomorrow I will give more thought to my goals for reading in 2014, but for now it is time to relax and celebrate.  Happy New Year!


  1. Great reading year! Here's mine.

    Total books: 100
    After first saying reaching 100 wasn't a goal I was closer than I thought I was going to be so after a mad reading scramble of 5 books in 3 days I made it under the wire.

    written by men: 58
    written by women: 42
    First year since I started keeping track that I read more books by male authors than female.

    kindle: 40
    paperback: 29
    ARCs: 17
    hardback: 9
    Audio: 5
    I'm always surprised at how my print vs kindle come out almost even. I feel like I read more in print but it's been within 10 books since I got the kindle. The thing that interests me though is that of all my favorites listed below only 3 were kindles. I'm not sure if I tend to buy books that I know I will really like or if I just enjoy books more. I'm still not sure about that.

    Favorites read and published in 2013:
    The Other Typist
    The Woman Upstairs
    The Interestings
    Night Film
    The Flamethrowers
    Burial Rites

    Not published in 2013 but read by me in 2013
    Wolf Hall/Bring Up the Bodies
    House of Leaves
    The Wind Up Bird Chronicle
    The Broom of the System
    A Naked Singularity
    The Brothers K

    1. Amanda, I like the idea of tracking by gender! I went back and counted mine up, and out of 238, 120 of the books I read were written by women. I'm about half and half, over 50%. Pretty cool, not even intentional.

      Your favorites are interesting. I thought The Other Typist was great in audio!

  2. *LIKE*
    I know this is a non-comment comment, but what else to say? I love books. And lists. And stats.


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