Random (but not really)

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The Books of 2020: Stats

I started collecting numbers because I’m a geek, but I started sharing these stats because I heard one too many times on the internet the “complaint” that there aren’t any female authors writing good fantasy.

This is of course utter bullshit, so I decided I wanted to see just how many female authors I read as opposed to male authors. And then I wanted to look at all other different kinds of numbers.

Male vs Female Authors

Male Female Author

Some of these numbers are influenced by what I’ve been binge reading. For example, if I re-read Robert B Parker’s Spenser series, that’s 40+ books, which is going to shift the numbers significantly. Which is precisely what happened in 2004.

However, that doesn’t mean that every year I read a lot of mysteries I’m going to read mostly male authors. Because some of my favorite mystery authors are female, which is what you can see in 2016.

Genres Read

Genre Chart

On the other hand, you can see a clear link between the number of female authors and the number of romance books I’ve read. Because very few men write romance. Even the majority of MM romance I’ve found is written by women. Which is a subject that’s been discussed elsewhere, so I won’t do so here.

On the third hand, in recent years I have been trying to read even more diversely, seeking out books with POC (persons of color) and LGBT characters.

LGBT vs Straight Characters

LGBT Chart

White vs POC Characters

POC Chart

Another thing I keep track of is the type of book I’ve read, ie paper books, vs eBooks, vs audio books.

Book Format and Rereads

Guess what year I got my first eReader?

But I’d also like to point out those two lines on the chart, which are the % re-reads that year, and the % of books I own in multiple formats. I pretty much only read comics in paper format anymore, unless the book is not available in eFormat. So when my favorites become available, I will try to get them as eBooks so I can re-read them. However, I find it aggravating to pay market price for an ebook when I already own a paper copy of the book.

The library is helpful for this, because I can borrow a lot of books. But I do want to give authors money for the enjoyment I have had from there books. I just can’t justify paying $10 for a second copy of a book, when I have so many new books on my wish lists.

The second type of multi format re-read is audio books. In general, I can’t listen to fiction I haven’t read before. I love a good audio book, but I read MUCH MUCH faster than a narrator narrates, so audio is too slow for a first read. I tend to switch back and forth between audio books and podcasts when exercising and doing chores. This year was more book podcasts, so fewer audio books.

What I found most surprising is that the percentage of re-reads was lower this year than I expected it to be. There were a couple of months where it felt like I did nothing but re-read favorites, but apparently there weren’t as many of those months as I thought there were. But I still had a lot of re-reads this year. And to be honest, I may have rated new reads lower than I might have in another year, because a swath of what I normally read was just plain appealing this year. All I wanted was cozy and happy endings.

Regardless of what I wanted vs what I read, I finished a ridiculous number of books this year, blowing away previous totals and averages by a significant amount.

Min Max Average Chart

For seven of the twelve months, 2020 now holds my personal record for books read in a single month (since I started keeping count).

As of when I published this, I’d read 295 books. Which doesn’t include books that I DNF’d.

From the BookRiot book log (which does count DNFs) I also have a small breakdown of what I read this year.

Total Books Read 302
Books DNF 6
Total Pages Read 75061
Time Listened 3 days, 5 hrs, and 33 mins
Average days per book 5.35
Average pages per day 122.71
Average books per month 25.00


Yeah, I know, that’s ridiculous.

So that was my year in reading.

What were your favorite books this year? Was there anything you kept turning to to escape the 2020 dumpster fire?

The Books of 2020The Books of 2020!

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