Random (but not really)

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Books of 2017: Statistics!

Now for my FAVORITE! Pulling apart the year as a whole to look at the different parts!

I read a ridiculous number of books this year. Ridiculous. I blew past last year’s total of 189 in October and kept on reading.

Total books read: 230

First up: Book format

The trend of reading primarily eBooks has continued, although I did listen to more audio books this year than in any year previous.

You’ll also notice that I did a lot of re-reading this year. The past year was difficult for me mentally, so I did a lot of comfort reading–reaching for those books I already know I love to escape my brain.

The multiple formats simply means that I own the book in more than one format–most commonly I owned a mass market paperback and then got the same book in electronic format, but audio books also count. Especially since I rarely listen to a fiction book I haven’t already read.

The multiple formats was lower than I might have expected, because a lot of the books I was looking for were available from the library as ebooks or audio books. (There are weird gaps in what the library has though.)

eBook: 179
Audio: 30
Trade Paperback: 18
Paperback: 3
Hardback: 0
Multiple Formats: 48
Re-read: 128

I like this chart because you can see precisely when I got an eReader, and exactly how that changed my reading habits.

I also think that kindle and the ability to read the same book across devices has helped increase the number of books I’ve read, since any time I have any kind of wait I can just pull out my phone and start reading. I no longer have to make sure to put a book in my pocket or purse, since as long as I have my phone, I have a book to read.

Next: Genre

These numbers are going to be a little more confusing, because a single book (especially the books I read) can be multiple genres (fantasy AND mystery AND romance). But for the most part things were pretty evenly split between fantasy and mystery.

Fantasy: 105
Mystery: 99
Romance: 42
Comic: 24
YA: 7
Non-Fiction: 6
Anthology: 3
History: 2
Cookbook: 1

If you’re curious, that dip in mysteries occurred after Grandmom died. It was a while before I was in the mood to read straight-up mysteries, since then I’d often think, “Grandmom would have loved this…”

Finally, the thing that made me start tracking all these stats in the first place: the authors.

It has been a constant complaint (mostly by men) that there just aren’t that many female authors out there. This is, of course, bullshit, but I figured the best way to show that would be to a look at my own reading habits over time.

This year, as with most other years, my reading was relatively evenly split between male and female authors.

Female: 105
Male: 91
Joint + Anthology: 34
Initials: 0
Male Pseudonym: 0
Anthology: 15
Joint: 19

Male: 40%
Female: 46%
Joint + Anthology: 15%

I’ve actually plotted both genre and author gender on a single chart, to see how reading romances affected things, but even in chart form it’s still confusing and it turns out mysteries are more closely correlated to author gender than any other genre of book I read. And even then, the relationship doesn’t always hold up. (FREX, the year I re-read all of Donna Leon’s 20-some Brunetti mysteries.)

Regardless, my point remains that it is not difficult to find excellent books my female authors to read. So if someone complains they don’t know of any good female authors, send ’em my way. Chances are I can recommend something they’d like.

And that’s 2017 in reading!

The Books of 2017

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