Fun with stats! My 2011 reading by numbers

I’ve been recording everything I read for the past two years using LibraryThing, but have never really known what to do with all that info. Last week I stumbled across this blog post where someone had analysed their reading over the past few years. I don’t have quite as much data as that blogger, but I thought I’d have a crack at doing some analysis with what I do have. If you’re bored by numbers and charts (and why would you be??) skip to the end where I’ve listed some of my favourite/least favourite books of the year.

Number of books read

TotalsI read 63 books this year, just slightly down from the 66 I read in 2010, but still comfortably above the one book per week I’d always assumed was my average.

Male vs Female Authors

Male vs female authorsThis one surprised me a little bit. I thought I’d probably have read a few more male authors than female – partly because, historically speaking, more men than women have published books; and partly because I read a lot of genre fiction which I think tends to be more male-dominated. I really hadn’t expected it to be quite such a big gap! I don’t think I’ll deliberately “do” anything about this – I’m not about to start deliberately picking female authors over male, I’d rather just read what I fancy reading without thinking about who wrote it – but I think this is an interesting one to be conscious of.

Fiction vs Non-Fiction

Fiction vs Non-fictionNo surprises here! I rarely read non-fiction, I much prefer to get lost in a good story. Wouldn’t expect to see anything different next year either!

Source of Books

Source of reading materialIt’s quite pleasing to see that a good three-quarters of my reading material in 2011 was from free sources! I expect that the “library” chunk of the pie will shrink a bit in 2012, as I plan to spend most of the year whittling down my TBR mountain. I am making an exception for book club books though, so I expect most if not all of those will come from the library.

So, that’s all the data I have for now. That was interesting for me, anyway – sorry if anyone attempting to read this is now gnawing their own arm off out of boredom! Here’s some (hopefully) more interesting stuff (again, shamelessly stolen from the Reading Monk blog):

Books in 2011

1. Best Book of 2011: Tough call, but… Pigeon English

2. Worst Book of 2011: Highway (only just read this so its awfulness is fresh in my mind!)

3. Most Disappointing Book of 2011: Dead Until Dark. I had such high hopes, being a big fan of the True Blood TV series that is based on this, and was expecting similar silly, gory, sexy, so-bad-it’s-good fun. Disappointing.

4. Most Surprising (in a good way) Book of 2011: Catch-22. I’d expected to be a lot of things – angry, poetic, engaging – all of which it was; but I hadn’t expected it to also be oddly funny.

5. Book You Recommended the Most to People in 2011: The Hunger Games

6. Favourite New Authors Discovered in 2011: Ursula Le Guin, Virginia Woolf, George RR Martin (Ok, so they’re not “new” new, but they are new to me!)

7. Most Hilarious Read of 2011: Shades of Grey. It strikes me as I write this that I really haven’t read many funny books in 2011. That will have to be remedied in 2012!

8. Most Thrilling Unputdownable Read of 2011: The Hunger Games. Completely resented having to eat/sleep/go to work when I could have been reading this.

9. Favourite Cover of a Book You Read in 2011: The Sisters Brothers

11. Most Memorable Character of 2011: Katniss Everdeen (of course!)

12. Most Beautifully Written Book of 2011: The Great Gatsby

13. Book That Had the Greatest Impact on You in 2011: Reading Lolita in Tehran

14. Book You Can’t Believe You Waited Until 2011 to Read: Flowers for Algernon

Here’s to a 2012 filled with good books!

Leave a comment


  1. space_librarian

     /  January 5, 2012

    Interesting, I’d love to do similar analysis but I abandoned library thing and I don’t think I can be bothered creating spreadsheets!

  2. 63 books is impressive! My annual resolution to read a minimum of 12 is usually achieved, but it’s never more than about 12-15…

    • Meh, I’m just a fast reader! Always have been – before I became a grown up and had things like a full-time job, a flat to clean and meals to cook, I used to read at least two books a week. Don’t have the time to keep up that pace now though! I think 12-15 books per year is a good rate. It’s all down to what your own level is and what you prefer to spend your time on really!

  3. I love the wide range of books you’ve read and insanely jealous of your bar graphs and pie chart! 🙂

    Thanks so much for sharing so many wonderful new books . . . I can’t wait to start exploring!

    • Thanks! The pretty charts are largely down to my other half, who is a bit of an Excel wiz and showed me how to make them look good!

  4. Thanks for referring to my blog post. I’m a guest blogger at but really my main blog is at Do feel free to drop by as you wish, always welcome a blogger who has similar reading profile as I am.

    • Ah, gotcha – thanks for the link to your blog! Hadn’t quite clocked that it was a guest post. I am in total awe of your data-wrangling, by the way!

      Will certainly drop by your blog again – I can already see myself adding quite a lot to my TBR list from your reviews…

  1. Books, reading, & libraries – a Sunday morning muse | dark-side-of-the-catalogue

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