2014 Reading by Numbers

I realise I’m a little late with my annual round-up of my reading stats from the past year – I’ve just moved house and haven’t had a computer or laptop available to make my pretty charts on until now! Hopefully this has been worth the wait…

This year I’ve decided to split my usual long post in half. This first part will feature all the pretty charts and number-crunching on my reading, and my next post (coming soon, I promise!) will give my reading highlights of 2014 and reading resolutions for 2015.

So, on with the numbers…

Total books read per year

I read fewer books in 2014 than in 2013, but still more than each year 2010-2012, managing a grand total of 81 books. I did read an unusually high number of books in 2013, so I doubt I’ll manage the giddy heights of 91 again any time soon! I’ve thought about setting myself a goal of how many books to try and read in a year, as I’ve seen many people doing on Twitter, but I’ve decided against – I think I’d rather just read what I fancy, rather than pushing myself to pick up books I might not really enjoy just to boost my total.

02-2014-monthly

This year my LibraryThing exported data gave me the page numbers for each book I read, which I don’t think it did in previous years, so I thought it’d be interesting to compare number of books read each month, with total number of pages read each month. I was wondering if, in months when I read lots of books (such as November, when I read 11 books), I’d just read lots of shorter books! Going by the graph above though, percentage-wise it looks like book count and page count are actually pretty close. The only really big gaps are in January (8 books read, but all quite short), and March (only four books read, but one of them was Gone With the Wind, at a whopping 960 pages).

I’m not really sure why I apparently read so much more in November than in every other month!

Gender of authorNow this, I am really proud of. I wanted to take part in the Year of Reading Women this year, for reasons I’ve gone into before. I decided that rather than only reading women (I couldn’t quite bring myself to give up Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and Patrick Ness for an entire year!), I would aim for a 50/50 split in my reading, to make up for the gender imbalance in previous years. Happily, I’ve succeeded – in fact, I have tipped the balance slightly the other way – I read 40 books by women and 36 by men this year! (Yes, I know that doesn’t add up to my total of 81 – the remaining 5 are books with multiple authors of mixed genders).

I really enjoyed this experiment this year, but I was surprised at how much conscious effort it took. It’s made me actually think about who wrote the next book I pick up, rather than just grabbing whatever I fancy, which I’m inclined to see as a good thing – I think it’s worthwhile questioning our unconscious biases in these areas. Before starting to make these annual number-crunching posts, and before #readwomen, I would have confidently stated that I mostly read female authors – but the numbers show that just wasn’t true. I’d like to continue to do something similar for 2015 – I’ll come back to that in my “reading resolutions” post!

Fiction vs non-fiction

I didn’t read much non-fiction this year – less than last year in fact, which surprised me a little. I felt like I’d read more non-fiction this year. Maybe it’s because I read it so seldom, when I do it tends to stick in my mind!

Sources of booksPleased to see that I managed not to spend too much on books this year – I only bought 49% of my reading in 2014, down very slightly from 50% in 2013! Library use is still looking a bit low (19%, same as 2013, and down from 29% in 2012), although I think that’s because I’ve been focusing on trying to get through my ridiculously huge TBR pile! Speaking of which…

06-2014-acquired

I didn’t do so well on stopping myself buying new books in 2014, although the proportion I read in 2014 that I acquired that year was slightly lower than in 2013 (62%, down from 68% in 2013). I am slowly reducing my TBR pile though! At the end of 2013 I had 116 books in my TBR pile; by the end of 2014 that was down to 104. So, that’s progress, right?? A quick check of my LibraryThing also shows that I only added 81 new books in 2014, compared to 124 (!!) in 2013. I also culled a few books from my TBR list that, realistically, I was never going to read. So I should be able to get my TBR list to a more manageable level, I just need to learn to walk past bookshops, charity shops, libraries, and book exchanges… Although, I did buy two new books earlier today, so perhaps I’m just a lost cause!

That’s it for my reading round-up! The second part of this post, with my reading highlights and resolutions for 2014, is coming soon…

 

 

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  1. 2014 Reading Highlights and 2015 Reading Resolutions | Woodsiegirl Writes

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