"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Friday, January 3, 2014

My Reading Year in Review

Yesterday I was reading Sarah Enni's review of her read books from 2013, and I thought that it would be interesting to do something like that for myself. I put together some different categories based on what I was personally interested in knowing about the books that I read, threw all the data into Excel and started playing with pie charts (so much fun)(yes I am a nerd).

And since I spent more time doing this than I would probably want to admit, I thought I would share my findings with all of you.

Before you look, I do want to make a couple of qualifiers:

  1. This is very subjective. I assigned the genres, etc. as I saw that they fit, so a book I listed as a fantasy someone else might stick in another genre. And with many of the graphic novels I decided whether they were 1st or 3rd person based on my perception if it wasn't really obvious.
  2. The "special format" chart is just based on my curiosity of some of the different formats. Graphic Novels are all different genres and geared toward different ages, so I was curious to see how many I read, but didn't want to take away from listing them as fantasy or contemporary or whatever.
  3. For the Focus Age chart I broke it down into Kids (picture books or board books), MG (middle grade, chapter books, kind of 6ish-12ish years old), YA (teen), NA (New Adult (college or early 20s - the book either self-identified as such or that I perceived as belonging in this category), and Adult (anything else). Again this is based on my personal perspectives. I listed the Buffy graphic novels as Adult, though they could be considered either YA or NA, etc.
  4. If there were multiple authors all of the same gender (such as CLAMP) I just listed them as that gender. Same with main characters. If there was more than one author of different genders I listed it as multiple (same with MCs) and with some of the graphic novels if there were multiple authors but it was clear that one was the major creator sometimes I just listed it under that one. Like I said in 1 - very subjective.
So this year I read 190 books, so there was a lot of data to compile. I've decided to keep a chart like this going over the next year so I can do this again without it taking as long.
If you're still curious after all this rigmarole here come the pie charts!

I did learn some interesting things about my reading and confirmed other things that I already knew. Like I read mostly fiction - I am now determining to try to read a little bit more non-fiction this year to broaden my tastes a bit. For genres Fantasy definitely took 1st place, which wasn't a surprise. But I read a lot more contemporary fiction than I thought and not as much historical fiction as I thought. I would like to balance these out just a bit, but I love me some fantasy and dystopian so this probably won't change a whole lot this year, and I'm perfectly fine with that. The genders of authors and main characters was about what I expected. I thought I had a bit of a nice balance in both, though I think I'd like to read more books from male perspectives since I always struggle writing the male voice and another goal I have is to work on revising my WIP, which alternates between a male and a female.

Overall I found this an interesting exercise just to see what my reading habits are. I keep track of books on GoodReads (which is amazing and you should totally be on it if you aren't), but to see them broken down this way is quite intriguing.

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