Year End Review 5: The Stats!

This is possibly my favourite post of the year! I love playing with my master spreadsheet, all that data to mine for nuggets of information that will tell me if my reading habits have changed. Without further ado, here are the charts (accurate to 25 December).

Books & Pages

I read slightly fewer books this year. Last year I read a lot of novellas, this year I read several books which were long, dense or both. However I also read 9 poetry books which, although short I read most poems twice or more, and took more time to reflect on them. Several big novels did keep up the page count though, and my average was 269 pages per book, up on last year.

Source of Books Read

I got an ebook from Netgalley – still didn’t like reading it on a tablet. But I can also report progress: not only did I read more books from my TBR than I bought, but I rediscovered my local library which has been a pleasure, so again my own + borrowed books outnumber review copies, and by a (slightly) greater margin than previously.

Year of Publication

Once again, no pre 1900 novels, and look at the showing for those published before I was born (pre 1960) – just a single one this year. The percentage published this year is reduced by 3% on last year (4 books), but it appears I’ve otherwise been reading a lot of pre-2019 21st century books.

Author Nationality & Original Language of Publication

Given that I’d noted a handful of Welsh authors on my spreadsheet, I thought it would be interesting to break down the UK – but I discovered some author profiles just say ‘British’ – so I’ve included them with England, as most Scottish, Welsh and a lone NI author state up front that they’re Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish… Hmm! So this year, I’ve read less widely around the world in general, and more around the UK.

The above is born out by the fact that 85% of the books I read were published in English, with French coming next at 8%, See my post from a couple of days ago about my reading in translation this year.

Author Gender Identification

My reading still is more of male than female authors, I suspect it always will be this way, although as you can see, the see-sawing is getting closer to a line at about 44% female, 56% male. However, this year, I’ve read a book by a trans author (included in the gender they identify as), and one by a non-binary author, so the gender plot is getting more complicated.

Types of Book and Fiction Genres

I’ve talked about my Non fiction and Poetry reading on previous days, so my last chart drills down – sort of – into genre and categories of fiction. It’s complicated again, as several general fiction books like Kate Atkinson’s Transcription and Jennie Rooney’s Red Joan are spy stories and could belong under Crime & Thrillers in one sense.

One really interesting stat though was the rise of the fictionalised biography – I read six of them last year – dramatising episodes in lives from Elvis and Maud (and Frank L) Baum to sculptor Rembrandt Bugatti.

…And Finally

A few more fun stats for you…

And some recurring themes in book titles…

  • Animals: Fox, Horse, Mole, Owl, Turtle
  • Body Parts: Astragal (another name for the talus bone in the ankle), Heart x 3, O Positive, Skin, Tongue
  • Forenames: F: Adele, Alice, Audrey, Daisy, Dorothy, Joan, Mimi, Modesty, Rose. M: Auggie, Charles, Tony, William x2
  • Friends & Family, People: Angel, Children, Folk, Friend, Girl x2, Gods, Kids, Lady x2, Ma, Man, Monsieur x2, Wife
  • Numbers & Ordinals etc : Nothing, One x 2, Three, Trinity, Quartet, Five, 1954, Last x 2
  • Occupations & Activities: Airhead, Amateur, Archivist, Bookseller, Carrier, Cleaner, Doctor, Gardener, Gazer, Magician, Sleepwalker, Witch x2
  • Real Places: Barnhill, Bexleyheath, Calabria, East West Street, Gloucester Crescent, Graceland, Ochakov
  • Weather & Seasons: Cold x 2, Dry, Drought, Rain, Winter x 2

That’s all Folks! I hope you enjoyed the stats.

Books of the Year tomorrow.

14 thoughts on “Year End Review 5: The Stats!

  1. kimbofo says:

    Interesting to read your stats but I could not possibly be bothered doing this for my own reading: I’m lazy and it would be too much like my day job 🙄 I do, generally, keep an eye on the gender breakdown, the number of fiction books I read compared with non-fiction, and the country of origin. This year I read very few translations, which I need to rectify in 2020.

  2. Simon T (StuckinaBook) says:

    I love book stats posts so much! I was amused by misreading your nationality pie chart at first and thinking you’d read a surprisingly high number of books published in Belgium. And you can imagine how different our pre-1960 totals are!!

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      You know you want to really… your stats were so comprehensive last year – amazing, but I do understand the work involved to produce them. 🙂

  3. Liz Dexter says:

    Great stats! I need to try to turn my pivot tables into percentages and pie charts now. But that’s a job for when I’ve finished the two current reads. I read one book by a non-binary person this year and added that category. Fun times with stats!

  4. BookerTalk says:

    Well this is setting the bar high! I can just about tell you how many books I read, author’s country of origin (though I ran into the same problem as you re UK ‘nations’) and when it was published. I don’t think I have the energy to do as much analysis as this….

  5. Rebecca Foster says:

    I love the title themes. How funny that your vinegar post remains so popular! We had a request at the bookshop where I volunteer to keep back any books on vinegar for health purposes for a particular customer.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      It really tickles me that that post gets all the hits still! I’m not ready to give up that book quite yet – it’s listed on Amazon at £99!

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