Book Stats – Review of 2011

I told you about my Books of the Year a few weeks ago here, but another thing I like to do at the end of the year is compare my reading stats. Being an inveterate list-maker and cataloguer this always appeals to me, and actually I’ve had a different type of reading year in 2011 compared to the couple before.

Firstly, I read less books:  This year, at the time of writing, I’ve read 93 books, whereas in the previous years I topped the century with 106 and 114 in 2009.

I did read more pages though in 2012 – beating 2010’s 26k with a whopping total of over 29,000 pages read.  I’ll admit that 2100 of those were the first four books in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series (and I’ve still got around 2000 to go to complete it!). A further 1650 were the four Charlie Higson books for older kids that I devoured (and loved) in preparation for meeting and interviewing him back in September. This was the first year I’ve read more than two books by individual authors.

I’m going to talk about my TBR piles in another post, but there are a few other memos to self that I can note:

  • This year I read a lot more books by men – nearly 70% versus 55% last year – not a conscious decision – just the way it went.
  • I continued to try to read more books published before I was born (1960 in case you wondered), and the number is creeping up – 15  versus 13  and 9 in years before – here’s to reading even more ‘old’ books in 2012.
  • I read very little Non-fiction indeed in 2011, something I blogged about here.
  • I read a similar number of books in translation, 10 this year.
  • The lure of the shiny new title continues to do its work – again, around a third of the books I read were published this year.
  • In terms of genres, what I’d broadly describe as contemporary fiction dominated as usual, but I read a good sprinkling of crime, classics, modern classics, YA/children’s fiction and SF/dystopian/spec fiction, plus my first graphic novel.
  • … and finally…  Less vampires this year, but more zombies!  Ho, Ho, Ho.

I’d love to know how your reading year shaped up.

11 thoughts on “Book Stats – Review of 2011

  1. gaskella says:

    Who’s the sad one little brother, hiding behind the pseudonym of a long forgotten (by me anyway) Crystal Palace player. Did you ever read the book you won in my giveaway – did you?????
    Love, your big sis. x

    • gaskella says:

      Yvann, sad thing that I am, I use a good old-fashioned Excel spreadsheet which I load with al the data as I read the books – then I can sort it any which way… (I also then have a separate non-cloud set of data should things go pear-shaped.

  2. Dark Puss says:

    Hmmm, I can’t easily comment as I don’t record information on any novel I have ever read in my life! Estimating I would say that I have read probbaly slightly fewer novels this year (maybe ~ 40). Almost no novels I read were published this year (I haven’t started 1Q84 and wont until 2012), I have no idea of the gender split. I am surprised to see that you read your first graphic novel this year.

    Just out of curiosity why do you keep and analyse all the statistical data on your reading?

    • gaskella says:

      Good question Dark Puss! One of the reasons I started with the list is that I kept reading books and finding them familiar – ie they were re-reads.

      I am an obsessive listmaker so it appealed to me to record my reading – and then it expanded into Librarything so I had an on-line catalogue of my books, and thence my blog – without that list, I may never have got started on blogging!

      I’ve added the pages read, author gender and any other category that I thought might be interesting to the spreadsheet over the years. Thanks for asking… 😉

  3. LizF says:

    Just back in the office today after only having my Blackberry for most of the last week or so so I’m catching up!
    Gosh you are organised! I just keep a notebook of books acquired and read and gave myself quite a shock when I tallied up how many I had read in 2011 and it came to 140 and that was without including those I failed to finish for one reason or another!

    If I had hazarded a guess I would have estimated about 100 as I was under the impression that I hadn’t had a vintage reading year in terms of time spent reading!
    Admittedly I can’t claim that many of them were particularly challenging – the list includes a fair number of crime novels -but I was quite impressed

    • gaskella says:

      That’s an impressive tally Liz – well done! I need my spreadsheet, else I forget what I’ve read and what I haven’t – but I’ve always loved making lists – my inner librarian coming out.

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