I always say this, but this post really is my favourite of the year! The master spreadsheet is still going strong. I love playing with all the data, mining it for nuggets of information that will tell me if my reading habits have changed. In truth, they bobble along generally, but there are some general trends, I think. Without further ado, here are the charts (accurate to 25 December).
Books & Pages Through the Ages
Slightly fewer books read this year, I did up my GoodReads target from 125 last year to 130 this year which I achieved with weeks to spare, and then had a sparse December – just too much going on at School which broke up a week later than usual this year, added to which, the minute term was up I succumbed to the staff bad cough/cold which I’d held off getting earlier.
Where the Books Came From
Now this one does show a change from last year. My percentage of review copies is down from 55% to 43% AND I’ve read more from my TBR at 30% vs 19% last year. The reason why is simple – two series readalongs (Narnia and The Dark is Rising) – all books I already owned. Both these figures are, however, welcome to see, and I hope to keep up reading from my TBR in 2023.
Year of Original Publication
The proportion of the shiniest new books published in 2022 has gone down by 4% this year, again influenced by those two series readalongs – all books published in the 50s, 60s and 70s, so 20th century titles were up by 8%. NB: I split the older books at 1960 – when I was born.
I read books by authors of 29 different nationalities this year, with first books by authors from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Guyana and Tanzania chosen from the Big Jubilee Read list for Book Group. As the first five weeks of the year were taken up with Nordic authors, all five Nordic countries feature strongly. The number of books by US authors that I read is the lowest number for years – I’ve been having so much fun reading in translation. Authors writing in English are down by 8%. I was glad to squeeze in a Ukrainian book this year.
Book Genres, Publishers and Miscellaneous
- Author Gender: Although I’ve given up reporting these stats, you’ll be pleased to know that I read exactly 50:50 women:men authors this year.
- Children’s Novels: Due to the two series readalongs, 11 books – and one a month for a children’s classic is a good target to aim for where possible.
- Crime Thrillers and Spy novels up again at 31, quite a lot of Nordic Noir in there this year. Spec & SF: down – just 2 this year.
- Graphic novels – none this year. Poetry was again down to just 2 books from a peak of 9 three years ago.
- Non-Fiction: in total I read 31 books which is three more than last year. They made 23% of my reading, my highest NF reading total yet.
- Memoirs were up again at 16 books from 10 last year – vs biographies at 1 book – I prefer memoirs.
- Publishers: I’ve read a lot more indie publishers again, with new entries from Charco in particular. Faber show up well with 9 titles and Orenda with 7 (the latter being mainly due to signing up for their super blog tours), but also Pushkin Press this year with 8 titles.
- Multiples: 6 CS Lewis; 5 Susan Cooper and 2 each for Antti Tuomainen and Daniel Klein.
- Re-Reads: 4 plus books 2-7 of the Narnia books by CS Lewis.
- New to Me: A full 88 authors – that’s 65%!
A few more fun stats for you…
- Longest book read – Psalms for the End of the World by Cole Haddon at 515 pages, the longest of the two books of over 500 pages I read this year.
- Shortest book read – Seamus Heaney – Death of a Naturalist at 44 pages.4
- Most viewed post from whenever – STILL Return to Wigtown, with 1633 views this year.
- Most viewed 2022 book review – The Black Dog by Kevin Bridges, which slightly surprised me.
And some recurring motifs in book titles…
- Body Parts & Functions: Back, Bones, Brain, Eye x2, Face, Fever, Heart, Mind, Spine.
- Buildings and Contents: Castle, Chair, Curtain, Home, Hotel, House x2, Kitchen, Library, Palace, Radio, Rehearsal space, Room x2,
- Colours: Black, Blue x2, Golden, Green, Grey, Red, Silver x2, White x2.
- Flora & Fauna: Butterflies, Cats, Dog, Fish, Flies, Hare, Horse x2, Human(ity) x2, Lions, Magpie, Moose, Octopus, Rabbit, Seals, Tree x2.
- Forenames: Betty, Caliban, Caspian, Elvis, Halland, Lolly, Madeleine, Minna, Smilla, Susan, Valery.
- Occupations & Activities: Drummer, Gardener, God, Handmaid, Hangman, Healer, Intern, Judge, King, Magician, Naturalist, Prince, Stalking, Swimming, Vet, Villager, Witch.
- Real Places: America, Battle, Bournville, Havana, Lisbon, Marzahn, River Clyde
- Science: Atomic, Chemistry, Crystal, Glass, Half-life, Iron, Salt x2, Silver
- States of Mind: Bliss, Chaos, Certain, Deceit, Desperation, Happiness, Homesick, Hunger, Lonely, Managing, Memory, Midlife, Misfortunate, Mischief, Pity, Recovery, Sorrow, Vicious.
- Times, Weather & Seasons: Age, Dark(ness) x3, Dawn, Day x2, Ice, Night x2, November, Sea x2, Snow, Summer, Sunlight, Water, World x3, Year