Review of the Year #2 – 2023 – Time for Book Stats!

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

Shock! Horror! I put my Goodreads target back to 125 this year, and it’s looking as if I won’t quite make it by the end of the month, I’m currently at 120 – but, ‘Am I bovvered?’ – emphatically, NO!

In general, I’ve been much busier this year and had both less time to read and was correspondingly more tired too. Both conspired to drop that headline number. Although my average page count per book read is up by ten per book over the last few years.

Where the Books Came From

My percentage of review copies is up. I blame a) Anne Cater of Random Tours, b) Orenda Books, and c) Corylus books for that – I’ve taken part in loads of their blog tours with a lot of brilliant world noir in particular in that mix – and loved it all! Thank you so much.

Despite no series readalongs this year, I’ve made an effort to read more from my TBR for all challenges and reading weeks/months etc, and as you’ll see from my previous post there were lots of them. The main change though is that I’ve managed to read fewer books purchased this year too – (not stopped me buying them though, and this year’s new purchases are next year’s TBR!!!)

Year of Original Publication

All those review copies have upped the published in 2023 total hugely! Nuff said.

Book Origins

I read books by authors of 26 different nationalities this year, four fewer that 2022, with first books by authors from Uruguay. They comprise 14 different languages; interestingly none of those written in Spanish were from Spain. Again all five Nordic countries feature strongly. My total books read in translation was down a bit to 26% from a high of 31% last year.

Book Genres, Publishers and Miscellaneous

  • Author Gender: Although I’ve given up graphing these stats, male authors outweighed women slightly this year, and I read one novel by a trans author.
  • Crime Thrillers and Spy novels up a lot – from 31 to 49! Quite a lot of Nordic Noir in there again.  Spec & SF: 3. Horror: 1.
  • Graphic novels – none this year. Poetry just the one. Must try harder on this front.
  • Non-Fiction: in total I read 20 books which at 17% is down on last year’s 23%, half the number of memoirs making most of the difference.
  • Publishers: I’ve read a lot more indie publishers again, although it is getting harder to separate out the indies from all the new imprints from the big conglomerates. Faber show up well as usual with 8 titles and Orenda with 10, Pushkin Press with 6 titles.
  • Multiples: Just 2 at 2 titles apiece for Beryl Bainbridge and Claire Keegan.
  • Re-Reads: 3, including Ishiguro’s Folio Society edition of The Buried Giant.
  • New to Me: 69, ie 58%.

…And Finally

A few more fun stats for you…

And some recurring motifs in book titles…

  • Body Parts & Functions: Bellies, Bleeding, Blood, Hand, Heart, Skin
  • Buildings and Contents: Cellar, Chaise-Longue, House (x2), Institution, Museum (x2), Parlour, Residence, Study
  • Colours & Textiles: Black, Chestnut, Corduroy, Polka Dot, Suit (x2)
  • Flora & Fauna; Environment: Beaver, Birds, Chestnut, Creek, Dirt, Egg, Human (x2), Rainforests, River (x2), Viper, World.
  • Forenames: Atalanta, Cary, David, Enid, Eros, Evie, Isaac, Morgan, Nica, Peter, Psyche, Rosaline. 
  • Occupations & Activities: Assassin, Astronaut, Astronomer, Deceiver, Housekeeper, Prince (x2), Prophet, Soldier (x2), Spy, Tailor, Tinker, Traitor, Translator, Weatherman.
  • Real Places: Acapulco, Geneva, Kuwait, London.
  • STEM: Data, Divide, Measures, Numbers, Seven, Square, Star, Sun, Technology, Thirty, Weights,
  • States of Mind & Emotions: Beautiful, Buried, Dead, Fear, Forgotten, Perfect, Shining, Shy.
  • Supernatural: Ghost, Phantom, Spirit
  • Times, Weather & Seasons: Autumn, Darkness, Day (x2), Sun, Sunday, Wind.

That’s all Folks! 

Coming on Dec 31st: My Books of the Year.

13 thoughts on “Review of the Year #2 – 2023 – Time for Book Stats!

  1. BookerTalk says:

    Your geographic range of authors is impressive. I didn’t do as well on that score this year – hoping to do better year when I plan to embark on a new African reading project

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Ooh, an African reading project. I did much better last year when our Book Group were following the Great Jubilee Read – loads of African modern classics in there.

  2. winstonsdad says:

    Always love your stats post I read 125 books this year given I finish the book I’m half through before Sunday and that take my page total 28000 I’ve read books from 30 countries and Greenland was a new one this year

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Thanks Stu. Uruguay was my new country this year. Interesting that most non-English books are fairly short compared with English books – your 28k words and 125 books = 224 pages average. My 33k and 120 books = 276 average. I wholly approve of shorter books!!! Read more in translation…

  3. Rebecca Foster says:

    I always love this geeky (in the best way!) post each year. The graphs are so impressive and the book title trivia is good fun. It’s fantastic that over a quarter of your reading is in translation! I haven’t crunched my numbers yet but my percentage for that is usually abysmal — around 6-7%. Would you ever consider tracking your BIPOC and LGBTQ reads?

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I am still loving reading in translation, esp European and South American authors – I should try harder with Asian, and African authors (although many of the latter write in English). I’ve only read 8 titles by BIPOC authors this year. I do keep a track of that one, plus trans/binary which I mentioned under gender, but I don’t really a point in separating out lesbian and gay authors though – even if they were readily identifiable.

  4. thecontentreader says:

    Wow, great statistics, just don’t know how you do it. Very interesting. I think I have to extend my own poor statistics this time. I like the statistics on author nationalities. I want to read more from countries outside my own area and English speaking countries in 2024. They tend to be the majority of books.

  5. Liz Dexter says:

    Great stats. Today I realised to my horror I missed two books off my spreadsheet, and when I added them in my stats changed so I feel I’m going to have to redo my own stats post!

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