Monday, January 4, 2016

2015 Reading Recap - Part II

Yesterday I did a recap of my 2015 reading journey using statistics provided by Goodreads. You can see that post here. Today I am doing another recap, based on statistics kept in a spreadsheet developed by Shannon at River City Reading. In most cases, they agreed pretty well, but my spreadsheet breaks things down a little more. Let’s take a look!

First I want to do a comparison: My Goodreads stats say that last year I read 59 book or 20,583 pages, with an average of 349 pages per book. My spreadsheet says I read 59 books or 20,723 pages, with an average of 351 pages per book. The different averages are probably due to pages counts in different editions of the books.

Using data from my reading spreadsheet,  the chart below clearly shows that the majority of the books I read last year were between 300 and 400 pages long; 61%! If I stretch the range a little further, from 250 to 450 pages, I can add in another 24%. That leaves only 15%, or 9 books, outside of this range. Obviously I don’t read chunksters or short stories very often!
Let’s look a little closer at those ratings! First, a little about what ratings actually mean, as that has been a discussion on Goodreads lately. Different sites use different rating systems, and 3 stars at Goodreads does not mean the same thing as 3 stars means at Amazon or on my blog, for example. I think my ratings align pretty closely as those given at Goodreads, but if you would like more information of my ratings, please click here.  

Now let’s compare my stats with those from Goodreads. Goodreads says I gave an average rating of 3.5 stars in 2015. My spreadsheet agrees, telling me my average rating was 3.5 stars with a mean of 3.7 stars. You can see this clearly in the chart below. 
I guess Goodreads is right; using half stars doesn’t really affect the overall rating much! I think I’ll keep using them though. It makes me happier! Lucky for me, I liked most of what I read, some enough to recommend to others. It also shows that I don’t give out a lot of bad ratings, possibly because I’ve gotten pretty good at recognizing whether or not I will enjoy a book, combined with the fact that I’ve decided to DNF books I don’t like, rather than struggle through them!

Next, let’s talk about the books themselves; specifically the types of books I read, the formats I read, and where I get my books. In general, I don’t read a wide range of genres. I lean towards historical fiction and, for lack of a better term, ‘women’s fiction’. I challenged myself to diversify my reading, and I’ll do a post on that later, but the short answer is that I didn’t do very well in that respect! Here are the numbers!

I TOLD you I don't read memoirs!!! I don't read short stories, either. I DO read SciFi occasionally, but apparently not in 2015!

I tend to split my reading time between paperbacks and ebooks. I like to read on my iPad at night, after the lights go out and I’m cuddled up under the blankets, and Ido more of that in the winter. For outdoors reading or even reading in a comfy chair during bright, sunny days, paperbacks are the way to go. I don’t usually pick up a hardcover, unless it is the only option available to me. I tend to give my books away after I’ve read them, and paperbacks are so much lighter to hold. The covers are pretty AND I don’t have to decide whether to leave the book jacket on or off!

As you can see from the graph below, over half my book were read in paperback from, either galleys or regular paperbacks. A large portion were also read on my iPad as ebooks and egalleys. Only about 1 in 10 were read in hardcover form. (Just a note, sometimes I read in more than one format at a time. I may read a paperback during the day, but pick up on my iPad at night. And in the case of Moloka’i, I read a paperback for the most part, but with the busy holiday season underway, I also checked out the audiobook and listened as I decorated. But on my chart I’ve only listed a book once, in the format I read most of the book with.)
You can also see that I am a big fan of the library, with almost a third of my books being checked out either as ebooks or a print book! Another third of the books I read this past year were review copies given to me in order to participate in a book blog tour coordinated by TLC Book Tours. The other third of my books were obtained through a variety of sources; gifts, blog wins, from publishers, book fair, and even purchased! I’m a true book gatherer!

The last thing I want to look at today is the authors. Like everyone, I tend to have favorite authors. But I also like to read new authors and ‘new to me’ authors. I didn’t track ‘new to me’ authors in 2015; maybe that is something to try in 2016. However, I DID try to track authors whose debut novel I read. These also include authors who try a new format; for example, the first novel written by an author who has previously written nonfiction. As you can see, about a quarter of the books I read last year were debuts for the author.

I also tracked the gender of the author. I already know I tend to pick up a book written by a woman more often than one written for a man. No apologies here; I just do. But I wasn’t sure how often it happens. Obviously from looking at the chart, it is most of the time; only 8 of the 59 books I read last year were written by men!

Just a few words about diversity. To be honest, I don’t track ‘diversity’ in my books. I don’t care about an author’s ethnicity, nor do I have a way to really know the ethnicity, without doing some research about the author. When I decide to read a book, it is all about the pretty cover and then the synopsis. I think I probably read a pretty diverse selection, but I’m more interested in diversifying the genres I read than worrying about who wrote them or who the main characters are. So I won’t be tracking diversity any time soon.

Well, there it is; my 2015 Reading Journey in a few charts. I have just one more step to take before I start planning for 2016, and that is to take a look at the challenges I participated in (or not) in 2015! Look for that coming soon! And if you have a reading wrap up, be sure to leave a link in the comments so I can stop by and take a look!

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