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Sunday Salon: Stats Edition!

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Now that 2010 is officially over, with no chance of squeezing another book in under the wire, it’s time to look at stats! This is the first year I’ve tracked my reading in any meaningful way, so I’ve had fun reviewing my numbers. I don’t place any great importance on them, but it’s been very interesting to see how my year has shaped up, especially since I didn’t set any goals in 2010.

The Big Picture

Overall 2010

This year I read more books than I’ve ever read before in a single year. There’s something satisfying about having hit the 100-book mark! I like how the events of my life are reflected in my reading numbers:

  • I got hooked on the Percy Jackson series in January, which is why my print number is so high compared to the following months. I read all five in the span of a week or so.
  • My husband was out of town a lot in May, so I spent many evenings knitting and listening to audiobooks.
  • Until September, I was working full time. We moved in September, and I had a lot more free time during the last three months of the year.

I was also surprised to see how many audiobooks I got through. I didn’t expect audiobooks to make up such a high percentage of my year’s reading.

Taking a closer look at books read vs. books listened to:

2010 Print vs Audio Stats

I thought it was interesting that my average rating for print and audio was the same. I’m also a little shocked at the number of hours I spent listening to audiobooks. That’s more than 10 days straight! A couple of high- and lowlights:

  • In September, four of the five books I read made my Best of 2010 lists. The fifth was a book I really disliked, but the high ratings of the other four made September my highest rated reading month.
  • Four of the seven audiobooks I listened to in May made my Best of 2010 lists; two of five in November did as well.
  • June featured my least favorite audiobook of the year, and the other I listened to that month just wasn’t good enough to pull the overall rating up.

The Particulars

The three areas I kept track of this year were author gender, book genre (in a very broad, loose way), and book source. Here’s a quick look at how each turned out:

Gender

63 of the 113 books I read were by men, 49 were by women, and 1 was by a man/woman pair. This number was pretty even until December, which for some reason was very male author-heavy. I’m not really concerned about making the split even; I was just curious to see where it would end up!

Genre

44 of the books I read last year were fiction, 18 were nonfiction, and 34 were young adult or middle grade. 17 were classics, and it was very interesting to see how this category worked out: For the first seven months of 2010, I did not read a single classic. In August and September I read one classic each, then three in October, five in November, and seven in December. This bodes well for my Classics Reclamation Project!

I’d like to get both the nonfiction and classics numbers up for 2011. My 2011 reading goals include reading some of the memoirs I own as well as reading more classics, so hopefully those categories will make up a higher percentage of my total books in 2011.

Source

I tracked this aspect for print books only, since almost all of my audiobooks come from the library. 29 of the books I read last year were books I owned, 43 were borrowed (mostly from the library), and only eight were galleys from publishers.

I can’t believe I borrowed so many books! No wonder my shelves are overflowing! This must change in 2011. Thanks to the TBR Dare, which started yesterday, 2011 should get off to a better start.

Your Turn!

Are you a stats person? Is there any particular aspect of your reading you especially enjoy tracking?

Worth sharing?
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  • http://bibliophilebythesea.blogspot.com/ Bibliophile By the Sea

    You had a great year Erin. My stats are not nearly as detailed as yours. Hope you have a wonderful New Year and read lots of great books in the process :)

    • Erin

      Thank you! I wish you the same :-)

  • http://www.linussblanket.com Nicole

    What a great year you had. I kept a few stats that I plan on releasing. It was a very primitive sort and count job. My audiobooks took a severe beating in 2010. I think I may have listened to 3.

    • Erin

      I think it’s interesting not only what I read in a year, but what format I choose to read in! Sometimes audiobooks work and sometimes they don’t. Sounds like we had opposite years in that respect, at least.

  • http://zenleaf.amandagignac.com Amanda

    First off, I’m so glad that classics have become an ever-increasing part of your life! Second, I imagine I’m going to have a lot more audiobooks in this year’s stats!

    • Erin

      Me too! I blame you, at least partially, so thanks :-) It’ll be interesting to see your audiobook numbers!

  • http://senior-common-room.blogspot.com Annie

    Audiobooks have been much more prevalent in my ‘reading’ experience this past year as well. And, as I’m writing this while ‘Middlemarch’ downloads onto my I-pod the trend looks set fair to continue.

    • Erin

      Excellent! I’ll look forward to reading about the ones you choose. I’ve wanted to read Middlemarch, so perhaps audio will be a good way to go!

  • http://www.lovelaughterinsanity.com Trish

    This is a fantastic year, Erin! I wonder–how has blogging affected your reading? Do you find yourself reading more than you did before blogging?

    And fantastic about the audiobooks! I did listen to a handful this year but for some reason I can’t review them the same way as a book so I don’t typically blog about them–and didn’t count them into my numbers. Kind of a loss, really. :( When do you find the time to listen? I hope to do so more this year!

    • Erin

      I do, actually! I find that a little odd — before I was blogging with regularity, I was working at a bookstore, so I’d have thought my reading would have been about the same. September is when I started blogging in earnest, though, and the spike is pretty obvious!

      When I first started listening to audiobooks, I didn’t really know how to write about them. I’ve since started treating the story like any other story, talking about characters I liked or weird plot things that bugged me, and so on. Then I usually add a paragraph at the end of my post talking about the reader/audio production. It’s a format that works for me and makes me feel like audiobooks are legitimate books that can be counted in my numbers!

      I listen to audiobooks any time I’m doing mindless (or semi-mindless) tasks. I have an iPod shuffle, which I load up with an audiobook. Then I just walk around the apartment listening to the book while I clean, cook, do laundry, knit, etc. I listen to them when I drive and also when I walk around the neighborhood. I love feeling like I’m getting so much more reading done!

  • http://seekerofhope.blogspot.com/ Matt

    Erin,

    Enjoyed reading your stats. I started keeping track of my books in 1996. I bought a college ruled notebook, made four columns (#, Title, Author, Date Completed) and started keeping track. Over the years I have enjoyed looking back over my list. Seeing what I was reading was a reminder of where I was at that point in my life. It is pretty fascinating to see how my reading interests have changed and developed over the years. Recently I discovered Goodreads.com and I went and added all my books that I have read over the years but I will still keep my little notebook as well. One thing of note, I have never listened to an audiobook until this past December when I started listening to The Iliad.

    • Erin

      Wow, Matt, what a wonderful backlog of stats to have! It must be amazing to see what you’ve read over the past 15+ years. How fascinating! I have a notebook that goes back just a couple of years, which I also just recently added to both GoodReads and LibraryThing. I have a spreadsheet going as well, with more detailed stats. It’s hard to remember to write a book down in all four places, but I’m finally getting used to it! It’s worth it, I think, to have good records of what you’ve read.

      I hope you’re enjoying The Iliad! I just listened to The Odyssey this year, as read by Ian McKellen, and it was fantastic.

  • http://readbookswritepoetry.blogspot.com gautami tripathy

    Never tried Audio books. Time I did!

    Wish you a very Hapyy New Year. May 2011 be very fruitful for you!

    Here is my Sunday Salon post!

    • Erin

      They’re wonderful, I hope you enjoy them! Happy New Year to you as well!

  • http://www.fizzythoughts.com softdrink

    I love stats, but not the compiling of the stats. 😀 So I’m happy just reading other people’s stats…and looking at all of the pretty charts.

    • Erin

      Well, then the end of the year must be great fun for you! :-) I’m glad someone out there enjoys reading stats, because I sure do enjoy compiling them.

  • http://www.stephandtonyinvestigate.com Steph

    You know I love me some stats (and charts and graphs!); it’s such fun at the end of the year to break everything down and dive into one’s reading habits!

    I dream of the day when I hit 100 books… Probably won’t be for a while, and certainly not this year (too many big things planned… like finishing my dissertation).

    • Erin

      It’s the first year I’ve done it, and I can assure you it won’t be my last! Now I’m trying to think up more things to track :-)

      I didn’t expect to hit 100 books this year, nor did I consciously try. My circumstances have been such, for the past few months, that I can read lots more than I had in the past (and will be able to in the near future), so we’ll see what happens in 2011. I’d say a dissertation is a pretty good reason for not hitting 100 books!

  • http://www.ardentreader.wordpress.com Christina

    I really admire the number of audiobooks you listened to this oats year. They just don’t work for me as I’ve that unless I’m reading the book along with listening to it, I can completely block out what is being said.

    • Erin

      I was shocked! It took me a while to get used to audiobooks. I definitely don’t think they’re for everyone or for all books or situations. I love being able to feel like I’m getting some reading done while I’m cooking or doing laundry or whatever, though!

  • http://www.reviewsbylola.wordpress.com Stephanie

    I didn’t post any stats this year, only because I am too lazy! I love reading other blogger’s stats though. You read a ton of books in 2010!

    • Erin

      I’m glad you like reading other people’s stats, because I had fun compiling them :-) I was pleasantly surprised when I started counting everything up this year.

  • http://wormhole.carnelianvalley.com Charlie

    Oh wow, in comparison the stats I keep are nothing! I like what you’ve chosen to record, interesting information to have. I might have to borrow your noting of gender idea. Congratulations on so many books read, and I’m surprised at the number of audio books too, even though I’ve been reading your blog for a while.

    • Erin

      The nice thing about the gender piece is that it’s really easy to go back and fill in after the fact :-) I try to review audiobooks like they’re books foremost and audiobooks second, putting most of the emphasis on the book piece, unless the audio component blows me away or makes the book for me. Glad to hear I’m successfully sneaking them in there without drawing too much attention to the fact that I’m listening instead of reading!

  • http://lifewithbooks.com Jenners

    Wow … you are the queen of stats! I always have good intentions at the beginning of the year and then kind of fall apart about midway through. I know I read over 100 books last year though … which is a goal I’d been trying to reach for 3 years. Now that I did it, I can just relax and kick back in 2011 and not “try” so hard.

    • Erin

      I’ll admit I went a little stat-crazy once I decided to track them! Although I’ve started seeing pie charts and bar graphs in people’s stats, so I feel a little less intense. Congrats on hitting 100! That’s such a nice number…triple digits and all :-)

  • http://sophisticateddorkiness.com Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

    I love book stats posts :) I read a lot of review and borrowed books this year so I’m hoping the TBR Dare will help me clear off the shelves a bit.

    I’m excited to read about your Classics Reclamation Project in 2011, so good luck!

    • Erin

      Me too, both to loving stat posts and to hanging my hopes on the TBR Dare!

  • http://lostinagoodstory.blogspot.com/ Joanna

    Great stats, love it! It’s interesting how reading reflects what’s going on in life, eh? Content-wise too, I can always tell which were my more stressful months by the number of YA novels I read! :-)

    • Erin

      It’s very cool! I never noticed it before, since this was my first year keeping stats. I didn’t notice which books I read more of in which month…I’m going to have to pay attention to that for 2011!

  • http://vishytheknight.wordpress.com Vishy

    Wonderful post, Erin! Congratulations on hitting a century! 113 books is awesome! Interesting that you turned to more classics towards the end of the year.

    Hope you have a wonderful reading year in 2011! Looking forward to reading your thoughts on books this year :)

    • Erin

      Thanks, Vishy! I hope your 2011 reading year is wonderful as well. Here’s to great reading and blogging in 2011!

  • http://reviews.rebeccareid.com Rebecca Reid

    My first year, I tracked all the page numbers, etc religiously. Now I’m more interested in where the books came from: year written, author’s nationality. I’m aiming for more world lit in the future, but also I’m reading from my shelves for the next few months!

    • Erin

      Oh I like the idea of paying attention to an author’s nationality…I might have to borrow that one! I started keeping stats last fall, so this is the first full year I’ll be doing it. I can already feel myself leaning toward those other interesting statistics, though, outside of just page numbers and books read.