Well, another year is over and I’ve gotten through quite a few books to mark that passage of time.
I read a lot. Overall, this year, I read 90+ books. This translates into more than 20,000 pages and a good deal of time spent.
Now, also, when I say “read,” I mean I consumed those books in one form or another. Mostly, I listened. In fact, of all the books I read this year, Audiobooks made up 61% of the total. One reason for this is that I listen to books when I commute, and since I’ve started walking everywhere, especially since our move, this means I’m spending at least an hour a day walking several kilometers and audiobooks help me pass the time.
But let’s take a look at the numbers, especially in comparison to last year.
Sex of the Author
Male – 73%
Female – 27%
When it comes to the sex of the author, while last year I made a concentrated effort to read more women and I did okay. This year, not so much, with only 27% of my reading covering female authors. Can’t tell you why this is, but I’m going to try to do better in 2020.
Types of Binding
Audio – 62%
Ebook – 31%
Physical copies – 7%
This is an interesting one. Last year, I was pretty close with my text and audio books, in fact, ebooks edged out the audio but a slight margin. This year, there’s no contest. Almost 2/3 of all books were listened to, while my percentage of physical, hard copies remained consistent. Would still like to change that. I have a fair number of hard copies of things, but honestly, it’s just easier to read the electronic versions, even if I own the physical book as well.
As for Audiobooks, Audible, my primary source, just sent a great little graphic to let me know my listening habits for the past year. How did they know?
3 stars – 38%
4 stars – 40%
5 stars – 22%
Like last year, my 4 star rating is still my highest. However, 3 star ratings went up percentage wise while 5 star ratings dropped. Additionally, there’s no 1 or 2 star reviews, and I think this is because I discovered the DNF (did not finish) option. I guess my thinking here is that if I finish it, it’s probably worth at least 3 stars, meaning that it wasn’t great, but I didn’t throw it across the room, either. As for 5 stars, I’m trying to get better about dishing those out. It has to be a great book, or really surprise me in a good way, in order to get into the 5 star range.
Drama – 1%
Fantasy – 9%
Graphic Novels – 16%
Literature – 3%
Mystery/Thriller – 13%
Non-Fiction – 24%
Poetry – 1%
Science Fiction – 21%
Writing – 3%
YA – 9%
The hardest thing about identifying genre for an arbitrary round-up like this is that I have to narrow it down to one blanket category per book. For example, in this listing, “non-fiction” means anything which is not fiction – so scientific treatises, or historical investigations, or memoirs and biographies – fits into this category. And then there’s YA (young adult). I think the reason this is so high is that Audible has started giving away short books every month, and often their most interesting offering is a YA story, so I get it and listen to it.
The last thing to look at here is the various reading challenges I do. This past year I did the PopSugar challenge and managed to fill in spaces nicely. This year, I’ll be doing it again (located here if you want to play along). I might also play a bit of Book Bingo and would be happy to challenge any of you to a blackout game throughout the year.
If those lists don’t hit your fancy, there are a number of others out there (and a large number of them have been aggregated by Tina on her website). There’s challenges for any type of reading you like, and the numbers can range from one a month to many more. One of my personal favorites is the Calendar of Crime 2020 challenge, where you pick one mystery a month following specific guidelines – I may join in that one as well!
Last year, I joined a challenge called Beat the Backlist, the idea being to read through the books you’d been meaning to read – therefore nothing written in 2019 qualified. No problem, I was usually behind in my reading schedule anyway. When I posted about this last year, I also posted a few books I’d like to read during 2019 – and then I promptly forgot about it. What I found interesting is that as I was looking it up for this post, it turned out I did pretty well in meeting my own challenge. Of the 10 books listed, I missed one and one I’m currently reading, so it will make this round up next year. Not bad! By the way, if you’re interested, there’s a Beat the Backlist challenge for 2020 and signups are happening now!
For me, the fun of the challenges is just to, yet again, chart my progress. I love charts and lists and accountability and even though I’m still going to read dozens of books in 2020, this is just fun for me. In that same vein, I’m still pretty active on Goodreads and I really hope to have more reviews up this year over last. I’m working on it, I promise!