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A Six Month Review of Books

A Six Month Review of Books post image

Since it’s the end of June, now seemed the perfect time to look back at the first half of 2010 and see how my reading is going. The picture above is a Wordle I made for the blog so far, and I love it. I’m glad “books” and “just think” are so big.

But on to the books — so far this year I’ve read 45 books. By this time last year, I’d only read 34 books. Good progress! I made a few tables that breakdown books by a few stats, mostly for my own amusement.

I tried to make the tables look pretty, but html and I are not getting along today.

Books and Pages Read Per Month

Clearly, being out of school has been awesome for my reading. June is probably an all-time high month, even if a couple were audio books.

Month Books Read Pages Read
January 5 1751
February 4 1324
March 8 2864
April 6 1729
May 9 2395
June 13 3079
45 13,142

Breakdown by Genre

Fiction is my biggest category, when I break out nonfiction into different categories. My YA Fiction number is still pretty low.

Genre Books Percent
Fiction 13 29%
YA Fiction 3 7%
Nonfiction 8 18%
Literary Journalism 12 27%
Memoir 9 20%

Breakdown of Fiction versus Nonfiction

But when I split it straight Fiction versus Nonfiction, it gets a lot clearer – I definitely read a lot more nonfiction.

Genre Books Percent
Fiction 16 35%
Nonfiction 29 65%

Books by Acquisition Type

Where my books come from is a big concern for me. I love review copies and love trying new books, but want to keep the blog focused on my eclectic taste in books and continue to read books off my own shelves. Right now it’s slightly more owned, with an even split on library versus review copies. By the end of the year I want owned books closer to 50 percent.

Book Type Books Percent
Owned 18 40%
Review Copy 13 29%
Borrowed 14 31%

Books by Author

I read a few more male authors than female, but I’m sure that’ll even out soon.

Male Author 24 53%
Female Author 20 45%
Both 1 2%


  • 1 ebook — yay for my nook!
  • 3 audio books
  • 2 graphic novels — wow, that is not a lot. I want to read more!
  • 37 books reviewed, 8 left unreviewed

My favorite books so far this year is probably The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. When I look back over the list, I can’t see any books that just blew me away, other than that one, which I loved.

It makes me wonder if I’ve been reading too fast, not taking the time to enjoy books, or what. That seems weird though. Now I have things to think about.

Anyway, how’s your first six months of reading been? Any standout books, or really awful ones? What are you goals for the rest of the year?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Amy June 30, 2010, 5:35 am

    Very interesting! I love seeing stat breakdowns 🙂 I considered doing my 6 month stats but I just did stats for 100 books so decided I should wait. Interesting that you have more male authors though, that (and the number of YA books) is where we are the most different. I wonder if that is because a huge portion of the YA I’ve read is by women? Hmm….

    • Kim June 30, 2010, 8:58 pm

      Amy: Good question — that’s probably the reason. I love doing stats too, it’s so nerdy and fun. I hadn’t done any since like April, so now seemed like a good time.

  • Scott June 30, 2010, 6:56 am

    I’m in a similar situation as Amy – I just did stats on 50 books, so it’s probably too soon for another stat breakdown for me! Including audio books, though, I think I’ve read 34 so far this year. I’m working my way through The Tale of Genji at the moment which won’t do my book count any favors, but it will definitely boost the page count!

    The two stand out books for me are Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and The Well at the World’s End. The worst book I’ve read this year is Stranger in a Strange Land by a country mile.

    • Kim June 30, 2010, 9:00 pm

      Scott: I sometimes think page count is a better number than book count, since so many long books take awhile to get through but are certainly worth it. I might have done a 50 book count, if that had come first, but not quite yet.

      I read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close last year and loved it so, so much. I read a different Heinlein book a few years ago and didn’t love it, but clearly not being awesome is common for his writing 🙂

  • Trisha June 30, 2010, 8:22 am

    Well, I’m the first commenter who has not yet done any sort of stats breakdown, so I’ll say – I’m stealing this idea as soon as I get the energy to figure it all out. 😉 As for the good, the bad, and the ugly: Fingersmith, The Great Lover, and Glengarry Glen Ross, respectively. Right now I’m reading Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The House of the Dead and it is absolutely fantastic, so it will definitely be towards the top of my list this year.

    • Care June 30, 2010, 8:59 am

      oo OOO! You loved GlengarryGlenRoss? I recall that movie being amazing but don’t remember why. Off to go find your post on it. (after I re-read Kim’s Blind Assassin post…)

      • Care June 30, 2010, 9:06 am

        It would HELP if I read your comment with more focus. DIDN’t LIKE GGR. well then, nevermind. 🙂

    • Kim June 30, 2010, 9:01 pm

      Trisha: I’ve had everything in a spreadsheet for the year, so the part that took longest was calculating percentages (since I was dumb and did them by hand), and fighting with html. But it was a fun project. I’m glad you in the middle of an awesome book right now!

  • Care June 30, 2010, 8:58 am

    LOVE your geeky stats!!! cool. The ‘Just Think’ reminds me that I had a bumpersticker or something from IBM posted to my wall while I was in college that simply said “THINK”. Always good advice. 🙂

    • Kim June 30, 2010, 9:02 pm

      Care: Yes, very good advice. Especially on a bumper sticker, if the sticker were on a bumper like it was supposed to be 🙂

  • Amanda June 30, 2010, 11:18 am

    Wow I’m always so impressed with people who read so much nonfiction as I’m not really a nonfiction person at all. Like only 12 of my 110 books so far this year have been nonfiction and that’s actually really high for me.

    • Kim June 30, 2010, 9:02 pm

      Amanda: I’m impressed with people who read a lot of fiction — I think it’s just a taste thing. I’m glad you read more nonfiction than normal, and I’ll probably be trying to read some more fiction and YA fiction as the year goes on.

      • Lynne July 1, 2010, 11:42 am

        I read 13 books in June; 11 non-fiction, 2 fiction. Lopsided, yes, and definitely a taste thing 🙂

        Love your dorky stats, Kim. You rock!

  • Belle June 30, 2010, 2:39 pm

    This is so impressive! I loved reading all the stats.

    I’ve actually been reading quite a lot so far this year, but blogging a lot less – and the only place I record my reading is on my blog, so I am not sure at all how many books I’ve read. Maybe it just feels like more than usual 🙂

    • Kim June 30, 2010, 9:03 pm

      Belle: I try to keep track of all my books in a spreadsheet (new this year) and on a list on the blog, so it’s at least recorded even if there are books I don’t review. I didn’t know how much more I’d read this year until I looked back and counted from last year — it was a bigger gap than I thought!

  • softdrink June 30, 2010, 2:57 pm

    I had to go count (which means I will most likely steal your idea and write a stats post). I’ve read 87 books to date…and 20 of them were non-fiction. That’s pretty respectable for me. 😀

    • Kim June 30, 2010, 9:04 pm

      softdrink: 87 is awesome, and yay for more nonfiction! I can’t wait to see the rest of your stats — it’s fun to see what other people read and what stats they compare.

  • Andi June 30, 2010, 7:37 pm

    So what was the book you read on Nook. You’ve probably already mentioned it, but I’ve slept since then! 😉

    • Kim June 30, 2010, 9:05 pm

      Andi: The book was The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors, and I liked it. I’m still trying to figure out how to write the review — if it should be a regular one, or one where I talk about the experience of reading a book on the nook. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet, actually.

  • Ash July 1, 2010, 3:17 pm

    I read 13 books in June as well, not being in school has given me so much more time for reading. Now I’m going to get used to it and I’ll have to go back to school and read less!

    • Kim July 2, 2010, 5:34 am

      Ash: Not being in school is huge — I love having the extra time to read. I won’t be back in school for awhile now that the master’s is done, so hopefully the trend continues!

  • Jennifer July 15, 2010, 9:37 am

    Very interesting. I like your breakdowns and kind of wish that my own looked a little more like yours. I really appreciate your eclectic reading taste and hope that mine only continues to grow more eclectic in the future.

  • Kim July 15, 2010, 4:44 pm

    Jennifer: I sometimes wish my reading was MORE eclectic than it is. But I do love nonfiction, so I guess that’s ok. It does help to pay attention to stats when trying to decide what to read though.