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2015 Reading by the Numbers

2015 reading by the numbers

Photo Credit: JD Baskin via Flickr Creative Commons

Since 2010, I’ve kept a pretty detailed spreadsheet about the books I’ve read each year. That way, when December rolls around I can do a little number crunching and get a sense of my reading year in a little more depth. This post is always a lot of fun for me to put together, and often gives me some tangible ideas of reading year has been like. So, without any more preamble… the numbers!

The Basics

  • 99 books read (102 in 2014 | 104 in 2013 | 110 in 2012 | 109 in 2011 | 108 in 2010)
  • 28,214 pages read (28,888 in 2014 | 33,839 in 2013 | 34,883 in 2012 | 34,127 in 2011 | 31,210 in 2010)
  • 112 hours listened (126 in 2014 | 104.5 in 2013 | 93.5 in 2012 | 58 in 2011)

This all averages out to about 542 pages per week (555 in 2014) or 77 pages per day (79 in 2014). Those numbers actually surprise me – they’re much closer than I would have expected, given how slumpy a lot of my reading felt this year. 

Longest Book: 11/22/63 by Stephen King (849 pages)

Shortest Book: We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (23 pages)

Oldest Book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)

Books Published in 2015: 54

Author Gender: I read 61 books by women (66 percent) and 31 by men (34 percent). The final seven were collections or books with a combination of male and female authors/creators.

Author Race: One of my goals for the year was to read more books by authors of color. I was able to meet my goal for this year – I read 26 books by authors of color (about 26 percent) – but that number is a little padded by comics. If anyone on the team was a person of color, I counted that book in my stats. In 2016, I’d love to get that number up to 30 percent.

Number of Comics: I read 16 comic books, mostly trade paperbacks of some series I’ve enjoyed. That’s really my preferred format, and I can see increasing that number even more in 2016. 

Books by Genre

Hooray, charts! This first chart shows my breakdown of fiction/nonfiction, with some specific divisions for common genres. In looking, it doesn’t really make sense to have comics pulled out – comic is a format, not a genre – but too late to address that for this year. My shift toward fiction continued again this year, about 46 percent versus 37 percent nonfiction. I think that is connected to the next chart…

books by genre 2015

Books by Source

This chart shows a comparison between review copies, my own books, and books borrowed from friends or the library. I am so excited that more than half of the books I read this year were books I own! I also used the library a lot more this year than compared to the past, also good news. I’d guess the shift to fiction is tied to my gradual shift away from review copies and towards reading books without a specific timeline. I’ve been not accepting fiction for review for several years, so reading more fiction probably means reading more books I own.

books by source 2015

Books by Format

I still read a lot of hardcovers this year, despite paperback being my preferred format. And the number of audiobooks and ebooks is still really low. I’m not sure I care too much about changing these, but it’s interesting to see.

books by format 2015

What’s it All Mean?

It looks to me like my reading life is continuing to shift away from reading review copies and the “big” books of the year and towards reading my own books on my own timeline. I’m happy about that – it keeps reading a hobby rather than an obligation and means I might, eventually, start making a dent in my enormous TBR pile. On the other hand, I don’t want to let reading my own books keep me from reviewing and sharing what I’ve enjoyed. I want to get more back in the swing of reviewing in 2016. 

Despite doing a pretty major book purge late in the summer, my office is full to bursting with books once again and my book budget for the year was blown out of the water. I definitely need to take a look at my habits when it comes to acquiring new books. But that’s all for another post on goals and plans for 2016!

How did your year in reading look? How do you keep track of what you’ve read? Any interesting trends this year?

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Sarah's Book Shelves December 31, 2015, 6:37 am

    I like how you laid this out! And congratulations on reading your own books! Are you participating in Andi’s challenge?

    • Kim January 1, 2016, 7:03 pm

      Yep, I’m planning to do Andi’s challenge this year (especially since there are no rules!).

  • tanya (52 books or bust) December 31, 2015, 7:07 am

    Looks great. I like a lot of your categories and may have to add new areas to my analysis.

  • bermudaonion (Kathy) December 31, 2015, 8:13 am

    I don’t keep good enough stats to do such a thorough analysis but my numbers are down this year. I’m busier and more distracted so I’m not surprised. I love all the charts!

    • Kim January 1, 2016, 7:04 pm

      I finally got smart and set up the spreadsheet I keep with some formulas to do all the calculations for me — as long as I regularly update the spreadsheet, doing stats at the end of the year is pretty simple.

  • Heidi'sbooks December 31, 2015, 7:01 pm

    You read a lot of books written in 2015, so that’s an awesome amount! With so many on my TBR list, I have a hard time getting to the new ones just coming out.

    • Kim January 1, 2016, 7:05 pm

      I bought a lot of new releases this year (my poor wallet), but also relied on the library more than in the past — both big factors in this year’s stats.

  • Bryan G. Robinson January 1, 2016, 7:29 am

    Check, check, check. 🙂 But the only thing I didn’t check off as a library assistant 😉 was your not using the library as much as you could be. Other than that, it all looks good. I’ve been working on reading more diversely too and have improved, but hopefully this year can improve even more.

    • Kim January 1, 2016, 7:06 pm

      Ha! I did use the library more this year than in the past, so that’s an improvement!

  • Jenny @ Reading the End January 1, 2016, 11:53 am

    Well, I am massively impressed that you read a majority of books you yourself own. That’s amazing. I read such a huge majority of library books that it wasn’t even worth doing the pie chart. :p

    • Kim January 1, 2016, 7:07 pm

      I check out a ton of books from the library, but don’t always get to reading them in time… that’d be an interesting stat for next year: books checked out versus books read.

  • iliana January 1, 2016, 6:16 pm

    Congratulations on a great reading year! I need to make a dent in my TBR stacks as well but I try not to make any resolutions. Hopefully just a lot of good reads in 2016!

    • Kim January 1, 2016, 7:07 pm

      That’s a good approach!

  • Diane January 1, 2016, 7:37 pm

    Love the impressive stats in graph format. You did a great job reading your own books (something I need to do more of).

  • Beth F January 2, 2016, 5:10 am

    I love seeing your charts! I always start off keeping great records of my books read and then, well, Sigh. I usually stop filling out the spreadsheet by about April. I feel good just keeping a list!

    Nice to get back to reading your own books and to add fiction.

    Happy new year.

    • Kim January 3, 2016, 1:27 pm

      I have a recurring reminder in my task manager to update my spreadsheet. I probably go in once every couple of weeks and fill in the details, which helps me from getting too far behind. There’s always a period in August/September/October where I have to play catch up though 🙂

  • Laurie C January 2, 2016, 8:47 am

    Nice stats! I’m not able to keep statistics on reading myself, but those charts sure look pretty! 😉 Happy New Year!

    • Kim January 3, 2016, 1:26 pm

      I finally got smart and made a template for the graphs. Now they’re a lot easier to make!

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