Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Reading Stats for 2012

For several years now, I've been keeping track of every book I read. I note the date I finished it, the title, the author, and a few other little details, like the type of book (audiobook, graphic novel, etc), whether I know the author, if the book was a DNF (did not finish) and why, and if the author or main character is a person of color, if and when I've read the book before. It's a lot of information, and I love being able to look back over a year and see what I read. But it really does only take me a minute to do, and gives me a chance to reflect on a reading experience, which I usually do anyway. Though this year I might need to resolve to keep my notes more tidy. 2012 got a little messy (and these stats might be slightly inaccurate--shhh, don't tell!).

Reading Stats for 2012:

Books completed: 84
DNFs (Did Not Finish): 44 (34% of books started)
Some of my reasons for DNFs: "Put me to sleep. Beautiful, but no story," "Hard work, gave up, too much else to read," "Too offensive," "Characters aren't realistic, tension not believable," "Terrible writing," "So much telling!" "No characterization, depth," "Too dark and artsy," "Too angsty, no action."
Books I bought after reading a free Nook sample: 10
Books I still read after unimpressive sample: 3
Graphic Novels: 4
Audiobooks: 8
Middle Grade (attempted): 51
Adult Fiction (attempted): 16
YA (attempted): 61
Person of Color (attempted): 23
Self-published: 1 (not completed)
Re-reads: 4

Some thoughts: I got a Nook for Christmas last year, and I think my stats are very reflective of that. Last year I read a handful more books, and my DNFs were only 18%. This year I discovered the free Nook Sample. I blogged about my Nook experiences here, but in short, and the stats hold this out, I attempted and put down a lot more books. Some of those free samples culminated in a purchase, but many more ended in disinterest, even in some books everyone was talking about. And those books everyone was talking about? I did still read three of them (from the library!) after mediocre samples. And I was definitely wrong about 1 of them, but not so much the other 2.

It was also a year of reading middle grade--perhaps the most I've ever read in that genre. This also led to putting down a number of books, but I discovered some wonders, one of which is a favorite of the year. Likewise, I've continued my trend of reading audiobooks (which are especially great for travel, which I did a lot of this year!), and graphic novels. I have yet to read a self-published novel cover to cover. That perhaps isn't so much a comment on the quality of self-published books, but the small number I've read. However, I don't find myself inclined to try many more.

I'm really pleased at the number of books I read this year either about a person of color or by a person of color (or both). For years now, my goal has been 13 a year, to match the percentage of children's books published annually which feature a PoC, and to do my small part to encourage the industry to publish more diversely. I spent the month of February reading PoC books, but also returned to them throughout the year. I hope this is finally becoming a habitual way of reading for me--though, even more positively, maybe it also reflects a number of wonderful titles being published.

You can check out my previous stats here: 2010, 2011. And Thursday I'll be sharing my five favorite reads of 2012, and three other surprising discoveries!


  1. I still (yup, STILL) don't have an Ereader, but I downloaded the app. to read on my PC for a couple of books that came out as EBooks only.
    I did find that I took advantage of some free EBook downloads, and they are still sitting there, in the file. Much less likely to happen to a paper copy I'd have paid for...
    So I admire your finished-to-the-end reads that started as free samples. Maybe a real Ereader for virtual books, one I pay for, would change this.

    1. I do think it's MUCH easier to read on my Nook than to read on the computer. Much less strain on the eyes. But why buy something you're not sure you see yourself using?

  2. Very interesting. I've been keeping a book inventory since 2000 and it's depressing because I've gone from reading 200 books a year to like maybe 40 or 50. I also use the sample on my Kindle reader too. I think I finished 75% of the books last year. Ha I also put the reason why too.

    1. That is depressing, Karen! But I think everything goes through seasons. Good to know I'm not the only one with so many DNFs!

  3. After reading only 32 books in 2011 (and many of those were re-reads, my comfort food of books), I resolved to read 50 books in 2012. And I made it (just barely)! ;) I'm hoping to read at least 50 books this year, and I'm off to a good start so far. --Monica.


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