Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Reading Statistics or How We've Been Reading

This is always one of the most fun parts of the year for me.  I love looking through what I've read and remembering the good and the bad, seeing how well I achieved loose goals and deciding what I want the next year of reading to look like.

I'm finishing up my last book of the year right now and so, after this one, I will have finished 125 books totalling 38102 pages.  That's an average of 104 pages a day.  That's down from 125 pages a day last year.  This makes sense because I am spending more time volunteering at the school than last year and also more time at the gym.  I also spend more time helping with homework and satisfying the strange demands of a six year old.  I don't have any goals for how many books I want to read next year but 100 is a nice number to pass!

Last year I read six non-fiction books and set an informal goal of reading twelve this year.  Well, I ended up only reading 7 non-fiction titles for the year.  Not as good as I had hoped but at least it didn't go down!  I will set the same loose goal of twelve for next year.  I have some great titles on my shelves that I need/want to read.  I think that if I get through Peter Ackroyd's London: The Biography, though, it should count for more than one (832 pages)!

I marked 10 books as "definitely would not read again".  That's half the number from last year which makes me very happy!  As I am being more selective in my review copies and reading more books from my own shelves, I'm hoping this number will be even lower next year.

45 of my books were borrowed from the library.  That's 36 percent, or just over one-third.  I anticipate it being lower in the coming year as I will be trying to choose mainly from the reads already in my house.

One thing I started tracking last year was how many authors I read for the first time.  It appears to be 71 authors of novels plus an unknown number from two short story collections.  This isn't far from last year's number and means I'm being fairly good about trying out new authors.

This year I decided to start tracking the year of publication on the books I read.  The oldest books I read were Sense and Sensibility (1811) and The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838).  71 percent of my reads were published in the 2000's.  I hope this will change next year when I read more from my shelves.  I would like to have it be closer to 50 percent.

Next year I think I will also record if a book is translated.  I think that 11 of my reads from this year were originally written in another language including French, Spanish, Swedish, Hebrew and Japanese.

One way my reading drastically changed this year was that I only read two books over 600 pages long (Outlander and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle).  This is quite surprising now that I look back and I definitely intend to change it going forward.  I love "chunksters" and think I passed them up for the sake of the blog this year.  I'm not sure how many I have on my shelves but I'm sure it's in the dozens so I just need to pick them up!

I had 6 re-reads this year -- three from Tolkien, two from Diana Wynne Jones and one from J.K. Rowling.

32 of my reads were ARCs or review copies and 16 of my reads were for read-alongs, group discussions or special events (like DWJ Week and NYRB Spotlight Month).  I don't think I'll sign up for any challenges this year (except for RIP, of course, and DWJ Week if it's now an annual event ... which it had better be) but instead I'll choose things to participate in reading events as they come up.  I still might make some reading lists for challenges that I'm interested in.

A personal challenge I set up for myself this year was to read books and plays that inspired my favorite classic movies.  I got to four of them this year--The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Sabrina Fair, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House and Laura--and happily they all made me love my favorite movies even more!  In the coming year I hope to read Strangers on a Train and The African Queen among others.

As you may have noticed, Z's reading calendar fell by the wayside about halfway through the year.  It was hard to keep up with and he lost interest in it.  Not to mention the fact that I physically lost it.  It ended up stashed somewhere and I haven't seen it for a while now.  We'll have to see if we can't think of another way to record what he is reading in the coming year.

So that's it!  I'm looking forward to 2011 and all of the books it holds in store for us.  If you have any reading suggestions or requests about the blog, please let us know any time!

Happy New Year,
K and Z


  1. Quite a lot of stats! Yes, Ackroyd's London, The Biography is definitely worth more than one book - it's longer than Anna Karenina! But I enjoyed it when I read it several years ago.

    I'm also reading more from my shelves this year, in fact, I've set myself a challenge of not buying any books in 2011 - I have so many books accumulating from the last two years, I really need to knuckle down and read them before I acquire too many more.

    I've never thought of tracking new authors (new to me) or publish dates before, something to think about for the future.

  2. You had a great reading year Kristin. Hope 2011 is great as well.

  3. I've had the same experience as you with chunksters -- even when I'm excited about a really long book, I tend to choose shorter ones to avoid a break in posts on my blog. I shouldn't do this to myself!

  4. I love how you have "loose" goals! I think I need to consider those!

    I was a bit surprised by my number of re-reads this past year! I'm planning more for 2011, but can't decide which ones to go for quite yet. I guess whatever jumps out at me at the time!

    Can't wait to see what 2011 has in store!

  5. Tracy - I'm glad that you are giving me extra credit for the Ackroyd book. ;) I've actually started my first non-fiction of the year already so I'm hoping to stay on track with n-f. I'm not sure I'll avoid buying books this year but I do plan to be more deliberate in my buying and reading!

    Diane - Thanks a bunch!

    Jenny - Agreed. I love chunksters and used to read loads of them. I'm going back to that this year!

    Tif - Loose goals make you feel less guilty when you don't meet them. :) Seriously, though, I find that they sit nicely in the back of your head but don't nag. I never checked how many non-fiction books I read during the year but instead just remembered that I was trying to read more.

  6. Loose goals make you feel less guilty when you don't meet them.
    Absolutely agree, Kristen! Even if you only do a few, you've still achieved your goal. Guilt and reading shouldn't go together, reading is meant to be fun! (Unless you have to read something for a course or similar)

  7. I was going to say the same thing as Tracy! Guilt and reading should NOT go hand in hand! :)

  8. I love these kinds of stat posts ... and 104 pages a day is fantastic.

    I did the same thing with my Little One's reading chart ... we lasted until February and then I lost it and he lost interest. Oh well.

  9. Tracy - I agree! There are times in life for required reading and I'm not in one of those times right now. I am going to keep my reading fun and as spontaneous as I want it.

    Tif - Nope. Why ruin something that I love doing? Would I make myself listen to a certain quota of music or watch x number of movies?

    Jenners - I like that "pages a day" average too. Of course there are good days and bad but if I can sit back and say that I get to read for over an hour and a half most days, that's not too shabby! And I'm sorry that you lost the chart too! It's hard to get the kids excited about record keeping, isn't it?