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2012 Year End Reading (and Purchase) Analysis!

It’s the time of the year again where I put up my fancy charts and reflect on my reading and book spending habit this year!

Readers of this blog know that I am a stats geek when it comes to analysing my reading trend. This year there have been a few surprises which I will explain later on. I will be comparing this year’s analysis with previous years mostly. 🙂

Past years analysis:

Number of books read this year

The number of books read dwindled again this year. At this rate I am going I suppose it only means I will be reading less and less until I could read full time again! lol

As we say, number of books read is only a number. I would say A Suitable Boy at 1349 pages is equivalent to 4 books if an average book is 350 pages!

I read an average of 6 books per month and didn’t bother to do any last minute sprint as it wouldn’t make any difference at all. I finish the year with 70 books read this year.

Number of books read 2012

Just double checking that we are comparing apple with apple, the proportion of thin books (less than 180 pages) and thick books (more than 450 books but this year include 1349 pages for A Suitable Boy) are similar to last year.book size

Books read by month follows an erratic trend of peaks and troughs and for the past 4 years, I started the year strong in spring and, contrary to the belief that you read a lot more on holidays, I read less when I began my extensive travelling from May to November 2012.

Books read per month 2012

Male vs Female Authors

For the past 3 years, I have always read books from Male authors than female, this year is a breakthrough as I began to pick up books from female authors a lot more. This is, however, not a conscious decision. 😉

author gender 2012

Despite reading less male authors than females ones I tend to score books read by male authors higher ratings than female. For 2 consecutive years since I done this analysis that I tend to rate the work of male authors higher. Perhaps the previous year’s reason for such trend remains that as I grow older and due to my profession, I tend to use my left brain a little more than my emotional right brain, therefore the work of male authors appeal to me, as most of the non-fiction writers.

Fiction vs Non-fiction

Speaking of fiction and non-fiction, this year non-fiction read has shrunk by 8%. I hope to increase non-fiction read at 30% next year. There are quite a few interesting non-fictions published this year which I hope to read next year.

Fiction vs non-fiction 2012

Library loot vs reading from my shelf

A slight dip on reading from my own shelves but I aim to increase that percentage to 50%. A good reason to do that as my library begins to charge for book reservation starting 1 Jan 2013 and I haven’t stop acquiring books from many sources including the ones I get from Amazon whispernet through my new Kindle.

own books vs library books 2012

This year I get books from many sources than buying and borrowing from libraries. Penguin UK was kind enough to offer some ARCs and review copies. E-books on Kindle is another new source. It doesn’t explain that a big bulk of books I read came from my library therefore I generally rate them higher and have a wider range of ratings for these books.Rating by source of book 2012

New Authors

I repeat the same trend in reading books from new author but surprisingly this year I rated higher on books that are published by authors I am acquainted with. Again similar to last year, when it comes to giving them a high-score I’m even handed for both new and read before authors, giving it a 30%-30% scores for 4.5 stars and above. I am amazed by how boring and consistent I am. 😦

New authors 2012 Ratings by new author 2012Ratings by author table 2012

Published editions

A big portion of 70% books read this year is published from 2000’s onwards, half of which (54%) are from the 2010’s. I hope to change all that when I start time travelling back to the Victorian or Medieval ages since I have Classics and Historical fiction challenges to meet next year.

edition 2012

% Translated fictions

This year saw a decrease in reading translated work. My main source of translated books are translated from Japanese and there are several new translated books from French, Dutch, Finnish and Polish that I read this year.  I don’t feel a need to read more translated fiction but I think the blue bar below can benefit from a lower level next year. This will have to be balanced off with non-fictions which are mostly written in English.

Translated fiction 2012rating by translated fiction 2012

Nationalities and Locations

Very similar to last year, I have read authors from 20 different nationalities with 33 different country settings. Besides reading from British and American authors, the others are evenly scattered amongst different countries.


Imposing a book ban last year didn’t work for this year. I am still relief to say I have purchase 89 books less than previous year (spending £86.39 only), of which 12 are free books received as a gift, reviewed copies and mooched. The chart doesn’t include the 148 books I acquired for the this month (Dec 2012) from Kindle.

Books Acquired

What do I think about 2012?

Personally 2012 have been a good year in my career and have been very, very busy at work. I think it’s an ok year for reading. I didn’t think I was going to read a lot this year but reading is breathing to me, and it is my only respite from work. So it hasn’t been too bad so far.

2012 is the year I read A Suitable Boy with Sam@tiny library. It’s a year I done “too much” travelling, visiting Chamonix-Mont Blanc, Geneva, Berlin, Morocco, then Lisbon, Barcelona and Paris in the autumn.  I read a bit more Indian and South Asian literature this year, and read some good books by Achebe and Kapuściński on Africa.

I gave away 25 copies of The Time Traveller’s Wife as part of the World Book Night’s campaign on the 23 April 2012.

2012 is also the year I jumped into the Kindle bandwagon. I am excited with the prospect of reading in a different device and getting free books from Amazon and Netgalley. It’s been exciting so far and Amazon.co.uk has been very kind to offer books I want to read for as low as 20p! (Life of Pi, Winter in Madrid by CJ Sansom and The Hundred-Years-old man who jumped out of the window and disappeared are on for 20p now)

For books read in 2012, see 2012 Read review index

I count the following top 10 as some of my favourites of the year:

Why-Be-Happy-When-You-Could-Be-NormalDevotion of suspect XThe remains of dayEnduring loveThe song of Achilles-Madeline MillerThings fall apartA suitable boyShadow of the sunthe garden of evening mistsPhantom of the opera book cover

Plans for 2013?

In the spirit of Venn diagram, the Venn set and subsets diagram and the size of population is the best way to depict the proportion of subject matters being analysed. So my reading plan for 2012 will look somewhat like this:

Readign plan 2012

In the scheme of fictions being the bigger picture, I will be focusing on reducing my TBR files and read more classics and non-fictions, with focus on French literature. I would also like to continue reading off from the pile I have for South Asian and Middle Eastern books. Occasionally crime fiction will be my guilty pleasure!

My 2013 reading challenges are all laid out here: Reading Challenge 2013

It’s been hard trying to find time to read and blog this year. Whether you commend or lurks, I am eternally grateful for everyone of you who reads or follows my blog. I wish you a happy and joyful new year and hope this is another year where your wishes come true. Have a great celebration! 😀

p/s: It’s funny that some wordpress bloggers had snow on their blogs but not on mine. Hmm..



About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.


48 thoughts on “2012 Year End Reading (and Purchase) Analysis!

  1. Love the stats! Resisting the temptation to do the same…

    Posted by Sly Wit | December 30, 2012, 11:07 pm
  2. Jo V – you are amazing. Your meticulous record keeping is inspiring (I couldn’t be that organized no matter how hard I tried). HAPPY NEW YEAR

    Posted by diane | December 31, 2012, 12:11 am
  3. I loved this post, I studied stats at uni and the graphs bought it all back 🙂
    Thanks for doing the Suitable Boy readalong with me this year, I really enjoyed it and am very glad that I finally took the monster book off the shelf and tackled it!

    Happy New Year Jo!

    Posted by Sam (Tiny Library) | December 31, 2012, 7:28 pm
  4. Dashboard, Settings, scroll to the bottom, and you’ll have snow until Jan 4th 🙂

    Le Testament Francais by Andrei Makine is on my list for 2013, care to join me?

    Posted by Claire 'Word by Word' | December 31, 2012, 11:53 pm
  5. Great stats, Jo – loved your graphs. Hope you have a great reading year in 2013.

    Posted by debbierodgers | January 1, 2013, 12:50 am
  6. I love this post ! I always look forward to your year end analysis, they’re so detailed and beautifully analyzed. Happy New Year Jo !! Here’s wishing you and all at home a wonderful 2013 !

    Posted by Joanna | January 1, 2013, 3:38 am
  7. I always love how detailed and intricate your end of year posts are JoV, and this year is no exception. I hope 2013 is another great reading year for you.

    Posted by jessicabookworm | January 1, 2013, 3:35 pm
  8. as ever a stunning set of stats Jov you always make them so fun to read through ,all the best stu

    Posted by winstonsdad | January 1, 2013, 4:33 pm
  9. Oh you have surpassed my attempts with data and charts – I LOVE this post – could stare at it all day. But I think my favourite is actually your venn diagram of next year’s plans – that is awesome.

    Now I must get back to my own charts….gotta at least make an attempt to match you

    Best wishes for 2013 to you and your reading 🙂

    Posted by bernadetteinoz | January 2, 2013, 8:25 am
    • Bernadette,
      LOL I was keeping a look out for your stats. It’s finally out. 😀 I love Venn Diagram, tells you in a glance what your types of books / genre population is. Happy new year Bernadette!

      Posted by JoV | January 2, 2013, 11:06 am
  10. Happy new year, Jo, have a wonderful 2013! I love your geeky posts 😀 You read so many amazing books last year! These recap posts have me excited every year but they are awful for my tbr list! I’m with you on reading Japanese lit this year, I tend to read some but never read as much as I want tztz.
    Now I’m off to read your readng challenges post! I’m planning on doing a little something in April btw… 😉

    Posted by Bina | January 2, 2013, 11:53 am
  11. You definitely like numbers. 🙂
    I’d like to read The Song of Achilles, I love books based on mythology, legends and the like.
    Have a super amazing reading year in 2013! 70 books is quite an impressive amount.

    Posted by Delia (Postcards from Asia) | January 2, 2013, 3:32 pm
  12. I like your Books read by month picture! Best way to find why I didn’t read much a particular month. 🙂

    Posted by Athira | January 2, 2013, 11:50 pm
  13. An astonishing post! I am impressed. I keep a spreadsheet of my blog posts including word counts and dates but not of books read. I think I could easily adapt it to cover books read also.

    My first Kindle lasted me two years and two months when the screen failed. Amazon gave me £15 off a new one but that has just called after three weeks. I have now got a paperwhite kindle and hope that one does better.

    Posted by Tom Cunliffe | January 3, 2013, 6:13 pm
    • Thanks Tom. Gosh I have no idea Kindle could fail so soon! I was hoping it would last forever. I have been contemplating to buy the paperwhite but thought I will go for the basics and see how.

      I also think it’s easy to cover books read on your stats and I look forward to read your analysis.

      Posted by JoV | January 4, 2013, 9:54 am
  14. well, I love stats, but mine are nothing compared to yours. really neat to compare years.
    here is my wrap-up, with pies and charts:

    Posted by WordsAndPeace | January 3, 2013, 9:31 pm
  15. I love seeing your stats and your venn diagram for next year. I also plan to read more non fiction, although I’m not sure I’ll have much Middle Eastern non fiction on my list.

    Your favourites are all great. I’ve loved every one that I’ve read. My copy of The Shadow of the Sun is still hiding, but I hope I’ll track it down eventually. I should also read more Ishiguro. I love that our reading tastes match so much and I look forward to seeing what you reading in 2013. Thanks for writing such an amazing blog 🙂

    Posted by farmlanebooks | January 3, 2013, 11:16 pm
    • Awww thanks Jackie.. it means a lot coming from you..

      Thanks to you, I have acquire a few more books on my TBR. I got Katherine Boo’s “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” ebook for £1.49 which I thought it’s a steal. Besides topping up on non-fiction dosage, I’ll have Street Sweeper and Hhhh on my pile, I think that is really what I need.

      Have a wonderful year!

      Posted by JoV | January 4, 2013, 9:38 am
  16. Very nice post. I love graphs. I did a graphs post myself, but I didn’t compare with other years. 2012 was the first year I kept a detailed spreadsheet with information about the books I read.

    I hope you’ll have a great 2013!

    Posted by Judith | January 5, 2013, 12:49 pm
  17. Great year!!

    Posted by Mel u | January 8, 2013, 1:33 am
  18. Wonderful post, Jo! Love your year end stats post, as always! It is interesting that more than half of the books you read were published in the 2010s. I think you are the Queen of Contemporary Fiction 🙂 You bought 148 books in December? Wow! Have fun reading them! Nice to see ‘The Remains of the Day’ and ‘A Suitable Boy’ is your list of favourites. I loved both of them. ‘The Garden of Evening Mists’ is such a beautiful title. Thanks for this wonderful post. Happy New Year 2013 to you too! Hope you have a wonderful year filled with great books, beautiful reading moments and amazing travelling experiences!

    Posted by Vishy | January 9, 2013, 5:00 am
  19. Happy reading to you this year, JoV! Have missed visiting your blog much of late, but I loved these stats and look forward to seeing what you have lined up for this year. P.S. I only managed to complete one book on my Kindle Fire all of last year–I use it daily for other stuff, but I still prefer print to the Kindle by far despite the occasional savings on books in the latter format.

    Posted by Richard | January 19, 2013, 5:37 am
    • Richard,
      You are right to say that I tend to go back to my paper book again and again, although I have collected many ebooks on my Kindle. I’ll have to read some from the Kindle soon as many review copies came through this way! Thanks for dropping by.

      Posted by JoV | January 20, 2013, 3:33 pm


  1. Pingback: 2012: The Charts | Reactions to Reading - January 2, 2013

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
Share book reviews and ratings with JoV, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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