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.
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.
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.
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. 😉
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.
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.
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.
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. 😦
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.
% 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.
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.
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:
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:
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..