I record my reading. I do it manually and I have a box full of lovely little notebooks reflecting my reading life over the years. In fact, 2019 will be the twentieth year in which I have kept records. I have, in the past, tried to enter these records on to a spreadsheet but by now it is a lot of work and I find the written records of the years very satisfying to look over.
As we have reached the end of 2018 I can report that this year I read 362 books – not quite one each day and with an average of 30 per month. I realise that to many people that looks like a lot but actually I haven’t read so few in a year since 2008. I don’t know how to account for this unless it is because my reading has veered away from genre fiction and towards more literary fiction and longer novels. I’m sure that is not the whole story but it is difficult to account for it otherwise as very little else has changed in my life. I am not about to start counting the number of pages read each year to see if this is true (although I know that some readers do).
Of the books read I have discovered that 165 were read in paper and exactly the same number on my Kindle. The remaining 8.8% were on audio. The number of audio books I have read has increased this year as a percentage of the whole (I have discovered Bluetooth earphones so I have been able to listen in places where I couldn’t in the past).
Of the books I read, 73% were by female authors which is on a par with 2017. I don’t record the ethnic origin of authors as that requires some judgements by me which I am not qualified or morally able to make. I would, however, like to read more books by people from different cultures than myself and I am thinking that I should devote a month next year to concentrating on works from diverse authors – there are plenty of suggestions online to help with this.
The genre I read most was crime with 20% of the books (much the same as 2017). Non-fiction was 14% of the total although I would like this to be greater. This category includes history, memoirs, sports, true crime and exploration. Half of my reading falls into a category I generally call “novels” although it includes classics, literary fiction, romance, poetry and other bits and pieces. I shall break that down more exactly next year.
All the books I read were mine (some gifted to me for review purposes) with the exception of three kindly loaned to me by Mandy, Ricky and Kirsty. I don’t currently use the library although I will in the future if I ever get to the bottom of my current pile of books to be read.
Statistics, although absolutely fascinating, don’t tell the whole story of my reading year. I read some excellent books and enjoyed the vast majority of what I have recorded here. My life was enriched by the books I read, by talking to others about books and by sharing my reading and my thoughts online. Long may it continue.
Now to look forward. Here are my reading resolutions for 2019. I’ll try and check in on them during the year ahead and see how I do.
- Don’t buy more books than I read – it is the only way to get that pile down to a sensible level
- Read more diversely from authors of backgrounds very different from me – maybe devote a month in 2019 to that
- Read more non-fiction – try to get the figure up to 25%
- Stop reading books when I am not enjoying them. I have so many to read that it is stupidity to keep reading when I am not enjoying it
- Ignore the figures and carry on reading the books I want irrespective of what the total number is by the end of the year
In addition, I’ll keep on blogging and reviewing and generally enjoying the online books and reading life.