Friday, January 4, 2019

2018 Reading Stats

At this time of the year (or even sooner!) I start getting antsy about scrapping all my reading logs and starting fresh for the new year. I don't like to get ahead of myself and do any kind of wrap-up before the year is over because, well, the year isn't over yet! But when the calendar turns, I really crave that fresh slate more than the process of looking back. But why in the world did I even keep those logs if I wasn't going to do SOMETHING with them? I started my reading binder last year largely because I wanted to have some year-end stats, but didn't want to wade through my Goodreads account tallying everything up after the fact. I wanted some running totals instead -- which I now have! -- so I thought I'd share.

Total Books Read: 144 
Includes books for all ages and shorter works, but not picture books.

144 books in a year isn't too shabby! This does make it quite clear though that a LOT of the 336 titles I read for #TheUnreadShelfProject2018 were picture books. So now for some nerdy stats...

Middle Grade: 56 books
Young Adult: 11 books
Adult Fiction: 17 books
Poetry/Novels-in-Verse (MG, YA, & Adult): 20 books
Graphic Novels/Comics/Illustrated: 7 books
Non-Fiction (almost entirely Adult): 33 books

I read a lot more non-fiction than I thought I had and I'm fairly sure this is the most titles I've read in a year in quite some time! And I'm very pleased with 20 poetry/verse books because I've been actively trying to read more of those as well. I was very light on the adult fiction this year and I'm OK with that, though there are a LOT of unread adult titles on my shelves, so I really need to remember that when I'm buying new books. 

Print: 100 books
Audio: 36 books
Print + Audio: 2 books
eBook: 6 books

Nothing too surprising here! I'm not a fan of eBooks because I feel like I'm on screens enough as it is without doing my *regular* reading on a screen as well, but I do have a small collection mostly of shorter works not available in any other format, freebies (from Amazon's First Reads, etc.), and "extras" I got because the Audible audiobook was cheaper if I bought both formats (oh, the irony of Whispersync deals!) I love audiobooks and averaged 3 per month, but read in print as much as I'm able.

Borrowed: 16 books
Owned: 128 books

I love my library and read TONS of library picture books, but I'm very happy the vast majority of books I read for myself were from my own shelves. I must admit, I borrowed a lot more than 16 titles, but many were returned unread. I sometimes feel bad about that, but it's nice to have options and it helps me (sometimes) avoid the impulse to purchase a new book I've just heard about if I see my library has it. If I end up not reading it before I return it, I'm extra glad I didn't shell out the cash!

A few specialized categories I tracked were:

Short Works (collections, anthologies, essays, short stories, novellas): 29 books
Books About Books: 14 books
Classics: 15 books
Newbery Honor/Medal: 11 books
Re-Reads: 10 books

I'm very happy with these numbers as well! The idea behind reading more Short Works was to have some options especially when my reading time is limited. Whether I was reading bit by bit from a collection with many essays/stories/poems or a stand-alone short work, being able to read something in its entirety was always a good feeling, especially when reading a full novel was taking what felt like ages.

I also discovered this year that Books About Books are not an automatic home-run with me -- I've encountered some duds and even DNFed one! They can't all be for every reader and that's OK -- the the ones I loved were really excellent.

My Classics category includes classic children's novels, but no picture books. I lumped all nine of the Paddington Bear novels I read together as only one in my tally because while I definitely consider them children's classics, Michael Bond continued writing them for so many years it gets rather fuzzy where classic ends and contemporary begins. But I'm also glad I finally tackled a few more traditional classics like Wuthering Heights, Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, and A Little Princess. In addition, quite a few, though not all, of my Newbery reads overlapped with the Classics category.

And lastly, I shouldn't be surprised to see that all my Re-Reads were on audiobook this year! I love to re-read favorites, but I don't often like to dedicate my *main* reading time to them, so it's nice to sneak in those re-reads in another format -- plus, I'm less worried about the occasional times my attention wanders while listening because I do already know what happens!

OK, I will admit it was kind of fun to take a look at my year as a whole -- even though I'm still anxious to move on with 2019 already!

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Did you track your reading in 2018? I'd love to hear how it went!


  1. I am in awe of the number of owned books you read! 128??! What's you secret? Because I am in desperate need of help in this area!

    I love reading everybody's end-of-the-year stats, especially when accompanied by charts and graphs. I am highly impressed with the amount of reading you did in 2018! 2019 may be different, but I'm sure you'll still be able to sneak some reading time in! :)

    1. Thanks Julie! That does seem like a lot of books owned books doesn't it? You'd think I made more of a dent in my unread shelf with that number -- haha! But really, I think it was a few factors -- first of all, I mainly only used the library for graphic novels, book club books I didn't want to purchase, and a handful of audiobooks I wanted to listen to, but didn't care to own on Audible (a brief Scribd membership for streaming audio may have been involved too -- I counted those as "borrowed" too since you don't keep them!) I borrowed a lot of library picture books too, but even those tapered off this year because I had a TON of used picture books I'd picked up and was eager to read at least once and decide if they were keepers or not. Secondly, I was a lot more likely last year to buy a book I wanted to read right away than to borrow it from the library, soooo it kind of depends on how you count your unread books -- they definitely were not all ones that had been sitting around for ages that I finally got to. Third, I found The Unread Shelf Project on Instagram very motivating -- I still bought a lot of books, but it really helped me focus on my own shelves and I found the more I did choose from my shelves, the easier it became to continue to do so. Plus, I read some REALLY good books I owned, so it helped me avoid (mostly) the string of mediocre library books (because if I didn't really want to purchase a book, maybe it wasn't the best pick for me in the first place...and then a due date would give it higher priority, which I finally realized made NO SENSE!) Fourth, a bunch of my owned reads this year were from my Audible library, so it's good to work through that backlog too, but they weren't all physical books. Plus I did a bunch of re-reads -- if I'm re-reading a book, I'm 99% likely to have a copy of it :) And some books were reallllly short -- that helps too!

      I know 2019 will be different...but I have high hopes that if I pick the right kinds of books (shorter, easier, audio, etc.) I'll still be about to read a bunch -- just a little bit more low-key!

  2. I really admire how many of your own books you read! I need to do a better job at that.

    I couldn't bring myself to do stats before the end of the year, so I didn't do them when I was on break and now I still haven't done them. Hopefully this week :)

    1. In my experience, there is a HUGE snowball effect in terms of reading the books I own -- once I start, it's so much easier to keep choosing from my shelves, but I need to make that conscious decision to start in the first place :)

  3. 144 books read, of which 128 were your own - AMAZING! Happy reading in 2019!

  4. Wow that's a lot of books! Short works are so good though, I've been reading a lot of short stories and graphic novels for the last year and have been really enjoying it. I love leaping into a new story every day and having a new experience every time.


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