Similar to how I analyzed my reading for 2014 last year at this time, I thought I’d examine this week what, who, how, and how much I read this calendar year.
(Those who are chart-phobic may want to gently avert their eyes now.)
This past year, I attempted to read 58 books. This is lower than the 65 books I attempted last year, though I abandoned nearly twice as many books in 2014 (fourteen versus seven), so I finished a similar number of books both years, around 51. However, this year I counted many more novellas, short stories, and comic issues and trades to this tally; I’ve written about the trouble with tracking shorter stories here, though suffice to say, I probably completed less novels this year than last year at least–maybe 40-45, depending on how you count.
I’m by and large an ebook reader. I read 39 books electronically, including eight Word documents that I beta-read. I read seventeen paper books, and two in audio–though I’ve enjoyed audio recently and hope to listen to stories more this way in 2016.
Similar to last year, I attempted to read mostly fiction, with 51 novels compared to only eight non-fiction. Slightly more than half of these non-fiction (five) were on writing and marketing, with one book each on reading, science, and living with autism. I do miss reading nonfiction–I used to do closer to 22% of my reading that way in previous years–but since I’m a fiction writer, I’ve been getting more out of novels in recent years. (Though if any of you have any great nonfiction books, I’m all eyes!)
Of the 51 fiction books I attempted, a little over half (29) were romance novels, with the inclusion of two YAs with a strong romantic element and one not-easily-categorized book with a strong central love story (C.M. McKenna’s Badger, which I really recommend). A large percentage of these romances (16) were contemporary; four were paranormal or sci-fi, three were erotic, two YA, two historical, and one was romantic suspense. I’d love to read more romantic suspense in 2016, so if you have recommendations there, please post!
I also read five horror novels, five comics, five literary or classic fiction, four mysteries, and one young adult without a strong romantic component.
Like last year, I’m still a very contemporary reader. Three-quarters of the books I read (42) were published within the past five years. Nearly half of the books I read were published this year alone (19) or were drafts that will likely be published next year (five). An additional 12 were published in 2014, four in 2013, and one each in 2012 and 2011. I also read one book published in 1851, four in the twentieth century, three in the 1990s, and eight from 2005-2010.
Also like last year, I read mostly women. I only read about 16 male authors this year, and some of those were in comic teams with female artists or writers. That’s about 28%, in line with last year’s 29%, despite my desire to put the gender of the authors I read more in balance. Four out of seven of the books I abandoned were also penned by male authors, although two I’ll likely return to someday, and one book I did read, the horror Bird Box by Josh Malerman, was penned by a guy and was one of my favorite 2015 reads.
I’m curious about you other readers out there: Did you track your reading in 2015? And, if so, are there any surprises when you look back on what, who, and how you read?