2013 Reading Stats

Reading goal for 2013: 100.

Actual books read: 54. (Down 25 from last year. BOO.)

Genre: 3 MG ( 2 of them graphic novels by Raina Telgemeier), 2 Regency romances by Julia Quinn, I new adult (The Heiresses by Allison Rushby), 3 plays (2 by my husband + The Crucible), 6 other nonfiction, and 39 YA (72%)

Genre breakdown within YA: contemporary – 14; fantasy – 7 (4 of these were historical fantasies); sci-fi/dystopian – 6 (1 was historical dystopian); straight up historical fiction – 5; horror/thriller/mystery – 3; paranormal – 2. (More witch books, pls.)

Nonfiction: 7 (13%) 1 writing craft book (The Forest for the Trees) and 6 memoir-ish things — 2 David Sedaris books & Bossypants on audio, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Hyperbole & a Half by Allie Brosh, and Smile by Raina Telgemeier.

Audiobooks: 3 (2 David Sedaris & Bossypants)

Books read on Kindle: 34 (63%, up 34% from last year)

— 13 were mss I was critiquing or reading for potential blurbs.

—-I  bought 3 of these mss & intend to buy 6 more when they’re released. 2 weren’t for me. And 2 were my husband’s plays.

— 7 were purchased ebooks – 1 MG, 2 Regency romances, 2 nonfiction, and 1 novella (Veronica Rossi’s ROAR & LIV).

–14 were e-galleys. I  bought 8 of them & intend to buy 1 more when it releases. (Which is a pretty good e-galley success rate, I think? 9/14 led to sales?)

ARCs read: 9. I bought 4 and intend to buy 2 more. (6/9)

E-galleys + ARCs: 23 (43% of my reading, as opposed to 59% last year)

–I bought/will buy 15 (65%, as opposed to last year’s 49%)

Debuts:  13 (24%, less than last year’s 39%) – but 7 of them were 5-star reads for me, and 2 more were keepers!

Second books: 3. (I am kind of appalled by this, bc I BOUGHT lots. More on this  in a minute.)

5-star reads: 20 (37%, way higher than last year’s 23%)

Keepers: 10 (19%, way less than last year’s 34%)

Not Adding to My Bookshelf: 14 (26%, less than last year’s 43%)

(Note: these numbers don’t always add up, bc there are a bunch of mss that I didn’t rate.)

So, what do these stats tell me about my reading?

I read more on my Kindle than ever before – the first time I’ve read more ebooks than print books. However, most of them were e-galleys or manuscripts that I will later purchase physical copies of. It’s important to me to have books I love on my shelf, so I can reread or lend them to friends.

I also read way less than I wanted to this year. The majority of my reads were new releases by favorite authors, manuscripts by my friends, or debuts. I read fewer debuts and fewer ARCs than last year, but I think that’s because in 2012 I was desperately trying to keep up my fellow Apocalypsies. I think it’s really important to support debuts – but I’m noticing that while I BOUGHT a lot of second books, I didn’t make time to read them. Which, you know, as an author with a second book out that has seen fewer reviews and fewer sales, that makes me sad. I am part of the problem! In 2014 I want to make a point of reading those second –  and third! – books.

Thanks to Sarah Enni’s fabulous post Challenge Yourself to Read Better in 2014, I also decided to track some other stats this year:

# authored by men: 5.5 or 9% (2 David Sedaris, 2 plays by my husband, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible…but only .5 of a YA book, Brandon Halpin’s half of  A Really Good Mess) (This means I’m doing an excellent job supporting female authors, yay!)

# featuring a non-white protagonist: only 6, or 11% (Hooked by Liz Fichera, Anomaly by Caroline Richmond, A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brandon Halpin, Pointe by Brandy Colbert, Champion and The Young Elites by Marie Lu)

16 more featured love interests or significant characters of color. That would bring the total up to about 50%. But that’s still only half. HALF of my reading – which was mostly YA – this year did not feature ANY significant characters of color. Um, WTF?

# featuring LGBTQ protagonists: 4, or 7% (2 David Sedaris books, my husband’s play LAST BURLESQUE, and Saundra Mitchell’s THE ELEMENTALS)(notice only ONE of those is YA)

Only 6 more featured significant LGBTQ characters at all. That’s only 19% total.

Writers – we can do better in making our books more diverse.

And I can do better about seeking out books with more diversity, apparently. This is going to be something I keep track of in 2014, too.

If you’ve made it through all this dorkiness, stay tuned for my Top 10 Reads of 2013!


8 Responses

  1. Melissa

    Wow. I’m very impressed that you were able to keep track of all that. One stat I didn’t notice and am interested in — number of books read to completion? Are you one of those readers who finish everything they start, or are you willing to let go of a book that doesn’t hold your interest?

    1. That's a good question, Melissa! I try to finish most books, and I'm pretty good about selecting things that I like (or like at least enough to finish? I rarely give anything below a sort of "meh" 3 stars, where there are things I liked, even if it didn't work for me as a whole). There are probably half a dozen I quit midway through for whatever reason in 2013 and want to finish in 2014.

    1. I suspect it wasn't just me neglecting those second books. I think I'm going to make a list of sequels/2nd books I want to read in 2014. I have lots of them sitting on my shelf!

    1. Thanks, Sarah – and thanks again for your post that inspired me to track the diversity aspects. I added in a genre breakdown within YA today, which was interesting to me – I read way more contemporary this year than I'd thought.

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