Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Sunday Salon: Closing the Books on 2012


Here we are at the first Sunday Salon for 2013, and I still have some unfinished business from last year to attend to. 

I speak, of course, of The Ye Old Annual Bookish Statistics that we bloggers love to keep track of. 

As I predicted last week, I finished 2012 having read 57 books. That's my lowest number yet since I've started blogging - and in fact, my number of total books read has actually been decreasing each year. I have some thoughts on this and I elaborate on those (and more) after the number-crunching below. I know my math is  a bit screwy in parts ... so be it.

I read 57 books and 12 of those were audiobooks. 

Total pages read for the print books = 11,784 

Total hours listened to (in days) = 5.32 days


I read 33 female authors and 22 male authors. 
31 authors were new to me this year. 

Genre-wise, fiction remained my most popular choice with 29 books read. 
10 books were memoirs. 
8 were nonfiction.
5 were short story collections.
3 were poetry collections. 

As usual, most of my books read came from my local public library. 26 print books and 2 e-books came from there. (Our library got e-books this year.)

However,  thanks to the Mt. TBR Reading Challenge, this was a tremendous year for reading from my own shelves. I read a record-number of 17 books that I purchased (or someone purchased for me) before 1/1/2012. 

Then, 3 of those were donated to the library. 

I read 2 books that I purchased this year. (I bought more than that, but I didn't keep track.)

8 books were review copies. 

I read 5 e-books on my Kindle. 

There were 17 books started that I didn't/couldn't finish, which I think is an all-time record for me since I started book blogging. I have no qualms about abandoning a book that isn't working for me. 


I joined 19 reading challenges, also a record for me, but I only completed 8 of them (2nds Challenge, Audiobook Challenge, Fearless Poetry, Memorable Memoir, New Authors, Big Book Summer Challenge, Short Story, What's in a Name 5).

I failed 11. (A-Z Challenge, Chunkster, E-book, Foodies, Mt. TBR, Non-Fiction/Non-Memoir, Readers Imbibing Peril, Self Published, Southern Literature, Time Travel, Truth in Fiction).

(This track record was also a factor in my decision to eschew most reading challenges this year.)

It took me an average of 6.4 days to finish a book, with reading an average of 32 pages each day. 

The average book that I read last year had 206 pages. 

The oldest published book that I read was A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1843). 
The average age of a book that I read was 8 years, with the median age being 1 year. 

The author I read the most was my friend Beth Kephart, with 3 books and a short story collection in which she has a story included: 





So what do all these numbers mean? I think it reveals a few things, some of which tie in nicely with a few reading goals for 2013.

1. For whatever reason, the total number of books I'm reading each year keeps dropping. The page count does too, so this can't be attributed to more chunksters. Perhaps it has something to do with an increased amount of time on Facebook or blogging (although my blog posts are also at the lowest they've been since I started blogging 4 years ago.) For 2013, I decided to decrease the number of reading challenges I'm participating in, so I'll be interested to see if that helps improve the numbers a bit.

2. I tend to read newer books. I can't help it; the lure of the New Books shelf at the library and the NetGalley page is too tempting. I'd like to add more classics into that mix. Having read just two classics this year (The Years by Virginia Woolf and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens) isn't so great.

3. This was a GREAT year for reading my own books - and the Mt. TBR Challenge had a lot to do with that. Despite not participating in many challenges this year, I am going to continue with this one.

4. I'd like to increase the number of nonfiction books I read in the next year.

Finally, here's the grand list of books that I read this year (in reverse chronological order). Links take you to my reviews and I've indicated those titles that were part of my Best of the Year lists.


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6 comments:

Karen said...

Kudos to you for supporting the public library system so well. I do try but get so tempted by books that I know they don't have yet and will take forever to order up.

Karen said...

Kudos to you for supporting the public library system so well. I do try but get so tempted by books that I know they don't have yet and will take forever to order up.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Each year, I've decreased the number of my challenges, and my reading totals have increased. I don't think there is necessarily a connection for me, but I do enjoy life more when I have fewer pressures!

I like the Mt. TBR Challenge, as it has helped me clear my shelves.

Gone Girl was a favorite of mine this year, too; and I also enjoyed Small Damages.

Here's MY SUNDAY SALON POST

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Numbers, numbers, numbers...I say bah humbug to numbers. You read some excellent books this year and that's good. And you read off your shelves this year and that's good.

So I say hip hip hooray to you for 2012!

barbara said...

Wow! I am impressed -- at the many ways you account for your reading. Number of pages! Number of days listening! Reviews. Lists.Challenges met and not met. It makes me think about how we measure our reading. Something in me always revolts about turning my own reading into lists and numbers, but I love reading others' accomplishments that way.
Why do I think I have to do everything in words -- and then feel hopelessly behind when I cannot compose my thoughts for each book read?
I like your summary.

Beth Kephart said...

oh boy. I am ever grateful, Melissa. ever grateful. xoxoxoxo I think about you and your family so much. I am hoping for the best.