Tuesday, 5 January 2016

My 2015 in books!

In 2015 I kept a spreadsheet of all the books that I read, and I tracked a lot of things (the sheet ran all the way to Q), and most of it is barely interesting, or can be gleaned easily from just looking at my Goodreads, but I wanted to go through a few stats anyway. I started the sheet to examine my reading habits, not change them, and while I aim for a few changes this year I'll still mostly be reading with my gut.

I read 54 books total (over 17k pages), so that is the number too keep in mind when looking at percentages. I'm mostly interested in diversifying my reading in various ways, I want to read outside my genre norm for instance, and I want diverse authors, old and new books etc.

I'm starting with language:
Most of the books I read in 2015 were in English, only 5.6% were in my mother tongue, Norwegian. Shame on me. I hope that when I do this next year I'll find that raised to at least 10%, preferably more, but that at least is manageable. 

Gender, is something I don't think about when I choose books, but that I find interesting to look at in hindsight. I read more women than men. The "Other" is just an umbrella for mixed gender books (anthologies, writing duos etc) trans and non-binary people, which means there are both men and women in that category as well (mostly those really). I'm have no desire to change this pie, it fluctuates a lot, though I'd love to read some more from those who aren't gendered. 
Format is interesting, it shows that I read mostly digitally. Ebooks and Audiobooks make up more 60% of my reading. This is mostly because I've resolved not to do mindless book shopping. I'll buy something if I want to read it now, and if I really do want to read something immediately the internet is closer than my local bookstore (that for most of my reads don't have what I need anyway) or the library. I'm happy with these stats too, they're mostly just for logging my habits. Format doesn't matter to me.  

All those dots represent the year the books I read were published, as you can see I read 10 books from 2015 and the same for 2014. Most of the books I've read have been published in the past 5 years (almost a quarter of the books), and only 4 were published prior to 2000. I want to change this a little. I have a lot of older books I want to read, so I'm aiming for 10 pre-2000 and then I'll read at will everything else. 

Finally I wanted a look at the nationality of the writers. Too many people from the US compared to the UK and Norway. I'm not surprised by the fact that I've only read 7.8% Norwegians seeing as I've hardly read any books in the language, but I am surprised by the fact that I've read so many books by people from the US this year, especially in comparison to the UK number, and I'm also sad that no other nationalities turned up. I know that there might be some hidden in the sea of blue that is the US in my chart, as I'm fairly certain some of the authors are immigrants (based on info I found about them), but I don't know what their passports says etc. In those instances I put down where they've been living the past few years. Most info comes from the authors or their publishing houses (the author bio usually mentions where someone is from). I have also been tracking ethnicity/race, but those stats are super incomplete as I haven't found a sorting system that works for me. I can say that non-hispanic caucasians are in abundance, but also that I don't have a clue about a good percentage of the authors, which is why I can't and won't include a chart, but it's safe to say about 87% percent are for sure caucasian. So I'd like try and lower that to about 80%.

Finally I'd like to talk about genre. I have no charts for this as most books that I read fit into more than one category, but I read speculative fiction the most, and within that again urban fantasy. I read about 50/50 young adult and stuff not labeled as such. I've also been reading quite a few memoirs. I think in 2016 I'll try to find a better way to sort this stuff so that I have a better idea of what exactly I'm reading.

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