Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

With only one quarter left in the year, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to see how my reading breaks down for the year.

Image: Statistics Image

Through the end of September, I have read a total of 121 books and 33,037 pages. This is down from this same time last year, when I had read 143 books and 40,165 pages. While I had a secret goal of reading 200 books this year and it does not look like I am going to succeed in that goal, I cannot complain about 121 books. What I have read has been excellent selections for the most part. Not only that, but it has been an absolutely crazy year. My reading was bound to take a hit with all of the moving details that are so time-consuming. It will be interesting to see if my reading picks up now that we have settled into a decent routine or if my numbers will continue to be lower.

One way I have been able to keep reading in spite of everything has been audiobooks. They make up 22.3 percent of the total number of books read to date, and I have spent over 17 days listening to audiobooks this year. This is a huge increase over the previous year, both in numbers and length of time spent listening, and is exactly what I was expecting to see.

One of the most surprising numbers so far is the number of review copies versus other books that make up my massive TBR pile. It feels like I’ve read nothing but review copies all year long. In actuality, only 54 percent of the number of books read were specifically for review. This was one area in which I wanted to improve and find a better balance and am pleasantly surprised that I have been successful so far in balancing reading obligations versus pleasure reads. (They are all pleasure reads, but you know what I mean.) In line with this, another secret goal was to tackle some of the books that have been sitting on my shelves the longest. To that end, the average length of time a book has been sitting on my shelves waiting to be read is 179 days. I know I have books that have been sitting there for years, so I would love to see this number only increase over the next three months. The older books need some loving too.

Speaking of balance, my reading is fairly balanced between science fiction, which also includes speculative fiction and paranormal/supernatural fiction, literary fiction, and historical fiction, at 36 percent, 23 percent, and 20 percent respectively. Rounding out the list of favorite genres is mystery/thriller at 7 percent and horror at 5 percent. In addition, out of the total number of books read, 21.5 percent were YA. Overall, I seem to be naturally balancing my love of certain genres and haven’t dwellt too heavily into the YA subgenre. I tend to want to read lighter fare as the year winds down to a close, so it will be interesting to see just how these numbers shift over the next three months.

As for demographics, 68 percent of the authors read are new to me. I like this as it shows I am not afraid to read something by an unknown entity but still manage to find time for my favorites too. Also, 65 percent of the authors I have read have been female. So much for a male-dominated industry, at least in my house!

I can’t complain with numbers like these, even if the total number is not as high as I might have been targeting. I am averaging about 13 books per month, and as I mentioned before, so many of them have been absolutely fabulous this year. Quality is always better than quantity. I had been contemplating taking a month, probably November, and reading non-review books for the month. Based on these numbers, I am not certain if there is a dire need to do so anymore. Then again, it is always a great way to tackle some books that have been languishing for a while. Even if I decide not to make November my own personal “Read My Own Books Month”, the analyst in me is curious to see how these numbers change based on the last three months of the year.

How are you doing on your reading goals? Anything you want to accomplish before the end of the year?

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