Why yes, it is 2019, which means it’s time to wrap up my 2018 reading year. (I read up until Dec. 31st, of course!) This year’s edition is complete with lots of stats and charts, thanks to the reading spreadsheet I got from Book Riot! (Here is the new and improved 2019 one, which I’m really excited about, and stole the graph idea from.)
The inevitable place to start is: how many books did I read? Well, that isn’t just a simple answer. My spreadsheet from which this data is pulled has 74, but my Goodreads has 77. That’s because I marked two textbooks I read a lot from as read, both of which I read a lot of selections from out-of-order throughout the semester and maybe didn’t read the entire thing, but also I had to read a lot that went unmarked anyway, so I figure it’s accurate enough. I also marked the Melville “short” story (it was like 80 pages in my edition) “Benito Cereno.” My Goodreads year in review is here, if you’re into that. The pages are probably inaccurate because I had quite a few audiobooks. My Goodreads goal was 70, so I definitely made that!
The Big Picture
Some quick stats from my handy spreadsheet that help contextualize these graphs:
- Books completed: 74
- Pages read: 15,258
- Audiobook time listened: 2 days, 9 hrs, and 58 mins
- Average number of days per book: 12.3 (totally read more than one book at once)
- Average number of pages per day: 41.98
- Average number of books (finished) per month: 6.25
- Average number of audiobook hours per day: 0:05:22 (five minutes, since a lot of what I read wasn’t in audiobook format, I guess)
And now, to our first chart…
I often feel like a lot of my reading is devoted to school, and that isn’t false–it’s about a third over the entire year, which means it’s heavy during the times I’m actually at school (see the read per month graph, below; I read the most over the summer). I think is especially true because in the spring I took two heavy (5-7 books each) reading classes on Shakespeare and Modern Japanese Literature, and in the fall I took a literary history class on the 18th and 19th centuries. Still, I managed to read a lot of books (52 of them) not for school, even if they weren’t all full-length novels or books, so that feels pretty good. Last year I read 29/67 books for school, or 42% versus 29% here!
I also DNF’d one book (an ARC of Hearts Unbroken) because I really didn’t gel with the writing style and I felt it was dragging my reading life.
This whole category was pretty skewed by school. I also had trouble choosing genres for some things, since they crossed over. I created the “humor” category because Texts from Jane Eyre really didn’t fit anywhere else, but then I used it for some other stuff, including Good Omens, which could also be considered Sci-Fi/Fantasy (and indeed that’s where I put a Discworld novel). I’m surprised the SFF category is that big, but I think a lot of it had to do with reading several Ms. Marvel volumes. I didn’t read very many sci-fi or fantasy novels. Otherwise, this is all fairly unsurprising, especially considered the role of books I had to read for school (adult, general fiction, classics, novels).
Reading Demographics & Diversity
The important one! I’m generally pleased about this, although I would like to read over 50% by and about POC and queer people. (I don’t have data on this from last year to compare, though I would guess it has been increasing in recent years as I have been paying more attention to this when reading.) Of course, school compromised some of this. It’s particularly difficult to categorize queer people (I’m surprised it wasn’t higher, but it is main characters), especially if the author isn’t out or hasn’t said so directly. To make it easier, I decided to keep a hard word-of-mouth rule for authors and canon rule for characters, which meant I didn’t count any Shakespeare, even Twelfth Night.
2019 Reading Goals…
I can never predict what this year will be like, and I don’t want to make a list of too many specific books I want to get to (except they should be ones I own, especially on Kindle). This year, I think an overall goal is not to overthink too much…the best reading I did over breaks was when I didn’t view it as “work.” Still, I have some goals…which are all going to be fairly measurable since I’m using the same spreadsheet and chart system as last year.
- Read 100 books (I think I can??)
- Read more nonfiction, especially non-memoir
- Read at least 50% books by/about POC
- Read even more queer books!
- Read more sci-fi/fantasy novels
- Read more books by/about Asian-Americans
- Read more books I own from my Kindle
- Read more contemporary literary fiction
Yeah, we’ll see how this goes. What are your 2019 goals? How do you feel about your reading in 2018?