I wasn’t going to do stats at all this year, but I began reading other’s posts and I loved reading the year in review. I am a stat geek and I loved seeing other’s charts. This post includes some stats and then some thoughts on my year of reading.
Stats and Graphs
- Approximate number of pages read, 2010: 38,956
- Total number of books/works read: 140
- Number of items read not reviewed on Rebecca Reads: 10
- Audiobooks: 5
- Graphic Novels: 5
- Really Old Classics (pre-1600): 2
It’s interesting to compare this year’s stats with last year’s stats, simply because they are not comparable. Last year, I was concerned by what types of books I was reading; that is, I wanted a balance between fiction, nonfiction, children’s, and so forth. I also wanted to track how much reading I did each month. My charts focused on how my reading fluctuated during the year.
This year, I honestly don’t care how much I read. For one, I stopped doing weekly and monthly progress posts so I don’t remember exactly when I finished each book. Besides, how do I compare my Victorian summer novel reading months to the African novel reading months? Books may be shorter, but it still was a fun and challenging month. Also, I can tell you pretty clearly I’ve been reading less each month as the year goes by. I believe I finished five books in December 2010. I don’t even care. It seems like plenty.
At any rate, this year, what I’m most concerned about was not how much I read but what I read.
This year, I haven’t cared as much about nonfiction, and I’ve mostly been focusing on reading classics. As I think about my year, I wanted to see variety in terms of where my literature is from; classics from a variety of years, countries, and so forth.
Unsurprisingly, my reading was skewed towards male authors, since I read a lot of classics from England and elsewhere this year. This is very similar to last year’s numbers. Next year, I do want to read a bit closer to 50% women authors, although I do plan on attacking Shakespeare so he might skew the numbers a bit just as John Milton did this year.
It’s also rather unsurprising that I read only 25% books by non-white authors. I’m okay with that number, given that Victorian literature (my favorite) doesn’t have any minority authors (that I know of). I don’t recall how I did last year (I don’t think I tracked it). This year, I’ve focused on some Japanese literature and then I did read a number of African novels. Next year, I hope to keep focus on non-Western literature in some way, although I haven’t figured out which direction to go (definitely more African, maybe more Japanese, and I need to try Chinese and Indian literature). I also want to read more African-American literature from the Harlem Renaissance. I very much enjoyed the February Classics Circuit.
And then I loved this chart when I saw it on bibliographing this week. I wanted to see what years I went to this year, and in what order. You’ll note the two really old classics I read while the Really Old Classics challenge was still going on. There is also a dip for the Milton month and my Victorian reading and a peak during the end of the year, when I read some African literature and also some modern children’s books, just because I wanted something light. I hope to keep next year’s chart even older! I love the classics and hope to stay in them for a while, although I won’t mind dipping into some twentieth century classics now and then too.
I wish there was a way to make this chart skewed by how many books I read from each country. The UK wins hands down. I just love Victorian Literature! At any rate, I need to keep reading widely in order to visit the whole globe in my life.
Most rewarding reading of a challenging book (i.e., you get what you put in to it) : Mrs. Dalloway
Most non-Victorian Victorian classic: Three Men in a Boat
Most disappointing: The Monk. I just couldn’t like it. I know it was supposed to be funny, but it appalled me and I can’t say I liked it. The end was okay, though.
Favorites (and Not)
Best graphic novel: I Kill Giants
Most motivating nonfiction: Half the Sky
I reread 26 books in 2010, which was a higher percentage (18.5%) of the books read than last year. As always, I really enjoyed the experience.
Most surprising reread: The Stranger. I didn’t hate it so much when I reread it! Book group helped.
Most disappointing reread: The Girl Who Owned a City. It was a favorite and wonderful and perfect book in my memory of being eight years old. I still enjoyed the memories upon reread, but it’s pretty poorly written and plotted.
Random Book Facts
Most recently published book: The Help (February 19, 2009)
Longest book title: How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry
Shortest book title: DNA
Second shortest book title: Maru
Longest book: Can You Forgive Her? It was 920 pages, but since I read it on an ereader, I didn’t realize it was so long until I finished it completely!