My Year in Reading – 2015

Since we don’t really know each other yet, I thought it might be a good introduction to briefly show you my reading habits from last year. I’m a fan of a good spreadsheet, so it was very exciting to analyze my reading data from last year. Don’t worry, it’s a lot more interesting that it sounds! Anyway, let’s get down to the guts of the thing.

In 2015, I read 102 books. I was hoping for a round 100 but I couldn’t really help myself. Below are the all-important figures.

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Book Genre

Fiction – 54
Graphic Novels – 34
Non-Fiction – 9
Plays – 5

These figures aren’t particularly surprising. I’m a great lover of popular fiction, as well as seeking out the more unconventional gems. My local library also has a fantastic graphic novel section, but more about this great place later.

The most disappointing figure is the mere five play scripts I’ve read this year. I’m a huge theatre lover, and considering I’ve moved very far away from London, I thought this figure would be higher.

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Gender

Female authors – 39
Male authors – 60
Mixed (anthologies, graphic novels, etc) – 3

While this figure is a little disappointing, it could be so much worse. I don’t often think about the gender of the author when choosing a book; if it sounds interesting I’ll give it a shot. But something to keep in mind for next year.

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Publication Year

Pre 2000 – 11
2000 – 2010 – 21
2011 – 2013 – 26
2014 – 26
2015 – 42

I think this figure makes it pretty clear that I’m more interesting in recently published books. I’m quite impressed at the number of 2015 books I’ve read. I’ve never considered myself to have my “finger on the pulse” of anything, so I’m pleasantly surprised to have read so many brand-new books.

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Book Format

Audiobooks – 17
Ebook – 12
Physical Books – 73

Again, not a complete surprise. Before 2015 I was a paperback purist, and this was the year I finally embraced the ebook. This was mainly because I really wanted to read A Little Life, but my weak arms are too tiny to carry around such a hefty tome.

I also continue to be a member of Audible, a site I have been loyal to for about ten years. I have also discovered the joys of Overdrive and BorrowBox, who provide free audiobooks through libraries.

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Beg, Steal, or Borrow?

Books I Own – 44
Books from the Library – 58

Look at that. What a wonderful statistic. Before coming to Livermore, I very rarely used my local library. Mainly because the main Manchester library was closed for a very long time, and temporarily moved to a weird little room that always smelled of sweaty cheese.

But as well as physical books, the Overdrive app has made it easy for me to borrow ebooks and audiobooks without even leaving my apartment.

I say this all the time, but Livermore Public Library is so wonderful, and I’m happy to continue to support them.

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Where Do You Get Your Crazy Ideas?

Media (Twitter, Entertainment Weekly, Amazon recs, Audible promotions) – 38
Already a Fan of the Author/Series – 29
Library Browsing – 18
Recommendations from Friends/Family – 10
Became a Fan After Library Browsing – 3
Other – 4

I’m such a sucker for a recommendation. If someone I don’t even know says on Twitter this a book is amazing, I’ll instantly seek it out. Unbelievably enough, Entertainment Weekly is also a brilliant place for fiction recommendations (through them I discovered Dietland, Eileen, Primates of Park Avenue, to name a few).

Again, my loyalty shines through in this stat. If I’ve enjoyed something by a certain author, odds are that I’ll continue to enjoy their work.

 

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Conclusions

I’m really happy with the amount of books I’ve whacked through this year. It’s been great to have the luxury of time. So what lessons can I carry through with me as we commence 2016?

– Read more plays (they only take a couple of hours, and can really help get those Goodreads Reading Challenge numbers up!)

– Read more female authors

– Read more “classics” – there are loads of books that I “should have read” that still elude me. Maybe this year I’ll get around to checking those out.

– Read more ebooks. Why not? They’re either free or really cheap. And I’ve already got a backlog building up on my Kindle.

– Ask friends and family for recommendations – I really enjoyed most of the books that came recommended by friends. And in some cases, they are not books I would ordinarily read. So I’m going to make an effort to ask people what they think I should read.

Phew, what a year! It’s been interesting to analyze my reading habits, and I fully intend to do the same in 2016. And I would absolutely encourage you to do the same.

If you fancy having a look at the actually books I read last year, please feel free to add me on Goodreads.

What are your reading aims for 2016?

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