Now 2017 is finally over I can do my look back over the year. This has been a great year of reading for me. When I was younger (in my teenage years) I would read about 60 books a year. Then, I fell out of love with reading for one reason and another, and I went years with only reading a couple of books a year. In 2016 I started to use Goodreads a little more and this helped me rekindle (doyageddit?!) my love for books and great stories. In 2017 I read more than any other year. So, with that said, let’s look at STATS!
Some basic stats from Goodreads
I read a total of 137 books in 2017. But, as you are about to see, that is less impressive than it may initially sound. It only adds up to 20,914 pages. You see, I read a fair amount of single issue comics and short stories. I always feel the book count is less important and the pages count is the one that matters.
My shortest book was a 5 page super short story Death and What Comes Next by Terry Pratchett. My longest book was Sweetpea by C.J. Skuse at 472 pages. My average page count is only 153. I’ve mentioned before that I have some short term memory issues, and so longer books are very difficult for me to read. I have to really be in to a story to manage anything over ~350 pages. The 200-250 pages seems to be my sweet spot.
My most popular read was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Of course it was! I finally decided to read a HP book, anticipating a great story. At the risk of alienating myself from what feels like literally everyone who reads books, I found it to be distinctly average. *watches his follower count plummet.* My least popular read was Black Hole Cafe #3 by Tony Foster. It’s an ok read, nothing great.
My average rating was 3.5. I am happy with this. A 3 star rating for me means I enjoyed the story. I see some people giving 3 stars to mean that they didn’t like the book. What are your 1 & 2 star rating for then?
My highest rated read came courtesy of Sweet Oblivion by Jasmin Loren. It’s a marvellous collection of poems. You can get a copy for free from here.
On to more in depth stats
The way in which I recorded the genre of the stories I read was a bit janky. I want to change this on my 2018 spreadsheet to record a Genre, and Sub-Genre. This is what I have for 2017.
I want to try and read more poetry and non-fiction books for next year.
The breakdown of the format of my reads are as follows:
As you can see, a large percentage of my books come from Amazon or Comixology (which is owned by Amazon). It will probably stay this way for 2018. I do not like clutter in my living spaces, so I am very selective in which books I keep a physical copy of. I did a couple of big clean-outs of books in 2017, and I think I am probably only left with about 200-300 on my shelves.
Just slightly over a quarter of what I read could be categorised as a novel. Out of my 137 total reads, only 39 were novels. See, I told you it was much less impressive than it initially looks.
The author gender stats are always interesting to me, but it is a difficult one to get right. I feel that unless you know someone personally, it isn’t always clear as to what gender someone identifies as. In 2017 I tried to fit every author into one of the following categories: Male, Female, Both (for dual authors/artists), or Genderqueer. I try to do a little research on an author and establish what gender they are (this is much easier for some than others). Therefore, for 2018 I will include an Unknown as well. I am happy that my Male:Female ratio is roughly balanced, but for 2018 I want to read more Genderqueer authors.
I try to keep track of which books I read that cover a topic of diversity. This can include race, gender, mental health, chronic illnesses etc. For 2018 I want to expand the way I record this to give a better idea of what topics are covered. I also want to read much more than just 26.3% diverse stories. I am not happy with this stat. (GSD refers to Gender and Sexual Diversity. It is my preferred acronym. Much easier than using LGBTQIAP+ and other versions of that and running the risk of someone being offended at unintentionally being left out.)
December was my best month for reading. May was my worst. I had some personal things going on in April/May which meant I didn’t read as much I would have liked.
I feel I have been pretty good overall at picking books that I think I will enjoy beforehand. This has been because of how I have been able to find people that have similar tastes etc on Goodreads, Twitter and Book Blogs. 3 of my 5 star ratings here are actually 6 out of 5 star ratings. Don’t question it, this is possible! Also, I don’t do half stars. What sort of hippy commune is this?! If you rate things with half stars, you are not rating out of 5, you are rating out of 10. And if you do quarter stars, then you are way too wild for me. Which books are my favourite? Well, I am glad you asked. You can check out my top favourite reads of 2017 in a post coming tomorrow.
And those are my stats for 2017. I want to make some changes to the spreadsheet I use to record a couple of these areas in more detail. When I have made those changes, I will post a link to it for others to use if they want.
At the start of 2017 I was a guy sat in his home office, clinging on to an online community that was doing more harm than good. Although I have had a number of significant challenges, I end 2017 in a better place than at the start. I have connected with some like-minded readers on Goodreads which helped me fall back in love with reading. I also rejoined twitter and although this remains challenging (there is way too much hatred and self-righteousness on twitter for my liking) I have been able to find even more like-minded readers. I also found myself regularly visiting book blogs for the first time to the point that I created my own. How fucked up is that?!
Books are a wonderful coping mechanism for me. I use the stories they contain to manage stress levels, and to help pass the time when things are getting pretty rough in the real world. Finding and becoming a member of the online Book Blogging community has greatly increased the enjoyment I can get from books.
No online community is perfect, but I find the online book community is far better than most. I genuinely enjoy seeing people being passionate about something. Nothing turns me off someone more than if they don’t have any hobbies or interests. So even if you are rambling about a book I’m not necessarily into or enjoyed myself, I really do like reading your thoughts on them. I enjoy discussing books with people, and I love how respectful people are when they have differing opinions. Trust me, this is something novel (doyageddit… again. I made another funny) about an online community where, for the most, people can accept that people may have differing opinions, and that it’s ok.
So, on to 2018, more books, more great stories, more fantastic members of the community. Until next time, Peace and Love my nerds.