Everybody loves statistics, right? This is my second year-in-review post (see 2011 here), so I’m able to make some comparisons, too. Of the 126 books I read in 2012…
- 51% were nonfiction (up from 17% last year)
- 32% were by female authors (46% last year)
- of the novels I read, 31% were mysteries, 27% were historical fiction and 23% were classics. The rest were a smattering of short stories, drama, horror, humor, and “other.” Last year 60% were mysteries, 8% were historical fiction, 7% were classics, and the rest a mixture of short stories, drama, poetry, romance, fantasy, and “other.”
- 25% were audiobooks. (22% last year)
- 40% of the books I read came from the library, but see below* for why that’s changing. another 32% came were review copies, and 28% came from my personal collection; the rest were books I was loaned, books I purchased, or (those treasured few) books I was given as gifts. last year, 60% came from the library, 24% came from publishers for review, and only 13% were owned, borrowed, purchased or gifted.
For the very *best* books I’ve read this year, see yesterday’s post.
So, how have my reading habits changed? Well, most notably…
*I have kept this quiet here on pagesofjulia so far, because it hasn’t seemed all that relevant, but here’s a big piece of news for 2012: I got a new job! I am no longer working in a general/leisure reading library for patients of the hospital that employs me. Now, I’m in a library – in the same hospital – that serves patients, family members, and visitors with health and medical information regarding their conditions, treatment options, prognoses, etc. It’s more technical work, and more challenging and stimulating, and I enjoy it very much! (I’m also quite a bit busier. I hope this has not been too terribly evident around here…) What this means for my reading: I’m no longer tempted to pick up the latest and greatest new thing anymore. My new books overwhelmingly now come to me through Shelf Awareness and my gig reviewing books for them; otherwise, I’m trying to read from my shelves at home. I only have 3 full bookshelves of books waiting to be read! So I count this a good thing, mostly: I’m able to concentrate on those books I’ve brought home and housed because I really wanted to read them. Fewer distractions, if you will. On the other hand, I’m more likely to miss the next (for example) Song of Achilles – one of the best books I read all year – because I’m no longer paying attention to current bestsellers. There are always pros and cons to any change. But I’m very happy at work!
A few further changes I’ve noticed in my reading habits: I’m reading more and more nonfiction. See above: up from only 17% last year, fully half the books I read this year were nonfiction. That makes me happy. Far from being dry and boring, nonfiction is some of the best stuff I read (see again yesterday’s post about the best books of the year). Also, I hadn’t noticed this until I pulled this post together, but my fiction reading is getting more diverse: last year I read 60% mysteries, and this year only 31%. I think diversity is generally a good thing, so this makes me glad, too.
On the other hand, speaking of diversity, my reading of female authors is down. I know this makes me a bad feminist; but what can I say, I just read what appeals to me. My favorite authors are overwhelmingly male: Edward Abbey and Ernest Hemingway top the list, and they’re both misogynistic and/or womanizing, to boot! It just doesn’t feel right to choose books based on author gender, though, so I am shrugging this one off and carrying on.
Please tell me: had you noticed any changes here?? I think the biggest blog-related change in my life since I started the new job in September, is that I haven’t had the time to follow all the other great reading blogs I used to enjoy. I miss you all. So sorry – now you know it wasn’t you!
I am perhaps happiest about the trend towards reading more books off my own bookshelves. Here’s to more work on the TBR lists/shelves in 2013! I’m looking forward to a year filled with more great reading, exciting library work, and fewer knee injuries, please.