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2013: A Year in Review

It’s always nice to look back, especially when we can do it fondly; and I’m getting better at spending my reading time enjoyably, and putting down books I don’t enjoy. I’ve reviewed a few years now (2012; 2011), so we can do some comparisons.

Of the 116 books I read in 2013…

  • 45% were nonfiction (51% last year)
  • 48% were by female authors (32% last year)
  • of the 64 novels I read, 37% were mysteries or thrillers, 10% were historical fiction and only 6% were classics. The rest were a smattering of adventure, drama, fantasy, horror, short stories, and humor. (Last year 31% were mysteries, 27% were historical fiction and 23% were classics.)
  • 23% were audiobooks. (25% last year)
  • 35% of the books I read came from the library, a whopping 43% were review copies, and 14% came from my personal collection; the remaining few were books I was loaned, books I purchased, or (those treasured few) books I was given as gifts. (Last year, 40% of the books I read came from the library, 32% were review copies, and 28% came from my personal collection.)
  • I read 116 books this year, compared to 126 last year.

For the very *best* books I’ve read this year, see New Year’s Eve’s post.

So, how have my reading habits changed? I’m a little surprised at some of my observations here, which helps me justify how very nerdy it is to run these numbers! I am pleased to see that I’m reading a little more equitably between authors’ genders. I seem to have slightly reversed my fiction/nonfiction trend – last year NF had a bare majority, this year it swung the other way a bit, but I’m still nearly half and half. I’m certainly pleased to be reading that much nonfiction, and I wouldn’t want to slip too far below the halfway point, but I also recall a definite moment in the fall of 2013 when I felt that I needed a break from nonfiction.

Within the fiction I read, there is a noticeable trend toward mystery/thriller holding a large plurality, and a drop in classics. I regret that drop in classics somewhat. I wonder if the also noticeable increase in books I read for review has something to do with this. On the other hand, I don’t feel that I need to be too concerned. I bet next year will change again.

Audiobooks held steady at about 1/4 of my reading life, which seems about right. However, a new thing happening in my life in 2014 is – oh my gosh can you believe it – they finally opened up the new light rail line that runs between my home and work!! This is very exciting, and may mean that I find more time for reading print and spend less time listening to audio. So far, however, this is not the case: I’m in the middle of a delightful Stephen King audiobook and don’t want to put it down once I board the train. So, we shall see.

I read slightly fewer books than last year – a decrease of 8%, as long as I have this calculator out – and am perfectly content ascribing that to reading several longer books this year.

What does the future hold? Who knows? I’m feeling contented, and disinclined to make plans or promises. Rather, I want to keep enjoying my reading. I think that’s the most important thing, and if that suddenly means romance novels, or histories of the first World War, or reading much more or much less (none of these seems likely…), then so be it.

What about you? Any reading resolutions? Or, how was your 2013 in books?

3 Responses

  1. […] reviewed a few years now (2013; 2012; 2011), so we can do some […]

  2. […] reviewed a few years now (2014; 2013; 2012; 2011), so plenty of comparisons are available to us. Maybe I’m a nerd. I like […]

  3. […] is a traditional annual post; you can see my past few years in review here: 2015; 2014; 2013; 2012; 2011. This is an interesting review, since things will be changing quite a bit in 2016. […]

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