2015: A Year in Review

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

This year should be expected to be a little different than years past, because of some changes that have taken place in my life. Let’s jump right in:

Of the 150 books I read in 2015:

  • precisely 50% were nonfiction (44% last year)
  • 51% were by female authors (44% last year)
  • of the 75 novels I read, 24% were historical fiction, 19% were mysteries, and a whopping 40% I classified as “misc fiction.” I guess I need to come up with better tags for that category. Contemporary fiction? Other categories included true crime, drama, fantasy, and short stories. (Last year 33% were historical fiction, 20% were mysteries or thrillers, 24% were miscellaneous fiction, and 15% were fantasy.)
  • only 7 books out of 150, or about 5%, were audiobooks. (13% last year)
  • 12% of the books I read came from the library; 9% I owned (or purchased); 79% were for assigned reviews. I borrowed one. (Last year, 20% of the books I read came from the library, and a whopping 71% were review copies; the few remainders were either ones I already owned or were gifts.)
  • I read 150 books this year – my most ever – compared to 135 last year.

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

So, what’s changed? Well, this is my highest count yet – although not by a huge margin. 150 books in 52 weeks is a rate just a bare fraction less than 3 books a week, and I don’t think I can do any more. Reviewing has been the backbone of my reading & writing work this year, and I’ve quit my day job to do (this and other forms of) reading and writing. So it’s not a big surprise that I set a new record. And I don’t think I can do many more! I now turn away lots of reviews – including 99.9% of those offered without pay. Sorry, and thanks for your understanding.

That’s why my books read for review numbered the highest yet also, at 79%, and I’m a little surprised it wasn’t higher. (This is also why the audiobooks are becoming a negligible category: I don’t review those for pay. Also, as I’ve noted before, I no longer commute! so that’s listening time lost.) Frankly, I’m pleased I got to read as many books “just for me” as I did.

As far as I can tell, 2016 should be a continuation down the same sort of path; but the future is always unknown. What about you? How has 2015 stood up to your reading years in the past, or to your expectations? And what do you hope for in 2016?

8 Responses

  1. Seveneves, Signature of All Things and Station 11 are my standouts for 2015, too soon to tell how they’ll stack up. On deck is the new Margaret Atwood, the new John Irving and the new David Mitchell so I should be starting out strong. Also I will try very hard to read 16 out of these 86 titles http://www.themorningnews.org/article/the-year-in-fiction-2015 before March

    • Liking Liz Gilbert, huh? I don’t remember hearing about that one from you (do remember Seveneves). And thanks for the Station Eleven tip! It sounds like a great year to come. Funny that I’m the person who read 150 books in 2015 but feel exhausted just thinking about that list of 86. Good luck!

  2. Let’s see: if you read around 3 books a week, and 7 of the books were audiobooks, then you read two weeks’ worth of audio, or more like 4 percent. Or using a calculator, 15 out of 150 is 10%, and 7 out of 150 is around 5%.
    Sorry, couldn’t resist.
    Saying that any category is less than 1% makes it pretty negligible. That causes a light bulb to go off for me.

    Your “other” fiction category could be literary fiction? I don’t think it’s a very exclusive name, but at least means NOT romance or other pulp pop types.

    • Absolutely right, you are. Maybe I left off a zero: less than 10%? I’ll fix it. Thanks.

      As for literary fiction, I started to say that wouldn’t do it; but as I look back at the list, I see I could just about sub ‘literary’ for ‘misc.’ Would that be helpful? It doesn’t make categories any smaller but does describe the big one better.

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