Tuesday, January 04, 2011

2010: My Year in Reading

Before any of you ask, that is me over to the right enjoying one of my birthday cards. I've always been fascinated by the printed page in all its forms!

I don't always do much at year's end or year's beginning to summarize my annual reading, but I decided to this year because I noticed some interesting changes from the previous year.

I've never been the type of person to make resolutions. I've learned the hard way that I'm much more likely to accomplish something if I tell myself "I need to..." rather than "I resolve...." There seems to be very little difference between the two, but there you go.

In 2010, I read 165 books-- one more than 2009. Is that a hoot or what?!? I still have 200 books as a goal, but I think I'm going to have to be laid up in bed for a long time to have any chance to crack that number. It is close, so I'll continue to whisper to myself, "I need to...."

Another thing I'm doing differently this year is adding some of those high tech graphs and pie charts... mostly because I found a website that even I could figure out how to use in order to make my pretties and transfer them to my blog.

I'll blather on a bit after each graph....

Books by Genre? I do say in my blog header that I read "mostly mysteries", but I did want to prove that's not all I read. However, since I do read a preponderance of crime fiction, I broke it down into sub-genres so you can see that, although I do like the coppers, I'm rather cool towards private investigators!

I thought where the books that I read came from might be an interesting statistic, and Paperback Swap narrowly edged out the number of books I bought. Since I'm going to be facing a lot of medical bills this year, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Paperback Swap represented an even larger slice of the pie for 2011. I don't like the idea of buying fewer books because I want to support the industry I love above all others; however, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

My Book Ratings graph may prove to some that I'm easy on the books I read, with the vast majority being rated at B or above. There is another way to look at that: I'm close to being an expert at choosing books to read that I will enjoy.

In 2009, the books that I read were mostly written by men, which surprised me a bit. Surprised me enough for me to whisper to myself, "I need to read more women authors." As you can see, I certainly succeeded in that "need"!

More than half the books I read were by new-to-me authors. This is normal for me, which is undoubtedly why I'm so far behind in reading all my series books!

I'm an armchair traveler, and I always enjoy reading books with a strong sense of place, so I keep track of each book's setting-- not only in my book journal, but on my blog in Book Reviews by Setting and Book Reviews by Map.

My normal tendency has been to read books set in North America and Europe, but that started to change in 2010, due in large part to Dorte and her Global Reading Challenge. Thank you, Dorte! If not for your challenge, I doubt very much that there would be bars on the graph above for South America and Asia. This is a prime example of the good reading challenges can accomplish. I found some wonderful authors and fueled a desire to broaden my reading from now on. It will be fun to see this same graph next January!

Enjoy this brand-new year of reading that's ahead of you, everyone-- I know I will!


  1. I love all the charts! I hope this is your best year yet.

  2. OK, those graphs are about the coolest thing I've seen for statistics. Where did you find them? I've found that I read a hugely skewed amount of women writers and almost no men - not sure why. I do love the fact that it is easier and easier to find mysteries set in other cultures. I feel I learn a lot that way and am a world "traveler"!

  3. Love thye pic of you, and your graphs are wonderful (though I admit I have a weakness for graphs and charts so I would love them whatever they looked like). I think you're right about the ratings - you're being an intelligent consumer by selecting good stuff to begin with rather than 'easy'.

  4. These graphs are really interesting! Thanks for taking the time to put them together.

  5. I am so visual so I love the charts with stats.

  6. Those charts were awesome!! I'm a visual person too and really helps put it all into perspective!!

    Here's to a great year of reading and life in 2011!!

  7. I loved the charts too and found your stats and reading for the year breakdowns fascinating!

  8. I love the graphs and charts!!! I love seeing the breakdown - you really did fantastic with the female authors! All the best in 2011 :)

  9. Excellent post which says quite a lot about you as a blogger.

    And I am glad I came up with the global reading challenge. Quite a lot of bloggers seem to like it. (And I for one *need* it - I tend to choose British books).

  10. Forgive my techno-obsession, but which website did you make the charts on???

  11. Yes, please do share the website. I love those graphs!!!

    You had an awesome year. And (I know you'll know what I mean here) I hope you *don't* make it to 200 books if that means you'll be laid up in bed for a long time. I'm wishing you the least amount of down time as possible.

  12. ATTENTION ALL GRAPH AND PIE CHART FANATICS: the link for the website I used to create the graphs in this post is:


  13. Kathy-- I have plans to make it so!

    Kay-- I am in total agreement with you about mysteries set in other cultures!

    CBC-- Thanks!

    Bernadette-- Yes, both of us know that life's too short to read lousy books!

    Swapna-- You're welcome. I'm glad you liked them.

    Marce-- I have a fondness for them, too. I'm glad I searched until I found a place where I understood the instructions! LOL

    Staci-- Same to you!

    Leah-- I'm glad!

    Amy-- You, too!

    Dorte-- Yes! Outside of the US, the UK is my preferred book setting.

    Susan-- See my solo comment above this one.... :)

    Beth-- I did! And thank you. I'm making a few preparations for down time, but looking forward to not having much... if that makes sense!

  14. That photo is a treasure - showing the glee of reading!

    I like the idea of looking back at WHERE I've been in reading. I generally think back to what point in time a book took me but never really tracked all the places I visited. Neat idea.

  15. I love the charts! What a cool idea! Maybe I'll remember to do something like that for my reading stats at the end of this year (which I'm going to assume will be here in the blink of an eye).

    I too like to buy books because I like supporting the authors, but I've noticed a decrease in spending on my end too. In part because I do want to actually read the books I buy but also because I discovered some big used book sales in my town and I go a bit nuts at them.

  16. Molly-- I rack up quite a few frequent flier miles that way. ;)

    Kris-- I know what you mean. I get emails from Bookcloseouts with 80% off in caps, and it's all I can do to keep from going to the website and clicking away like an insane person! LOL

  17. Ciao Cathy and best wishes for 2011, I am back at last catching up on so much that I missed while I was away from the blogsphere!
    I am impressed that you manage to read so many books let alone produce these interesting charts.


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