Monday, January 02, 2017

Tripping the Charts Fantastic: My Annual Reading Statistics

It's that time again-- time for the graph-laden post detailing all my reading statistics of the past year. There are many reasons why being able to kick 2016 to the curb and focus on a new year with a clean slate felt really good, but my reading wasn't one of those reasons. As far as books go, it was another good'un, and I'm going to get right down to it. 

My Best Reads of 2016

There they all are, all in one nice big graphic. I do seem to average about twenty "Best Reads" per year, although if you count by author, it's only seventeen, and multiple books by the same author on my Best Reads list is not usual. Here's the list in the order in which I read them. Each book title links back to my review.

This Thing of Darkness by Harry Bingham
The Marsh Madness by Victoria Abbott
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell
A Bed of Scorpions by Judith Flanders
The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly
The Sea Detective by Mark Douglas-Home
The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan
The Highwayman by Craig Johnson
The Woman Who Walked into the Sea by Mark Douglas-Home
Collecting the Dead by Spencer Kope
Clear to Lift by Anne A. Wilson
An Obvious Fact by Craig Johnson
Fields Where They Lay by Timothy Hallinan
Inspector of the Dead by David Morrell 
The Heavens May Fall by Allen Eskens
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Architecture of Snow by David Morrell
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

Where Did My Reading Take Me?

Setting is important to me as I read, although it certainly isn't a deal breaker. I keep track of the setting of each book that I read on an online map service. If you go to Book Travels by City 2016, you can follow my travels around the globe. You can enlarge the map, move it from sea to shining sea, click on the red markers to see the books I read that were set in that location.... It's something that I find is fun for me to do, and it can also help me focus my reading. 

How Many Books Did I Read?   

Online Graphing

For the past four years, I've been able to read over two hundred books per year. I don't know how long this is going to last, but I fully intend to ride the wave until I'm dumped on shore!

How Many Pages Is That?

Online Graphing

I need to read a few substantial books here and there. Am I afraid of them? Not really, but I have a wrist that doesn't like them very much. Growing old is not for wimps!

How Many eBooks Did I Read?

Online Graphing

From 2010 when I didn't own an eReader to 2016 when I now own two, you can see that the amount that I read on my Kindle is very close to half of my total books read. I still prefer physical books, but there are too many times-- travel, wait time for appointments, reading in bed at night without waking the spouse and the like-- that the convenience of an eReader can make all the difference in the world. 

How Did I Rate the Books I Read?

Online Graphing

As you can see, it's normal for most of my reading to fall in the B to A range. After all this time, I know what I like!

Male vs. Female Authors

Online Graphing

2016 was a first for me since I started keeping all these statistics on a spreadsheet: I read more male authors than female. By one!

New-to-Me Authors

Online Graphing

Evidently, I'm always on the lookout for new authors because they represent a sizable portion of my reading each year!

Translated Titles

Online Graphing

I always tell myself that I should be reading more translated fiction, but I don't do a very good job of listening to myself. Why do I want to read more? Because I feel translated fiction can give me more insight into the hearts and minds of people in other countries. The first book that I'm reading in 2017 is translated, so I hope I'll pay better attention this year!

Mystery Subgenres

Online Graphing

Not many surprises here. I tend to prefer police procedurals. (I lumped police procedurals and private investigators together due to the limitations of the free chart-making program I'm using--ChartGo. P.I.s represent very little of those numbers.) The only subgenre that shows a lot of change is thrillers. Sometimes I really enjoy them, sometimes not so much.

Where Do I Get My Books?

Online Graphing

Since 2012 when over half the books I read were advance reading copies (ARCs), I've been better at controlling myself when asked to read them. This makes me a much happier reader because I don't spend as much time reading to a deadline. Paperback Swap continues to be a dwindling portion of the books I read, partly due to the fact that it's no longer a free service and the company lost thousands of members as a result-- which means I'm receiving many fewer books on my wishlist.

Boy howdy, just look at how my purchased books columns continue to grow! I'm doing my best to make sure that my favorite indie bookstore never goes out of business!

When Were These Books Published?

Online Graphing

Not many surprises here either. I continue to be a reader who prefers fiction written within the last twenty years. I have some Golden Age mysteries on my Kindle, and I should really make sure that I read them in 2017. Will I pay attention to myself? It's anyone's guess!

As I scroll back up through all these graphs, I have to admit that I'm pretty happy with the way my reading has gone-- especially since I conquered ARC Greed. I can turn down almost anything free-- but FREE BOOKS? Thank heavens I regained control of myself.

I only have two things I'd like to work on during 2017: read more translated fiction, and read more Golden Age mysteries. It will be a year before any of us know how well I do!



  1. I think you have every reason to be happy about your reading, Cathy! You've got such a variety of books, authors and so on. And I really like the way you break down your reading like this. It's a real help in keeping track of everything. All the best to you, and great reading, too, for 2017!

  2. Thanks for sharing your reading statistics with us. I enjoy looking at them every year. I want to say that your blog site is my favorite blog site. I read it first thing every morning. Next year I want to read more of my TBR books. I have such good ones sitting there and I keep getting distracted with new books coming out.

    1. Thank you, Lynn! Distractions? I don't know what in the world you're tal-- oh look! A book!

  3. Great charts, always like to see them. You have done an impressive amount of reading -- and quality books at that.

    I will note your favorite books of the year and add them to my TBR list. I've only read The Sea Detective on your list. I certainly intend to read the author's next two books, and am glad to see the reminder, as well as the reminder to read more of Harry Bingham's series.

    And I tend to read contemporary mysteries, although I read a few historical books and some nonmysteries. I did find a few older classics at a blog and read them, trying to finish a Book Bingo in time, which I did.

    But as I read blogs and book reviewers' "best of 2016" reads, I realize I have to read 24/7 for the rest of my life to even make a dent in the suggestions.

    Have a good year. Hope you don't run into problems, but can enjoy it and very good books.


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