January 11, 2016

Statistically Speaking

We're nearly halfway through the first month of a brand new year! I figured it was high time that I share my 2015 reading stats with you all. (Here's my 2014 reading stats, in case you wanted to see those too.) I love getting this overview of what my reading year was like! It's easy to pinpoint the areas where I've improved, where I've stayed steady and where I can still improve. Seeing all these numbers and knowing what they represent has certainly aided in my reflection about my reading life last year... but you'll see more about that tomorrow! For now, take a look at all the stats that I'm sharing here, and feel free to share some of your own in the comments. (You should also go and visit Hannah's 2015 reading stats post!)

You guys, I'm so pleased by this set of numbers. Review books still made up the biggest source of my reads last year. But the books I own or borrowed are not far behind, and that makes me happy! I definitely think it helped that I was more deliberate about stepping away from the review books and reading my own stuff. I hope that next year the books I own will dethrone review copies in terms of what I've read!

As I mentioned last year, I'm not picky about the format of my reads. It doesn't matter to me whether I'm reading from an electronic device or an actual print book. I've more or less maintained a decent balance between physical and electronic reads (though leaning primarily towards physical, which I don't mind at all). Plus, I've added new formats to the chart by listening to books and reading more graphic novels/comics!

I really, really, really love my young adult reads. Based on the facts, I can't get enough of them! I do love that I've read more adult and new adult novels, though I'm saddened by the fact that I really haven't indulged in much middle grade in the past year. I'm still determined to maintain a better balance when it comes to this area, so hopefully, I read more adult and middle grade this year.

I'm pretty sure that the reason that I've got such a high number for series books is because I spent a lot of last year binge reading finished series. (It's seriously something I love doing, because I get the complete story in one go!) But at least I managed to get a hundred stand-alone novels under my belt. It makes me feel like I'm somewhat balanced in this regard, and I hope it stays that way.

I'm not at all surprised that contemporary is still my most read genre! I do read a lot of it, and it's time to own that - especially because I read a ton of great contemporary reads. I'm surprised fantasy doesn't have a bigger percentage (though I always think I've read more than I actually have). I'm also shocked that I've read so much more historical fiction this year (though I'm not complaining). Here's to hoping I strike an even better balance in 2016!

Most of my 2015 reads garnered ratings higher than four stars. I therefore conclude that I had an excellent reading year! I clearly picked my reads well. It helps that I went with gut instinct when deciding what to read (for the most part), and that I immediately let go of books that just weren't working for me. (P.S. These ratings are slightly different from the ones I have on Goodreads, as I use quarter stars. I generally include these ratings in my "first thoughts" whenever I mark a book as finished.) Here's to hoping that this reading year is just as fantastic!

I can basically conclude that I know my own reading tastes very well, and that my friends do too! All of the books I own, bought, borrowed or received as presents garnered average ratings above four stars, which is pretty damn awesome. I'm not surprised that review books have the lowest average rating; there were some reads in that category that didn't quite work out for me.

(Quick note: Any publisher who I read less than two books from was included in "others".) Dark Horse Comics, Random House, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster and Disney-Hyperion clearly knew the way to my heart in 2015 (with Harper Collins coming in close)! It's so intriguing to see how Simon & Schuster has moved from lowest average rating to one of the highest ones this year; I did read quite a few amazing novels from them last year! I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for new releases from these publishers this year (and attempting to read more backlist titles from them).

In 2015, I acquired a total of 195 books for review. These review copies had a variety of sources: publishers and authors, NetGalley and Edelweiss, as well as BEA. I feel like I was much better at determining right off the bat if a book was for me last year. If I felt like I wasn't going to read it anytime soon, or if it came unsolicited, I tried to find it a new home with friends or other readers. I've still got quite a few books on my TBR, but it's a nice manageable number!

Majority of the books I read for review came directly from publishers - whether it's online (Edelweiss or NetGalley) or in the mail. It's really not all that surprising, since I did do a lot of requesting on the sites and since I'm on a few ARC mailing lists with various publishers. However, I do think I exercised more control this year when it came to accepting or requesting novels, as I generally enjoyed the ones I did wind up reading.

It is, undoubtedly, the physical books that win out whenever I'm faced with the option of purchase. There's just something that I really enjoy about holding an actual bound book in my hands. It serves to enhance the reading experience even more (or at least it does for me). That said, I also love the convenience of reading electronically. Downloading Kindle books on my phone has been a lifesaver many times when I finish my current physical read!

Now this is a statistic that I can be very proud of! I did acquire a number of books (187 in total) this year, but I've read a large chunk of them already. It's really cool to actually witness marked improvement in the numbers for this area in my reading life! It's certainly helped to have someone holding me accountable (and helping me refrain from impulse purchases), and I really think that I'll only continue to improve in this area for 2016.

And there you have it, friends. These are all the stats for my 2015 reading year. These aren't just numbers to me; they're the concrete representation of what my reading habits are like. I can quickly pinpoint areas of improvement and areas where I'm doing great! I'm definitely thinking of ways to develop new habits or change old ones this year, but you're going to hear more about that in tomorrow's post, so don't forget to drop by again!


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