I’m never organised enough, or motivated enough, to do a monthly reading wrap-up, but I usually pull off a mid-year analysis, and as this year seems to be a personal annus horribilis, and I’m all about finding whatever nascent silver linings I can find (I’ve avoided mingling with the COVID masses!), I’ve been looking forward to this year’s mid-point check. Because if I’ve had anything these first 6 months, it’s been time. Time to read, time to organise, time to learn little embroidery.
So, here are the stats. Just before starting this post, I finished my 152nd book for this year. Before my great personal shattering of bones, I set my reading goal for 2022 at 200. I think I’ll make it; it’s looking good, but let’s not jinx it.
This 6 month period, like last year’s first 6 months has seen an enormous number of re-reads. Almost half my books so far have been re-visits of old friends. What’s new is the number of DNF’s – I’ve hit a lifetime record of 5 DNFs.
That high percentage of re-reads and DNFs would, in any other year, have felt like a failure on some level, because I have so many TBR books and I take a lot of care trying not to buy books I might not read. BUT, and here’s another tiny silver lining in both the broken leg and the pandemic, I’ve been reading a massive number of books from my TBR shelves – some that have been sitting on that shelf since its inception.
52 books came from previous years’ TBR, vs. 36 books I bought this year. That, too, I suspect is a personal best. I’m never truly disappointed when I re-read, because why keep books you aren’t willing to re-read again? but this year it’s felt like pure pleasure, rather than a guilty one, because of the dent I also made in the TBR.
As to what I’ve been reading – that’s been topsy turvy this year too, as I’ve suddenly found my interest in mysteries has waned this year. I’m certain it’s temporary, as I’m a mood reader in search of solid traditional/cozy type mysteries that are becoming rarer than hen’s teeth. There’s still a large number of mysteries in my tally, but there’s a lot more wide ranging reading too:
In ‘normal’ years, Urban Fantasy would be vying for the top spot next to mysteries, but this year General Fiction and Magical Realism are top contenders and non-fiction/science/history/biography was near 20%.
The one stat that wasn’t a surprise on some level, and remains static over all the years, is author gender. Even though at times this year I felt like I was reading a lot of male authors for the first time, the females still dominated. This is also the first year I’ve kept track of protagonist gender (because the new spreadsheet included it), and – no surprise – the XX’s have it in the bag:
(N/A, if it’s not obvious, are the non-fiction books that discuss a subject rather than people.)
My reading formats this year so far, have been off too; I am really useless with audio unless I’m in the car, so I’ve only read 2 audio books this year. 3 ebooks have made their way onto into the stats too. Otherwise, Hardcovers dominated, the result of my TBR progress, if I had to guess.
My tracking of Folio Society as a format is a pure reactionary snit in spreadsheet form to my reading of Howard’s End is on the Landing, when the author made some rather sanctimonious comments about people who buy Folio Society editions; apparently we never intend to read them, just show them off. This is my quiet way of saying “up yours dear”.
And finally, just because the spreadsheet tracks it and it turned out so pretty … really, look at all those colours!, I’m ending with a chart showing the publishers I’ve read so far this year:
It’s like one of those giant insulin-killing lollipops they sell at amusement parks!