That’s such a cliche title, but oh well. Oh, 2013! What a year you were. This year, I quit my job, was accepted to grad school, started working on my Masters in Library Science, got a new job, was promoted at said job, and opened a new, used bookstore as the buying manager. I also completed my second year of roller derby, and scored four MVP jammer awards this year alone. Phew.
Because of the mad life choices I was making, reading took a little bit of a backseat this year, and I only finished 40 books. And yet!…it was still more than I read in 2012 (32). So I’ve got that going for me! Plus, I’m really happy with my year in reading. I started The Game of Thrones series. I read The Feminist Mystique and discovered Bill Bryson and Jared Diamond. I read some fabulous books by Zadie Smith, Donna Tartt and John Irving. Plus, though I was in graduate school and working full time for a large part of the year, I still made quite a bit of time to read and felt infinitely better about myself, less anxious and more fully enriched by the stories I read.
Also new to 2013 was my Book Stats spreadsheet. Implemented very late in the year (a few weeks ag0, actually), the idea to record statistics on the books I read came about after reading a post on Book Riot. As a very involved reader and active book blogger for four and a half years now, I’m sure stats have come up a few times, but for some reason, actually creating a spreadsheet just seemed too crazy, too OCD. Then, one day, I was like, “What the heck am I waiting for? Spreadsheets are what I live for!”
And so this year, I can take a real look at my reading life in 2013, from the number of pages read to a breakdown of male/female authors. By the way, this project just verifies the awesomeness that are Google Docs (or Google Drive, or whatever they call it now). How convenient! How useful! But anyway, onto a snapshot of my 2013 in reading:
Going the Distance
- Pages Read: 15,289
- Books Read: 40
- Average Number of Pages/Book: 382
- Pages per Day: 41.8
My goal is always to read more nonfiction, and while 17 percent isn’t the best stat, I believe this has to be better than years past, when my reading schedule was taken up by nearly all fiction.
Score One for the Dudes
This doesn’t surprise me a bit; because due to my penchant for literary fiction and the classics, I tend to stick with male authors. Now, while I’m not one of those gals who go about trumpeting female authors, I do want to make an effort in 2014 to make this breakdown about 50/50. I’ve read some fantastic female authors this year, from Donna Tartt to Carson McCullers, and I want to read more. That being said, I’m not gender-oriented and I won’t overlook a book just because its author has a penis.
Discovering Something New
This chart makes me happy because it means that not only were most of the books I read new (I only re-read four books), it means that I read most of those authors for the first time.
- Pulitzer Prize: The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos
- Booker Prize: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
- National Book Award: The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor
Top and Bottom
In 2013, five books received top marks, with a grade of A+ on Paperback Fool:
- Emma by Jane Austen
- In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
- A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
- The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
Meanwhile, the lowest grade I handed out this year was a C. Luckily, only two books scored that low:
And that’s only a short look, but a revealing one. I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings.