Yes, I know. It seems a very long time ago, but as it was a remarkable reading year for me I thought I’d share some of the statistics around my book choices.
In total, I read 153 books, of these 57 were written by male authors and 96 books by female authors. I started paying attention to the gender of authors I read when I realised that I was reading far more books by male authors than I had thought, so it was a target to read more women writers and I am satisfied with this ratio.
Another related challenge I set myself was to read at least two books by a female author previously unknown to me – the Discovery Challenge, prompted by Jo Hall. During 2016, I read 45 books by women writers I hadn’t previously encountered, and 22 books by male authors I hadn’t read before. So 43% of books I read were by authors new to me.
A new challenge I undertook last year was to start reviewing new releases and properly activate my previously-dormant NetGalley account, which I did. I read and reviewed 75 new releases during 2016 and by the end of the year, I earned my 80% feedback ratio badge with NetGalley. This has been one of the highlights of the year and has also put me in touch with the book blogging community – a joy to be able to chat about books with like-minded people. I also wanted to clear the books stacking up on my Kindle and beside my bed – this aim was less successful as I only read 25 of these. Next year I want to read more books from my TBR pile.
Last year I read 59 fantasy books, 48 science fiction books, 4 historical adventures, 10 contemporary fiction, 17 crime and 14 others. Science fiction includes sub-genres including time travel, steampunk, apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, military, space opera and literary. Fantasy includes sub-genres including epic, urban, swords and sorcery, musket and magic, grimdark and coming of age.
As an ex-primary school teacher, I still enjoy reading children’s books – I read 19 in 2016, along with 30 YA books. The rest were adult/new adult. I must confess, I was surprised at this one – I was under the impression I had read more YA books. I think that during 2017, I should ensure I read more children’s and YA books.
What about you? Are you happy with the gender ratio/genres/TBR books you’ve read during 2016?
What a great haul, Sarah!
So jealous of your Netgalley feedback rate hehe.
I do try to keep my NetGalley arcs very organised… though I may have bitten off more than I can chew this month – figuratively speaking of course. Who’d want to EAT a book when they can read it instead?
I think I will forever be behind. There are so many good books there!
Good luck keeping up. And yes, books don’t sound very tasty hehe.
Love your graphics–how talented you are, and what a good picture (literally) they give us of your reading progress and accomplishments. You definitely get a “Congratulations!” on this post. I am IM-pressed!
Thank you, Rae! Making the graphs is very, very easy after going into Google to find out how:). And ditto to discover how to transfer them into WordPress. Making a screenshot is the simplest method, without having to add plugins or any of that techie malarky, which is what I did. I am pleased with the result:).
Sounds too complicated for a technologically challenged Senior. Ha!
Ha ha… THIS technically challenged Senior coped – it really isn’t hard:). I just followed the instructions step by step.
153 books… Gosh, I don’t know know how you do it, Sarah. But I was pretty proud of my 58 last year, especially since it bested 2015’s total – by 15 books!
I’m checking my end-of-year favorite reads post to refresh my memory on reading stats… Like you, I read mostly fantasy – about 73%, with other genres like science fiction, nonfiction, historical fiction, etc. all in single digits percentage-wise. And my split between adult and YA was almost 50/50.
But… about 77% of my reads were by female authors. How is it that I keep reading more female authors than other SF&F readers do? The same thing happened last year – and I don’t mind that statistic at all. I just find it strange that you and other fantasy readers I know happen to read more books by male authors (and not necessarily on purpose) but most of my choices are by female authors (also not necessarily on purpose). Maybe I’m just… naturally drawn more to stories written by women?
It might well be you are naturally drawn to books written by women – but given 73% of the books you read are fantasy, it is genre with a high ratio of female authors. I want to read more YA and children’s books this coming year – I think your 50/50 split would be a bit ambitious but I certainly want to get the ratio higher. As for the numbers – I’ll be surprised if I read so many books during 2017, as once I start writing again, I generally don’t read so intensely.
I’m actually planning to read more YA fantasies this year, too, so I won’t be surprised if my reading statistics for 2017 skew in YA’s favor. It’s mostly because I want to catch up on YA fantasies that might be good “comp titles” for TKC. Thankfully my local library has a big stock of them, so I can save some money (and bookshelf space) by doing that.
Yes, we’re also using the library a fair bit at present.
Isn’t always interesting to see our reading stats? I’m focusing n reading more diverse writers this year, because last year I read so few books written by people of color.
That’s an excellent target:).
I always like seeing stats posts. You sure read a lot this year! I mostly read female authors I think, but never tracked that. I also read a lot of new releases and hope to have a similar pie to show at the end of this year as now I am actually tracking my stats ;). Also nice to see which genres you read, that fits the feel I got from your blog with mostly sci-fi and fantasy, but other genres as well.
Thank you:). Yes, I wanted to keep a record of exactly what I read and the gender split. I suppose I should read more widely, but it is my main hobby so I choose books I think I’m going to love rather than books to improve me:). I’ll look forward to seeing your stats next year.
Nice statistics 🙂 I wouldn’t be able to do much with the twenty-something books I’ve read last year.
I also don’t pay attention to gender: I want to read *good* books, so the author’s gender is irrelevant to me. I’d guess I read about as much female authors as I read male authors but I never cared to check really :). The only thing I can say for certain is that about 95% of my reads was speculative fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, and anything in between).
Sadly, I’ve read mostly new books last year, so my TBR pile is not only unscathed but also growing. I might – MIGHT – get better this year.
As a side note: it’ll be nice to compare this post with the 2017 statistics next year: I’m curious whether your patterns/genres/ratios will change. 🙂
Glad you enjoyed the post. I was a tad concerned as to whether unleasing my inner nerd to this extent was a step too far:). The issue with gender is that I’m aware female authors don’t get their books on shelves or reviewed as often as their male counterparts. And, after having assumed my gender split was more or less 50/50 I was startled to discover it was nothing of the sort when I went back and examined it in more detail. Which is why I started my Discovery Challenge.
I know what you mean about that old TBR pile though – as you can see, my inroads into it were fairly paltry last year and so far this year, it’s even worse!
Yes… I’ll also be curious to see how the 2017 list stacks up against these statistics.
I guess as a reviewer you might want to pay attention to gender. As a reader I want to read good books, no matter the gender, so I don’t pay that much attention to it.
That’s fair enough:).