My 2018 Reading Year – the statistics #Brainfluffbookblog #BrainfluffReadingYear2018


It’s been a really great reading year with loads of choice within my favourite genres. Although I kept my reading challenge to read and review at least 100 books, I ended up reading 162 books with 125 reviews published and another 23 in hand.


I have read 104 books written by female authors and 60 by men – the sharp-eyed among you will have notice that adds up to 164, but there were two books in this year’s list with joint authorship – Windhaven by George R.R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle and Athena’s Champion by David Hair and Cath Mayo.


In a related challenge I set myself the task of reading at least two books by female authors previously unknown to me in the Discovery Challenge, as set out by Jo Hall. I managed to read 43 books in this category, which is 27% of my 2018 reading list, while 32 books were by male authors I hadn’t previously read, which means that 47% of the book I read last year were by authors new to me. I’m really happy with that – it means I am continuing to expand my reading experience, rather than only sticking with authors I know and like, which was the case before I started this challenge.


I have continued requesting review copies from Netgalley and have also occasionally taken review copies from writing colleagues, so that during 2018 I read and reviewed 64 new releases. I also was determined to read more books on my ever-teetering TBR pile – in the event I managed 55 books, which I’m really pleased about. The huge shock is that this year we only read 6 library books – this simply won’t do. I am a real fan of our local library and I am determined that during the coming year, we will be using the library a whole lot more, otherwise we risk losing it.


In 2018 I read 72 science fiction books, 57 fantasy books, 19 crime adventures, 6 contemporary fiction, 4 historical books, 4 non-fiction books. Science fiction includes sub-genres such as space opera, colony adventures, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic, time travel, alternate history, military, futuristic crime, literary and steampunk. Fantasy includes sub-genres such as epic, urban, swords and sorcery, musket and magic, sand and sorcery, underworld, historical, grimdark and coming of age. While I’m aware I probably should widen my reading, I’m not going to. I read for pleasure and escape, these days. I reckon I’ve earnt the right.


So much for my determination to read more children’s books… I’m going to give up on this one. It clearly isn’t going to happen, given this has been an ongoing target ever since I started monitoring my reading statistics and each year it’s been a failure. But this year that failure has reached a new low – last year I read 19 children’s books in comparison to the measly 6 of this year. Whereas YA is holding fairly constant at 34 this year, compared with 30 last year.


This is a new category I have added. I have read 52 books by small presses and self-published authors, which is 32% of my 2018 reading list. This is an outcome I would like to improve on next year.

How did you get on this year with your reading targets and challenges?

47 responses »

    • The likes of Wizard’s Tower, Grimbold – but to be honest, it’s generally about the cover or the premise that makes me zero in on a book. I’m picky! What about you?

      • I have been on the reviewer list for Crystal Lake for a while. They primarily deal with horror. Can’t say I’ve heard of those presses.

        I agree with the cover. I tend to avoid the book if the cover design has a stereotypical male/female model on it. Was looking through fantasy titles on Netgalley and saw two books, by two different authors, both with the same topless male model on it 😂 The design has to look professional for me to take it seriously unless the blurb blows me away.

      • Oh dear! Two books with the same cover – that’s REALLY unfortunate! I don’t read horror because I’m a wuss and prone to nightmares – but I do enjoy a wide range of sci fi and fantasy.

  1. It looks like you had a really good reading year in 2018! I’m impressed that you managed to review so much of what you read, I need to be better at this in 2019. I always review books that I got for review but so often don’t make time to review my own books. I’m also impressed with how many books you read off your TBR pile, I’d like to focus more of my time on my own books that have been languishing on my shelves for a long time. Hope 2019 is a great reading year for you 🙂

    • Thank you, Hayley:). I do try to review most of the books I read to give something back to the author for taking me away from my everyday life… And to be honest, I was delighted when I realised how many of the books on my TBR pile I managed to clear. Let’s hope we both have fabulous 2019 reading years – I’m in awe of just how many books you read!

  2. I like seeing your stats for the year! I never thought to track the gender of the author, but that is interesting to see how many female and male authors books you read. Your read lots of new to you authors this year. And nice spread of the different types of books you read with both new releases and ones from your to read list. I am not surprised at the genre graph as that fits with what I usually see on your blog. I also mostly read Adult and some NA and YA. I only read a few Children’s on MG books, really depends on the year. I think last year I only read one Children’s book, so you read more than I did ;). Nice to see such a big slice of indie books in that last one.

    • Thank you, Lola – yes, this year I determined to read more indie books and that was after regularly visiting your blog and realising that I didn’t read enough indies:). Now that I don’t read quite so much with the grandchildren, I am not reading so many children’s book so there isn’t any point in setting myself up for failure… I’m hoping that I have as enjoyable a reading year in 2019!

    • Thank you, Kimberly. Huge congratulations on making further inroads on your TBR pile – this is very best I’ve ever managed. I haven’t tracked books in series… which is another aspect I haven’t taken into account.

  3. I love seeing your stats. I certainly share your genre interests although I probably read less scifi and I do read romance. And I’m very picky about YA preferring more adult books.

    It would be interesting rather than male or female authors whether the books are male of female main characters. I know I read many more books about strong women, but I do read about male protagonists as well. Anne – Books of My Heart

    • Thank you for your obvservations, Anne. I have a specific reason to track male/female authors, as in SFF in particular, female authors are always under-reviewed and under-represented on bookshelves. I was recently in Waterstones and came away shaking my head at the HUGE gaps – Emma Newman and N.K. Jemisin were hardly there, whereas Heinlein and Wyndham had whole sections devoted to them… The only female author who had any significant shelf space was Usula LeGuin *sigh*. So I take care to ensure that I read and review more female authors, especially within SFF.

  4. 162 books is AMAZING. I need to step up my game! I love the pie charts. One of these days I will attempt a similar post at year’s end, maybe I should start keeping track of all these things now!

    • Thank you, Tammy, though I’ve read more this year because I was ill… As for my record-keeping, it’s very straightforward – I simply make a list of all the books I read on Word – nothing complicated. And alongside each book, I make a note of each of those aspects and it’s the same list I use to ensure I have completed the reviews I intend to write. It would have to be simple for me to keep it ticking over, to be honest… And it’s very useful, over time:)

  5. Could I ever be organised enough to gather all my statistics. Nope. I love looking at other people’s posts though.
    Great 2018 reading year Sarah, hope 2019 is as good.
    Lynn 😀

    • Thank you, Lynn! I just gather up all the details I put on my reading list – I’m not organised, either:)). Though, to be honest, I’m half hoping that the coming year isn’t as great because I spent far more days in bed reading when I felt too ill to do anything else…

  6. I find reading stats for interesting. Thank you for sharing! I hadn’t thought of looking at gender of author of new and “old” authors read. That’s one I will have to consider for next year.

    • Thank you, Wendy. It was Jo Hall’s mention of the way female authors are under-reviewed and represented in bookshops that got me thinking about paying attention to this aspect. It isn’t as prevalent in all genres, but it certainly is the case in science fiction.

    • Thank you, Jan:). The graphs come from Word and I simply took a screenshot and downloaded them into WordPress, it’s really easy to do… I’ve also got several more posts regarding my 2018 reading year to write – principally my favourite reads of the year!

  7. Very interesting statistics. I am not a stats person so would never do that, but I liked this. I agree, if you don’t want to read it (i.e. Children’s books) then don’t. I also read for enjoyment and do not want to be pushed to read something that does not appeal to me. I never thought about male vs female authors. That is one stat I would like to chart. Do you just tag them on your blog? Series is definitely one that I read a lot of. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you for your interest, Carla:). I simply keep a list of books I read with the genre, age category and whether I’ve reviewed it or not – it is primarily the list I use to keep track of when I’ve written reviews. Then at the end of the year, I add up those different details for my blog. I don’t use a spreadsheet or tag them.

    • Thank you, Joanna… Yes – I’ve just passed last year’s total, so I will have read a few more. Mostly down to the fact I now have started listening to audiobooks when doing housework – bliss!

      • Oooh, nice! 🙂 I can’t seem to get to listening to things – my mind just keeps wandering. But I haven’t tried actual audiobooks yet, just podcasts.

      • I know there folks who still cannot concentrate – my mother is one of them. However, I have always LOVED listening to stories and now it is such a wonderful treat to be able to housework and ‘read’:)

      • I guess housework and other activities like that are my “plotting” time, so my mind naturally wanders toward stories and I lose focus of whatever I’m listening to.
        But I’m glad they work for you: they’re such a time-saver, aren’t they?

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