My 2019 Reading Year – the statistics #Brainfluffbookblog #BrainfluffReadingYear2019


It’s been a great reading year. Once again, I achieved my reading challenge to read and review at least 100 books, which I managed by reading 168 books with 128 reviews written, though 25 have yet to be published. I DNF’d 7 books.


I have read 100 books by female authors and 70 by men – the sharp-eyed among you will have notice that adds up to 170, but there were two books in this year’s list with joint authorship – How To Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone and Oracle’s War by David Hair and Cath Mayo.


In a related challenge I set myself the task of reading at least two books a month by female authors previously unknown to me in the Increasing Discoverability Challenge, as set out by Jo Hall. I managed to read 40 books in this category, which is 24% of my 2019 reading list, while 13% of books were by male authors I hadn’t previously read, which means that 37% of the books I read last year were by authors new to me. I’m reasonably happy with that – it means I am continuing to expand my reading experience, rather than only sticking with authors I know and like. But I do note that last year I read more books in this category, particularly by male authors previously unknown to me. I really don’t want this ratio to drop any lower next year.


I decided to cut back requesting review copies from Netgalley, though I still enjoy reading and reviewing arcs and have also occasionally taken review copies from writing colleagues. During 2019, I read and reviewed 61 new releases and managed to read 98 books on my TBR pile, which I’m really pleased about. However my determination to read more library books hit a wall – I only managed 9. Partly it’s because I don’t enjoy reading print books all that much these days. But partly, I decided to join a Reading Challenge – and I discovered during this year that I’m rubbish at keeping these going. So come 2020, other than my ongoing Discovery Challenge, I’m not going to sign up for any more, as they act as a deterrent rather than an impetus.


As you can see, I read more ebooks than anything else. But as I continue to add more audiobooks, I expect this number to rise during 2020. That pitifully small number of print books is dire though, and I really need to knuckle down and read more as we have several large shelves full of unread books. It is one of my reading targets for the coming year – to read more of our own paperbacks.


In 2019 I read 56 science fiction books, 104 fantasy books, 21 crime adventures, 2 contemporary fiction, 9 historical books, 3 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. This is a big shift from last year’s figures, when I’d read more science fiction than anything else. The reason for this shift is that the Audible reading list I’d inherited from Frankie was heavily skewed to fantasy reads and I decided to work my way through those books I thought I’d enjoy. I expect this bias to still impact on next year’s reading stats.


I announced last year that I wasn’t going to bother including children’s books as a category as I had miserably failed to read more books. However, because I have been working through Frankie’s Audible collection, which were all children’s books, the number I’ve read this year has been far more respectable. While my YA reading numbers were constant last year and the year before, in 2019 my numbers of YA reads have tanked – and I’m not really sure why.


I have read 30 books by small presses and self-published authors, which is only 18% of my 2019 reading list – far fewer than in 2018. Again, I think this has been skewed by my enthusiasm for Audible books, which are mostly produced by traditional publishers. I would like to read more Indie books next year.

Thank you for bearing with my inner geek! Here’s hoping we all have a great 2020 reading year.

28 responses »

  1. I love seeing stats and am amazed by yours. That’s a good chunk of books you read and I love that the bulk of it, a whole 100, was by women authors. That’s really cool.

    • Thank you, Zeezee. Yes – when reading fantasy it takes no effort at all these days to ensure my reads feature female authors, I still have to work quite a bit harder to maintain the same balance within the sci fi genre. So I, too, am pleased with that number!

    • Thank you, Shelleyrae – it was a wonderful year with all sorts of gripping, well written books published. And it is handy to spend a while stepping back and taking a look at what I’ve done, especially as I’m largely a mood reader.

    • Thank you, Hayley! Yes – it was a wonderful reading year – lots of great books. And I am a fan of using the stats because until I get the numbers and pie charts in front of me, I don’t have a clear idea of what exactly happened.

    • Thank you, Maddalena. To be honest – it’s really, really easy to do. Word does all the hard work and then all I have to do is screenshot the pie charts and upload them…

  2. It’s interesting seeing your reading stats of last year. You sure read a lot this year and that’s nice you’re still discovering new to you authors. I always hope to keep a decent percentage new to em authors as well and I tracked that last year, I just need to make nice graphs and a post about my reading stats. Nice to see you had a good mix of new releases and older books. I hope you can read even more indie books next year, it’s still nice to see you got a bunch of indie books read this year.

    • Thank you, Lola. Yes… I do need to read more Indie books this coming year – which I hope to do. And I look forward to seeing your reading stats when you have the graphs and post written.

  3. It’s always fun to look at the stats of our reading year, isn’t it? Comparing our reading to past years. And look at all those pretty graphs!

  4. I love statistics. I too want to do less challenges and tracking and more reading, particularly some of the things I own. My big pile of things I own which are unread are Kindle freebies and purchased audiobooks. Good luck!

    • Yes – I don’t mind posting reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, but trying to keep up with linking to various challenges just doesn’t get done! Good luck to BOTH of us trying to slim down our TBR mountains, Anne:))

    • Thank you, Lynn. While I’m aware I do indulge my geekiness, this is my main hobby and as I’m largely a mood reader – these stats give me an opportunity to reflect on largely subconscious choices and be more mindful in selecting some of my 2020 reading matter:)

  5. I actually would have pegged you reading more scifi than fantasy! Lovin’ your achievements, Sarah, and I bet you’ll boost all your stats by the end of 2020. 🙂 Have you noticed you’re drawn to certain audiobook narrators? There are always those readers that just turn me off, no matter how good the book itself is…

    • Yes – normally I do read more sci fi, but working through Frankie’s audiobook list has skewed my listens, as his books are exclusively fantasy reads. I’m just getting to a stage where I’m working out which narrators I prefer. And I agree – they certainly can dent the enjoyment of an audiobook!

  6. Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!

    I am not sure how I arrived at this post, but I can surely say that my 2 hours of browsing turned out fruitful!
    I’ve loved reading books and haven’t been able to for the last couple of years! I just got back to reading and I see a great deal ahead.
    And your post has made it all the more interesting! I love the statistics, the way you’ve tore down into every detail possible and understanding how to go about things and make new goals with it!
    I’ve got a goal of reading 25 books this year and I am motivated to try using statistics to get the best out of this!

    Could you perhaps help me out? In figuring out how you’ve been keeping tabs and brought out these statistics?

    Thank you!

    • I just make a list of each book I read, recording each attribute I’m interested in on that list – and at the end of the year I tally up the raw data and feed it into the chart option on WordPress. It would be even easier if you are remotely skilled with Excel – I’m not:)).

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