Wednesday, 8 January 2014

It's not too late for some 2013 stats, is it?

Using my annual meme, with some extensions and wanderings, here are (a bit belatedly) my stats from 2013... just because I find it interesting, and really enjoy reading everyone else's.

Encouraged by earlier comments...
here is one of my favourite Sherpa photos.

Number of Books Read
103, which is rather fewer than 2012's 135, but not far off 2011's 106.

Number of Books Bought
We don't count those any more.

Fiction/Non-Fiction Ratio
64 fiction and 39 non-fiction - every year the percentage of non-fiction gets higher.  Will it overtake fiction one year?  (Well, yes, maybe... here endeth the investigative journalism).

Male/Female Authors
63 by women, 39 by men, 3 by both.  That's a higher percentage of male authors than last year, and exactly the same number male as non-fiction.  Coincidence? (Yes.)

Re-reads
Only 10 - mostly because of my Reading Presently project, I think.  Of those 10, 7 were for teaching, thesis, or work.

Theses submitted
One. I couldn't resist putting this in here, and it did impact my reading a great deal.

Oldest book read
After A Century of Books in 2012, I decided 2013 would be the year I read loads of 19th-century literature.  So, the oldest book I read?  Er, Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes by Harry Graham, from 1902. Oops.

Newest book read
Probably Black Sheep by Susan Hill, right at the end of the year, since it was a 2013 novel.

Shortest Title
Was also one of the very best books I read this year - Stet by Diana Athill.

Books in Translation
Oh dear, only 3 I think, which is pretty appalling - and suggests that people tend not to give me books in translation, maybe? They were from French (Phantoms on the Bookshelves), German (All Quiet on the Western Front), and Hungarian (Skylark). And two of them ended up my 50 Books list.

Most Books by One Author
This is definitely a battle of the Dames.... Agatha Christie helped me get through reader's block in the summer, and I taught Muriel Spark to an undergraduate in the autumn.  Who wins?  It's actually a tie - 7 a-piece.

Most Disappointing Book
I've hoped that Nina Bawden would be an author that I'd love, but I found A Woman of My Age utterly tedious.

Most Serendipitous Book
Either Floater by Calvin Trillin, about journalists in Washington DC (which I read while staying with journalists in Washington DC), or The Young Ardizzone by Edward Ardizzone, which turned out to be partly set in the village where my grandparents lived for over thirty years.

Animals in book titles
Snake Beach by Lisa Glass, Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn, Skylark by Dezső Kosztolányi, Books, Baguettes, and Bedbugs by Jeremy Mercer, Some Tame Gazelle by Barbara Pym, Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie, Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie, and Black Sheep by Susan Hill.

Strange things that happened in the books I read this year
Snakes infested a modelling contest, letters were systematically banned, a fake war was reported, a old woman was swindled into believing herself immortal, a draper flew, two children discovered an underground world, a dead romantic novelist haunted her husband, fence builders became serial killers, a snow child came alive, and a woman discovered that she was in a novel when she heard a narrator speaking through the walls.

34 comments:

  1. This was so interesting to read, esp. the last part. Intriguing subjects, those.

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    1. Thanks Nan! I always enjoy writing that last bit :)

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  2. Two books a week AND a thesis - you've done magnificently. I want to go back and count my animals in titles now...

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    1. There are always more animals lurking in titles than I expect, Vicki! See what menagerie has found its way into your reading list...

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  3. I love your stats categories. Why aren't we all keeping track of books with animals in the titles? Clearly, an oversight.

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    1. It *is* what really matters in a reading list, let's be honest...

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  4. "Number of Books Bought
    We don't count those any more." How that one resonates! Lovely and amusing stats Simon.

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    1. I don't count them - I just measure them (as they sneak into our house) ;)

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    2. Thanks Annabel! And Mum, for letting them pile into the corners...

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  5. Lovely post! Now I feel compelled to go back and count my own gender stats. I already know that I read 147 last year, 89 fiction and 58 non-fiction ... oh how funny - 86 by women, 57 by men, 3 by both and 1 by unknown! Again, not related to non-fiction!

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    1. Thanks Liz! How curious, those coincidental stats!

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  6. A fascinating post! I chuckled about the fact you don't count the books bought any more... Yes, do read some more translation - I love translated book! And I agree that the Bawden was a disappointment...

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    1. Thanks Karen! I usually read about 10 translated books a year, which obviously isn't a huge amount, but is better than this year... I think it must be a combination of thesis reading and gift reading.

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  7. I always find reading stats fascinating. I've been trying to keep track of more varied info on the books I read (the nerd in me groweth yearly!), since I've not paid attention all that much in the past. I was stunned that my male/female author ratio this year was almost exactly 50/50. I've never tracked nationality of authors before, so I'm throwing that in the mix this year just to see. I have a feeling they will be heavily British, but we'll see in December. "Not counting anymore..." :) (My mother threatened to charge me rent by the book before I had all my stuff cleared out of her house...not to give OVW any ideas...just saying, count your blessings!)

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    1. I should track nationality better - because I have little idea, of the book in English, which are British, Irish, American, Canadian, Australian etc. etc...

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  8. Still claiming that reader's block is a thing?

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    1. Nice of you to stop by, brother ;) I know I can get you to comment if I mention that...

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  9. It's never too late to write book stats; I love them! It gives me a more intimate idea of what motivates my fellow bloggers.

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    1. Lovely, thanks Miguel! It is one of my favourite things about the end of the year - reading everyone else's summaries, and putting my own together.

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  10. Oh, thanks for sharing the stats. Do you have the full list posted somewhere?

    I just put my lists from the past 4 years into a spreadsheet, and have found the year to year numbers surprisingly consistent. 73-85 books read, of which one third are rereads. The biggest genre is mystery, with 27 last year. Memoirs and bios follow with 11. I found the exercise interesting, and using Pivot Table in Excel helps a lot to sort and count the data.

    I also kept track of unfinished books, which came to 63 in 4 years. Including reasons why I put them down.

    Books Bought is a whole separate spreadsheet, identifying all kinds of data about where and who and how much.

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    1. Hi Susan - I haven't typed out the whole list this year, but I have been meaning to - I'll comment again here if it does end up being put up somewhere!

      How interesting a list of unfinished books, and reason, must be! What a good idea. I probably only give up on a couple of books a year, or I give up on them before I've got past the first couple of pages which doesn't really seem to count.

      Whereas your Books Bought spreadsheet fills me with terror and guilt...!

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  11. I love the 'strange things that happened in books' section! I can't picture you reading a book about snakes in a modelling contest - no wonder it was top of your list!

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    1. It's always fun to write that bit! Yes, that book wasn't my usual fare, but I did think it was good - and very funny in places :)

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  12. I really like your take on the 'end of year stats', and I especially love the picture of Sherpa!

    Kind regards,

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    1. I'm glad someone commented on the picture, because she is so unbelievably gorgeous in it! Thanks Bettina :)

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  13. cool! the last part is funny. here is mine, with charts, and a link at the end to another kind of fun: http://wordsandpeace.com/2014/01/03/year-of-reading-2013-part-1/

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    1. I love your stats, very thorough and fun to read!

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  14. Hurrah for book stats, it's never too late for them especially when they're entertaining. :)

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    1. I'm glad everyone seems to think so, I certainly do! Thanks Alex :)

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  15. Reading more books in translation seems to be a popular 2014 resolution (myself included). Skylark in on my wish-list because of your review!

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    1. Whenever I make these sorts of resolutions I end up reading fewer than usual... but fingers crossed that won't happen in 2014! I look forward to seeing what you think of Skylark - Claire certainly set us onto a good thing :)

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  16. I went back and did the M/F stats. 375 books in 4 years. 274 by women, 50 by men, 1 by both. I'm surprised I had as many as 50 by guys, because generally books that appeal to me are more likely to be by women.

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    1. I'm always surprised by how many men there are, even when there are fewer than women. And always surprised that I end up with at least one by a man and a woman!

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