2014 in Review: Charting the Year in Books

I don’t keep the kind of comprehensive reading spreadsheets that some book bloggers do, but I do maintain one for my review index, and it proved very helpful when I wanted to create some charts to summarize my reading experience in 2014. I will be singling out some of the highlights as my Books of the Year later this week.

I read 53 books in 2014 versus 51 in 2013, so I’m continuing to average a book a week, and while that’s probably a low average for a book blogger, I’m sure it’s well ahead of the average for the real world! My reading this year was roughly 60/40 fiction/nonfiction, which is consistent with my pattern last year.

Most of the galleys I read this year came my way via my freelance reviewing for Shelf Awareness, and since I’m committed to them for two reviews per month and didn’t submit any reviews to them for December, that number’s just about where it should be. Audiobooks have clearly taken over as my primary “discretionary reading” format.

I rated roughly 40% of both the fiction and nonfiction I read in 2014 at 4 or higher on my 5-point scale, which surprises me a little. My gut feeling was that the nonfiction I read was stronger than the fiction, but maybe it was just that I had more to say about some of the nonfiction than I did about the fiction.

One statistic I don’t track is year of publication, other than including it in the summary information with every review, but it’s a safe bet that the majority of the books I read in 2014 were published either within the year or not long before. This is partly a function of my freelance reviewing, but it’s also because of my Audible subscription, and because ebooks are cheap enough that I feel much less compelled to wait for a trade-paperback edition. Essentially, the new books that don’t come “free” come to me a lot less expensively than they used to.

I also haven’t tracked page counts or author gender/diversity stats in the past, and I’m on the fence about whether I’ll do that in 2015. But if I decide I want to pull any of these additional numbers, either Shannon’s reading spreadsheet or Kerry’s reading tracker would come in quite handy, and give me even more data to build infographics from next year!

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