In 2017, I read 158 books. My average rating of all the books I read was 3.59 out of 5. I read a total of 49,264 pages. I spent $647.32 on purchasing books. I thought I would take a moment to examine what this year of voracious really looks like and where I might try to do better in future years of reading.
It’s hard to control how many books you read in a month as there’s a lot of outside factors. June was one of my lower months of reading because I was busy in New York City. Similarly, in December I didn’t read that many books because I spent most of the month reading one very long book. However, in months where I spent lots of time reading one book, it’s good to buffer that book with shorter, easier to read books to help keep the count high.
In a world where the patriarchy rules and women dominate the publishing industry, I think it’s important to see how equal the spread of author genders is. Females beating out males isn’t surprising in this industry. The “All Genders” category is for books that had multiple authors of all genders. This graph does show that I do need to try and read more books by Gender Non-Conforming authors as their perspective and stories are just as important.
In a world where racism and racial issues still very much exist, I think there’s value in making sure that I engage with those minority voices. Of course, white authors still remain the majority, so this is something I will have to continue to work on.
Intersectionality is also super important. From this graph, I can see that I need to try and include more minority male authors and gender non-conforming authors of all racial backgrounds.
It’s no surprise that fiction reigned supreme, but seeing that nonfiction and poetry are sizable pieces of the pie makes me feel like I’m reading a solid amount of each over the course of the year. Of course, there is always room for improvement.
As a huge YA and Children’s literature fan, it’s no surprise that they are the biggest slices of the pie. Literary, poetry, history, and memoir are also pretty large and might become bigger in years to follow as I’ve realized those are areas of interest where I’d like to read more books.
As technology continues to grow, it will also continue to impact the way we engage with media. While there’s still an incredible debate about the pros and cons of physical and digital versions of books, I’ve found that I enjoy a good mix. I hope in this next year to read even more audiobooks as they are becoming a popular way to engage with literature.
The ways in which I accessed/purchased/received these books is super important as I know that my privilege and financial status affect these slices of the pie. Most of the books I read this year were purchased, which is something I’d like to see decrease in future years as there’s no way I can afford to buy this many books all the time. Of course, many of these books I purchased as used or when they were on sale. I think the borrow category is really what needs to grow as libraries are a great resource for getting books.
I don’t think this graph reveals anything surprising, but I do think it’s important to make sure that I am challenging myself by reading longer books every so often.
I don’t think there’s anything particularly surprising about this bar graph. Hopefully, in future years I might read several books that were published before the 1950s as there are so really wonderful, older classics.
As a current publishing nerd and future publishing professional, I try to take note of who’s publishing what books, especially the ones I really love. I also think it’s important to make sure that the Big 5 publishing houses aren’t dominating my shelves. I’m happy to that the “Other” category is the largest, which shows I’m giving plenty of attention to books published by smaller publishing houses. As far as the division of the Big 5 slices go, I’m not surprised by the distribution. This is something that will be interesting to look at each year as I gain a better sense of who my favorites are and potentially focus on reading more books published by them.
Overall, this was a really great year for reading. I think my biggest goal for next year will be to spend less money on books and read more audiobooks. Both of those seem like easy goals.