Sunday Salon: Stats, Stats, Stats!

Happy New Year!!!

What a reading year! I read 106 books in 2011, up from the 72 books I read in 2010. According to Goodreads, that’s a total of 30,030 pages. Overall, I’ve had a pretty good reading year. I’ll be sharing my favorites throughout the week, but today I wanted to look at my books by the numbers because my stats look verrrry different from last year.

The biggest changes in my reading were in the amount of nonfiction I read and the amount of ebooks I read. Both jumped significantly.

Pie chart of books I read in 2011, broken down by author's gender.

I read 65 books by women, 36 books by men, and 5 books by both. Of the 106 books read, 41 books were by people of color.

Pie chart of books I read in 2011, broken down by book format.

I read 60 printed books, 39 ebooks, and listened to 7 audiobooks.

One of the most shocking realizations for me was how many review copies I read this year: I read 28 books from my shelves (or e-shelves), 28 from the library, and a whopping 50 from publishers, 24 of which came from NetGalley. That’s insane.

My reading/blogging goals for 2012:

  • Cut down on review copies. I had no idea I was reading that many — no wonder I could never make a dent in my shelves! — and I think I feel much more comfortable keeping my ARC stats to somewhere around ⅓ (or less) of my total reading, rather than ½!
  • Comment more, both on my own blog (*hangs head in shame*) and on other people’s blogs. I swear I’m reading! I just rarely comment.
  • Try and keep a couple of fully finished blog posts on hand at all times in case of an emergency. With a few exceptions, I tend to write posts as I go along. This works just swell until life kicks in and I disappear from the face of the internet. And then my blog haz a sad.
  • Reread more books. I don’t do this as often as I should.
  • Read to my nephew more. Can’t go wrong with that, right?
  • Read to my students more. They’re in college, but I teach developmental courses and they’re all at different reading levels. I think they’d appreciate getting to listen to some passages on occasion.
  • Read more pre-20th century books. A lot of the books I read were written after 2000, but I do like older books too! Really!
  • Add some South American, African, and Australian locations to my Traveling Through Literature map. Those continents look so lonely:

So that’s that. Stay tuned for my favorite reads of 2011. I had a lot of trouble deciding what to feature, so I decided to dedicate all this week to looking back on an excellent year of books; I’ll be posting stuff up every day this week. 🙂



  1. MJ

    I love your pie charts! I try to keep a couple blog posts on hand, but then it seems like I use that as an excuse to get lazy and use them rather than stay reviewing.

  2. Alison

    I love EOY stats round-ups 🙂

    I had set my Goodreads challenge at 50 and made it to 60, so yay on that! My 60 books works out to 22,441 pages, an average of 374. The longest was A Dance With Dragons at 1,016; shortest, I’m not quite sure because having just added the “number of pages” column to my shelf, it looks like they don’t have accurate numbers for some books…but it would probably be either the last book I read in 2011, Alison Wonderland (my old 3rd grade nickname, having played Alice in a musical :P) or Blue Nights.

    I only do print books – not an e-book or audiobook person. As for gender, I am fairly lopsided, due to a purposeful selection of female authors – 40 books by women (3 by one woman, Suzanne Collins, 2 by two, Barbara Kingsolver and Sarah Vowell); 18 by men, and 2 by both. I’m a little ashamed that, as far as I know (not being totally sure of the ancestry of some authors) I had only about 10 by POC. That is definitely something I need to work on, because when I think back, some of the stand-outs I read were from POC. Well, I’m starting 2012 off right with Colonize This! at least 🙂 My 2012 goal is 60, and I hope to surpass it.

  3. Melissa

    @MJ: Yeah, I’m a little worried about doing that. If there’s an excuse for me to be lazy, I’ll usually take it. 😉

    @Alison: I love Colonize This! I really should reread that one again soon.

    • Alison

      I am really loving it – these essays are so powerful and immediate, and give such beautiful glimpses into all these different women and their lives and families. I can see this is going to become another book I recommend to EVERYBODY 😛

  4. Vasilly

    I had no idea that you were a professor! I see that we share some of the same goals for this year including the one about ARCs. Isn’t it funny how easy that are to get and how fast we pick them up to read? Good luck on all of your goals.

  5. amymckie

    Your 2012 goals sound really great, and your 2011 stats are really fantastic. Congrats on a great reading year and I’m excited to see what you do this year. It seems a lot of us are aiming to read less review copies!

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