Thursday, May 16, 2013

Three Year Wrap-Up

Obligatory reminder for you to enter my giveaway - I'm picking the winner tomorrow!

Whenever people put up their monthly reading stats, I'm always so impressed that they actually remember to do that every month and I always tell myself to start and then never do.  Until last year, for my two year blogiversary, when I decided to calculate my reading stats for the previous two years (based on what I actually blogged about, at least).  Now that it's been three years, I think it's time for an update, don't you?  That's what I thought.

This of course brings back all of last year's dilemmas, like what categories (e.g., race, gender, county of author's origin) to include and how to determine what they are (e.g., is Muriel Barbery's country of origin Morocco because that's where she was born or France because that's where she wrote?  And what race is she?  Which of course brings back my Diversity & Oppression class, which points out that race is a meaningless construct, but I don't know what ethnicity she is either.  Ah, ambiguity).  So I've made some very uncertain choices, including the decision to not include rereads and to count series as one book because if I didn't, then it would appear that I read an excessive amount of white British female authors (i.e., J.K. Rowling) and the fun of statistics is that based on the choices I make, I can totally manipulate what the results look like (my statistics and research professors would be so proud).  Oh, and because I can't decide if I should base the statistics on the year or overall, I'm doing both.  Here goes.

*Blogger won't let me use columns or tables (LAME!), so the 1st number is for the last year, and the number in parentheses and italics is the total since I started blogging.*

Books Read
Total: 28 (85)
Fiction: 28 (81)
Nonfiction: 0 (4)
Print: 15 (62)
Audiobook: 13 (23)

Time Period
18th century: 1 (2)
19th century: 0 (8)
Early 20th century: 4 (7)
Late 20th century: 7 (22)
21st century: 16 (46)

Author's Sex
Female: 17 (48)
Male: 11 (37)

Author's Race/Ethnicity
White: 26 (77)
Asian: 0 (5)
Hispanic/Latino: 0 (1)
Black: 1 (1)
???: 1 (1) (Oh, Muriel Barbery, you defy all categorization)

Author's Country of Origin (based on formative years)
USA: 14 (33)
England: 9 (27)
Canada: 1 (8)
Ireland: 1 (4)

Russia: 1 (2)
India: 0 (2)

Dominican Republic: 0 (1)
Dominica: 0 (1)
Wales: 0 (1)
Sweden: 0 (1)
China: 0 (1)
Japan: 0 (1)
Australia: 0 (1)
Italy: 1 (1)
France: 1 (1)

Holy crap are those numbers embarrassing.  I read ONE book by a non-white author in the last year.  ONE.  That's significantly worse than the measly 6 I read in the previous 2 years and I was embarrassed enough about that!  Okay, so I've already started to improve that stat as I just finished a book by a black author (which I'm not counting in this because I finished after my blogiversary) so I'm on a roll for next year, right?  RIGHT?  In addition to reading lots of white folks, I also read mostly books that were written in English (as in, not translated), but I refuse all responsibility for that and blame it entirely on the xenophobic American publishing industry.

Other than the embarrassing and ongoing lack of cultural and ethnic diversity in my reading, I continue to read more female authors than male, which I give not a hoot about (and yes, I'd probably feel differently if those numbers were reversed).  The proportion of books I "read" via audiobook significantly increased, due to my Audible account and commute, which means that I only actually read 15 books in the past year, which just makes me sad.  For that, I blame grad school and I'm pretty sure that that'll change now that I'm graduating.

So my goal for the next year is to increase the cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity of the authors I read, which will in no way be made easier by the overwhelming whiteness and American/Britishness of my Classics Challenge list but I shall persevere!  And also stop making excuses because there's some great literature out there that I'm missing out on.  Time to step up my game.

How do your reading stats compare to mine?


  1. Yay reading stats! And I am impressed you were able to come up with the stats for the last 3 years without tracking that stuff on a regular basis.

    I also blame the American publishing industry for my super white, super English-language stats. DAMN THEM!

    1. I keep a page on the blog with a list of all the books I reviewed, so all I really did was go through that and transfer the titles to an Excel spreadsheet and make my husband do all the formulas. Easy-peasy (for me at least).

  2. I love love love seeing other bloggers' reading stats! And I like that you do yours based on blogiversary instead of annual, so they pop up at a different time of year.

    You said you're in grad school? I noticed my stats changed significantly when I finished grad school. I went from uber-light-weight candy books pushed by the publishing industry to suddenly reading a lot more heavy-hitters or outside-of-the book things (both fiction and nonfiction). I think when grad school reading is eating up your time, you gravitate more toward comfort reads. So don't sweat it!

    Also, the Audible subscription is amazing at getting one to read more audiobooks. My number went through the roof with my subscription.