Unread Statistics

Thought it would be interesting to go through all the books I have sitting waiting to be read and pulling out some statistics. Turns out there really aren’t any surprises!

I currently have a total of 72 books owned but unread. This is an increase of 15 from my last full count 4 years ago. 41 of the books currently unread were already on the list at the time of that count.

Type of Book


First of all, classifying the type of books on the pile. The vast majority were, of course, novels. The epic poems are two big volumes of The Iliad and The Odyssey, purchased while at university and, alas, unopened.

Collections should maybe have been split between anthologies and single-author collections: 5 of the former, and 7 of the latter.

Year of Publication

I actually pulled some of these stats together a while back, and I think I was a little inconsistent here on what date I put – some of them might have been listed under the publication date of the edition I own rather than the original date. For anthologies all were listed by publication date, though some contained work from as much as 100 years ago.

So obviously there’s a big bias for works in recent years – the highest numbers come from 2006 and 2007. Once I get the pile shrunk down in size I’ll be looking out for more classic works to pick out, I think.

Author Nationality


Reading in English, there was never any question but that this list would be dominated by American and British authors. The reality is even less diverse than the graph suggests, as three of the four Japanese novels are by one author, Haruki Murakami, and the two marked Greek are Homer’s epics again.

The “various” category covers the anthologies in the pile, some of which are more diverse than others, notably The Weird, with over 20 nationalities represented within.

Author Gender

And finally:

Waaaay out of balance here. 51 books by men against 14 by women, not counting anthologies. Condensing books by the same authors doesn’t help much: 42 male authors and 12 female. Something else to look into when I start buying more again.

The one Unknown is a single author who writes under a pseudonym about whom very little is definitively known.

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