Reading Statistics 2014

I was thinking of skipping my annual look at the stats of my reading in 2014, but today I read this article from Book Riot on reading diversely, and decided to go ahead and post some stats again.

This is based on the books in this post, and includes The Godless, which I began in 2014 but only finished yesterday. I’m not posting Excel graphs this time, just dropping the numbers.

Total books read: 25
Year of Publication: 2011 (1), 2012 (1), 2013 (10), 2014 (13)
Most common genre: Epic Fantasy
Most common author nationality: USA (20, 80%)
Books by non-male authors: 17 (68%)
Books by non-white authors: 4 (16%)
Books with non-male PoV characters*: 22 (88%)
Books with non-white PoV characters: 17 (68%)

*I have included one book in this count in which the gender of the protagonist is never specified.

It is interesting to note that this is the first year of tracking these numbers where the number of books I read by female authors was higher than the number by male authors. In the past it has been very much skewed in the other direction. I feel like the sample size is too small to really read much from these numbers, but I can say that I think representation in terms of race and gender within the books I read this year was pretty good. Obviously there was a strong lean toward white authors, however, which is something to think about.

I would have included sexuality of characters in this post, however I have not tracked those details and found I couldn’t decide where to place things from memory alone. Sexuality of authors seemed like it might be a little too personal to dig into.

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Reading Statistics, 2013 Edition

I’ll keep this fairly brief. Usually I’ll go through my unread books pile for these statistics, but for now I’m going to just analyse the books I did read in 2013.

As listed elsewhere, in 2013 I read 45 books, by 36 different authors. Here’s some info breakdowns:

Gender

Of the 36 authors represented, I read works by 23 male writers, and 13 female writers – about 64% male. Compared to past years, this is an improvement – but it’s still not parity. Efforts will continue. I’ve been buying more female than male, but currently only about 1/3rd of my to-read pile is by female writers.

Nationality

Overwhelmingly American, as usual, with British writers in second place.

Year of Publication

In the past this has tended to cluster around 2005-2008, when I was buying so many books that it took years to catch up. So let’s see what this year’s reading looked like:

A big spike around 2006-2007 shows that I’m still catching up on older purchases, but I’ve also been reading a lot of books from 2012 and 2013, which is a change. It’s good to be reading these books while they’re still pretty new!

Unread Statistics 2

It’s a little over a year since I did a post detailing some statistics about my to-read pile, so I figured I’d take another look.

To be honest, very little has changed.

I currently own 60 books I have not yet read. This is 12 less than last year. 48 of my currently unread books are the same as the ones on last year’s list.

Type of Book

This year sees new categories, in Comic and Graphic Novel, which I maybe should have combined. There has been a large increase in the amount of comics and such that I read in the last year, but I tend to read them much sooner after purchase than I do books, so only a couple are currently in the pile.

categories-2

Once again, the pile is mostly novels.

Year of Publication

Once again all collections/anthologies were listed by publication date regardless of the age of the content.
Years-2
The distribution is very much the same as last year, with some predictable shift toward the current decade. The list is still dominated by books from 2006 and 2007 – when I was in Uni and buying books much faster than I read them – but there has been some progress made on that part.

Author Nationality

Nationalities-2

Still dominated by American and British authors. Proportionally, there has been a slight increase in the ratios of non-Americans and non-Brits.

Author Gender

And finally:

Genders-2

Once again, my list skews heavily toward male authors. 42 books by male authors to 11 by female authors. This ratio is actually slightly worse than last year. Removing multiples once again changes little, the numbers are 36 male authors and 10 female authors.

The one Unknown is the same author from last time who keeps their identity a closely guarded secret.

Addendum: Read in 2012

After seeing the statistic above on the gender (im)balance in my to-read pile, I felt like I should take a look at what I read in 2012 and see if it follows a similar pattern – because I felt like the female representation since last year should have improved. For this, I counted everything on the Read in 2012 post. These are the results:

Genders-2a

It’s just as bad as the to-read pile. But this had a lot of repeat names from comic series, so, reducing down to the individual writers involved:

Genders-2b

Still pretty far skewed. One particular issue is that I’ve read very few (print) comics with female writers. In fact, to date there have been only two: Alison Bechdel, and Marjane Satrapi, and those with mainly autobiographical material.

Almost all of my comics reading to date has been from male writers. This is something I feel I need to address going forward – as well as continuing to read more great female novelists.

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.