Sunday, January 3, 2010

Year in Review: 2009

I considered a few different approaches for my 2009 year end book review, but I figured nobody would be interested in reading a list of all 178 books I read last year, so I axed that idea. Instead I'm talking statistics -- specifically the various statistics from my 2009 reading habits that interest me. Probably none of you are interested in that either, but it interests me and it's my blog so I'm doing it anyway. Feel free to move onto the next item on your feed reader.

Total Books Read
As I already mentioned, in the year that was 2009 I managed to read a total of 178 books. This is nowhere near how many I've read in previous years, but I actually figured the number would be much lower. 2009 just felt like a busy year, but apparently I squeezed in more reading time than I'd thought.

Single-Title vs. Category vs. Short-Story
Of those 178 books, 3.4% (6) were anthologies, and another 9.6% (17) were short-stories* that were not part of an anthology. I also did a fair amount of category romance reading, and apparently I'm in love with the Harlequin Blaze line. (This is not really news to me, or anybody who knows me.)

Category romance made up 23.6% (42) of the books I read, and of those books, 90% (34) were Blazes. I expect this latter percentage to change a bit in 2010, simply because thanks to Lynn and SuperWendy, I'm discovering a new-found affection for the Harlequin SuperRomance line.

*I categorize books by length into the following groups: short stories (<20,000 words), novellas (20,000-40,000 words), and novels (>40,000 words).

Series vs. Stand-Alone
A whopping 60% (107) of the books were part of a series of connected books, which means that either I just love series, or simply that a large number of authors like to write connected books. I actually think both of these reasons are at play.

Pubbed in 2009 vs. Pubbed Prior to 2009
Only 45.5% (81) of the books were first published in 2009, indicating that I accomplished a fair amount of TBR shelf reading, as well as checking out recommendations of older books. The downside is that I have fewer books to choose from when making my selections for the AAR Annual Reader Poll.

New Reads vs. Re-Reads
Probably the number that most amazed me: only 5% (9) of the titles I read were re-reads. Normally this number would be significantly higher, if just for the holiday re-reading alone. But this year I wasn't able to find the time to re-read any of my annual holiday favorites, much to my disappointment.

Books Reviewed
Here's a number I'm quite proud of: I reviewed a total of 28.7% (51) of the books I read. Yay me! (Actually I wrote reviews for 53 books, but 2 won't be published until this year.) After 10 months of reviewing for AAR, I'm still loving it, although I suspect given my new job, the number of reviews I'm able to turn in will drop down a bit.

Borrowed vs. Bought vs. Freebies
Of the 178 books I read, I borrowed only 15.2% (27) of them, which quite surprised me, and almost all of the borrowed books I read in the first half of 2009. The latter half of the year was categorized by me borrowing quite a few books, and returning the vast majority of them unread.

I received 19.7% (35) of the books for free by reviewing them for AAR, and purchased a total of 65.2% (116) of the books I read. Holy crap! So that's where all my money went.

Print vs. Electronic
After receiving my Sony Reader in late-October, I managed to squeeze in 34 ebooks into my reading schedule, accounting for 19.1% of my reading. Ebooks made up the overwhelming majority of my reading from November and December, so I expect this percentage to skyrocket in 2010.

Genre/Subgenre Breakdown
Contemporary Romance: 50.6% (90)
Erotic Romance: 17.4% (31)
Romantic Suspense: 11.2% (20)
Historical Romance: 9.6% (17)
Mystery: 5.6% (10)
Women's Fiction: 2.8% (5)
Para Romance / Urban Fantasy: 2.3% (4)
Non-Fiction: 0.6% (1)

So, which genre/subgenre do you think is my favorite? If you answered Romance/Contemporary, you're right!

Grade Breakdown 
As usual, I had a pretty damn good reading year. This is because I almost totally rely on reviews and recommendations from fellow readers before trying a new author, and I pretty much have my strategy nailed.

I must add, however, that my number of C, D, and F reads were higher than in years past. There are two primary reasons for this: 1) I started reviewing for AAR, thus becoming unable to rely on reviews before trying a new book, and 2) my entry into ebook reading prompted me to take many more chances with books and authors that were unknowns to me. I discovered many new fantastic authors, but I also discovered a lot of average or crap reads. But enough about that. On to the statistics*!

A Range: 15.8% (30)
B Range: 55.8% (106)
C Range: 21.6% (41)
D Range: 2.1% (4)
F Range: 1.1% (2)
DNF: 3.7% (7)

*Anthology stories were graded individually, and these figures do not include re-reads.

Okay, I'll stop boring you all now. (And if you're still reading, I give you props -- you're probably a stats weirdo like myself.) I'd originally planned to include my favorite reads from 2009, but this is already a hellishly long post, so I'll save that for another day soon.

So tell me: How did your 2009 reading year shape up?


Wendy said...

I tend to do several posts recapping my Year In Reading - and Post #1 is always statistics. Although I'm not a rock star like you are - since I don't break it down into percentages.

Yeah, one thing about reviewing - you tend to generate some D and F grades that way. When I stopped reviewing at TRR those D and F grades really tanked for me - because at this point if I'm loathing a book that much I tend to slap it with a DNF.

And yeah for discovering the HSR line!

Kristie (J) said...

Ack!!! I see no Westerns on your list!! I'm not normally a stat kind of person - but when it comes to books - I love stats - my own and other readers *g*

Katie Mack said...

Wendy -- Oh yeah, there were a couple of books where I would've given anything just to stop the pain, but I had to finish them for review. I shudder at the memories.

Kristie -- No, no Westerns. Yet. I want to read Goodman's Never Love a Lawman, I just didn't have time in 2009. But I have all of 2010 to get to it. ;D

Jill D. said...

I love statistics, so I was right there with you through the whole post :) I would love for you to post your list of reads for the year. I like to see what others have read. It gives me a feel for you reading tastes and preferences and I can compare my own tastes to yours.

I can't believe how few paranormal books you read. It seems like that would be impossible considering the explosion of that genres popularity.

I like contemporary books as well. I plan on doing a stat post too, but I haven't finished putting it together yet. Maybe today if I am feelign froggy!

nath said...

Love your post :) I think that doing statistics is a great way to recap the year... and it makes everything so orderly :D

Katie Mack said...

Jill - It'd be easy enough for me to list all my reads, so maybe I will do that.

And yes, I'm starting to believe that it takes more effort to avoid reading paranormals than it would be to just give in and read them. ;D There are a couple I like, but for the most part they don't appeal to me. Lately though I've been getting urges to try a few that are supposed to be really good, so 2010 may see an increase in my para reads.

Nath - Thanks! I really enjoyed putting the stats together -- especially since my recollection of the year was a bit off in a few cases :), and I also really enjoy reading others' stats.

Jill D. said...

Okay, if you need help picking out a paranormal then I might be able to steer you in the right direction. Let me know, I am always happy to recommend books. Who am I kidding, lol? It's what I live for :)

Katie Mack said...

Lol, I'll keep that in mind! :)