In addition to tracking my reading, for 2017 I started grabbing some more stats.
The biggest numbers I’ve been tracking are for diversity, and I’ve been keeping an eye on those for a few years now. Being more intentional makes a difference (Just compare my favorites from now with a few years ago—if you have very few diverse reads among your favorites, you’re doing it wrong). If you ignore the numbers and hope it all works out, it’s eye-opening how it doesn’t.
Of course counting these numbers is tough: I base gender simply on the author, counting a book if any contributor is a woman. For race I count a book if a contributor or main character is a person of color.
This year’s numbers:
- 64% POC books.
- 55% female authors.
Here’s how that stacks up historically:
Here’s what that looks like compared to my total reading:
I’m pretty thrilled to see those diversity numbers getting higher. If you think that’s silly or ridiculous, well, talk to my kids. It matters to them, and it matters to me.
I also tracked some other details this year, which revealed some interesting trends:
- New is always better: 75% of the books I read were published in the last five years. I only read 10 books that were more than 20 years old. (The oldest? A Wrinkle in Time, 1962.)
- Nerds forever: As much as I love sci-fi, I don’t always read that much of it. This year I did. It was the top genre with 37% (last year it was 10%). Next came non-fiction with 18% (last year 6%). Then comes graphic novels and YA at 10% each, followed by fiction at 9%.
- That’s how we’ve always done it: 82% of my reading was print books. Audio snagged 11% (mostly car rides) and digital 7% (thanks to the library not having Octavia Butler’s full collection in print; last year digital was only 0.6%).
- Spring slump: For the months of March, April, and July I only managed to finish four books each month. For August I rebounded with 15. (Not sure that means much, and it’s easy to game, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I read the most during the month I took a vacation.)
If you want help reading more, check out my booklet 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading Again.