I keep track of my reading in a spreadsheet as well as on Goodreads and usually share my stats at the end of each year but I’ve been looking through my 2019 stats so far and decided to do a half-year post as well!
I set my Goodreads reading challenge to 200 books, which is the same as my goal for 2018. I’ve read 162 books up to the end of June so 2019 has been one of my best ever reading years so far! My average page count per book is 353 so I’m very happy with that as it shows me that I’m reading what I want to read rather than focusing on shorter books.
The longest book that I’ve read so far this year is Middlemarch by George Eliot (my edition has 923 pages) and the shortest book is a poetry collection called The Sea Refuses No River by Bethany Rivers (it has 42 pages).
I’m reasonably happy with the variety of genres that I’ve been reading in 2019 so far. I’m just a little disappointed that I haven’t read more non-fiction. When I add up memoir, true crime, essay collections and general non-fiction it comes to around a third of my reading in total and I would like to have done better with that. This is one benefit to looking at my stats mid-way through the year though as it means I know where I want to focus my reading more over the second half of the year.
I’m still reading a lot more books by women than men. This stat has remained roughly the same ever since I started tracking my reading in more detail. I don’t consciously look to read more books by female authors so it’s interesting that I naturally seem to lean that way.
I do try to read as diversely as possible and I’m doing okay with this but would like to do better. I think the problem is that when I read ARCs it’s usually to a timeframe and when I read my own books I’m trying to focus on books that I’ve owned for a longer time rather than just recent purchases so diversity in my reading is a bit limited by these factors. I will keep being aware though and hopefully this will be reflected throughout the rest of the year. I would like to read more books where disability is featured as it would be good to see myself reflected more in what I read so this might be where I try to focus initially.
This is the first year ever in my life that audio books have become my main way of reading. I should just say that around half of the time when I listen to an audio book I also part-read the physical or ebook so while I’ve noted it as audio there has been an element of reading the print too. I would say this change to audio happened gradually over recent years as due to my physical disability I often struggle to hold a print book and to turn the pages, and with ebooks holding a kindle can be hard work. I can’t bend my head forward so even propping my kindle on a cushion I still can struggle. So audio books have become the way I can enjoy books and not aggravate my pain and other symptoms. They’re also a great distraction when I’m doing my physio exercises, or when I need to relax.
I’m delighted to see this breakdown from my spreadsheet as it shows I’ve been reading more ARCS this year, which is what I wanted to do as I was getting a bit behind. I like that there is a nice balance with a reasonable percentage of books that I’ve bought and books I’ve borrowed in the mix too. I want to be reading more ARCs as I’d like to catch up and keep up with the books that I’m sent from publishers but it’s nice to read a few of my own books in amongst them.
Just to give some balance to the previous breakdown, this chart shows the percentage of books that I’ve either bought myself or borrowed versus the ones that I’ve been sent from publishers and authors. I buy more books than I get sent and that is how I want it to remain as I want to continue to support authors and book shops.
My TBR has spiralled out of control again this year so I need to get back on track with this. I think part of the problem is that a lot of my books are physical and I can’t always manage to turn the pages, or they’re ebooks and I can’t hold my kindle so they don’t get read. I’m now using Scribd and I’ve re-joined my local library and now have their BorrowBox app so I’ve been looking for audio versions of books that I own in order to read some of my TBR. Fingers crossed that this helps me get through some of the older books on my TBR mountain! As you can see from the above graphic, I also need to stop acquiring books faster than I could ever read them! I shall attempt to work on this.
I’m also very overdue a sort through of my bookcases so getting rid of books that I know I won’t read will also help. My TBR currently stands at 2575 books (this is books that I already own) and I genuinely wanted to reduce it this year so I need to get myself back on track.
So that’s my 2019 so far in statistics! I’m really happy with how much I’ve read and how much I’ve enjoyed what I’ve been reading. I’m also pleased with the variety of books I’ve read. I need to work on my TBR but I suspect that’s going to always be out of control to some degree! Ah well! 😉