2010 Reading Review & Some Reflections

Reading List Books

MontmartreA Few Reading Reflections

I have been trying to make some sense out of my reading of the past year, but nothing coherent is coming to mind.  Time to go for the tried and true bullet points!

  • This was a really busy year and as can be expected with really busy years, I read less.  I think my count was 160 last year.  That dropped to 130 books this year.
  • The J months were big reading months for me.  I read 18 books in January, 19 in June, and 20 in July, but it all caught up to me.  I read considerably less in August and only 1 book in September.
  • By my count this year, women topped my reading list.  Out of 130 books 58% (76 books) of them were by women.  I had actually thought the number was going to be greater, but it seems that the men kept pretty good pace.  I guess it just feels like the authors I am always talking about are women.
  • 44% of my reading this year (56 books) was either historical fiction or books where half the narrative is set in an historical time. Who’da thunk it?
  • Now this is embarrassing, where did all my non-fiction go?  I love non-fiction, but only 7% of my reading list from last year (a measly 9 books) fell into that category.  I would like at least 25% for the year ahead.  I noticed that in my list swap challenge list, all of the books that I chose for myself, but one, were non-fiction.  I guess I was unconsciously trying to remedy a deficiency.  Luckily I also have some other good non-fiction that I will be reading in 2011 as well.
  • I would like to see my backlist numbers get a little bit higher, but it’s not too shabby at 42% (55 books).  I think with the reading that I have planned for next year, things will even out to at least 50/50 if not slightly higher.
  • Thanks to Gayle at Everyday I Write The Book I read one (you read that right), one, short story collection when we read Jumpha Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth.  I have a few collections I have been giving the eye, but I just don’t read short stories the way I used to.  Oh, I did read a few here and there in my investigation into Sherlock Holmes.  Love those!
  • I also didn’t read as much YA this year as I have previously.  I’m not sure why that is, but only a quarter of my reads weren’t adult reads, and that included middle grade and early readers.  Interesting.  I will see how that develops.  25% isn’t a bad number by any means, I’m just used to it being much higher.
  • 56% (73 books) of the books that I read were sent to my either by the publisher, author, or picked up at an industry event like BEA, book release parties and the like.  I like that I read almost equally between my own books and review copies, and that wasn’t even me trying on my part, it’s just how it worked out.

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Sherlock Holmes – Movie Trailer

ETA:  Actually I read two shorts story collections.  I listened to Zora Neale Hurstons’s short stories on audio.  They were fabulous.

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  1. 130 is not a small number, my lady and how do you read so much in a BUSY month. Wow! I think I want to read more shorts this year as well and try some non-fiction too.

    1. I definitely want to get back to some non-fiction. I have a good start on that We have to see about the short stories. I am very picky about them.

  2. I didn’t actually count how much nonfiction I read in 2010, but it wasn’t nearly enough, and most of what I did read wasn’t good narrative nonfiction. I’m doing a nonfiction week later this month, and that might have to be something I do semi-regularly, because I miss it.

    1. I think part of it for me was having a really busy year, and the thought of fiction is just so much more relaxing than non-fiction at the end of a long day.

  3. Whoa … that’s a LOT of books! Congrats, Nicole!

    p.s. I’m tickled that mine was among them!

  4. I didn’t read much non-fiction last year either but I’m planning to this year. I love the stats too. I didn’t do any for myself this year, mostly because it felt too much like work, but I love reading them!

    1. I didn’t get that deeply into stats because I got too lazy. I am going to try to track few more things as I go this year. This time I had to physically do a count on some things.

  5. 130 – that is still impressive! I am also hoping to read more non-fiction this year. I am impressed with how you balanced your reviews with your own books. I am looking to do that well this year – we shall see! You read an impressive amount of historical fiction too, I love it so I’ve been loving your reviews 🙂

  6. What a great year, Nicole (especially the J months!). I don’t do any statistical analysis of my reading, but it really is informative … I may be inspired to take a closer look at the trends in my own reading.

    Here’s to a great 2011!

  7. Looks like you had a wonderful reading year, Nicole! Congratulations! I liked that fact 58% of the books you read were by women authors – I had exactly the same percentage 🙂 I loved your analysis of the J months 🙂

    Hope you have a wonderful reading year in 2011!

  8. That’s funny that the J months were high reading months for you…kind of random! I don’t read many short story collections either, but my book group just did Unaccustomed Earth and I ended up really enjoying it.

  9. Hi Nicole, it was like that for me in 2010 also. I only read 62 books or so, and that’s a substantial drop from 110 in 2009. It was a very busy year for me with the change of job and other personal challenges. I also read less of YA books. In fact, I dropped the YA reading challenge all together. My first love is non-fiction, so I’ll definitely be reading more of that this year. Happy reading!

  10. Wow, you read a lot of books! Even if your count did fall by some 🙂

    Good luck with your reading goals. i always say I want to read more non-fiction but that’s a hard one for me. I always gravitate towards novels.

  11. Interesting stats, thanks for sharing! I’ve never done a month by month analysis only because the overall totals for me are so abysmal compared to years ago when I used to read a lot. I wonder why the J months are so good for your reading? That is an interesting stat.

    1. I think I have more focus at the beginning of the year, and then June and July are the first months of summer – another time of the year where I am more focused and have more time.