Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2009 Year In Review: The Numbers

It's time for me to finally put 2009 to bed, and that means recapping My Year In Reading. I always like to devote a couple of posts to this topic, and this first one will be a look at the numbers.

I managed to read 95 books in 2009. This is up from 2008, when my total was a measly 64. This is very good. Despite falling into several slumps over the course of 2009, I'm pretty happy with 95. The bad news? I padded my totals with a lot of short stories and category romance reads. Now I subscribe to the school of thought that a book is a book is a book. But admittedly, reading a 200 page category romance just isn't quite the same feat as say reading a 400 page single title. But, whatever. My spreadsheet says 95 and that's what I'm stickin' with.

As for how it all breaks down - here are the genres I read last year. Keep in mind I tend to tag books with multiple descriptions, so if you were to add these all up, you're going to see way more than 95. For example, for a category romance I'll have tagged it as "series" and "contemporary."

Mystery/Suspense = 5
Category/Series Romance = 37
Contemporary Romance = 46
Short Stories = 19
Regency = 10
Historical Romance = 40
Erotica/Erotic Romance = 17
Paranormal = 3
Unusual Historical Settings = 3 (China, Italy, Africa)
Western = 10
Time Travel = 1
Romantic Suspense = 2
Medieval = 6
American Historical (non-Western) = 3
Anthology = 3
Young Adult = 1
Non-Fiction = 1

My category romance totals are way up thanks to reviewing them over at TGTBTU, which would also be the reason why contemporary settings outpaced historicals this year. Some of you are probably wondering how I can so successfully avoid paranormals. Honestly, it wasn't that hard - you just have to be willing to read Harlequins. Dayum they publish a mess of books every month and 95% of them aren't remotely paranormal.

As for publication dates? Well this is just sad:

1983 = 1
2005 = 1
2007 = 3
2008 = 8
2009 = 81

I really must do a better job of tackling my TBR. These numbers of entirely too lop-sided.

As for how my grading broke down?

A = 2..........A= 11
B = 45........B = 30
C = 38........C = 21
D = 10........D = 2
F = 0...........F = 0

My A reads were way down this year, and I'm not very happy about it. My B and C reads were definitely the healthiest, making 2009 a fairly solid year despite my lack of "keepers." I am a bit surprised I had 10 D grades. I had no idea they were that high. No F grades is no surprise at all, because these days I'm more likely to slap a book with a DNF (Did Not Finish) than slog through a book I completely and totally despise. Speaking of, I don't keep track of my DNFs, so couldn't tell you if I had any this past year. My guess? Maybe one? Maybe?

And that's it for the numbers. Looking ahead to 2010 - I want to discover more A reads. I'm not sure how to go about doing this, other than pray to the Book Gods. I also need to read more "old" stuff - and on that score I plan on doing Keishon's TBR Challenge for the first time ever.

Next up? I plan on highlighting some of my favorite reads of 2009.


Kwana said...

Those are some very impressive numbers you've got there. Mine would be pitiful so I won't even try and face them.

Buriedbybooks said...

I'm just impressed you have a spreadsheet. LOL. I think I managed about 60 reviews this year. I know I read quite a few more that never made it to the review stage. And all but a handful were 2009 releases.

Wendy said...

Kwana: I was hoping to hit 100 this year, but it didn't happen.

Buried: Don't be too impressed. My spreadsheet is VERY bare bones. And I'm not nearly enterprising enough to do pie charts/graphs like some readers. This year I'm going to tack on some extra columns to my spread sheet though. I've added "publisher" and I think I'm going to add "setting/locale" to help break down my historical reads better.

nath said...

I almost read 1.5x the number of books of last year. I say that's good :D

As for reading mostly new releases... think of it that way: less making it to your TBR pile. Not a bad thing :D

Amy said...

I couldn't even be bothered last year to keep track of what I read. I'm thinking my guesstimation of 65-70 books over on my blog was reaching high. In actuality, I probably only read 40. Simple math, I was averaging probably 3 books/month.

Sad, really, sad... but, I'm over it and moving on in 2010

Carrie Lofty said...

Do you kick up your high heel like that when shelving? All the cute boys would come to your library.

Carrie Lofty said...

Oh, and I'm curious what your China, Italy and Africa books were.......

Wendy said...

Nath: LOL - that's a nice way of looking at it - but I know I still added an obscene amount of books to the TBR!

Amy: I'm a big fan of keeping a spreadsheet. I'm using Google Docs at the moment (that way I can access it on any computer with a 'Net connection) and it really is bare bones. I don't go all-out like some readers. My memory is like a sieve these days. If I didn't keep track I'd forget about half the stuff I read.

Carrie: LOLOLOLOLOL! I'm in a pretty sterile office building these days, so not a lot of shelving. And when I did do shelving, trust me - I didn't look that cute :)

Wendy said...

Carrie: I had a feeling someone was going to ask! Here are those books titles:

Italy: Pleasureed by the English Spy by Bronwyn Scott. This was a Harlequin Historical Undone short story. As I recall, a great sense of place.

Africa: Passionate by Anthea Lawson. It also takes place in England, but a chunk of the story is set in Northern Africa. Tunisia is my memory servers....

China: The Concubine by Jade Lee. This was a historical Harlequin Blaze.

All of these stories fell somewhere under my B umbrella.

Carrie Lofty said...

*pouts* I've read all of those! On the other hand, you could say that I *really* know my area of speciality :)

Wendy said...

Carrie: Well bugger!

Hey, have you read Amanda McCabe at all? She's done some unusual settings. Venice, the Carribbean, and I just read an HH Undone by her that was set in Elizabethan England. England's not usual - but sadly we don't see a lot of Elizabethan era stuff.

Wendy said...

Usual? I meant unusual...of course. Must. Drink. More. Caffeine.

Carrie Lofty said...

Yeah, Amanda has been a guest on UH a couple times. We'll be at the Mad Hatter Historical Tea Party on the Wed night of RT, if you're looking for some UH author love. Also there, among others: Charlotte Featherstone, Amanda McIntrye and Emily Bryan (aka Diana Groe), who've all done UH settings too.

Samanthadelayed said...

I agree, a book is a book. I keep track of my books over on Goodreads and my total for 2009 is 67. I am very happy with that. I think about 20 of those were series romance.

Lynn Spencer said...

Very nice! I noticed I had a lot more B reads this year, too. My number of C/D/F reads has gone way down. I don't know if there are more good books out there or I'm just getting better at picking books that are a good match for me.

Liza said...

I only read 85 books in 2009, so you did a lot better than me. Plus, I already have my first DNF for 2010. So sad, but I'm hoping to do better this year.

Renee said...

It's interesting what the numbers tells you.

What were your A reads?

Do you think that the large number of D books are what led to your recent reading slump? To me, it would seem that spending time with a D book would almost be more discouraging than DNFing a book.

Wendy said...

Samantha: I figure if I read it, I should be able to "count" it howevery I want :)

Lynn: I read a ton of category this year, which is why I suspect my D reads were up a bit. I tend to take more "risks" when it comes to selecting categories to read.

Liza: Oh noes! A DNF already? Here's hoping the next keeper is right around the corner for you.

Renee: I just put a new post up featuring my "best of" books. You'll find the A reads there :)

Yeah, the D reads sucked. Most of them were books I agreed to review. If it had been something I yanked out of my own TBR - I would have definitely gone the DNF route.

Katie Mack said...

Hmm. Your stats and mine, they are not so different. Low in paranormals, high in category/series romance.

That sucks that your D reads far outnumbered your A reads. Hopefully 2010 will be the opposite.

Wendy said...

Katie: When I was looking over my spreadsheet the D grades really surprised me. I thought I just had a few, and I had 10?! Just didn't realize it was that high.