Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2010 Year In Review: The Numbers

When I take the time to look back at the previous year's reading, I always like to take a look at the numbers.  This will likely bore most some of you, but I always find it a little fascinating to dissect my reading in this fashion.  I use Google Docs (the spreadsheet, naturally) to keep track of my reading.  I need another form of social media in my life (yes, I'm looking at you GoodReads) like I need a hole in the head - and Google Docs allows me to access my stats wherever I can scare up an Internet connection.

I read 94 books/titles in 2010.  My total for 2009 was 95.  Hey, I'm nothing if not consistent.  For 2011 I'd love to get over the 100+ hump, but we shall see.  Baby steps Wendy, baby steps.

The publication dates broke down like this:

1993 = 1
2000 = 1
2004 = 2
2005 = 3
2006 = 4
2007 = 1
2008 = 1
2009 = 15
2010 = 65
2011 = 1

Given my reviewing obligations, it's not surprising that 2009 and 2010 are so lopsided.  But this year I think I did a better job with older publication dates in large part due to the TBR Challenge.  Go me!

Looking at the genres I read is a bit more, well, intense.  I tend to slap multiple "tags" on the books I read.  For example, Zoe Archer's Blades of the Rose series were all labeled VIC, HIS, P (Victorian, historical, paranormal).  I was going to break down all these tags, but then my eyes started to cross.  So instead, y'all are getting the sweeping overview.  Remember, I use multiple tags, and I wasn't always consistent in applying them - so these numbers are probably more in the ball park than etched in concrete.

Contemporary = 34
Series/Category = 33
Erotic Romance = 12
Erotica = 3
Romantic Suspense = 7
Short Stories = 19
Historicals = 39
Paranormal = 6
Inspirational = 3
Mystery/Suspense = 4
Anthologies = 2

My grades this year weren't too much of a surprise.  I definitely subscribe to the school of thought that most books are around Bs and Cs - with A being reserved for "truly awesome" and D or below for "OMG - just shoot me already!"  Also, this was the first year I kept track of my DNFs.  And yes, I counted the DNFs in my final reading total.  That's probably (OK, it is) cheating, but I figured if I wasted time on it only to give up, I should be able to count it.  Especially if said book was getting chucked out of the TBR pile.

A = 4
B = 59
C = 24
D = 4
DNF = 5

There are more than 94 grades here because there was one anthology where I just had to grade the stories individually, as opposed to assigning an overall grade (when one story is an A and another is a DNF - how do you assign an overall grade?!).  One thing of note?  My C grades were down a tiny bit this year and the difference was reflected in a higher total for B grades.  So yippee for quality reading!

This year I also decided to keep track of publishers for the first time.  Given that I review category romances for The Good, The Bad, The Unread, it's not surprising that these numbers are majorly skewed.

Avon = 1
Ballantine = 4
Berkley = 4
Bethany House = 1
Black Lace = 1
Harlequin = 61
Ellora's Cave = 1
Kensington = 13
St. Martin's = 2
Samhain = 3
Pearlsong = 1
Sourcebooks = 1
Zondervan = 1

In the Harlequin universe I read books from the following lines: American, Blaze, Historical, Historical Undone, Intrigue, Romance, SuperRomance, Temptation, Love Inspired Historical, Kimani Romance, Desire, Spice Briefs, Romantic Suspense, Special Edition and Carina.

Holy frackin' cow!  One thing reviewing for TGTBTU has definitely done is expand my category romance reading horizons.  There was a time when I mostly just stuck with Historical, SuperRomance, and Special Edition!

Speaking of reviews - this year I reviewed 42 titles here at the Bat Cave and 43 over at TGTBTU.  The missing titles only got brief mentions in my monthly recap posts because they were either DNFs that I couldn't be bothered with or contest reads for RWA chapters that I purposely wanted to be a bit more vague about.

And that's a look at the numbers.  If you've stuck around to the end of this post, I commend your fortitude.  Again, I'm not sure how interesting all this is to anybody other than me - but hey, I like looking at these stats, and this blog is nothing if it's not All About Wendy.


SarahT said...

Tracking publishers is a great idea. I'm going to add that to my reading spreadsheet.

I still need to look over my figures from 2010 but I think my average grade was B-. That's pretty high. Due to my Mary Stewart and Jo Nesbo gloms, I had a fair few 'A' reads to balance the DNFs.

Have you done a 'Best of 2010' post already, or can I just not find it? I'd love to know which were your favourite category romances of 2010.

Wendy said...

Patience my dear SarahT :) The "Best Of" list is in the works. I need to look over my spreadsheet again. Depending on how many titles I want to mention it might be TWO posts. One "Best Of" the other "Honorable Mentions."

kellicollins said...

Wow. That's some hardcore number crunching. The mind, it boggles.

Great post! :)

SarahT said...

Yay! Just saw your fave reads post is up. Patience is not my forte. :D

nath said...

94 is good, Wendy :) and it's really not far off from 2009, so that's even better :) Like you said, consistency. I haven't compiled my books yet, but I think I'll be in similar range as I was last year.

By the ways, kudos at compiling the numbers!! :) I have no problem (or not many) at keeping track of my books, but then when it comes time to compile the numbers... it's just daunting!

By the way, I'm pretty surprised at your publisher break-down. Pretty much the opposite of me LOL.

Wendy said...

Kelli: I like keeping track of what I read :) I've been doing this since....oh around 2003 maybe? I lost a bunch of a stats years back due to a Great Computer Meltdown. Hence, now I'm using Google Docs.

SarahT: I always end up doing around 3 or 4 posts to recap the year. What can I say? I'm long-winded.

Nath: I feel like I'm getting my groove back. 94 last year, 95 the year before, but in 2008? Yeah, 64. That was not a good year.

I wanted to do a better job detailing all my genre tags - but damn, that just got daunting. My eyes started to cross. This year I think I'm going to strip that back quite a bit.

Gail Dayton said...

I am probably the most disorganized Virgo in existence. I WANT to keep track of everything, but barely manage to get the books in GoodReads. Spreadsheet? Ha! It is to laugh.

Anyway, I did manage to count the books I read in 2010--that I put in GoodReads--I still don't have all of them in yet. But as of early November, I'd read 257 books. (Yes, I read fast.)

Now you are inspiring me to get them all listed, and maybe even do a spreadsheet. Maybe. And see how many of what kind I read.

I should do a blog post, shouldn't I?

Wendy said...

Gail: My spreadsheets tend to be pretty simple. Date Finished, Author, Title, Pub Date, Genre and Grade. Publishers was a new category for me this year, and one I think I'm going to keep. It's especially helpful when it comes to tracking all the category romance lines.

I know a bunch of people who track their reading on GoodReads. I probably should - but I can't seem to give up my spreadsheet. Even as basic as it is, it's the method I've been using since my TRR days and I'm comfortable with it.