One of the main features I enjoy on Goodreads is the yearly “Reading Challenge“. I have participated the last 4 years, and have enjoyed watching my yearly reading totals/goals get pushed upwards. I am a VERY statistic-oriented person; I enjoy and excel in fantasy sports, I am a huge stat geek about my own personal sports stats (to the annoyance of my close friends and teammates), I work with numbers and stats on a frequent basis at work, and I enjoy keeping milestone and informational statistics in most things I do.
The yearly reading challenge is great – it not only gives me milestones to aim for and stay motivated, but also gives lots of glorious information in an easy-to-use format! Generally speaking, I’ve aimed for 100 books per year on my reading challenge, and have met that goal all 3 years I’ve aimed for it (114 books in 2013 and 103 books in 2014). I’m not a stickler – I read short stories as well, and count those on my list, so my large number is not strictly full novels (that’s nearly 2 novels a week for an entire year – I have other hobbies and commitments).
Thus far, I’ve completed 99 works, and am in the middle of reading 2 others, for a total of 101. For the sake of stats, I’ll count my currents as having been completed. We can do some fun things with this information, such as track some of my reading goals. For example, one of my main goals over last year was to read more female authors. I have never avoided a book due to being written by a female author, but I also never specifically searched out books written by females. In the genres of SFF, the mainstream authors tend to be white males, so it’s much easier to find books that fall under that umbrella. Let’s compare last year to this year:
Total Books: 103
Books By Female Authors: 14
Not an extremely encouraging number. However, I did read several anthologies last year, which bumps the percentage up slightly. I did make a point of improving upon that this year, so upon reviewing stats…
Total Books: 101
Books By Female Authors: 17
Based on that, my percentage was certainly not much higher than last year, and not nearly as high as I had thought. I personally felt as though I’d done a decent job of adding more female authors to my list, but in the end, I did not improve nearly enough.
I think it’s a very telling statistic; I try to make a point to read more female authors, but I also put a priority on (a) new and/or relevant works to the genre (b) authors I already enjoy putting out new works/sequels (c) authors who I have a personal relationship of some sort with. Even with the motivation to read more female authors, my number still was not much higher. Seems like I have a 2016 goal again.
Some other interesting tidbits from my reading:
Fantasy vs SF vs “Other”:
55 Fantasy (54%)
38 Sci Fi (37%)
8 “Other” (8%)
Published in 2015 vs Pre-2015:
49 in 2015 (48%)
52 Pre-2015 (52%)
Most-Read Authors in 2015:
Hugh Howey: 9
Roger Zelazny: 7
Ken Liu: 5
Kameron Hurley, Daniel Polansky, Teresa Frohock: 4
Brandon Sanderson, Brian McClellan: 3
Top 5 Most-Read authors make up 38% of total books read in 2015.
Full Novel vs Novella/Short Breakdown:
For sake of stats, anthologies count as ‘full novel’ due to overall length.
Full Novels: 68 (67%)
Shorts/Novellas: 33 (33%)
Goodreads Ratings Breakdown:
I’m a notoriously “soft” rater (average something like 3.98).
Longest Book: Blackguards Anthology (736 pages)
Total Pages: 25,110
This is a much lower number. For example, here are my last two years:
2014: 31,907 pages
2013: 36,348 pages
I will note that in 2014, I read some very long books, such as Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. I’m still surprised, in spite of that, that my number this year is as low as it is. There’s still a chance I’ll bust out an additional book before the year’s out (I’ll probably finish my audiobook in the next week, but Salyards will take me til the end of the year due to it’s length) .
I will do a couple more reviews as I finish these two books I’m reading, as well as any others I wedge in for the rest of this year. By the end of December, I’ll put up my “year in review” post, my “2016 preview” post, and the first annual TITC AWARDS! They’re prestigious, I swear.