Friday, 4 January 2019

Looking back on 2018

As 2019 kicks off, it's time to look back on all the books and stories I read in 2018.

I only read 78 books, according to my spreadsheet. This includes novels, individually packaged novellas, comics and collections/anthologies of short stories. Slightly more books are logged on Goodreads because some of the short stories I read had their own entries. I find this number a little disappointing since I hoped to read 100 books, but perhaps that number is no longer feasible for me.

I also read 215 short stories from various locations. Many were in anthologies and collections, but a lot were from various online venues. I used Pocket to save most of those to read later, and according to the end of year message Pocket sent me, I read the equivalent of 20 books. I'm not sure how they have defined "book" and I suspect it's a bit more liberally than the editors of the anthologies I read. Overall, the short story reading probably makes up for the book reading, although it's interesting to see that there isn't quite an anticorrelation between books read and stories read. See my monthly reads charts below:

I think the above is more an indication that reading more leads to reading more, not that more short stories mean fewer books or vice versa.

I read 88% ebooks (12% paper, no audio), whereas for short stories it was 62% ePubs (meaning they were probably anthologies, collections or from my Uncanny subscription), 37% web (mostly things I saved in Pocket) and 1% audio. Breaking up the books into forms, I present the following pie chart:

51% novels, 31% novellas, 6% anthologies or collections, 8% comics and 4% magazines.

The gender stats for books are 80% female, 9% male, 1% nonbinary and 10% multiple people of different genders. For short stories, they aren't too different, except that I gave a lot more short story time to men than I did book time. We have 69% female, 23% male, 6% nonbinary and 2% multiple.

When it comes to countries, I remain stuck at around 50% US authors, which I can't seem to be able to shake. Unsurprisingly, short stories are more diverse than books, mostly, I expect, since there are just more of them and hence more chance of them being authored by a non-US author. I present the author-country pie charts below. For short stories the "other" category includes countries from which I read fewer than four stories in 2018. For books I'm pretty sure "other" was two or fewer.

If I have any reading resolutions (other than to more or less keep doing what I'm doing) it's to read a bit more broadly and a bit less US-ly. I feel like I have had that resolution for several years running, though. We shall see. My percentage of US writers has been pretty stable for years now. :-/

I kept track of a few other stats, but I think the above are the most pertinent. I will just mention that 35% of the books I read were review copies, and 44% of the stories I read were (as far as I could determine) by non-white authors.

And that about sums it up. Happy New Year and I hope you liked my graphs!

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