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10 Years Tracking My Reading (22nd September 2009 – 22nd September 2019)

A photo of Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep laying on an open envelope

The 22nd September marked 10 years of me keeping exact records of my reading – dates, and formats and so on. Before September 2009 I had been reading avidly (I begun at the start of that year) but I hadn’t begun taking any notes of what I’d read. The list for the first several months of 2009 was made retrospectively.

I decided to have a look at all the data to see what they showed about my journey as a reader. This journey is 90% combined with my journey as a book blogger, too, as I started blogging early 2010. I already look at each year, and in 2017 I amalgamated various data from 8 years, so I won’t be repeating any of that, instead it’ll be simpler. I read 12 books that were re-reads but only 3 had been first read during my blogging years. I’m counting re-reads as separate books.

Total number of books: 553
Opening book: A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly
Closing book: You Then, Me Now by Nick Alexander

Centuries & Decades

My reading era, so to speak, spans just over 500 years. The oldest book I’ve read is Thomas More’s Utopia (1516). And, because classics and famous books are most often older, I’ll say here that I’ve read 67 of them. I’ve read a big 0 books from the 1600s. My plan to read Aphra Behn should (start to) rectify this. I feel I should add some books from 1900-1907, too. (If anyone has recommendations do let me know.)

I read more books in 2013 than any other – 76. My ‘least books’ year was year 1, 2009, which is to be expected – 27. Likely due to everything being new and exciting, my second year, 2010, ended with 60. The numbers are consistent with being given review copies.

Publication year most read: 2013 (58 books)

1500s: 1 (1516)

1700s: 3 (1752; 1764; 1788)

1800s: 29

  • 1800s: 1
  • 1810s: 8
  • 1830s: 1
  • 1840s: 4
  • 1850s: 4
  • 1860s: 4
  • 1870s: 3
  • 1890s: 4

1900s: 80

  • 1900s: 2
  • 1910s: 5
  • 1920s: 7
  • 1930s: 7
  • 1940s: 2
  • 1950s: 10
  • 1960s: 4
  • 1970s: 1
  • 1980s: 15
  • 1990s: 27

2000s: 439

  • 2000s: 82
  • 2010s: 357
Translations From…
  • Danish: 2
  • Dutch: 1
  • Finnish: 3
  • French: 13
  • German: 6
  • Hebrew: 1
  • Japanese: 1
  • Latin: 1
  • Mandarin: 1
  • Norwegian: 3
  • Portuguese: 2
  • Russian: 2
  • Spanish: 3
  • Swedish: 2
  • Turkish: 1
Ratings

In my first year I labelled some books not applicable to be rated – I gave N/A to books I didn’t review. I discussed this in a separate post. In 2018 I assigned N/A to Twelve Years A Slave – if considered numerically it would be a 5 and I have considered this for the below.

I’m pretty happy with the ratings. It surprised me that there were a good fewer less 4.5 ratings than 4s and 5s but its a tricky one to assign sometimes; it always feels better when something’s a definite 4 or 5.

540 ratings

  • 0/5: 1
  • 0.5/5: 4
  • 1/5: 7
  • 1.5/5: 3
  • 2/5: 13
  • 2.5/5: 30
  • 3/5: 68
  • 3.5/5: 82
  • 4/5: 127
  • 4.5/5: 89
  • 5/5: 116
Reviewing

The first book I read for review was Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep. It was a ‘sign up for a challenge’ read. My first review request was for Molly Roe’s Call Me Kate, in September 2010. This book was also my first ebook.

Books for review, various reasons: 222

Concluding Statements

The biggest change in my reading happened in 2010-2011, when blogging opened my reading world to many different types of books and pushed me to try classics. In 2009 the idea of reading a book for adults was a scary thing; this is a big reason why I never reviewed the first I read that year (when I started blogging in 2010 I slowly started reviewing previously read books). I remember trying to review non-fiction but I was aware that – whilst it was on a subject I knew a lot about – I probably needed a bit more experience to do so.

My book stats are obviously a reflection of where I was at that moment (well, year) in time, and although I can’t remember every circumstance I can remember enough to see why the patterns are what they are. I struggled to finish Station Eleven and thus it was my last book of that year; I found reading easy in 2013 because I’d changed the way I blogged, and I’d also chosen a few more shorter books; 2017 saw a slow down due to a new job; 2018 further still as I added rabbit care to my schedule. I’m on track to reach approximately 40 books this year.

How long have you been tracking your reading and what does the information you note down show about your journey?

 
 

Kelly

October 23, 2019, 4:32 pm

I began using journals to note title, author, and dates read in 1996. At the very least, it shows how little time I had for reading when I was raising children! In recent years I’ve added the first line of the book, if it was read on my Kindle, and if it was for my book club.

Charlie

November 4, 2019, 3:19 pm

Kelly: I’m envious of the amount of data you must have by now! Yes to your point about showing time; I like that about my logs – it offers a glimpse at how your life has been in those years without actually referencing it. I was able to pinpoint things that had happened in a way I wouldn’t have been able to at the time. Love the idea of adding the first line.

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