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Bibliophile’s reading report for 2006

I suddenly occurred to me yesterday that I had not published my annual reading report. Well, here goes:

Total books read in 2006: 160. This is 122 books fewer than in 2005, which is not surprising as I wrote my master's thesis in 2006 and thus had less time for reading.

Fiction: 119 (74,4%)
Non-fiction: 41 (25,6%)
My non-fiction percentage has risen by 4% since 2005, probably due to all the travel books I read in 2006.

Total no. of pages: 40422.
Average number of pages per book: 252. Not surprisingly, I read fewer pages in 2006 than in 2005, but the books I read in 2006 were on average 38 pages longer than those I read in 2005.
Number of books under 100 pages long: 2
Number of books over 300 pages long: 43 (26,8%)

Re-reads: 15 (9,4%)
Library and loan books: 50 (31,25%)
E-books: 1
Audio books: 1
Translated books: 13 (8,1%)

Books published before 1900: 2 (1,25%) -> Memo: Must read more classics in 2007
Books published after 2000: 27 (16,9%)

Average rating per book (out of a possible 5+): 3+
Most common rating (out of a possible 5+): 4 (36 books, 22,5%)

Languages: English (153, 95,6%), Icelandic (7, 4,4%) -> Memo: Must read more Icelandic books in 2007

Breakdown by genre:
Fiction is often difficult to classify by genre because so many novels straddle genre boundaries, like "romantic mystery", "mystery thriller" or "supernatural romance". This is why, when I break my reading down by genre for the purpose of statistical analysis, I always look at the main genre so I can get a clear breakdown. If a book is, for example, a romantic mystery, I decide which is the main focus: the mystery or the romance. Rachel Gibson's Sex, lies and online dating uses the mystery to get the lovers together, and so gets classified as a romance, while Carolyn G. Hart's Death on Demand features a romance incidental to the mystery and thus gets classified as a mystery. A historical romance is classified under "romance". A historical novel is classified under "fiction", unless there are many of them (see below). Non-fiction where I only read a few books in the genre is collected under "miscellaneous non-fiction" and so on. The only time is use a fuller genre classification is when there are enough of them to be statistically interesting.

Out of the 160 books I read in 2006, 17 books count as historical fiction, which includes historical novels, historical mysteries and historical romance. 3 more feature a historical mystery that is solved in modern times. That makes 20 books that can be counted as historical, or 12,5% of all the books I read in 2006.

Crime, mystery and action, including criminal stories and revenge tales: 65 (40,6%, up by 10%)
Romance (no chick lit this year): 14 (8,75%, down by about 2%)
Fantasy and sci-fi, supernatural horror, alternate realities and futuristic novels: 24 (15%, up by 5% due to a re-reading spree of the Discworld series)
Miscellaneous fiction, incl. novels, short story collections, verse, cartoons and graphic novels: 16 (10%)
Biographies, autobiographies and memoirs: 7 (4,4%)
Travel: 20 (12,5%, up by 8,5%)
Miscellaneous non-fiction: 14 (8,75%)

Out of these, 5 were written with teenagers or children in mind, but I only use teen-lit and children's lit as genre definitions when I have read a substantial number of them.

Last year I promised to publish a list of my most read authors in 2005, but never did. I will try to do better this year.


jenclair said…
Impressive number of books read! I enjoyed looking at your statistical breakdown.
Bibliophile said…
Thank you. It's amazing what you can discover about your own reading habits by doing something like this. Of course, it takes a good 10 years or so before you really start noticing any trends. I just hope I can keep my book journalling up for that long.

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