Annual reading report for 2009

2009 was a very good reading year for me, with a total of 196 books finished. This is 43 books more than in 2008, making my weekly average 3,77 books.

I hardly expect to read as many this year, unless I start reading shorter books. However, reading a large number of books has never been a priority for me. What I want, above all else, is to read enjoyable books. This year I actually want to focus a bit more on my other hobbies, not just the bookbinding, but also rock painting and crochet, and my stash of quilting fabrics could also do with some attention.

As in 2008, there were very few unfinished books in 2009, and they consisted of guide books.

Fiction: 139 (70,9%), down by 5,6% since last year.
Non-fiction: 54 (27,6%) up by 7,3% since last year.
Mixed: 3 (1,5%)

My non-fiction percentage is up from 2008, which means I managed to fulfil my goal to read more non-fiction in 2009 than in 2008.

Total no. of pages read: 49672, compared with 44691 in 2008.
Average number of pages per book: 253. This is 39 pages less than in 2009.
Number of books 300+ pages long: 57 (29%). This percentage was 51% in 2008 and 49% in 2007. Not surprising considering that I got through 43 more books than in 2008.

Re-reads: 4 (2%). This is less than last year and shows that I am seeking out more new reading and going back less to my tried and trusted comfort reads.
Library and loan books: 58 (29,6%). This is 14,5% more than in 2008. I hope to make it less in 2010, because my TBR stack really needs some attention.
E-books: 5 (2,5%)
Audio books: 1
Translated books: 12 (6,1%)

Books published before 1900: 6. In 2008 it was 3, so the count has gone up by 100%. I didn't read any Sagas as I had planned, but I did read the oldest book I have ever read.
Books published after 2000 (that year not included): 51, or 26%, compared with 35,3% in 2008.

Average rating per book (out of a possible 5+): 3+. Last year the actual average was 3,5 stars, but this year it’s 3,6 stars, so the average rating is ever so slightly up.
Most common rating (out of a possible 5+): Not surprisingly (considering the above), the most common rating is 3,5 stars (representing 34 books, or 17,3%). This year, no books got a score of 1, but 2 got a score of 1+. 12 books got 5 stars versus last year’s 6, and 5 got 5+ stars. I was unable to give scores to 5 books in 2009.
See the reading report for 2008 for reasons for not scoring books.

Languages: I read and listened to 148 books in English in 2008, the same number as in 2008, but whereas the percentage in 2008 was 93%, in 2009 it was 75,5% out of the total. This is of course due to the Icelandic books challenge. Out of these, 6 were translated from other languages.
I read 48 books in Icelandic in 2009, out of which 6 were translations (from 5 languages). This makes a total of 21,4% of books written in Icelandic, which is a lot more than in 2008.

Breakdown by genre:

The books that mix (or seem to mix) fiction and non-fiction I divided into genres as I saw fit.

Crime, mystery and thrillers: 82 (41,85%), up %7,15
Romance: 14 (7,15%), down by 21,6%
Fantasy, sci-fi, fairy tales, myths and supernatural: 10 (5,10%), down by 2,7%
Miscellaneous fiction: 33 (16,85%) up by 11,6%
Travelogues, memoirs of places, geography, guide books: 29 (14,8%) up by 5%
Miscellaneous non-fiction: 24 (12,25%), down by 1,55%
Miscellaneous other: 4 (2%)

Most read authors:
This was a more even reading year for me than 2008 was, in the sense that I didn't do a major glom and the book per author distribution was more even. Nora Roberts won the author stakes like last year, but with 13 fewer books than in 2008 and only one book more than Ngaio Marsh. Only 6 authors made it to 3 books, but 19 to 2 books, compared with 9 and 8 in 2008, respectively.

Here is the score:
J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts: 6
Ngaio Marsh: 5
Dorothy L. Sayers: 4
Len Deighton, Dashiell Hammett, Sharyn McCrumb, Ellis Peters, Fred Vargas: 3
Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine, Arnaldur Indriðason, Suzanne Brockmann, Edmund Crispin, Jennifer Crusie, Gerald Durrell, Neil Gaiman, Patricia Highsmith, Tony Hillerman, Michael Innes, H.R.F. Keating, Frances Mayes, Ed McBain, Terry Pratchett, Rakel Pálsdóttir, Satyajit Ray, Snjólaug Bragadóttir frá Skáldalæk, Viktor Arnar Ingólfsson, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir: 2

As to publishers, some of the older books I read were published by what were then independent publishing companies but have now been swallowed up by other publishers and become imprints. I therefore decided to count imprints this time. Most of the books were published by a publisher bearing the same name as the imprint, but some subsequently became imprints of a larger company.

Penguin won hands down with 24 books, and that's without counting the imprints and counting just the books actually published under variations of the Penguin name.

Then came:
Mál og menning and Ballantine: 7
Bantam: 5
Vaka-Helgafell, Project Gutenberg, and Bjartur: 4
Vintage , Simon & Schuster, Signet, Pocket, Pan, Jove Books, Houghton Mifflin, Fontana/Collins, Fontana, Fawcett Crest, Bókaútgáfa Menningarsjóðs, Avenel, Almenna Bókafélagið (+ 1 with another publisher), Abacus: 3
Örn og Örlygur, Veröld, St. Martin's Publishing, Random House, Puffin, Piatkus, Oxford University Press, NEL, JPV, Ísafold, Harper Paperbacks, Grámann, Grafton Books, privately published, Dutton,
Dell, Black Swan, Berkley Books: 3
Plus 62 other with 1 each


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