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2011 Statistics

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
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2011 Statistics: 01/01/12

cover art

At the start of 2011 I challenged myself to read 600 books. I knew at the time that more than half of the books I would be reading would come from picture books, short chapter books and graphic novels. I met my challenge and went over by a dozen or so books.

So here I am looking at a new year of reading. My goals this year are to read 300 books but most of these have to be longer books, primarily YA and adult (either fiction or nonfiction).

The problem, though, with reading more than 600 books, and posting 365 reviews (this year there will be 366), is that the end of the year statistics are a pain to work on. It's taken me about three hours (on and off with a break for a dip in the hot tub and another for dinner) to gather the data, make the graphs, remake the graphs and now write this article. While I love seeing the results, the process is a time consuming pain.

Many year end posts highlight the reviews of great books published in the just ended year. My problem is that I read twice as many books as I reviewed. Many of my posted reviews were of books I finished in 2010. I also read most of my books (approximately 2/3 of my total books) from the library and I have to wait for the library to first acquire the books, adding upwards of 3 to 6 months delay in reading newly published books. What that means for my reviews is this: there is a spike around 2010 for the books I both read and reviewed and this year the spike will be around 2011 published books.

Review by year

As I don't limit myself to a specific era of book, there is naturally a long tail to the publication dates of the books I read and review. The above graph shows that most of the books I reviewed in 2011 were published between the years 1990 and 2011. The publication year with the most reviewed books is 2010.

That said, I did review some classics, including Pride and Prejudice, which has the honor of being my earliest published book.

Review by year

This graph shows the relationship between the books read and reviewed in 2011. Although the reviewed books is a subset of the books read in both 2010 and 2011, the breakdown by publication decade is nearly the same as the books reviewed in 2011.

Note that there are two spikes because I've expanded out the publication years for 2000 through 2011.

Review by year

Finally, the ratings graph. I use the GoodReads one to five star scale. As I personally select the vast majority of the books I read (and thus review) my ratings tend to be pretty high. For the books read, the mean is 4 stars, where as the mean for the posted reviews is 4.5 because I tend to favor the higher rated books when making my posts. Most of the books I didn't like, I don't review on my blog.

Also of interest: favorite books of 2011.


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Comment #1: Monday, January 02, 2012 at 22:15:52


Congrats on not only meeting your goal, but surpassing it! And very cool graphs! Never thought of doing that, but I can see how it would be time consuming. Good luck with your goals in 2012!

Comment #2: Wednesday, January 04, 2012 at 22:12:21


Thank you. I'm glad you like my graphs. I feel like I need them given how many books I'm reviewing and reading. This year I plan to keep my reading more in line with my reviewing so I don't have such an over abundance of books left in the lurch.

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