2016 - a final wrap up

Author: Anne

Date Published: Jan 8th 2017, 11:50am

As 2017 gets well under way I thought it would be good to reflect on my 2016 reading as a whole. I have recently published a series of blogs with the best books I read in the year which I hope will be of use/interest to some readers but now I thought I would get into some detail.

In 2016 I read 425 books. I read no duplicates so they were all unique titles. Virtually all of them were full length novels although there were a few electronic novellas included in that number. 425 isn’t an unusual number of books for me to read in a year, in fact I have read more in each year since 2008 than I have in 2016. I am not setting any target for 2017 although I would expect to read in or about the same number.

Of the 425 I read 40% on my trusty Kindle, one on my phone and the majority in paper. To some extent this was because I was trying to reduce the amount of paper volumes filling up my to-be-read bookshelf – sadly, I am not sure it worked as I still seem to have as many waiting to be read as before.

I owned all the books I read (although I may have given them away subsequently) with the exception of 7 which I borrowed from friends (thank you Denise, Mel, Julie, Nick and Sylvia). I also read 30 on the Kindle Unlimited scheme which is a subscription service for readers that allows you to borrow books. I signed up purely by accident for a free month’s trial and allowed it to continue for another two but really the last thing I need is a source of more books so I let it drop. It is something that I may take up in the dim and distant future if I ever get my physical piles under control although it is disappointing how few recent or very popular titles are included in the scheme. I also obtain titles via NetGalley which are newly published in Advance Reader copies which gives me access to a variety of other titles.

The make-up of my reading during the year was interesting – 28% of books were crime/suspense/thriller titles; 21% were fantasy/science fiction and 7% were non-fiction. Apart from 1 play and 1 collection of poetry that leaves 43% which were novels. This is a description which applies to classics, literary fiction, romance and chick lit among others because it is usually too difficult to define/divide them. I do seem to be reading more of this sort of book and fewer crime/fantasy novels which I am pleased about as I have wished to expand my reading horizons for some time.

64% of the books I read were by female authors which is actually less than I was expecting. I haven’t kept figures for the nationality/ethnicity or any other characteristic of authors although this may prove interesting.

I completed three book challenges last year. I read 26 books in order, each beginning with a successive letter of the alphabet. I read books in translation for a month. I read books that matched squares on my Book Bingo Card (I have finished this challenge but not yet caught up on the blogging). I have two challenges in preparation for 2017.

2016 was an excellent year and I read some great books. I am learning to choose my books better and to abandon those which I am not enjoying quite early on. I have a bookcase full of books to read together with a stuffed Kindle. It is going to be a long time before I run out of good material.