Tuesday 1 December 2015

#AMonthofFaves - My Reading Year

I'd sort of seen that #amonthoffaves was happening but hadn't really thought about joining in until I realised the blog's been silent for a fair bit and I'd like it not to be. Also I love December for looking back over the year and since this is the first year since about 2011 that I've actually tracked my reading (mostly) properly, I actually have stats to share!

The event is hosted by Andi, Tanya and Tamara and of course it was Andi's post today which made me think about my own reading year.

As you will probably know, I've been on a charity motivated book buying ban since early April of 2015, and aside from a planned (and penalty pre-paid by Rhys) book shopping trip with Katie and Laura a few weeks back and spending a couple of pounds on top of a gift card, I haven't bought any books for myself since then. Obviously I'm incredibly proud of myself, as I am of the £200 or so I've raised for children's literacy charity Beanstalk. I have really enjoyed reading from my own shelves this year, and have organised my TBR by colour recently so it's a beautiful rainbow in my room which I find extremely inspiring.

Stats - wise, here's how this year looked:

I started 119 books but only finished 87

Of what I finished, 64% of the authors were women, 36% were men. I always knew I read on the high side for women authors but I thought I was closer to a 50/50 split so that's interesting to know.

Diversity wise I entirely failed to meet my goal of 1/3 of all my reading being by non UK/US authors. I only managed 13 books totaling 15% which considering I was actively aware of this as a goal in my reading, I'm not that impressed with. I shall do better next year!

My other goal was for a quarter of my reading to be nonfiction and this target I did hit with 24 nonfiction in total, coming in at 28%.

And finally, because this is interesting to me because of my book buying ban, 54 of the books I read were from my own shelves (62% ), a further 25 were from the library (29%) and the remaining 9%  were loans from my sisters.

Favourite book of the year is a three way tie between It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario, If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie and Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, with several close runners up including Finding Home by Emily Dugan, I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb and Blankets by Craig Thompson.

Big Bookish Event Scarlett Thomas, who is one of my absolute favourite authors, had a new book out and since she lives locally I got to meet her (!!) and it was amazing and incredible and I'm still not over it.

All in all it's been a very good year for reading. I actually feel good about the amount I've DNF'd or just returned to the library unfinished because I wasn't really feeling it at that exact moment. It means I've made more space for the truly fantastic stuff that I really want to read and because I didn't invest money in so many titles but got them from the library, I didn't feel bad about returning them unfinished.

Having now bored Rhys completely with stats about my reading that he absolutely doesn't care about (in the same way that I don't care about the football we've been listening to while I've been telling him), I'm now off to read other people's posts! Happy December, everyone!


  1. I loved Carry on as well, it will definitely not be my only Rainbow Rowell :) You managed to read lots of books, kudos! Happy reading :)

  2. The library is a good place for guilt-free reading material. It just goes back on the shelf for someone else.

  3. Congrats on reading quite a bit from your own shelf!!!! That's an achievement! Thank you for joining in with #AMonthOfFaves!

  4. Looks like a great year of reading for you.

    I read more books by women than men too.

    Nice blog.

    ENJOY the rest of your week.

    Silver’s Reviews
    My A Month of Faves

  5. Ooh, I like your charity motivated book buying ban! Impressive! I'm, on the whole, miserable at disciplining my book buying, but adding a cause to the mix might help!

  6. The library is amazing for books. I hardly ever buy books anymore because the library exists and is fabulous.

  7. I'm pretty sure I fell out on the diversity reading percentage I'd hoped for. I still read some amazing books from authors of color, though, so I am beyond pleased with what I've gotten my hands on. Thanks for joining us!

  8. I'm intrigued by your book banning goal--and amazed that you stuck to it. I occasionally think to myself, I've got to stop buying books--then I promptly go buy some more. How do you track what you start but don't finish? I might try that next year. I didn't realize there was a new Scarlet Thomas novel--will have to look for that!

    1. Yes! It's called The Seed Collectors,not my favourite of hers but still great. I have a spreadsheet with all the details including start and finish dates and change the ones I don't finish to a different colour depending if they're deliberate dnf's or just ones I get distracted from!