2019 Reading Stats

All right. It’s time. Now that December is over, it’s time to take a look at my 2019 reading stats. (For 2018 reading stats, check out this post.)

Ready for some numbers? Cool. Let’s do this.

I read a total of 81 books in 2019. That is a HUGE number of books for me. The most books I’ve read in one year prior to this was 76 books in 2015. On average, between 2008 and 2018, I read about 42 books per year. So, this year was nearly twice that. Wow.

Here’s how my 2019 reading stats break down:

  • New vs. backlist: 17% of the books I read (14 total) were books published in 2019 vs. 83% (67 books) published prior to 2019. I read fewer new releases this year than I did last year (2018 was 39% new releases).
  • Fiction vs. non-fiction: I read quite a bit more non-fiction this year than I usually do, but fiction still dominated with 80% (65 books) fiction books and 20% (16 books) non-fiction. Usually, it’s closer to 90% or more fiction.
  • Author genders: I have to make some assumptions for this stat because not all authors are clear about their pronouns. 75% (61 books) were written by female-identifying authors, 20% (16 books) were written by male-identifying authors, and 5% (4 books) had one of each. None were written by non-binary authors, as far as I can tell.
  • Book format: I listened to 12% of the books I read this year (10 total). Ebooks made up 54% of my reading (67 books), and print was 21% (17 books). So audiobooks continue to be a thing I enjoy, but less than I did in 2018  when 20% of my reading was audiobooks due to an eye issue that made listening my only option. Also, print is making a comeback for me! That’s a much higher percentage of print books than I read in 2018 (7%) or 2017 (17%).
  • Age category: This year I made a big move toward adult books. 73% of the books I read this year (59 total) were “adult” vs. 23% “young adult” (19 books) and 4% (3 books) were “children’s or middle grade.” In the previous two years the split between “adult” and “YA” was 57% and 39%.
  • Genre: The majority of what I read was sci-fi and fantasy (56%). However, the total of these two genres is actually down a bit from previous years. Romance came in at 16%, followed by self-help/business books at 11%. Next was contemporary or general fiction at 7%, then memoir/autobiography at 4%. The remaining 6% were a bunch of one-off books that ended up lumping into one category of “other.”
  • AOC: As with the gender stat, this one can sometimes be difficult to determine. As best as I can tell, 31% of the books I read (26 books total) were written by an author of color (aka one that does not identify as “white”). That’s down from 2018 (43%), and I’m not happy about that.
  • LGBTQA: Please note, I’m not always sure how an author identifies, and I don’t think that I need to be. That said, I think only 9% of the books I read (8 total) were written by an author who I knew identified as something other than “straight.” Again, I’m not thrilled with this stat. It needs improvement.

Okay, data geek-out is over. For now. You’ll see me reference some of these as metrics for my 2020 reading goals when I publish that post. But first, before we leave 2019 behind completely, I want to share my favorite books and my most disappointing books of 2019. Stay tuned for those posts, coming soon!

I’m curious, do you track your reading stats? If so, do you track these same types of metrics? What do you like to keep tabs on, and why? I’m always looking for ways I can improve my process, so I’d love to know your thoughts.