It’s time for my favorite post of the year! I love putting together my annual list of stats and taking a hard look at my reading, especially when compared to last year. Let’s see how things look!
A few quick stats to start us off:
Total books read: 175
Total pages read (including DNFs): 50,777
Average page count per book: 290
Average rating (excluding rereads): 3.496
These stats are pretty comparable to last year. They’re definitely down from 2019, which was an all-time high for me, but they’re down compared to 2017/2018, too, which I think were more normal years. It’s kind of disappointing, but I did want to read less, and I spent that extra time pursuing some other interests (like chasing after my dog 😂), which is good!
The average rating stat is super disappointing, though. Even if I add in rereads, it only comes up to 3.629. Last year’s rating excluding rereads was 3.721, so this is really low. I got the impression as I was filling out my reading stats that I had an ok reading year and that my rereads really saved me, and this average really seems to confirm that. I definitely want to try and improve my reading overall in 2022!
As previously mentioned, my average star rating was a lot lower this year than normal. My three- and four-star reads stayed about the same, but my five-star reads dropped about four percent and my two-star reads more than doubled. Looking back at the books I rated two stars, they were generally very popular books that were ultimately just not for me, and I really should have DNFed them. A few I pushed through for bingo, and several were holiday novellas that I just flipped through because they were short. Definitely a reminder next year to DNF early and often!
Also, please note that N/A were books I wasn’t sure how to rate, though looking more closely at my spreadsheet, I can tell you it’s the first two Song of the Lioness books. They’re probably colored by nostalgia, but they should be around four stars, I think, though that still doesn’t affect my average rating since they were rereads.
Ok, so this graph is pretty cool, because it shows that I read only four percent of books last year in physical copies. If you want an actual number, it’s eight. I read eight physical books last year, four of which were Lisa Kleypas rereads of books that my library didn’t have digital copies of, two of which were illustrated books that were better in physical format, one was a new release, and one was a physical book I owned that my library didn’t have a digital copy of. It’s so wild seeing hard proof that I only read digitally, either via ebook or audiobook.
Technically saying 87% kindle is slightly misleading, as I did read a few books on other apps, like Kobo or Libby. But yeah, the large majority of my reading is via digital copies. And I wind up buying physical or finished copies of about 31 percent of them.
Backlist vs. New Releases
I’m always surprised when I see how many backlist titles I read, because it feels like I read so many new releases that people are talking about! But I really don’t compared to my reading as a whole. My frontlist reading is actually down about eight percent from last year, which is so weird! I guess I did cut back on requesting arcs, but instead I requested a lot of those books from the library and read them that way. So I’m not quite sure what to make of this, but considering how many books are out there waiting to be read? I’m totally fine with this statistic. I’ll find the books I’m meant to read eventually!
I am very excited about this graph! I’ve really upped my rereading, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. It used to be so low, less than five percent, but last year I got it up to eight percent and this year I more than doubled it! I’m really happy with this statistic, and I kind of hope to keep it around here going forward.
Oh, and my average rating for my rereads was 4.176! Not surprising since I largely picked up books I already knew I enjoyed. There was just a terrible Jude Deveraux I skimmed as part of a reread with Jenica at Firewhiskey Reader, I didn’t care for one of the Lisa Kleypas Hathaways books I reread, and a few others that were part of series just got three stars. But the vast majority were four or five stars.
I would say my rereads were a good mix of books I first read as a child/teenager and books I read as an adult. I thought it was about 50/50, but actually only a third of them were books I first read before college, which is pretty good. I’d say only about seven books, or 20 percent, are books that I actively remembered going in to, and that’s a number I’d kind of like to improve. It doesn’t feel as much like a reread when I barely remember what happened in the book the last time I read it!
Owned vs. Library
So this graph is kind of cool, especially compared to last year. I read less books that I owned this year because I dramatically increased my library reading (by 15 percent!), and I read about half of the percentage of arcs that I did last year.
The borrowed category is new, and idk if I’ll rename it or recategorize it going forward, but it’s basically books that I read through Kindle Unlimited or as part of my Audible subscription, though it is also meant to encompass books that I actually borrow from people! I just rarely borrow books from people. So we’ll see what I do with that category.
Despite my goal of reading less romance in 2021 in an effort to get back into other genres I enjoy, I actually read more romance in 2021 than I did in 2020. I honestly wonder if that’s part of why my average rating went down, because I think my reading is personally better when I read more widely across my favorite genres. Plus, I would say a decent chunk of those fantasy books could be categorized as romance (like some Ilona Andrews and Nalini Singh — I find a lot of the Guildhunters books to be more UF than PR). So yeah, lots and lots of romance last year!
This graph is potentially more interesting than the genre one since it shows the breakdown of my subgenre reading. I’m glad to see historicals retake the number one slot! It seems like in general I read more from different subgenres than I usually do, which is cool. I’d like to continue that in 2022! Though I’m not sure I liked any of the gaslamp romances I read (historicals with magic), so maybe I should stop trying to read those.
I should maybe leave this statistic off since it’s not that interesting anymore, but it is something I think is worth tracking for now, so I’ll include it anyways this year. Basically, I read 10 YA novels last year, which is up slightly from last year, technically, but not much. They account for about six percent of my reading, which is pretty negligible. They averaged a 3.9 rating, so I think I’m doing a good job of picking up the few YA books I’m interested in.
New to Me Authors
So I actually read slightly less new authors in 2021 than I did in 2020, about seven percent less. The average rating for this authors is…3.5 percent. I guess I didn’t do a great job trying the right new authors in 2021!
The stat in the graph only accounts for the first book I picked up by a new to me author, but if you count all of the books I read in 2021 by authors I hadn’t read prior to 2021, the number changes to 31 percent, which is still pretty low. I guess some of that makes sense since I did a lot of rereads last year, but I’d love to find more new favorite authors in 2022.
Most Read Authors
So unsurprisingly, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Courtney Milan, and Talia Hibbert are among my most read authors last year. Nalini Singh came in at 14 books, between my wrapping up the Guildhunters series and rereading the Psy/Changeling series, while Tessa Dare was second at 11 books (also an author I was rereading), Ilona Andrews was at nine books (more rereads and some new ones), and Lisa Kleypas was at six books (mostly rereads).
I read five books each from Courtney Milan, Talia Hibbert, and Garth Nix, while I read four each from Ruby Dixon, Jackie Lau, and Jasmine Silvera. Nix was a lot of rereads, but the others weren’t. Dixon and Silvera were both new to me in 2021, though I don’t anticipate reading much Dixon going forward. Silvera I will definitely read more from as she continues publishing!
So yeah, those are my reading stats for 2021! I love putting these posts together, though I’m really disappointed in how low my average rating was last year. It cool to see everything laid out like this, though, and who doesn’t love a good pie chart??
Also, if you love book statistics like this, stay tuned for another one I have planned showing more trends over the years, rather than focusing on 2021. I think it’ll be fun to see how my reading has evolved with time now that I have several years’ worth of data!
What’s your favorite statistic to know about your reading? Let me know in the comments!