Reading Year in Review - Part 5: Older and newer books

>> Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Considering the trouble and time it takes to get books all the way here, it's no surprise that 2005 books were only a small part of my 2005 reading.

How small a part? Well, I read 31 of them throughout the year, which comes to about 10% of the total number of books read. Strangely enough, I read that exact number of 2004 books in 2004, though since I read fewer books that year, the percentaje came to 13%. That surprises me, because I've been reading some ebooks this year, and that should have pushed the number of 2005 books up!

17% of the books read in 2005 were published in 2004, which makes sense, since that just gives new books bought in the second half of 2004 time to get here. After that come 2003 and 2002 books, with 12% and 9% each.

55% of the books I read in 2005 were published between 2001 and 2005.

Between 1991 and 2000, the percentage is 31%. For 80s books (or rather, 1981 - 1990), it's 10%. Only 3% were published before 1980, and I think that mainly includes old mysteries, especially Ngaio Marsh.

Concentrating on 2005 books now, I've played a bit with my spreadsheet and here are some of the things I discovered:

- My average grade for 2005 books was nearly a B+. A highish grade is probably to be expected, since for a 2005 book to reach me so soon, it usually means that it was one I was anticipating so much that I had it couriered... i.e. it was either by an author I love or a book that had got rave reviews and a lot of buzz online.

This was the highest average grade for the years with enough books to make such a calculation significant. I mean, the average grade for 1974 books was A-, but that's just because I read only one book from that year (House of Many Shadows, by Barbara Michaels) and I loved it.

- I read three 2005 books by Stephanie Vaughan, and two for these authors: J.D. Robb (+ 1 Nora Roberts book in 2005 and another 2005 book in 2006, which makes 4, actually), Lydia Joyce and Liz Carlyle.

- There were many historicals among the 2005 books read. 12 in total, between Trads, Regency-set historicals, Westerns and other historicals. Conspicuously absent from my reading were categories. I read plenty of them this year, just no new ones.

- My 2005 books were well distributed between imprints and publishers. Loose-Id and Pocket get the most books (only 3 each, actually).

To be continued


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