2006 Reading Year in Review - Part 5: Older and newer books

>> Monday, January 08, 2007

Unless I want to pay an arm and a leg for expedited shipping, getting books from the US to Uruguay takes a while. An M-Bag takes an average of 4 months to get here, and my friend only sends them to me once we've accumulated enough books to make it worth the price. This means that a book might spend an extra few months at her house before the M-Bag leaves.

This is the main reason why, on any given year, I don't usually read a high number of books with that year's copyright. They just don't get here in time. I tend to read slightly older books, mostly from the previous 2 or 3 years.

This has changed a bit in 2006, thanks to ebooks, and my purchase of an ebook reader in early January. Now, if the book is published in electronic format, it's just incredibly easy. Click, click, click, and the book is purchased, downloaded to my computer, and zapped over to the Ebookwise, ready to be read immediately, conceivably on the very day it's released.

In 2006, 21% of the books I read were published that year. Of course, not all new books come out in e-format, so this is probably still a low number compared to what some of you are reading (especially you from the US and Canada), but for me, it's a significant increase from earlier years.

Books published during that year:

2003 - 7%
2004 - 13%
2005 - 10%
2006 - 21%
A few more details: this past year

  • Even with only 21%, 2006 had the most books. 2005 followed closely, but it had 20%

  • 64% of the books I read were published after 2003

  • 7% were published in the 1980s, 17% in the 1990s, and 72% in the 2000s

  • The oldest book was from 1930, an Agatha Christie anthology, The Mysterious Mr. Quin

  • Average grade for 2006 books was 8.6, closer to a B+ than to a B. For 2005 books it was 7.9 (B), and for 2004 books, 7.2 (B-)

  • 40% of 2006 books were from Penguin-Putnam

  • Still looking at 2006 books, 38% of them had contemporary settings, while 33% were Alternate Reality / Futuristic / Fantasy. As for types, 36% were Alternate Reality / Futuristic / Fantasy romance, followed by Straight Romance, with 29%.

  • Only one 2006 book wasn't romance: Every Secret Thing, by Emma Cole.
Coming up next: Publishers and Imprints


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