2013: A Year in Reading

It's time for the annual analysis of Wot I Read in the past year. I put a lot of work into creating some lovely pie charts, but I can't for the life of me insert them in the blog, so you'll just have to use your imaginations!

Fiction: 99
Non fiction: 34
About three-quarters of the books I read in 2013 were fiction. I seemed to read most of my non-fiction in the early part of the year, I'm not sure why.

YA/children's: 73
Adult: 60
Slightly over half my reading was YA/children's literature; no surprises there! It is my job, after all... On the whole I whiz through kids' books at top speed and I often turn to children's books for relaxation, so I'm actually surprised the proportion isn't higher. Next time I might differentiate between children's and YA -- if I can!

Female authors: 95
Male authors: 40
Hm, a fairly heavy female bias is evident here! Some of that might be attributable to the high percentage of kid lit I read, which is predominantly written by women… but blokes do write YA and kid lit, too. It might just be plain old female bias, I'm afraid. I do gravitate toward female authors, I'm not sure if that's something I should be apologising for! Most of the authors I know personally also happen to be women, and I do try to keep up with their work, maybe that contributes, too.

Australia: 49
UK: 59
US: 23
Canada: 1
New Zealand: 1
Oh dear! Shamefully, I did not read a single book last year by a non-English speaking author (though some were written by Australian/US/UK authors with non-Anglo heritage). I think this is something I should actively try to address this year, because this statistic is kind of appalling.

Second-hand: 45
Library: 34
Gift: 11
Borrowed: 14
E-book: 10
Already owned/re-read: 7
Bought new: 13
This year, I thought it might be interesting to note the sources of the books I read, and the results surprised me. I was slightly shocked to see how many second-hand books I buy! A high proportion of these would have come from the library book sale, at $1 each, but I'm also doing my best to keep my favourite second-hand bookshops afloat, and I never miss an opportunity to explore a new one. I thought the proportion of library reads would be higher. I read a lot of e-books early in the year, but since then Evie has pretty much taken possession of the Kindle and filled it up with books about cats, so I haven't read any e-books in the last few months at all. I borrowed more books than I expected -- but about ten of those were all from lovely Suzanne, in one glorious pile, so I almost count that as one single loan!

The already-owned section consisted of the Narnia books, which I re-read in preparation for a panel at the Melbourne City Library, and I also read several books of commentary and analysis of CS Lewis's work in conjunction with them. This was a very satisfying experience, I really immersed myself in Narnia over a period of a few weeks and I very much enjoyed the deeper knowledge and appreciation I gained. I might try similar projects in the future I think, perhaps reading an author's biography in company with reading their works. I also read a biography of Rumer Godden this year and I think that has added to my experience of reading her fiction.

So roll on 2014! I have a huge pile of new and used books already waiting by my bedside and I can't wait to plunge in.

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