I’ve been tracking my reading on Goodreads since 2008. (Unlike Kelly, I haven’t been tracking my reading in print before that, but I wish I had!) My reading tastes have changed a lot since then – I’ve focused more narrowly on young adult, but I’ve also branched out genre-wise and read a lot more contemporary and nonfiction. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how my reading has evolved, and I thought it would be fun to put together an informal analysis based on my Goodreads shelves. What have you noticed about your reading tastes over the years? Has Goodreads – or some other method of tracking – helped you identify your personal trends?
The number of books I read has definitely spiked. I read about 140 in 2014, which was the first year I was on Round 1 for Cybils, but the increase in my reading really began in 2010, which is when I started blogging in earnest here at Stacked. Blogging helps me read more, which in turn helps me blog more. Lucky me and lucky you! I’ve read a total of 753 books since 2008, give or take a few re-reads and missed records.
Since I started tracking my reading, I’ve read 184 adult books, 535 young adult books, and 97 books for children (which includes middle grade and picture books). I don’t actually record a whole lot of the picture books I read, so that number is likely higher – but these numbers also include random titles I added that I read prior to 2008, which includes a lot of children’s books. The data is not perfect. Still, these numbers aren’t surprising at all.
This graph shows how my YA reading has increased over the years. 2014 is a bit of an outlier since I read just a ton of books that year, period, but the overall trend is definitely upward.
This graph shows what percentage of my total yearly reading was spent on YA vs non-YA. I think it gives a clearer idea of how my reading really has skewed more toward YA as the years have passed, starting at about half in the first two years and gradually increasing each year. The exception is 2015, when I went back and re-read a ton of adult fiction that I loved years ago.
A lot of my reading has included non-traditional formats – audiobooks and graphic novels. Almost half of my reading is one of these two formats, and they’ve both seen an overall increase in the share of my reading over the years.
I credit the Cybils with significantly increasing my audiobook reading over the past two years. Also of note is that 2016 is about half over but I’ve already almost matched my audiobooks from last year!
I really started getting into graphic novels in 2010 and my interest in them has been pretty sustained since then (I don’t know what happened in 2012). I haven’t picked up many this year yet, but I’ve a feeling that 2016 number will be higher by December.
The figures that make up this chart include anything I added that I read prior to 2008, which is about 86 additional books. They were too tricky to eliminate from my genre count, but I don’t think they skew the data that much. This was a somewhat surprising graph for me. I consider myself a pretty avid romance reader, but it only makes up 5% of the books I recorded on Goodreads. A lot of my romance reading happened when I was a teenager, and not many of those books made it to my Goodreads account. The fantasy and science fiction, though – that’s not a surprise at all.
I did the star rating graph this way because I think it kind of looks like a grading bell curve. Most of my ratings are in the 3-star territory, with the fewest receiving 1 star and 5 stars. I’ve only given 15 books one star, and most of those are books I read several years ago. If a book is looking like it’s going to be a one-star read nowadays, I usually set it down and it goes on my “unfinished” shelf instead.