Luke McGuff (holyoutlaw) wrote,
Luke McGuff

Books Read, 2015: Statistics!

What's the point of keeping a spreadsheet listing books read if you don't come up with bunches of meaningless statistics? Hah!

The columns on the spreadsheet are: Title, Author, Publisher, Yr Published, Fict., Nonfict., M, W, T, POC, Nationality, and Notes. The first four and the last columns are what I use in the monthly books read posts.

...Messing with said spreadsheet revealed a counting error that took a while to straighten out. I started 45 books in 2015, not 49. Of those, I bounced off of (didn't finish) six, so the total actually read is 39.

Of the 39 books read, 22 were fiction and 17 were nonfiction. The most common reason for not finishing a novel was it being too standard a fantasy for my taste. The only nonfiction I didn't finish was because it wasn't of interest to me. In every case, I explained why I didn't finish a book in the notes and in the monthly books read posts.

Out of the total books started, 24 were by men and 21 by women, about 46%. 17 were by people of color, 37%. 12 were written by non-USA authors (I based this on country of origin.) I had a column for "Trans" writers, but as far as I know didn't read anything by trans authors.

I started the year with really ambitious reading goals, 75 books on my library hold list (as many as the SPL will allow) and hundreds of books on my "For Later" shelves, as the SPL refers to them. For a stretch there, I was avidly reading all kinds of recommendation lists -- "BookRiot Alternative Summer," "Reading American Cities" (all the books about Seattle), award recipients (and some award short lists and long lists),"20 Female Harlem Renaissance Writers," "Great Black Authors of SF," 2015 Lammy awards nominees, etc. As you can see, I paid particular attention to lists recommending books by people from populations generally under-represented in publishing. This was in response to the Tempest Challenge, in which K. Tempest Bradford suggested people stop reading books by white men for a year.

I didn't explicitly take the Tempest Challenge because my nonfiction reading is primarily about nature, restoration, etc., and that is mostly written by white men. But that's a weak sauce excuse, and I think proves her point. So, for 2016, I'll make more effort to read books about ecology and restoration by women and people of color (recommendations welcome).

For 2016, I plan to do more reading of books and less reading of Facebook (I've already had pointed out to me the irony of announcing that on Facebook). And I plan/hope to do more writing about the books I read, particularly the nonfiction that's appropriate to write about for Nature Intrudes.

For the spreadsheet, I'm going to add a "B" column, for "Bounced," to indicate books I didn't finish. I'm also going to split "Nationality" into USA (which will get a 1 for USian authors) and Other, which will get the country of origin (UK, India, etc.). For both those categories, I had to cursor through the spreadsheet and count, which is cumbersome.

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