In this rather long post, I wrote about what I read in 2016 through statistics and (*gasps*) pie charts! Also discussed what some of my 2017 resolutions are for the year.
A detailed look into what I read
in 2016 with stats
Now that 2016 is finally behind our backs, I think I’m ready to share what I read during that turbulent year.
I find that reflecting back on what I’ve done (in this case what I’ve read) the previous year teaches me a lot not only about my reading tastes but also where I can, and should, do better. Having said that, and because I’m a major stat and data nerd, I couldn’t pass up the oportunity to make some pie charts and calculate some percentages. So, before I get more off course, let’s move on to the reading year.
Books read: 41 /// Number of unique authors: 47
In January 2016 I set myself the goal to read 40 books and ended up having read 41 books. This was my worst reading year since 2014 (when I started keeping track of what I read) but I don’t feel bad about it. I stuck to my goal and ended up reading genres I had never read before.
- First of all, I studied what the author’s gender was. Given that I didn’t do too much school related reading, I managed to read a lot of female authors. (#GirlPower, am I right?) Out of the 47 authors I read, 29 were female and 18 were male.
I never chose books based on the author’s gender, however. I read what I wanted and what I’d heard about in the blogging and BookTube communities, those books just happened to be written by women. One thing that I do have to point out is that out of all the Portuguese speaking authors I read (my mother tongue) none of them were female. Say what? I don’t understand why…
- Secondly, I studied the author’s race. Oh boy, am I ashamed of this one paramenter. I will be upfront and say that I did not do well. Most of the authors I read are non-Hispanic white (40) and only 7 were not.
That’s an awful lot of white authors! Towards the end of 2016 (read: after October) I started seeing the white trend in my shelves and decided to make a change: I started to read more non-white authors. It’s so important to read diversely, and contrary to what I’ve read in blog posts and news articles, it’s not silly stepping out of that white-author safe zone we’re so used to in order to simply “check off some boxes”. It’s about learning through the eyes of another person, brought up in a different way, empowering those testimonies and knowing deep down that the world has many colors and they should all be respected.
Although I do have to say that this seems diverse when compared to my previous years’ reading lists, but it still isn’t enough! I am making this one of my 2017 resolutions (which I will announce shortly), to read more diversely. Also, I’m starting 2017 with this goal in mind by participating in the Dumbledore’s Army Readathon taking place in January.
- Moving on, I decided to study the content of the books, so I separated them into two main categories: non-fiction (8 books) and fiction (32 books).
Almost a quarter of the books I read were non-fiction and this is one thing I’m really proud of. It was something I promised myself to do back in January 2016, to read more non-fiction, and I’m really happy about having achieved that goal and actually surprised to have enjoyed it so much. I can now say that this might be one of my favorite genres.
This sudden rise in non-fiction is explained by how interested and involved I became in feminism. I was already defining myself as a feminist since I was 13 years old and had no clue about what intersectional feminism was but this year, thanks to some lovely bloggers, I started to read more about the topic and with those collections of essays came the memoirs. Oh, how greatful I am for having found out about this!
- After that, I decided to take a look into what audiences the book was aimed at. I read 27 Adult books, 12 Young Adult novels and 2 Middle Grade/Children’s books.
Last year I read mostly (around 85%) of young adult novels but in January, because I was growing increasingly tired of reading the same old tropes, I decided to venture out a little and go into the Adult section more often. I can’t believe it worked! I still read Young Adult but I read mostly Adult books and I loved it! So many more issues were approached and whenever I went back to YA I didn’t feel like rolling my eyes as often as I did before.
- And lastly, I wanted to study what ratings I awarded to the books I read in this past year. I gave one book 1-star, eight books 2-stars, thirteen books three-stars, fourteen books 4-stars and “only” five books 5-stars.
The rating I awarded the most was 4-stars, closely followed by 3-stars. I think this is because I chose my books more wisely than last year (I used to read whatever was at hand without looking into the books very often). My average rating was 3.34 stars.
Bookish and other kinds of
resolutions for 2017:
I’m not one to do a lot of New Year’s resolutions because I know that I will fail them most of the time. Therefore, I’m not going to make any promises to “eat healthier”, “go to the gym more often” or “make more friends” because I know myself and that I would end up failing them and finishing the year on a sad note that would turn into a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out)…
Instead, I’ll make some more general resolutions that I feel like I will be able to achieve (fingers crossed).
- Read more diverse books. Yes, of course this would have to be included. I will encourage myself to read more books written by authors (or featuring main characters) of a different race, gender identity, religion, sexual preference than me or disabled.
- Focus more on #OwnVoices. (see 1.)
- Prioritize reading instead of binge watching tv-shows. This would seem obvious, right? That I would read on my free time instead of squandering what little I have in tv marathons leading to tv-induced comas? Well, I fall into this bad habit too often.
- Write more! I have always loved writing. It’s an activity that makes me happy and helps me take my mind off things. Be it creative or essay writing, I love to do it. I don’t write as often as I would like to. I’m not going to promise to write everyday, but I’ll make an effort to write at least two days of the week.
- Censor myself less when it comes to creativity. I have this awful habit of censoring what I write and throwing my progress in the bin because “it doesn’t sound good”. Of course editing and being self-critical is a good quality to have, however I do it too intensely, causing me a block and making me create less.
- Blog more often. I only created the blog around two weeks ago and already I feel like it’s something that makes me really really happy. I must continue on this path and keep on posting!
Aaaaaaaand, that’s it! Those were my reading stats and my 2017 goals. I know it’s a very lengthy post and I appreciate your attention to read (or skim read!) it! I wish you all a Fantastic 2017 and I would love to read about what you have in store or what targets you have set for yourself.