Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2011 in numbers...

So initially, I was planning to have this post written after I was done wrapping up the year 2011, i.e. writing my Monthly Reads posts for 2011. I know, I know, I sound like a broken record, always bringing up those two posts... but they've really been on my mind ^_^; The problem at this point though is... Who knows when I'll get to them?!? ^_^;

Then, another fact that prompted me to write this "2011 in numbers" post now is that this post is my 1000th!!! Wow, I can't believe it LOL. I never really thought about the future of this blog when I started. All I wanted was to share my thoughts about the books I've read to help other readers who were looking for recommendations. I'm glad that I've achieved that and I'm even more happy that after more than 5 years, I'm still blogging :) Anyway, I  think it's only fitting that for such a milestone post, I talk about numbers and books :)

And without further ado, I offer you:

Number of books read

In the past couple of years, my goal had always been the same: read 200 books. 2011 was no different, except that I finally made it LOL. This is the most that I've read in a year, so I'm pretty happy :) Although, I have to admit to a little bit of cheating ^_^; I've read a lot of novellas in December to boost up the numbers :P In addition, I've counted some of my re-reads - the books that I haven't read in years and therefore, the stories were a bit murky in my memory. Technically though, if I count the re-reads and the manga I've read, I'm well over 200 books... But that's a debate I have every year. So for 2012, my goal is to read 201 books and will not count re-reads at all :) Hopefully, I can make it!

Speaking of books read count, I have to say I'm really glad I signed up to Goodreads!! It really made keeping track of the books easier :)

Number of books bought


All right, that's a number that I'll take :) Considering it'd give me -47 books in the TBR pile! Plus, it's quite an improvement from last year's number, 193. Of course, this number is a bit misleading as it doesn't include the books I've gotten at RWA ^_^; and books I've received from my blogger friends and oh, you've been generous with me my friends! LOL. Still, you have to take into consideration that in 2010, I went to the RT convention and came home with books and still bought 193. So it's still an improvement!!

And this leads me to one of my favorite number each year, the amount of $$ I saved :) This year, it is a grand total of  468.97$!! Awesome no? I think I definitively made some good deals LOL. Obviously, the bookstores were helpful to my cause as there were a lot of promotions and discounts. Hopefully, 2012 will be as good.

This is one of the reasons I have so much difficulty changing my buying habits. The fact that by buying ebooks, I don't really save over buying print books. So many of the discounts are not applicable on all publishers and seriously, it's really frustrating. If you look at the break down of my purchases, it's quite telling: 139 print books bought (88.5%) - 116 in bookstores and 23 online - and 18 ebooks (11.5%). However, whether I want it or not, the gap between these numbers will probably decrease this year... simply because I'm really running out of space ^_^; I need to be more selective about which books and authors I buy, especially in print. We'll see how I'll manage LOL.

Oh, another number that's interesting is out of the 157 books I've bought, I read 101!! That's 64.3%!! So I'm really good at reading what I've just bought... So I'm really not adding that much to the TBR pile, right?

What did I read?

For comparison, I've put last year's number in parenthesis. So the winner genre is...

Historical romance = 58 (45 | +7) --> Regency = 51, Western = 6, Highlander = 1
Contemporary = 41 (42 | -1)
YA, all genre = 29 (22 | +7)
Urban Fantasy = 20 (17 | +3)
Cosy Mystery/Thriller = 16 (2 | +14)
Romantic Suspense = 12 (13 | -1)
Category romance = 8 (9 | -1)
Paranormal = 7 (17 | -10)
M/M = 4 (5 | -1)
Fantasy = 2 (14 | -12)
Fiction = 2 (1 | +1)
Erotica = 1 (0 | +1)
Sci-Fi = 0 (3 | -3)
Steampunk = 0 (1 | -1)

... once again historical romance :) I have to say, I'm glad that historical romance and contemporary romance came on top of the list. I guess it really shows that I'm a romance reader at heart LOL. I'm surprised that I could read even more historical romance than last year and I think it supports my claim that a lot of historical romances are being published over the other genres.

The genres that I have taken the biggest hits are paranormal and fantasy. I'm not surprised about paranormal, the market definitively has been saturated in the past couple of years and I felt it coming, my overdose. I really cut down on a lot of series and only continued on with the Psy-Changelings series by Nalini Singh, The Guardians by Meljean Brook, Patti O'Shea and Molly Harper. I did pick up new authors - Thea Harrison, that was really due to the blogland buzz, and Jessica Sims because I was looking for comedy. However, I doubt I'll continue on with them ^_^; I predict that 2012, it'll be pretty  much the same story for paranormal... I'll just be keeping up with my favorite authors.

As for biggest increase, Cosy mystery/Thrillers wins it and it really stems from the fact that I've been looking for something different to read... although I'm not sure this genre really is for me ^_^;

Who published them?

(0)   Penguin Group (Berkley, Putnam, Daw, NAL) = 54
(0)   Harlequin (Harlequin, Mira, HQN, Carina Press) = 33
(0)   Harpercollins Publishers (Avon) = 29
(+3) Random House (Bantam Books) = 25
(-1)  Simon & Schuster (Pocket) = 15
(0)   Macmillian (St. Martin's Press, Tor) = 9
(+1) Kensington (Zebra) = 8
(-)   Hyperion/Scholastic/Bloomsbury = 7
(-4) Grand Central Publishing = 5
(0)  Sourcebook = 5
(-)  Samhain Publishing/LooseID/Aspen Mountain Press/Dreamspinner Press = 5
(-)  Self-published/Kindle = 5

Top 3 publishers have not changed, it's still Penguin, Harlequin and Harpercollins Publishers and I can't say I'm surprised. What surprises me is Grand Central Publishing's drop. I love that publisher because they have great romantic suspense and they're quite cheap... however, aside from RS, the other genres don't do it for me, especially their contemporary. As for Random House's surprising jump, well that's because I binged on some of their authors such as Mary Balogh and Tess Gerritsen. As for the self-published books, I haven't read that many... 3 out of the 5 books were from the Ilona Andrews duo :)

When were they published?

2012 = 1
2011 = 127 (63.5%)
2010 = 31  (15.5%)
2009 = 19  (9.5%)
2008 = 4
2007 = 2
2006 = 2
2000 to 2005 = 11
Before 2000 = 3

See, my hunting for new releases actually is worth, considering I don't just buy them for their shiny newness, but actually read them! LOL. Yup, majority of the books I read in 2011 were published the same year. It makes up for 63.5% which is very similar to 2010 where I read 63.2% of books released that year. The most staggering I guess is that 88.5% of my reads were published between 2009 and 2011. I knew that of myself, I knew I tend to stick to recent books... but I didn't realize it was that much LOL. I guess I'm really a contemporary reader and I don't mean the genre. I have to admit, a lot of authors that I read are fairly new authors. My favorite authors who have back-list, I've been through most already. Also, I don't really like to read older authors who don't write anymore... because you end up wanting more and there's just no more :(

This year, I've signed up to the TBR Challenge hosted by Wendy. We'll see if I'll pick up more books from the TBR pile with older publishing date...

How did I enjoy the books I read?

A = 8   (15)
B = 94 (115)
C = 81 (43)
D = 15 (8)

Okay, so I have this reputation to be a fairly tough grader... well it seems I've become even tougher LOL. In a way, I'm happy with the grade distribution. In 2011, I modified my grading system and as a result, I was more objective and that was the whole purpose. It works well and so I'll be continuing on with this grading system :) At the same time, I don't think it's just me... I also think it's the books that were published. Ames and I were discussing our Best of 2011 post for Breezing Through and it seems 2011 was a so-so year. There were some good books, but they were rare... Hopefully, 2012 will be better!!

Did I share my thoughts with you?

Number of reviews = 68
Mini-reviews (from monthly reads posts) = 68
Books I still want to review = ?!?

Okay, so this year was pretty up and down when it came to reviewing. 68 full review means that I've reviewed 34% of the books I've read, 1/3. It's really not bad at all and actually, much better than what I was expecting. However, it also means that I have 62 books waiting for a full or mini-review... Yeah, I'll definitively try to do better in 2012 LOL.

Random numbers

New Authors = 53 (40)

I'm always astonished at this number, because it always seems so high to me. 53 new authors, that means about 1 out 4 books I read was from an author I did not know! I think YA contributed to this number a lot considering I've only started reading this genre one or two years ago. Still, it's good because I'm trying to discover new authors and that will work to my advantage in the long run right? :)

Books read part of a series = 143 (139)

Not surprising at all since there are very few stand-alone books published out there nowadays. Although I didn't think it'd be as consistent as I've given up some series... but I guess that I've picked up some new ones along the way as well :) And I'm really good at staying up-to-date in series. Usually, if I fall behind, then it means something about my love of a series.


And voila, those were my numbers in 2011. Quite consistent with the numbers in 2010. I think the biggest surprise came from the shift in genres and that really speaks of over-dose LOL.

Overall I'm really happy with the numbers. How could I not when it's my highest in year? LOL. Let's hope I'll best these in 2012!!

Hope you enjoyed the post! As usual, there were no titles as Ames, Monroe and I are preparing a series of Best of 2011 posts over at Breezing Through for next week :) Stay tuned!


  1. Looks like you had a great year!

    And yup, you are a hard grader, lol, but I'm just the opposite *g*.

    I need to do an end of year post, but I stopped tracking my books somewhere around Julty when I got so busy at work.

    Glad you finally met your 200 goal :)

  2. I'm in awe of the way you broke this!
    So many awesome numbers! I looks like over all you liked most of your reads well enough!!

    I sadly dropped quite a bit in Romance reads - historical and contemporaries - and read a lot more YA.

    And YAY for getting to 200, I'm aiming for that number this year!

  3. All those C reads would depress me. But your B totals are really high! That's always a good thing IMHO.

    I really should keep track of books I add to my hording, what I purchase etc. - but I just can't make myself do it. I fear it would add too much to my TBR guilt :) But this year I have vowed to do some more weeding. Seriously, it's getting ridiculous around here....

  4. This is impressive. I’m not even sure how many books I read last year and I’m too lazy to keep track. At least with the blog I remember some of them.

    I think B is the new A. Blogging has toughened my reviewer skin and I think that for a book to get a 5/A it has to be truly outstanding.

  5. Oh my goodness! I'm tired just reading through this post. You are so thorough Nath! I love seeing all these numbers, then I think, "Oh, I should do a recap", then I think how much work it must have been to put this all together! LOL

    The whole ebook no coupons thing bugs me too so I mostly buy from All Romance or Books on Board where they usually give some type of discount.

    Great Year!

  6. I have to tell you how freaking impressed I am with the fact that you figured this all out! I keep a spreadsheet of books that I read, when I read them and what grade they are (among a few others) but I don't keep track of ones I've purchased as opposed to given or received from netgalley, etc. And the publishers! I have no freaking clue! lol You read a lot of books and I'm awed that you reviewed so many. Good for you!

  7. Lori - I did quantity-wise :) Quality-wise though I think it could have been better LOL.

    I think it's better to be easily entertained :P Not to have too many hang-ups ^_^;

    I hope you do a wrap-up post Lori! It'll be fun to see your numbers and I know they're going to be high! :)

    Alex - It's easy when you put all those details in your spreadsheet ;) All you have to do afterwards is sort them :)

    YA is the rage right now, so I don't blame you :) So many pretty covers and releases, hard not to read them :) Also, I think it's a nice change...

    I'm really surprised you didn't make it, Alex, considering how much you read earlier in the year!! Then again, you did outdo yourself so that's what counts! :)

    Wendy - Well I see the increase in C reads as me being more objective. I had a real hard time in the past giving a C to authors that I really like... because I had the mentality that "C" is bad - I blame school... So I'd give a B-... but really, a lot of B books in the past should be down-graded. So I think these numbers are more realistic.

    Keeping track of what you read is hard, but I have to say, keeping track of what you buy? Even harder!! LOL. So far, I've only done it for the ones I buy at bookstores and online and ebooks. I don't do it for UBS or when I go on trips. I don't add the books I've gotten from friends and giveaway... so really, those numbers are deceiving... but I try.

    It's so hard to weed Wendy T_T Good luck!

    Brie - LOL, I like numbers and keeping track, although I get lazy at times ^_^; Are you on Goodreads? I think Goodreads is one of the best way to keep track, because technically, you only need to click a few buttons :)

    Well I've always been stingy with my As... but as I was telling Wendy, I'd have difficulty giving my favorite authors Cs... so in the end, it was a lot of Bs... and when I'd go back, I'd be: Really, I gave this a B? It really wasn't that great ^_^; so yeah. The idea is not really to be tougher, but more objective. To me, some books can have a great storyline and characters and everything, but it won't grab me... that's still going to be a B. A book that had flaws, but OMG, I enjoyed it so much? As. Reviewing is really tricky and really, if you're not consistent and objective, it gets trickier ^_^;

    Leslie - LOL, Google spreadsheet :) That's the secret, Les :)It did take me an evening to write this post though, especially since I was comparing with last year :)

    Problem with All Romance is that they don't carry everything :( and Books on Board, I admit, I don't understand their reward system. I'll have to research buying ebooks LOL. Where will I get the best deals and so on...

    and thanks! I think so too :)

    Tracy - It was actually fun and it helped I had last year's post :P

    Well you get books from a lot of sources, so it gets really difficult for you ^_^; Like me, I only keep track of those I buy... and not even the ones I get from UBS. Not sure I could do it if I had to keep track of everything :)

    and LOL, I have an obsession with publishers LOL. I pay real close attention to publishers because I know some of them suit me better :)

    And really, Tracy, I think you've reviewed more :)

  8. I love this post! It's always interesting to see what has changed since last year (or is that just me?!!).

    I'm (hopefully) going to be pulling one together too - it's just going to take me awhile...


  9. I love numbers post :) Good that you met your goal... I read lots of novellas, so they count too!

    I'm going to keep better records for 2012... I think I'll steal a couple of your counts. Especially around money, I need to be better about my budget this year.

  10. I love this post! It must have taken you forever to put it together, though. Brilliant! :)

    Sam @ Realm of Ficton

  11. Wow this looks like it took a lot of work! Congrats on reading 200 books this year!

    I think you've inspired me to keep track of how many books I buy this year. I'm curious about how much I add to my TBR pile. Considering I already have bought 24 books this year, I'm thinking the number is probably going to be crazy.

  12. Amazing analysis Nath!! I love all the different ways you looked at the numbers.

  13. Whew. I'm just amazed by how thorough you are in your analysis. Keeping track of books by month and format is more than enough work for me; I can't track the publishers and genres because I'd go insane! LOL

    Yay for reaching that 200 books read goal! May this year be even better. ^_^

  14. I love this post! 200 books in one year is amazing! This year I hope to read a hundred, let alone two hundred. You should be really proud :) I'm new to blogging and your blog is great inspiration!

  15. Li - Glad you enjoyed Li :) And no, it's not just you. It is interesting to see what has changed over a year...

    I'm looking forward to your post :) And I'm patient LOL.

    Mariana - Yeah, I was really happy with my numbers this year :) I was really happy making the goal because I always come close, but no cigar :( This year, I'm just going to try to outdo myself :)

    Well you know what? I think the publishers are trying to help us when it comes to saving money... or maybe that's just me. Because they're releasing everything at the beginning and end of month and I have nothing to be in between!! Ugh, the torture!

    Sam - Actually, it wasn't that long. It was just compiling my spreadsheet... Gotta love the filter option LOL. Plus, I had a similar post last year, so I didn't have to figure out which numbers I wanted :)

    Glad you enjoyed!

    Samantha - Thanks :) I'm really happy finally reaching 200 :)

    24 books? What books? LOL. That's great... I wished I had 24 books to buy! I find that keeping track of the books you buy is the hardest... but it's worth it at the end :)

    Mary G - Thanks!!

    Tabitha - Well publishers is really not that hard right? It's just an extra column... Plus, you don't read that many YA. That's what annoys me the most... the YA... Because publishers have several lines, so they might both be from same publishers, but on the spine, it'll be different name. Ugh.

    I hope this year will be better. If not quantity-wise, quality-wise then!

    Skeeter - Welcome to my blog Skeeter!!

    LOL, you're in high school, you're busy :) Just enjoy life because you're living the start of the best years in your life :)

    Hope you enjoy blogging!! and make your goal of 100! :)

  16. OMG, Nath! You keep all these numbers throughout the year? Really? I am SO impressed! I had a tough time keeping track of the books I read, lol!

    Great, awesome year for you! And an amazing recap post!

  17. Hilcia - LOL, well I like to be meticulous with my google spreadsheet, so this post was kind of easy :) I hear you though on the having difficulty tracking books... but like I said, Goodreads really helped me this year. Perhaps it's better for me because 90% of the time, I'm near a computer...

  18. I love number crunching, too! I don't even wait for the end of the year to do it, either... I start gathering and evaluating my numbers before June. It's so much fun!

    I ended up doing the same "novella" cheat in December, too. But honestly... those were novellas I was anticipating anyway, so I have no guilt. LOL. And I always count re-reads as reading a book! I read a book dammit. ;)

    I love how you include your buying/book acquiring details too.

    Your distribution on the grades you assign books in your reviews is pretty normally distributed. Would be nice if you had fewer D's.. maybe in 2012!

    68 reviews and 68 mini reviews is fantastic! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, nath. I didn't even count the number of reviews I wrote in 2011. Probably eight. LOL.

    Great post!

  19. Christine - LOL. For me, because there's so many numbers to crunch, I only do it once a year :) I know some blogs do it at the half-year mark... but too much work LOL.

    Re-reads. See, the problem for me is that I'll pick up a book to re-read, but only some parts. Or if I've re-read it often enough, I won't pay as much attention... so that's why I usually don't know if I should count it or not ^_^;

    It's a lot more Ds, but I think it's more truthful than in the past.

    And I'm sure you reviewed more than that! :)