Saturday, January 07, 2017

2016 in numbers...

Me reading in Trier, Germany - June 2016

While my blogging has gone down in the past years, there's been one constant: the numbers post :) So to continue my streak, here is the 7th edition!

Number of books read


The year before, I read 153 books with a goal of 180. Taking in account three weddings, travels and curling, I lowered my objective to 160 for 2016. I think I would've been close to my objective, even though everything turned out to be more intensive than I expected, but I forgot something really important: the Rio Olympics. And yes, it did affect my reading! LOL. I was updating my spreadsheet earlier this week and in had this huge gap in August - no books read between August 5 and 23! I was wracking my brain, trying to figure out what I did, if I forgot to log any books... and suddenly, the light went on: the Olympics! So lots of distractions in 2016 :)

Overall, I'm okay with 132 books read. A bit disappointed because it's the lowest number since I've started keeping track, but happy since it's over 100 books. As I mentioned above, lots of distractions this year and as a result, I felt I never really got into a good reading rhythm. There was always something around the corner to break any rhythm. Finally, a lack of excitement... My list of auto-buy authors seem to be down to its core and a few of those authors did not have any releases. In addition, with my lack of blogging, I've been out of the loop when it comes to new authors and book buzz. All combined, I felt this year was quite underwhelming and the eternal question "what to read next" did not go away.

I do have high hopes that 2017 will end the rut though!! I have a list of most anticipated books in the work that I'm excited to share - hopefully soon LOL. As for my reading goal, I'm keeping it at 160 books. What can I say, I'm an optimist :) With one wedding, one cruise and lots of curling planned for 2017, I still think 160 books is achievable. However, the most important in 2017 will be to have fun :)

Number of books bought

I was not very diligent this year, so my number for this section is not accurate. The best I could do was go back to my order history and tabulated those numbers. The break-down is as followed:

  • Bought print online: 18
  • Bought print in-store: 15-20*
  • Bought e-books: 12

For a grand total of...


Wow, how things have changed... I can't believe that I bought so little books this year. I might be off by 10 books, but even then,  kind of sad :( Guess that's life though, things change and my book buying habits definitively have. I think it can be in part attributed to bookstores also changing. There's definitively less promotions and the discounts online are not what they used to be. As a result, I stick to my auto-buy authors list and end up borrowing a lot and only buying books that I've really enjoyed to support the authors.

What did I read

Contemporary romance: 50
Young Adult: 25  (Contemporary: 19, Mystery: 3, Fantasy: 3)
Urban Fantasy: 12
New Adult (Contemporary): 11
Fantasy: 8
Romantic Suspense: 7
Historical romance (Regency): 6
Paranormal romance: 5
Mystery/Thriller/Cosy Mystery: 4
m/m: 3
Women's fiction: 1

And the trend continues! My favorite genre has always been contemporary romance and it remains so in 2016. The big surprise for me is the number of YA books I read... 25!? How did that happen? LOL. If I have to come up with an explanation for it, I think it's because the authors of contemporary YA have more freedom than romance authors. As a romance reader, I expect certain things from a romance book and the authors know it and have to adhere to it, thus inevitably creating some predictability. I'm not saying YA are not predictable, but there is less expectations/limitations. If a main character dies, there will be less outcry. If the H/H don't end up together, well they're young - who knows what will happen in the future and anyway, not sure they would have stayed together forever. With more freedom, YA authors can shake things up, be more original, try different things and styles... and I think that's what I was looking for in 2016, some refreshing reads to spur my reading.

At the same time, my hunt for new urban fantasy and fantasy series continue. I love series such as Kate Daniels, the Dresden Files and I'm always on the look-out for new ones. Also hoping to find more romantic suspense books featuring cops or FBI agents. Have a weakness for those :P

As for my historical romance reading, it's probably at its lowest ever. It's funny because most of the ones I read, I enjoy... but they're all from auto-buy authors. I haven't had the urge to pick up outside of that selection and I don't know what it's going to take to make me to.

For the other genres, the numbers are pretty consistent with last year.

Who published them

1. Penguin (all imprints): 27
1. Self-published: 27
3. Macmillan (all imprints): 13
4. Harlequin + Carina Press: 12
5. Harpercollins (all imprints): 10
6. Hachette (all imprints): 8
7. Simon & Schuster: 7
8. Kensington: 5
8. Sourcebooks: 5
10. Amazon: 3
10. DAW: 3
10. Scholastic: 3
13. Entangled:2
14. Bloomsbury: 1
14. Dreamspinner: 1
14. Hyperion: 1
14. Random House: 1
14. Samhain: 1
14. Sky Pony Press: 1
14. Other: 1

The numbers are pretty consistent with last year with Penguin and self-published way ahead. For self-published books, I think it's because self-published authors can release more books in a year than with regular publishers, so it skews that number :) Not that I'm complaining because I'm very selective when it comes to self-published authors and so, that means more books by authors I enjoy :)

I'm still very reluctant to step out from the traditional publishers. Partly because I know them - I know which imprints I like, which don't work for me. Also, in my mind - and I might be wrong, going through traditional publishers is a more rigorous process and they are more selective when they pick new authors.

When they were published

2016: 111 (84.1%)
2015; 12
2014: 1
2013: 1
2012: 1
2011: 2
2009: 2
2008: 2
2006: 1

I've alwaysbeen a very current reader and 2016 was no different. What helps is that I'm pretty much up-to-date on all my series, so I'm always waiting for the new installment to come out and as soon it does, I read it :) And books I don't get to right away fall off my radar, kind of like ... "out of sight, out of mind." At least this year, I did go back further than 2012! Mostly because I was looking up specific reads.

How much did I enjoy the books

A: 4    (1 A, 3 A-)
B: 69  (18 B+, 32 B, 19 B-)
C: 58  (17 C+, 31 C, 10 C-)
D: 1

Only 4 As books, same as last year.... Technically though, it's better than last year since I read less books. Know what I mean? In any case, this just contributes to the feeling of an underwhelming reading year.

I have a reputation for being a tough grader... but honestly, I think I'm not tough enough. I was filling my spreadsheet and in many instances, I had to lower the grade that I originally given. In addition, I feel like I'm not objective enough. I think I'm easier with authors that I like - have difficulty giving a harsher grade :( Is it only me?

Random numbers

  • I wrote 13 reviews in 2016. Given how sparingly I blogged, 13 is good :) After all, it's 4x more than in 2015 :P At least, thanks to Ames' 30 Days Blogging challenge, I have more than 16 posts :P
  • New-to-me authors: 36 - Another pretty consistent number. This is good, because it means I'm taking risks in my reading :)
  • Part of a series: 97 - Last year, I read 137 books part of a series... To put things in perspective, I read 132 books this year. So proportionally, I think this number is down from 2015... but I know why!! Because most YA books I read were stand-alones :) 

That's it for me :) No real surprise in 2016 except perhaps for the number of books bought ^_^; Otherwise, I've been pretty consistent over the years... which makes me wonder, is this post still relevant? Do you still find it interesting?