The Stats: 2015

Almost a third of what I read was written this year or last with a push over the last couple months to finish up new things. Last year that rate was 57% was the current year.
I was aiming to read more classics but 66% of what I read was published in the 15 most recent years, which is an improvement in spectrum over last year with more deeper history.
I aimed to read wider. By path of least resistance I’m apt to read straight white males disproportionally to population. I looked for lists of recommendations for everyone else. In the end, in 2015 it broke down to 13% is by queer writers, 18% by People of Colour, compared against 7% PoC and 8% queer in 2014.
What about CWILA-style self-audit of gender? 47% by male, 39% female, 14% combined authorship or gender queer. Compare that to 2014’s 53% male, 38% female, and 9% combined or gender queer.
Domestic or international? 58% of titles are by Canadians, compared to 65% last year. I had aimed to read more international.
I was aiming to spread out to more science and more novels. It’s about extending gaze to more of the world and not burning out in a poetry rut. The world’s bigger. Still, my appetite is for poetry and two thirds of what I read is poetry, compared to 74% last year.
A quarter of what isn’t poetry is memoir, a fifth are essays and a fifth are novels, 15% history and 11% science. (I didn’t track genres last year.)
I added source this year. The library beats rest of top 5, twice the rate of online, direct from author, used book store or thrift store which were all about even. I feel I get a lot at festivals and book fairs but I guess it makes more of an impact because it costs me more. Thrift and used stores are $1-$10 each instead of $20 or $30 with tax and shipping.
This year I added a 5 star rating system, for my own uses. It’s skewed because why would I stick with books that are 1 or 2 star? Still I did that 53 times. Occasionally a book would pay off by the end but usually it was an opportunity cost of not reading something I liked better. Still a stretch is healthy. If I’m only reading what is easy and agrees with me I’m in a far more vulnerable position. The top 10% I’ve put in the previous post.
Let’s see that again, graphically:
Of those, 176 were “book-books”, that is over 48 pages. Almost a fifth of titles are chapbooks, about the same as last year.
Last year I split out the numbers twice, once for all, once excluding chapbooks. This year I let it ride. I started to count pages partway thru the year by which time I returned, gave away or couldn’t find some of the books. Some books had no page numbers. But the ballpark estimate is 27,000 pages, averaging 135 pages.
How does one compare anything to anything really. A small format book, and a large format, or one with a lot of white space or images or large print, or with little white space, tiny writing and little concern for editing.
Still, if you’re a mac-user and want to track such things, at resources I have a downloaded Numbers file, pre-loaded with graphs and some replaceable filler titles to get you started.

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