Alexa from Alexa Loves Books and I knew that we wanted to continue to be pickier about what we read for review and what we added to our shelves in 2016. Those goals are how we originally came up with The Picky Pledge! First, it's time to look back at my reading stats for the year. Our accountability project continues!
Creating this post for 2014 is what helped me initially realize I needed to make some changes, and doing it again for 2015 enabled me to see where I was improving and where I still needed work. This year is no different! I've learned so much about my reading habits in 2016. Tomorrow we'll talk about what we learned this past year, and on Thursday we'll introduce our goals for 2017. Check out Alexa's stats here.
I read 93 books in 2016, which is a decrease for me. As with last year, I wanted to decrease the number of books I read for review - one of the main reasons Alexa and I launched The Picky Pledge. I set a goal to read no more than 20 review books for the year and finished the year having read only 16! I'm so glad I continued to make progress in this area and hope it will continue in 2017. However, I wish I'd spent more time reading books I already owned. As you'll see in a section below, I acquired a lot of books this year - so I just kept acquiring books and barely made a dent in my TBR! I read even fewer owned books than I did the year before. Fail.
I'm not surprised that e-books and audiobooks experienced an increase this year. I had a baby in May, and I've found myself grabbing my Kindle a lot more frequently. I still prefer physical books - and read that format most often! - but it's definitely easier to sneak in a little reading time on my Kindle or phone. I wondered in last year's post if this change would take place, and I like that I predicted it correctly!
I was interested to see these stats, and I love that I read more Adult and Non-Fiction this year than I did in 2015. I read a lot less Young Adult (down from 51% in 2015), which pleases me. I love Young Adult, but I prefer having more variety in my reading choices. I continued to explore Middle Grade - and included a few Picture Books that I read over and over again to my son (I figured they counted as a 2016 read if I practically had them memorized). I hope I can continue to have this balance in the books I read this year!
Rather than break this down into every genre that I read from in 2016, I decided to combine a few (like Humor, Memoir, and Biography into Non-Fiction) so it wasn't too messy. Once again, Contemporary made up the majority of what I read last year. And I'm not shocked that Historical and Fantasy came in second and third! Those three genres are my favorites, and I'm sure they'll dominate my 2017 reads, too.
SERIES VS. STANDALONE
I find it interesting that I read fewer books in a series this year. I need to look back and see if there were more series finishing in 2015 than in 2016. Either way, I loved so many of the series that I did read this year. I had a few complete series binges, devoured the newest installments in a few series that I'll be sad to say goodbye to and started several series that seem very promising. And I know I've got a number of series on my TBR for 2017!
There's an increase in 3-star reads compared to last year, and I think I had more 5-star reads in 2015 because I was re-reading more frequently. I noticed an increase in my 2-star reads, too, so hopefully I'll remember to just quit reading books I'm not crazy about and leave them unfinished. I'd rather spend the time on books I'm enjoying! (Note: Goodreads may not match this breakdown because I sometimes adjust ratings later.)
AVERAGE RATING BY SOURCE
Unsurprisingly, I have the highest average rating for re-reads. That makes sense since I'm typically re-reading my favorite books (or refreshing my memory before continuing a series). My average rating for Review Books and Borrowed Books increased - a sign that being pickier is paying off! And yay for continuing to have high averages for Bought and Owned. I'm pretty good at choosing the right books for me!
AVERAGE RATING BY PUBLISHER
As with last year, I read books from more publishers than the ones listed here but decided to highlight only the ones that were my most read. Bloomsbury was also a winner in 2014 and 2015 (#sarahjmaas) and Scholastic has claimed a new spot at the top this year. But the averages are pretty high from all of the publishers! I generally don't pay attention to the publisher when choosing a book, but I like taking a look at this stat.
REVIEW BOOK OVERVIEW
I received 27 review books in 2016 (a little more than half the number I received last year), and this is what I did with those books! The majority of the books I received were unsolicited or ones I accepted based on a publicist's pitch. I only requested a few books this year, which I'm proud of. I'm trying to be careful about requesting books so I can avoid DNFs. Four of the books on my TBR are 2017, which I've been waiting to read.
REVIEW BOOKS BY SOURCE
Last year, I noticed that I could significantly cut down on the number of books I read for review if I stopped logging on to NetGalley and Edelweiss. And guess what? I did it! I removed both websites from my Bookmarks Bar, which helped me "forget" about them. I will be interested to see how this evolves in 2017!
BOUGHT: PRINT VS. KINDLE VS. AUDIO
I prefer reading physical books, so that continues to make up the majority of what I bought in 2016. However, there was definitely an increase in the number of e-books and audiobooks I bought this year. As I mentioned above, having a baby made me gravitate more towards these formats out of convenience.
BOOKS BOUGHT BREAKDOWN
Last year, I was feeling pretty good about this section of my post. And this year? UGH, I TOTALLY FAILED. First of all, I bought 160 books in 2016 - up from 100 in 2015. Why did I let my book buying get out of hand again?! I made so much progress the year before! And secondly, most of them weren't books that I'd already read (or ended up reading in 2016) so they just made my TBR pile grow exponentially. My two goals for The Picky Pledge have pretty much always been to read fewer review books and buy fewer books, and I've accomplished the former but definitely need to work on the latter!
What does this mean for 2017? I think you can probably tell what my main goals will be. Additionally, I hope I'll still read from a variety of genres and use different formats to find more time to read. I'll share my specific goals on Thursday, but I've copied and pasted the two things below from last year's post because it's still my focus.
There are two changes I want to make this year:
1) buy fewer books
2) read more from my TBR