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Reading Habits

In Currently Reading... on February 8, 2015 at 11:02 am

Hello there! It’s been a long time. I know. But now, after an extended break, I feel like I’m ready to rejoin the world of blogging.

This year, I’ve done some analysis on the books I read last year. I follow a lot of bookish pages on Facebook and one of the pages had a really interesting article on it written by a woman who wanted to read more diversely and what she did about it. Here’s the link if you’re interested: http://bookriot.com/2014/09/18/track-reading-ultimate-reading-spreadsheet/

When I first saw this, I thought that it would be pointless for me because I keep track of all of my reading on Goodreads. But as I read on I realised why she was doing it and it made me want to do it too. Goodreads doesn’t give stats. I’ve been wanting to diversify my reading experience for a while but until I created my own spreadsheet, I didn’t realise how much I really needed to do it.

Unsurprisingly, I read A LOT of books written by white males from the UK or the US. And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve read some amazing books and I’m certainly not going to NOT read a book based on someone’s ethnicity, gender or country of origin. But looking at my reading habits this way made me realise how many different points of view I’m missing out on.

I’d like to share the results with you. Below is a portion of what my spreadsheet looks like. I’ve altered mine from the one in the article referenced above. A few things on my reporting: Where there were two authors, I chose one to make it easier. If one of them is an ethnicity other than white, I chose that person to show that there is a bit of diversity in what I’m reading. I’m not sure if that’s cheating or not, but since this isn’t an official report and it’s pretty much for my own edification I’m just going to go with it. I’ve also grouped anyone from the UK together, so the books in that category are written by people from England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. (I haven’t forgotten about you, Wales! I just didn’t read anything by a Welsh author last year.)

Also, the spreadsheet from the article I linked had a column designated as PoC to designate whether or not the book was written by a person of colour. I decided to record everyone’s ethnicity instead because I don’t really like that terminology for people who aren’t white and I’m a bit unsure of its acceptability. I wince when I hear people say it because it’s a little too close to calling someone ‘coloured’. There’s also the implication that white is ‘normal’ and anyone else is ‘other’.

(Please note that I’m not suggesting in any way that the woman who wrote the original article is racist. These thoughts about terminology are mine and not meant as a judgement.)

I kind of love spreadsheets. I'm not ashamed.

I kind of love spreadsheets. I’m not ashamed.

So, here’s what the results were. (All stats have to do with author and not characters or setting in the books.)

Last year I read 52 books with a total of 15,077 pages.

Here is a lovely pie chart which is split by gender. So, yes. I need to read more books by women.

2014 Gender Split

 

Books I’ve read by country:

2014  by Country

 

And by ethnicity:

2014  by Ethnicity

 

In the country and ethnicity charts above, there are two entries you might question. USA/Canada denotes an author who has dual citenzenship. White/Japanese denotes an author who has a white parent and a Japanese parent. (Although, now I’m realising that I should have put ‘White/Asian’ instead.) Anyway, I didn’t want to take away from anyone’s identity as I was doing this, so I put both.

So that’s my 2014. I think that 2015 will look a lot different. I’ll be interested to see what it will look like.

I would interested to know if anyone else is doing something similar, so if you are please let me know. Happy Reading!

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