Skip to main content

How my 2018 Reading Stacks Up To 2017


Now that I've been keeping detailed stats and blogging for almost two years now, I decided I'd compare my stats from this year and last year to see how I'm growing and changing as a reader as well as a reviewer.
Instead of making resolutions or setting a goal for a number of books to read for 2019, I'm just going to aim to keep improving and finding books that I honestly love. It's hard to hold yourself to a certain number when it's hard to predict how the future will go.

2017 Stats
I like to pull many different data points from the books I read. From genre to how many days each book took to who wrote and published it, it's interesting to reflect back. Here's some of the facts I see as most relevant to reflecting how I'm changing as a reader. In 2017, I read 120 total books which seems to be at the top end of what I can manage to read in a year on top of school work and other things. Of these books, 65 of them came from my local library, either in hard copy or by online loan (which is an awesome way to utilize your library if getting there or returning books on time is difficult). 23 of the 120 books were digital books (which shows my preference for paper books, I guess!), and I did listen to one audiobook.
Of the 120 books, 40 of them were new release books in 2017. You'll see how that shifted in 2018 as reading new releases and supporting debut authors became a major priority! 34 books were written by male authors.
Finally, to create an interesting comparison with last year's reading, I read a total of 37,626 pages. There's such a focus put on the number of books read, but the page numbers in each book vary so much that I thought that comparing page numbers year to year might be a more telling factor in how much reading really happened.

2018 Stats
In 2018, I only finished 118 books (I really thought I'd make my goal of matching last year, but nope). Interestingly, though, I read more in 2018. Starting to DNF more books definitely hurt me on my final total. I probably have over thirty books that I read fifty to one hundred pages of before putting them down, and I don't record books I DNF. That's one thing I'm changing this year. I want to see how many books I'm putting down and how many pages I read before then. 
There were a lot of major shifts in my reading habits in 2018, and I think they mostly have come from being a more experienced blogger and being more involved in the publishing and author communities. This has lead me to put a major focus on promoting debuts, and I like to read current books to add to unfolding conversations. I read 66 new releases which means that 56% of the books I read were 2018 releases (and there were a few 2019s that didn't count for this!). Also, of the 121 authors I read (there were some co-written books), only nineteen of them were by male authors. YA is truly an awesome, women dominated space that is so much fun to read from. 
When it comes to where I sourced my books this year, there was a drop in books that came from the library, only 36, but 40 of the books I read were advanced copies. 
Finally, even without counting my DNF'd pages, or the reading I did for school (this year I did school the whole year and didn't really take breaks which made me get creative with reading time), I managed to read 40,560 pages which is far more than last year, even if I didn't finish as many books. Seeing this divide between books and pages read made me decide that I'm not putting out a book goal, but I'm guessing, it will ultimately fall between 115 and 120, though maybe starting my gap year in the fall will give me a boost in my reading!

As a Reviewer
I also decided to look at how many books I gave different levels of stars. In 2018, I had 4 5++++ extra special books which made me super happy. These books are included in my favorites of 2018 below. In 2017, I hadn't thought of the 5++++ books, but I did give out 37 five star reviews, and 93 total reviews that I gave 4 stars or more. In 2018 I gave 100 reviews over 4 stars which hopefully means I'm getting better at picking books I'll love. I think it's also a product of only finishing books I'm enjoying. 

In closing, I'm really proud of what I've managed to do in 2018! I've managed to keep up my three times a week posting schedule for the whole year, grown the Instagram, met awesome authors and other bloggers on Twitter, and honestly put a lot of effort into creating the best content possible. If you'd like to support the blog, people subscribe to our email service so that you don't miss a post and follow on Instagram (@readingwritingandme) and Twitter (@readwriteandme and @mslaurenbrice). I'll link my top books of 2017 and 2018 below so that you can see my favorites of the last 2 years!

Books You May Like...
Top Reads of 2018: Here
To Reads of 2017: Here

Links of Interest:
A Quiet Kind of Thunder: Review Here
Field Guide to the North American Teenager: Review Here
The Summer of Jordi Perez: Review Here
The Me I Meant To Be: Review Here

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The History of Jane Doe

The History of Jane Doe by Micheal Belanger (2018)
Overview: Ray knows the entire history of his hometown, Burgerville, Connecticut. He also knows lots of different tidbits about the world as well. But, for his first written account of history, the story must center on loss, why, and fleeting moments of happiness. He has to tell the story of his first girlfriend, hidden by the anonymity of the name Jane Doe. Told in Before and After chapters, Ray explores the highs and lows he had in his fleeting relationship with Jane and his recovery from crushing loss. Overall: 4.5

Characters: 5 Jane is coping with clinical depression that probably stems from a combination of family history and past trauma. She goes between trying to hide her scars and struggles and exposing them, tiny piece by piece to the people she loves.
Ray is fascinated by Jane and the way she looks at the world and the town he's lived in all his life with fresh eyes.
His friend, Simon, is dorky and not quite all together b…

Top Reads of 2018

This year's best of 2018 list has tons of new categories to fit all of the amazing books I read this year. I've had the chance to read so many advanced books and recent releases, so most of what I read were books that came out in 2018. I mostly choose contemporary, so I've started with my favorite debut as well as the best books in other genres I've ventured into. After that, I have smaller categories in the contemporary genre. I hope you find new books to love and give to your friends and family for the holidays. If you're interested in learning more about the books on the list, click their titles to go to my reviews. Let me know if these are some of your favorites in the comments, and tell me your favorite books!
Best In Genre Top Debut
Nothing Left To Burn by Heather Ezell Nothing Left To Burn gave me the craziest book hangover. I was so immersed in the story, and I couldn't stop reading to do anything that I actually needed to be doing. There is a toxic relat…

Starry Eyes

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett (417 pages)
Overview: Glamping should not include getting stranded in the middle of the woods with your ex-best friend. But life doesn't always go as it's supposed to. When Zorie agrees to go with her friend Regan and her crew on a summer camping trip, she doesn't know Lennon will be there, and she's certainly not expecting the group to abandon the two of them in the middle of the California wilderness, forced to complete a multi day track back to civilization. It turns out, though, that an adventure in the woods might be just what they need. Overall: 4.5

Characters: 5 I thought that all of the characters, including the adults, were given dimension. I loved the parental dynamic between Lennon and his moms as well as Zorie's relationship with her step mom who never considered Zorie less than her own daughter.
Lennon and Zorie are also awesome characters. Zorie has to battle her intense anxiety and relinquish control while she's stuck in…

This Is Not a Test

This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers (326 pages)
Overview: Sloane wanted to end her life. And then the apocalypse came. Her focus suddenly turns to survival because that's what she's supposed to do. She finds a group of other teens from her school, and they survive in the infected city for seven days before finding shelter in the high school. With all the doors barricaded and the necessities provided, suddenly, there's room to think, reflect, and feel again, and their safe haven quickly turns into a cage. Overall: 5 

Characters: 5 This cast has blown me away. Courtney Summers in general has done that with every aspect of the novel, but the characters are all so detailed and unique and flawed and emotional and broken. It makes for the perfect novel.
Sloane has recently had her sister leave without her, even though the plan was for them to escape their abusive father together. Without Lily, she feels her life has no point, but when it's seriously threatened, something co…

Long Way Down

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (306 pages) Buy At Your Local Bookstore*
Overview: It's just one elevator ride. Just one elevator ride to the rest of Will's life. Eight floors takes so long when you're headed to kill someone. Even in revenge. Even for justice. Even when your brother was just murdered. It's even longer when every stop brings someone who's left your life back in. There's so much to learn before Will hits the lobby. Overall: 4 

Characters: 4 Because of the atmosphere and the point of the story, we don't get super into the characters. They each represent a stop on a horrible cycle. It starts with Buck, Will's older brother, Shawn's, older brother figure. When Buck got killed, Shawn had to avenge his death, which got him killed. He also meets his Uncle Mark, an aspiring filmmaker who's death lead to Will's father's death because of the Rules. Each character doesn't exist to explore themselves or have their own motives- they…

You Asked For Perfect

You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman (March 5)
Overview: Ariel has to be perfect. His whole identity rests on him getting the best grades, being first chair, being valedictorian, and, the culmination of all of his hard work... getting into Harvard. But the second chair violinist with nearly the same GPA also wants a spot in that freshman class, so Ariel has to work even harder than anyone could imagine to guarantee that it's his. But only a few weeks into senior year, Ariel starts to fall apart, and he's left to wonder if his well being or his pride is more important. Overall: 4.5 

Characters: 5 There will be a lot of people who read this book and blame Ariel for being absent from his friendships, pulling away from his family, and sacrificing his physical well being for a goal that isn't even assured to him. All his effort and missed life could be for nothing. But those who say that don't understand how broken the education system is, particularly in America. They cl…

Is YA For Me?

I've seen a lot of different conversations taking place on Twitter that all come back to a central theme. The YA space is controlled by adults. For the most part, they are the ones with the purchasing power, they have jobs in the industry, they are in a better position to amplify their voices about how they feel about different books and the category as a whole. I've been thinking about these conversations as a whole, and it really does come back to the intended audience not owning the space and what that means for the category and the conversations around it.
As a teen who's heavily involved in the YA community, I sometimes feel awkward reading all the different, slightly varied takes from adults. Some make blanket statements for themselves and some work with teens and try to be a conduit to add them to the conversation. Very rarely do I come across a real teen who gets an amplified voice in the conversation (definitely go check out Vicky Who Reads on Twitter because, as…

Dumplin'

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy (375 pages)
Overview: Willowdean "Dumplin'" is fat. It's something that she's come to accept about herself even after years of fad diets enforced by her mother and bullying at school. Aunt Lucy certainly helped with her self acceptance, and in cultivating her love of Dolly Parton, but Will is left rudderless after Lucy has a sudden heart attack. To reclaim a bit of confidence she'd lost, Will signs up for the Clover City Pageant. Though she's not the typical beauty queen, Will and her group of friends get to put their own stamp on her mother's beloved pageant. Overall: 4 

Characters: 4 I like Willowdean. She lives in the place most of us do on the fine line between insecure and confident. Murphy does a great job building a crew of characters around Willowdean. It was fun to revisit the cast after I'd read Puddin', Murphy's forthcoming companion novel.

Plot: 4 While this book is mainly billed as being about a beaut…

The Dead Queen's Club

The Dead Queen's Club by Hannah Capin (January 29)
Overview: For fans of European history, specifically Henry VIII and his many wives, this is a treat. Modernized and set in high school, this version is the tale of all of Henry's living ex-girlfriends banding together to find the real reason behind the death of two of his former girlfriends, Anna Boleyn and Katie Howard. Narrated by Annie, better known as Cleves, the reader falls for Henry's charm but also sees the cracks growing in his perfect facade. Overall: 4 

Characters: 4 Cleves has a authoritative voice that I very much enjoyed. She's outspoken and uncompromising as she makes a place for herself in her new school senior year. Even though she marches to the beat of her own drum, she's found a place for herself among the cheerleaders who genuinely love how unique she is; but it helps that she's already friends with Henry, football star who practically owns the school.
The other characters have their places a…

Two Can Keep a Secret

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus (327 pages)
Overview: Ellery and Ezra have moved to Echo Ridge right when the beloved science teacher is killed in a hit and run. They come across the body on their drive into town which sets the tone for their time in Echo Ridge. It seems that the killer of the homecoming queen from five years ago has returned with a slew of threats against the new court. And then, Brooke, one of the princesses, goes missing. Echo Ridge goes from a rich, suburban New England town to the sight of a possible serial killer, and true crime fanatic, Ellery, is going to solve it the mystery. Overall: 4

Characters: 4 Ellery and Ezra aren't super memorable. They're fine. Likable enough, but nothing stands out to make them special. Ezra is reduced to a minor, minor character, even though he's originally painted as important and Ellery is your classic new girl in town, true crime fanatic. I just can't find anything that stands out about her as much as I w…