2017: The Charts and a Goals Update

Last year’s reading as seen through charts

My absolute favourite book blog thing to do each year is reflecting on my year’s reading through a series of charts. Because I can more than because it is meaningful.

The first chart is a basic “how many have I read” and shows that in 2017 I dropped to a 10 year low. While cause for some personal distress I’m pretty sure I am doing better than most if this two year old Pew Research data is anything to go by. According to it, of the 72% of Americans who read at least one book in the previous year their total books read numbers ranged from 4-12 books in that year.

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The next chart focuses on the format I read in. I got my first eReader in 2010 but the format has never really taken over my reading. Partly because I don’t want to shop at Amazon and partly because I really don’t like the eBook format all that much. This year’s figures show I’ve only read 4 even though my local library now offers loans in this format. I prefer physical books for print reading and still adore audio books when I want to move and read at the same time.

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Gender, and more specifically discrimination based on gender, has certainly been an issue in all sorts of arenas this year. Sad that it still has to be but good that people from various walks of life are speaking out and conversations are being had. As far as bookish things go things are surely improving for female writers with programs such as the Orange and Stella Prizes and the Australian Women Writers Challenge but I’ve still seen a few ‘year end’ lists containing no female writers. I do not recall seeing a single list that has no male writers on it. Food for thought? My chart that relates to this issue shows the number of books by male and female authored books I’ve read each year for the past 11 years and displays this as a percentage of the total. In 2017 just over 60% of the books I read were by female authors.

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For recording the source of my reading material I used to lump all purchases together but this year I have broken them out into different categories. It makes most sense in the case of Audible downloads which don’t really fit into the Bought New category. I tried one audio book from my library in an effort to reduce my reliance on Amazon (which owns Audible) but the experience was sub par and the selection even worse. For now I’m stuck with the giant if I want to continue listening at a price I can afford.

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This year I read (or at least started) 23 books by Australian authors which equates to just under 8% of my total. It’s the lowest percentage for quite a few years which saddens me a little. Will try harder.

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I like to have a mix of old favourites and new (to me) authors so keep track of this data too. This year’s percentage was a little lower than the past couple of years but it is such a hard thing to balance. It’s almost like I want books by new authors to be unenjoyable so I don’t have to add them to my ‘must read’ list. This year nearly half of the books I read (46%) were by new authors and 7 of them ended up among my favourites for the year.

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I’m keeping steady on my reading of books translated into English, I’d need to set some specific goals if I want to move this percentage significantly I think.

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And finally where did I travel virtually? To 21 countries and a vague international waters setting. What a treat.

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Last year’s bookish goals

I had 5 bookish goals and only achieved one of them. I did lose my job and have a major health incident during the second half of the year but realistically that meant I had more time for reading than usual. Time I mainly spent binge watching stuff on Netflix and the Variety pack of channels offered by Fetch TV (mainly BBC First). Shame on me. I probably should try to up my game for 2018 but instead I’m going goal free.

Australian Women Writers Challenge: Read & Review 25 books 

I read and reviewed only 14 books.

Participate 8 times in Crimes of the Century

I participated 4 times then the meme host took a break. I only read 1 additional classic novel on my own.

Read 36 books owned prior to the start of the year and/or reduce the TBR to less than 100 (from 131)

Sigh. I only read 23 books that I owned before 1 January 2017. I got rid of a handful more that I know now I will never read but I also acquired rather a lot of books. My TBR pile at the end of the year stood at 133…two more than at the same time last year.


Buy no physical or eBooks from stores outside Australia (Audio books are my exception)

The only one of my goals I managed to achieve for 2017

Read at least 10 books eligible for my virtual tour of the US via its fiction (each one set in a different state and by a new-to-me author).

I only read 6 eligible books for this challenge and two of those were squeezed in during the dying days of December. My virtual trip has been going for 4 years and I’ve only visited 21 states!


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17 Responses to 2017: The Charts and a Goals Update

  1. Kathy D. says:

    Wow! This is great. I love the charts every year. I am in a funk due to a family tragedy, but this perked me up. Can you mention the new authors whom you decided to revisit? Also, did you list your favorite books of the year? Perhaps I should read the Book Bingo post below, and perhaps I will find out.
    I always like to see bloggers’ recommended reading lists from the year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had a family tragedy Kathy…hard to deal with at any time but it always seems particularly difficult when it’s holiday season and everyone is meant to be upbeat.

      Yes my favourite books of last year are in the Reading Bingo post….it lets me talk about more than 10 books 🙂


      • Oh and the new authors from last year that I will revisit are David Casarett, Bill Crider, Ragnar Jonasson, Vaseem Khan, Mark Brandi, Mindy Mejia, Gunnar Staalesen and Holly Throsby


  2. Kathy D. says:

    Also, I think it’s liberating not to do challenges. I turned myself into a pretzel for awhile trying to meet them. Now I have one goal: to do a simple global reading challenge — read one book from each continent at minimum and then one that is historical (instead of Antartica). If I want to, I read more usually from the U.S., Europe and Australia. But no more reading books I don’t like just to make a challenge. I’m getting too old for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JJ says:

    I love a book graph, and you’ve got some fabulous ones here — makes me wish I’d kept better records so I, too, could look back over a decade and see how my reading has developed,

    Actually, no, I’d get dangerously obsessive about something like that…but these are lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Margot Kinberg says:

    I’m quite impressed, Bernadette. You may not have met all of those bookish goals, but I really like the way you keep track of what you read, who writes it, and where you get it. I think having that information to look at helps a person focus reading a bit better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do wonder if I spent less time keeping information and more time reading I might have done better with the goals…but at least it stops me from buying books I already own and that sort of thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I just came across your blog but I LOVE these charts! What a great idea! Perhaps I will do a little more tracking with 2018… believe it or not, this will be my first year even tracking the number of books I read.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. guyportman says:

    I like the charts. You sure read a lot of books in 2011.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rebecca says:

    I still love your charts though I can’t make my own since my record keeping was quite spotty in 2017. Best wishes to you in the new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. tracybham says:

    I do love keeping track of things like this but find I don’t have the energy to do all of it while I am still working. Maybe after I retire. I do keep track of each book I read and track what I buy on Book Collector, but I don’t do well at tracking which countries and states. I may go back and do some of that during 2018. And do less challenges. Although I do have a few easy ones planned.

    I like the variety of books that you read and that you read them thoughtfully. I am amazed at the years you went up to 125 and over. One year I read 108 books, I don’t know how I did it. Only short books? This year was 96 and that is more than usual for me. A very good reading year though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I went through a phase where I watched basically no television at all…mostly because I cannot stand advertisements…that period corresponds with my most prolific reading years…now that I have access to add free streaming services I do watch more than I once did which eats into my reading time


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