Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Year in Review: 2015

Probably the most notable thing about reading in 2015 is that I don’t have any favorites that stand out to me, not like I did in 2014. There were certainly several books I enjoyed this year including: Across a Star Swept Sea, Vitro, The Book of Ivy, The Red Queen, Poison Princess, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, A Court of Thorns and Roses, The Wrath and the Dawn, The Bone Season, and the Darkest Part of the Forest. But none of these books rise to the front of my mind when I think “What are my favorite books?”

When I think “What are my favorite books?” I still think of my three top books from 2014—Wild Awake, Vicious, and the School for Good and Evil. I feel as though, even though I enjoyed all the books listed above from 2015, since none of them come immediately mind when I think of my favorites, then I didn’t really have any. Some of the books listed above have the makings of favorites (Poison Princess, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, The Bone Season), by which I mean having strong plots, good writing, and deep thematic exploration, but I just don’t think of them. I will try to reread some of those books this year to see if my heart grows fonder of them with time.

Let’s look at my cool graphed stats:

The M/F indicates books co-written by both a male and a female, and the NA category represents a book in which information about the author such as gender was unavailable. I read an overwhelming amount of female authors in 2015, which comes as no surprise, and the margin of non-female authors has actually narrowed since 2014. Though I will try to gravitate towards more male authors this year in an attempt to even out the scales, I still think a roughly 75% female author to 25% males is good and solid.

I did not read anything published prior to 1900’s in 2015. Nope, not a one. (Or at least, not one that I counted—I did read several works for a class focusing on American literature from 1820-1900, but I didn’t record those works towards my graphs here.) The 20th century works I read ranged from 1945-1998, and as I’d predicted, the most books I read in 2015 had been published in 2014. I predict a similar trend in 2016.

I can’t compare this graph to 2014 because this wasn’t data I’d recorded in 2014, though I will in the future. I like to reread books. I enjoy going back and revisiting old favorites, reinterpreting things I’ve already read, refreshing my memory for a new installment. I LIKE rereading, and I want to make sure that I keep that as an important part of my yearly reading goals. As it stands, I rather like this 75%/25% ratio—if I can hold that ratio in 2016, I will be quite pleased.

I’m actually quite impressed, as it seems I read a large number of books that I owned. Now, I still need to work on reading books I already own, but I predict to see a larger trend of library books in 2016, as I am but a poor college student.

This graph is possibly the most impressive of the bunch. While it’s evident that I read more YA than anything else, I enjoy YA more than anything else, so I don’t actually have a problem with that. And I very glad to see I managed to read books from other genres/formats in 2015—I expect to see a couple more genres/formats added in 2016 (such as audiobooks) and would like a wider margin of nonfiction and poetry. Other than that, I’m quite pleased.

This graph looks eerily similar to the one from 2014—it shows I read a lot in the first few months, dipped towards the end of spring semester, rocketed up again in the middle of the summer, and then showed a fairly steady downward trend towards the end of the year. I feel that 2016’s graph will look similar as well. At the beginning of the year, I’m renewed with a love for reading, out of school and over the stress and exhaustion of working holiday retail. As school encroaches, my reading time will decrease, but in high summer, the long days will give me even more time to read and my friends will be reading more as well which then falters into a steady downward trend as holidays and school contrive to exhaust me.

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