Final 2017 Statistics and 2018 Goals

It’s possible that I might finish another book tomorrow, but as we now have house guests here through the 2nd, it’s probably for the best if I consider the reading year done. I even surpassed 2016’s reading total, making this my most prolific year ever:

The breakdown:


Fiction: 49.3%

Nonfiction: 40.7%

Poetry: 10%

(Very similar to last year.)


Male author: 38.4%

Female author: 61.6%

(Roughly the same thing happened last year, which I find interesting because I have never consciously set out to read more books by women.)


E-books: 25.2%

Print books: 74.8%

(This really surprised me. Last year I was at one-third e-books / two-thirds print books, but this year the print books have dominated even more. I think this might be because I’m more likely to read lots of books on Kindle when traveling and we’ve done less travel overall; I’ve also scaled back on some of the reviewing gigs that only send me e-books.)


Works in translation: 8%

(I thought I’d done better than last year, but I actually read a bit less in translation. Sigh.)


Where my books came from for the whole year:

  • Free print or e-copy from publisher: 28%
  • Downloaded from NetGalley or Edelweiss: 22.2%
  • Secondhand purchase: 18.5%
  • Public library: 16.7%
  • Free from giveaways (or Book Thing of Baltimore): 6.5%
  • Gifts: 6.2%
  • University library: 1.9%


Some interesting additional statistics courtesy of Goodreads:

2018 Goals

Looking back at the reading goals I set for 2017, I’m pleased to see that I did indeed get involved with blog tours and prize shadow panels: I participated in eight blog tours and two shadow panels (the Wellcome Book Prize and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award – highlights of my bookish year; I’ll probably do the Wellcome again next year). I was pretty consistent about featuring at least one classic and a doorstopper per month. I doubt I’ll keep those challenges up on a monthly basis in 2018, but I might do them occasionally.


Specifically, in the next year I’d like to focus on:

  • Travel classics

  • Biographies, some of which will happen to top out at 500 pages or more.

  • Literature in translation (I’d like to increase the past year’s percentage.)
  • The books I own – I went around and counted 327 unread books in the house, which is more than a year’s reading. (This is opposed to 221 at this time last year; I blame a trip to Hay-on-Wye, multiple visits to Book Cycle in Exeter, free books acquired from the swap shop, and a 3-for-95 pence deal one of our local charity shops used to have.) In addition, I have nearly 350 books on my Kindle: again, over a year’s reading. To keep chipping away at the books I already own, I need to scale back on purchases and on requests from publishers (print or e-) and try to make the books from my own shelves account for at least a quarter – better, a third – of my reading in 2018.
  • Unrelated to books … I got a vintage accordion for Christmas and need to learn a) how to read music and b) how to play an accordion. It should be a fun project!


I’ll be back at some point next week – once I’ve had time to wade through all the upcoming 2018 releases I’ve heard about via Goodreads, NetGalley, Edelweiss, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Twitter, Instagram, other bloggers, etc. – to preview the 25–30 coming out in the first half of the year that I’m most excited about.


Happy New Year, everyone! Thanks for your support of my blog through another year.


How did 2017 turn out for you reading-wise? What are some of your goals for 2018?

25 responses

  1. Goodness, how on earth did you read 320 books? My brain would be utterly scrambled if I attempted such a feat. Well done, Rebecca!


    1. By reading every chance I got 🙂 I work from home, have no children and no TV, and some of my work (paid reviewing) involves reading. I take handwritten notes on many of the books I read, and use Post-It flags in print books and highlighting in e-books to note important passages. The very act of reviewing a book helps to fix it in your mind and then your review, no matter how short, is something to look back on to remind yourself of what happened in the book and how you reacted to it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy New Year to you, too, dear!

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  3. An amazing amount of books, well done! And very interesting stats. I haven’t done it quite as systematically as you have, but I am always surprised that the actual stats are never quite the same as I confidently expect them to be. For instance, I have fewer books in translation than I would like, or books by non-European authors in particular.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t consider non-European — I fear the total then would be extremely low, with just two Murakamis and (possibly) the Elif Shafak; I can’t work out whether she translates her own work.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love reading stats – thanks for sharing yours! I was in Exeter today, but only a house in the suburbs – next time I’ll have to find this Book Cycle 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a terrific half-timbered building down a small street not too far from the main shopping streets and cathedral. I can also recommend Hidden Treasure tea room. Between that and Book Cycle you’ve got an excellent rainy Saturday afternoon plan.


  5. My female/male stats are similar to yours (and also remain consistent from year to year) – like you, there’s nothing intentional about this!

    I don’t have any particular goals this year apart from reading a few more ARCs that have been sitting around for way too long!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m impressed by your fiction/nonfiction balance. My reading skews heavily to fiction, but I do have that new “system” in place for 2018 nonfiction reading – i.e. placing holds on nonfiction! 🙂

    Also, I want to work on reading more translated books. I didn’t read a single one this year, much to my chagrin!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m nowhere near your numbers but it was an especially slow reading year for me what with moving house. No translated authors, perhaps because of low numbers in general and so, like you and many others, I would like to improve on that. Other than that, just read more as long as it’s quality is my basic 2018 goal.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Annabel (gaskella) | Reply

    That is some achievement – well done! LIke Marina, I was surprised at how few authors I read in translation this year, and similarly from outside Europe.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sarah's Book Shelves | Reply

    Holy cow – 320 books?!! That’s almost a book a day! Pretty amazing. Looking forward to your 2018 release preview!


    1. It’s funny, I can’t imagine a book-a-day challenge (like Nina Sankovitch did in Tolstoy and the Purple Chair), and yet the stats do work out nearly that high. It’s because I generally have 10-15 books on the go at a time and read some of most of them per day. Some days I finish several books; others I finish none. It would be interesting to keep a record of how much time I spend reading in an average week.


  10. Can’t believe you read that much!!! Wow.

    –I see “A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains” by Isabella Bird in your stack of travel books. It’s a great one. I also highly highly recommend Letters of a Woman Homesteader, by Elinore Pruitt Stewart, while you’re reading about the American West. It’s one of my favorite books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll add that to the TBR — thank you! I first came across Isabella Bird through Sara Wheeler’s book O My America.


  11. I’m itching to know how one ends up with an accordion without knowing how to read music. What a situation! 🙂

    Good luck with your reading goals for next year. That stack of biographies looks MASSIVE (and I’m sure there are more poised in the wings).

    One thing that was quite different in 2016 for me was the number of review copies, which was a virtually non-existent category for me in 2017, and which allowed me to focus on backlisted reading; although I thought that would be a temporary experiment, I so enjoyed it that I’m going to do the same thing again (with a few exceptions, I’m sure, for review work and other writing projects). And, of course, there’s no end to backlisted books on my TBR – a couple of decades in the making!


    1. My husband and his friends have a folk/rock band and we’re really into folk music. It seemed like a quirky instrument to try. I’ve never been very musical but I’d like to stretch myself.

      Those are actually all the unread biographies I have to my name, unless there are a handful on my Kindle, but I don’t remember any.

      So how do you keep up with all the Canadian prize lists — from the library? I’ll only make a limited number of review requests this year, for books I’m really keen on.


  12. I’m really pleased with myself if I read 125 books in a year, and this year was only half that. Your total is phenomenal!

    Cool that you got an accordian. My mother-in-law played accordian when she was younger, and I had hoped to inherit hers. Sadly for me, it went to a grandson. Have fun with it!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Well its really inspiring for us budding readers to see such an amazing challenge that you give to yourself each passing year!! Wish you another “Happy Reading” year 🙂 and I really hope this year even I get into some seriously inspiring and motivational reading 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. So many books read, wow! And I LOVE your classic travel books pile – I’ve read and loved almost all of those. My only plans are to continue my Iris Murdoch readalong through the year and to read Alan Moore’s Jerusalem alongside my husband. Happy reading for 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love that you got an accordian – I can’t wait to hear how that goes!

    Your stack of biographies look delicious. I always wish I had more time to read… but don’t we all?
    My male/female ratio consistently comes out about 1/3 to 2/3 unintentionally. The stats are fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m feeling pretty daunted by the accordion for now, but my husband has promised to sit down with me two nights a week for half an hour at a time to help me learn.

      I like to think I pick up a book on its own merits and not based on the author’s gender. (I don’t think I would ever do a project where you just read women authors for a year, for instance.) So it’s interesting to me that the stats work out that way. However, I wonder if it’s the memoirs that contribute to the imbalance the most: I’m naturally curious about how other women live their lives.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I often wonder if I’m more naturally drawn to women’s stories than men’s (but then think that I’m probably not supposed to assume that there is a difference bewteen the two). The memoir theory makes sense.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. […] by Bookish Beck’s detailed 2017 summary I did a quick sweep through my Book Journal and discovered that during […]


  17. […] how did I do with the 2018 reading goals I set for myself about this time last year? Rather poorly! is the short […]


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