300 books on Goodreads since 2014

I used to keep track of my reading via LibraryThing and then a number of other sites and services before landing on Goodreads in 2014. A couple of months ago when I realized that I was approaching 300 books finished, I started drafting this post in anticipation of reaching the number, which I did at the end of October…

…or so I thought.

Then I noticed that while I had factored in The Lord of the Rings as a collection, adding two, and adding one, The Sun Also Rises that I had just finished as part of another collection of four novels by Hemingway, I had forgotten to add in one other collection of two novels: Wind and Pinball by Haruki Murakami – hence the asterisk in the graphic above.

The numbers have gone steadily down in the last six years, as the chart above shows: from the highs of 64 in 2014 and 82 in 2015 to middling numbers with 48 in 2016 and 45 in 2017 and last year with 33 and this year (so far) 29. I’m about on target for what I read last year, if not hopefully a little more than that number.

With this month Nonfiction November, I would also be remiss if I didn’t break down my reading into fiction and nonfiction. Sadly, I have been remiss in my nonfiction reading, with only 39, or 13 percent, of the 300 nonfiction. Also in the low numbers are graphic novels at 17 and poetry at 14. However, in the high numbers are series, especially series related to crime, with 189 out of the 300, or 63 percent, being series and out of those 137 are crime-related. Ironically, one book with “crime” in the title, Born A Crime by Trevor Noah, I did not count as crime-related.

Overall, I had 41 books that I rated five stars; 37, 3 stars, and only 2, 2 stars. Most were better than average, but somehow just short of great. However, an additional 13 that I didn’t give five stars, I still considered favorites despite that missing “something.” I would have made more infographics, but to be honest, just putting together these two, especially the first one was fairly time- and labor-intensive, since I’m not super tech-savvy. That said, I decided to try Piktochart after seeing a post in which Sarah at Sarah’s Bookshelves used the design website and I’m glad I did.

For my entire list on Goodreads, click my read shelf on Goodreads on the logo below:

Bryan's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

So what do all these numbers mean?

What all these numbers mean is…well, I read a lot of series, mostly crime-related, and not a lot of nonfiction. The good news is that this year out of the 28 books, I’ve read so far, 12 of them have been nonfiction or about 43 percent. Of course, that percentage is bolstered since the numbers overall are down. I attribute that to a number of factors, including stress over thinking about health, work, and politics (although at least one of those is improving for both me and my wife) and an increase in watching streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu.

Does this mean that I will change anything for the future? I have high hopes to read more nonfiction than I have been, but probably I’ll continue to read mostly crime fiction series and even have a few new-to-me series in my TBR (to-be-read) pile already. Through October, I’ve done pretty well on reading nonfiction for me, with a total of 11, which is a high for me in a year. I have a number of nonfiction books in my TBR too for the next year (or two or three, let’s be honest), many of which I’ll be mentioning in a blog post tomorrow and then next week for Nonfiction November. Stay tuned!

So numbers aside, do you find trends in your own reading? Do you tend to read on one subject or in one genre? Or all you over the place?

Note: I realized that as I ended drafting this post that I neglected to mention young adult books so I went back and added them up for a total of 27 books, if I counted right. I only learned about many of them from book bloggers and without doing a count, I’d say a fair amount of them were among my favorites.

In case you missed the first two Nonfiction November posts, here are the links: Nonfiction November: A Look Back At My Year in Nonfiction and Nonfiction November: A no-brainer fiction/nonfiction pairing. I’ll be back tomorrow for Week 3.

28 thoughts on “300 books on Goodreads since 2014

  1. I try so very hard to diversify both my fiction and my nonfiction, though this coming year I will be doing a bit of focus-reading. I’m a bit LibraryThing fan, myself, though I understand the draw to Goodreads.

      1. I only catalog books that I’ve read. That way, I’m all caught up and it doesn’t make work if I get rid of a book. 🙂 I have a hard time keeping up on Goodreads, though, because I’m so active on LibraryThing.

  2. I’m a terrible series reader. I’m frankly amazed with myself that I’ve kept up with John Gaspard’s Eli Marks series… I’d say in the last four years or so, I have a 60/40 split between fiction and nonfiction. I haven’t entirely kept track of genres in that time, but I seem to lean toward mystery/crime/horror. I love a good spread sheet so I second Deb’s recommendation of Google sheets.

  3. I love tracking everything about my reading and your post here is fantastic. My favorite trend to track, for myself, is “where did I discover the book I just read”. I find it interesting, at the end of a year, to see if I discovered more books via blogs or podcasts or friend recommendations or just stumbled upon it at a shop, or the library, etc. I’ve never thought about making graphs like you did though. Those are fun.

  4. I learned that you can use Google Sheets to make graphs. It’s free, and free is always first choice with me. You can Google (should I capitalize that when I’m using it as a verb?) Google Sheets to find out how to do it. It’s fairly easy.

    I definitely have trends in my reading. I recently looked over my reading for the year, and I was surprised to learn that my numbers are down in some of my favorite categories, including books-about-books and books about happiness. I’m way up in nature books, too.

    The nice thing for me when I look at trends is to see what I’m enjoying the most. That way I can look for more of the same.

    Have a great week.

  5. Love your graphics; they are so clear and make me want to do my own. I tend to do a look back at the year each December, but haven’t ever done my “lifetime” of books (since I’ve been keeping track). There’s something about statistics and books that just go together. One of my favorite all time nonfiction books is Boys in the Boat. Have you tried that one yet?

  6. I definitely find trends in my reading. I tend to travel from mostly liking one kind of book for months/years on end, and then suddenly switch to another kind. For example, in early 2009, I began reading mostly YA and kept that up until the fall of 2010, when suddenly I wanted nothing to do with YA and only wanted to read classics. The fall of 2015, I only wanted to read nonfiction, which is unusual for me, and most of this year (for the first time in ages) I’ve not wanted to read a lot of speculative/fantasy and have trended more toward realistic fiction. I’ve learned to just go with the flow in what my brain is hooked on at that moment. I always circle back around eventually, haha! I’m impressed by your charts. It makes me want to do a post like this one, hmmm…

    1. You might should do a post like this, but even without the charts (I won’t be doing many more because the site is cost-prohibitive; I’m only using the free version, which only gives you five graphics), it would be cool to see what you come up with. It’s also just a good way to see what you are reading and to speculate on why.

  7. I like the idea of slick charts but don’t have the patience for entering all the data needed, just this year that’s 168 books so far. At a guess I’d say my reading is dominated by general contemporary and crime/mystery, but there is a bit of everything including historical, fantasy, nonfiction, romance and YA.

    Wishing you a great reading week

    1. I could have done more charts, but I don’t have the money to spend on the website that creates the charts. Plus I don’t really have the time. How do you find the time to read 168 books? Just curious. Always curious with people who read that many books.

  8. Love the chart! I’d say for me over the last 3 years – mysteries / thrillers have gone up with fantasy / speculative fiction has gone done. SO has the number of books read on average – from close to 100 a few years ago to 50-50 over the last 2 years or so.

  9. Your charts/graphs are very cool. I really wish Goodreads had a charts/graphs feature to figure this all out for us automatically.

    As for me, I think I am an all over the place reader, but since I haven’t done any charts or graphs, how am I to know????? I might surprise myself. I know what I do NOT read, but not really what I DO read.

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