In March 2012, I signed up for a Goodreads account and discovered that checking books off as read motivated me to compete with myself to read as many as possible. Since 2012 was a partial year, I didn’t do anything with the totals, but now I have a full year of reading data in 2013 to poke, prod, and generally make pivot tables from. (Pivot tables: an occupational hazard)
*drumroll* The grand total of books either read or listened to in 2013 was…140! Of those, only 11 were rereads/listens.
I’ve seen others charting the gender of authors they read this year, so I thought what the heck, why not? Setting aside anthologies and graphic novels for their multiple writers and artists involved (n=17) we’re left with 88 female authors or pennames I didn’t know differently about, one male/female team, and 34 male. That’s a 78%/22% split in favor of women, which I find intriguing compared to other people’s totals I’ve read about. Bear in mind, this list is biased inasmuch as it’s simply a collection of books I choose to pick up and finish reading. But I can tell you that I didn’t consciously choose any of them based on the author’s gender.
For kicks, I also separated the books by my personal idea of their genre. Interestingly, the gender balance didn’t actually change significantly within any genre, except for ones I didn’t read often, which were subject to statistical weirdnesses. For instance, I love one romance author (Georgette Heyer) and so 8 of my 10 romances read were all by her. Having the romance genre come in as all female (in my sample) is therefore not exactly surprising.
Most populous genres:
Mystery: 60 (31 specifically historical mysteries)
Urban fantasy: 16
And the lessons I took from all this were that I read many female authors, as I suspected, and lots of mysteries, which I didn’t. Turning to genres other than the one you write in for pleasure reading: it’s creeping up on me!