The OF Blog: Interesting stats and figures about my reading to date this year

Friday, April 06, 2012

Interesting stats and figures about my reading to date this year

I just finished reading my 120th book earlier today (I'll post the March 2012 reads in the next few days).  Since it is a nice, round number, I thought it'd be a good place to see how things divide out between reading print books and e-books.  Some of these numbers were surprising:

Only 51 of the 120 books read were print editions, with the remaining 69 being e-books or PDFs.  In January, 18 out of the 30 books were print, but only 13/33 for February, 14/49 for March, and to date in April 6/8.  There are a couple of factors in play here:  1) Reading several books that are by pre-1923 authors and 2) Having e-editions to read while I use the exercise bike for 30-40 minutes 3-4x/week at the local fitness center.

But there is something even more interesting occurring when I break down the figures total.  To date, I have read 35 books that have been written or co-written by women, but 26 out of those 35 (and 26/69 compared to 9/51) are in e-book/PDF format.  The percentages would have been even higher if I hadn't read 13 books written by just three male writers (6 by Eric Basso for review purposes at Weird Fiction Review, 4 volumes by Lawrence Durrell that eventually will be used in an essay, and three more by Gonçalo M. Tavares.  12/13 of those were print editions, incidentally).  The monthly breakdown for reading female writers goes as follows:  January:  4/30, February:  11/33, March:  20/49, April:  0/8.  The numbers for April will increase as soon as I finish a few reads-in-progress in the next few days.

For foreign language, the breakdown is interesting.  By language:

Spanish:  0/30 (January), 3/33 (February; 2/3 were by women (1 e-book), 1/3 by men (print)), 13/49 (March; 3/13 by women (2/3 e-book), 10/13 by men (8/10 were e-books), 1/8 (April; male; print):  17/120 total

Catalan:  1/30 (January; female; e-book), 0/33 (February), 0/49 (March), 0/8 (April; one about to be complete, though, female, print):  1/120 total

Portuguese:  1/30 (January; male; e-book), 0/33 (February), 2/49 (March; all male; 1 e-book), 1/8 (April; male; e-book):  4/120 total

Italian:  1/30 (January; male; e-book), 0/33 (February), 0/49 (March), 0/8 (April): 1/120 total

French:  1/30 (January; male; e-book), 2/33 (February; male; print); 0/49 (March), 0/8 (April):  3/120 total

Persian (bilingual edition):  2/30 (1 female; all print); 0/33 (February), 0/49 (March), 0/8 (April):  2/120 total

Arabic (bilingual, English 99% exclusively used, however):  1/30 (January; male; print), 0/33 (February), 0/49 (March), 0/8 (April):  1/120 total

Total foreign language/bilingual editions read:  29/120.  Number that were male:  22/120.  Number that were female:  7/120.

A few things I've taken from this:

1)  When reading e-books, I seem more likely to choose to read female writers (and I have several more in the queue to read)

2)  I am not as aware of female writers in other languages as I am in English.  I need to do a better job trying to discover female writers in all languages, but especially in Spanish (I do have several I could re-read, though, but those would be likely only 30-40 out of over 400 titles, which reinforces the point).

3)  When I am more conscious of this (February and March), the numbers balance out more.  April is an anomaly to date, due to reading up on the Civil War in prep for my visit to the Shiloh battle site this past Tuesday, as there are 4 female authors whose works I am currently in the midst of reading.

4)  Looks like I'm shifting toward a 2/3 e-book and 1/3 print edition reading pattern.  I thought it'd be around 60/40 print a few months after I bought my iPad 2, but this may be the way, especially considering a lot of the e-books purchased are for books that I wouldn't want to spend a premium in order to acquire them.  What I do buy in print tends to be volumes from favorite authors, imports, or specialty items.

Any comments/questions to this data presentation?

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