2018 Wrap-Up and Reading Stats

I meant to get this post up before the new year started, but it’s been a very busy week for me so I hope you all will still enjoy reading this a few days late. Today, I’m bringing you all the charts, graphs, and mathy analysis fun about everything that I read in 2018! I apologize if some of the graphics are wonky, I used Excel and that program is hard lol.

But before I dive into that, I have an update if you read my most recent post about my end of the year TBR. And I have excellent news… *drumroll please*

I DID IT!!! I actually met my goal of 45 books! Granted, I did deviate from my TBR just a tiny bit, but I still read almost all the books I set out to read in that span of time. I believe I only swapped two out in favor of an audiobook and a graphic novel (which, I have discovered, are the most magical of books designed to make you feel like the fastest reader on the planet).

Anyways, onto the stats!

Considering I spent the entire first half of the year applying to colleges and graduating from high school, then spent the second half completing my first semester away from home, I’d say 15,500 pages isn’t too shabby.

Ratings

Looking at the fact that 78% of all the books I read were either 4 or 5 stars, this was an exceptional year for finding and reading books that I loved! I really wish I had last year’s wrap-up post to compare 2018’s stats to 2017’s, but alas that post was banished from all existence, along with the rest of my posts, when my account was hacked. *sigh* But I definitely think I’m becoming pickier with the books I read and not just reading a book because it’s hyped, so my overall enjoyment is increasing.

Genres

Aaaaand absolutely no one is surprised. Fantasy is my main b*tch what can I say? This year I had to include a “Classics” section because I had so much assigned reading over two different literature courses (most of them were meh in my opinion, but such is the life of an English major). I would say the most surprising thing is the lack of sci-fi that I read. Sci-fi is probably my second favorite genre, so that number definitely needs to change in 2019!

Age Categories

Again, no one is surprised. I may be a legal adult now but my tastes certainly haven’t changed, because YA is the best! The fact that Adult is even such a big percentage is due to all the books I read for school. A goal for 2019 though is to read more crossover books! I read Empire of Sand (one of the books making up that 4%) and absolutely loved it, so I know The Poppy War, City of Brass, The Bear and the Nightingale, and Spinning Silver are all NA/crossover fantasy novels that I want to read very soon!

Publication Dates

I think everyone in the book community will be forever plagued by the urge to read new releases over backlisted books, and I am obviously no exception. All the classics I read for school are the only reason the “Pre-2015” category is so large (can you tell that school took over my life?). I’m still proud that I managed to read as many books as I did from 2017, 2016, and 2015 though!

Backlisted Books v.s. ARCs

This is basically just another way of looking at the same info in the previous chart, but damn. I’m so sorry backlist. I truly neglected you, didn’t I? Somehow I think I did even worse than last year. Obviously ARCs took precedence, as they always seem to do in a book blogger’s life. The “Required” category is books I read for school (gross), and the “Not on TBR” section represents books that I simply picked up on a whim (that I didn’t own already or have listed on Goodreads, oops). “New Releases” are books that were on my TBR but came out in 2018, and “Backlist” is any book that I’ve owned and had on my TBR for over a year. Next year, I reeeeally hope to do something about that pesky TBR pile (but I say that every year, don’t I?)

Formats Read

I thought this category was pretty interesting to look at, because when I go to read a book, I often don’t think much about what format it’s in. But when you include physical ARCs as paperbacks, that format clearly reigned my year. Towards the end of the year though, I made great use of the library app and read several audiobooks! Let me tell you, they help make reading life a lot easier (especially when you have to get through a 400+ page book filled with dullness and boredom for school). In 2019, I’d like to read a lot more e-books, because I tend to read more quickly with them and I want to make good use of my Nook!

Sources

Okay, we’ve almost reached the end I promise! *sweats from all these numbers* Here’s a look at where I got all the books that I read this year! It would’ve been more complete to look at every book that I hauled this year (as opposed to just read), but that would have taken a LOT of math so no thanks lol. In a way, I’m glad that I’m reading books that I spent my money on (rather than just leaving them to collect dust on my shelf), but a definite goal for 2019 is to utilize the library more often. Jordyn @ Jordz the Bibliophile has been yelling at me for years to stop spending my money (especially when it’s a book I’m not sure about), and when I finally started going to the library to get books to read for my end of the year TBR, I saw how easy it is to just, not spend money.

Diversity

*glances at chart* *glances back at you guys* *slowly sinks to the floor and melts into a puddle of utter shame*

I can’t lie, I was pretty devastated to see the results of this category. I truly thought I did a lot better this year. Granted, representing diversity mathematically is not the easiest or most straightforward process (after all, not everybody has the same definition of what counts as diverse representation). So I suppose I can blame a little bit of it on the way the numbers worked out. The reason the Mental Health/Disability, Poverty, and LGBTQ+ categories are so slim is because I read a lot of books with those representations combined with other forms of rep, so they’re “hidden”, if you will, in the Combination category. I counted a book as having diverse rep if any major character (the main character or the number one supporting side character/love interest) belonged to any of the marginalizations listed above. I didn’t tend to count side characters. I could also blame it on the fact that I had to read so much for school, and the lack of any kind of diversity in classical literature or required reading is a discussion for a whole other day. But in the end, I know I should have done better. So add “reading diversely” to the growing list of goals for 2019.

Month by Month

Finally, a look at how many books I read each month! I literally laughed out loud when I saw this because you can definitely tell I put out all the effort right at the end of the year. As usual, the summer was a busy reading time for me because #noschool! Hopefully in 2019, I can manage to balance reading with school a little bit better.

Now for the wrap-up portion of this post (yes, it’s very long, I apologize).

Best Reads of 2018

And there’s every book that I gave a solid 5 stars in 2018!

When I saw the synopsis for Heretics Anonymous, I just knew it was the book for me. Luckily, I was right! Not only is it funny and sarcastic, but it explores religion in a way that I have never read in a YA book before. This book needs way more hype in the community!

Most anything that Sabaa touches is gold, but even though I expected great things from A Reaper at the Gates, it still managed to completely blow me away! The Ember series just gets better with each installment.

After sitting on my shelf for three years, I finally picked up The Wrath and the Dawn duology and HOLY SHIT IT BLEW MY MIND. Everything about Khalid and Shazi and the whole cast (along with Renee’s insane descriptions of food) had me yelling the entire time I was reading this series. The Rose and the Dagger didn’t make my list (I gave it 4.5 stars) just because I thought it wasn’t *quite* as good as Wrath. But Despina and Jalal’s novella? GIVE ME MORE PLEASE I NEED AN ENTIRE SERIES ABOUT THEM.

The biggest surprise of the year was definitely Nimona, which I picked up from the library on a whim about a week ago so I would have one more quick read to count towards my goal. Next thing I know, I’m sitting in bed after devouring the entire thing in an hour, awe-struck and feeling giddy because it was so freaking cute! This starts out like a quirky episode of Phineas and Ferb, but quickly gets dark and murdery and filled with questions about Nimona’s mysterious power. I would highly recommend for any fantasy readers!

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you’ve probably heard me yelling about The Light Between Worlds and Sky in the Deep constantly. Those two reads absolutely stole my heart, and they helped get me through the roughest year of my life, so they’re stories that I will treasure forever. <3

Finally, the book I was most impressed with this year, Obsidio. It’s no secret that I love the Illuminae Files series, I think they’re probably the most creative and inventive books I’ve ever read in my life. But after not loving Gemina as much as I loved Illuminae, my excitement for Obsidio was minimal. I decided to pick it up over the summer anyways, and I proceeded to cry, laugh, scream, hold my breath, and basically undergo a complete emotional catharsis all the way until the final page. Obsidio was easily my favorite book of the series, and I just don’t think the authors could’ve ended the series more perfectly. I can’t wait to find out what they have in store for us with Aurora Rising!

Goals for 2019

Given how stressful and disappointing 2018 was, there’s approximately 100 million different goals I could set for myself in 2019. But I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment like I experienced last year, so I’m going to take a healthier approach and just focus on the things that I really want to accomplish.

1. Read 50 books.

Every year for the past three years I’ve increased by goal by 5 books. Every year for the past three years, I’ve been able to reach my goal (knock on wood). So why mess with a good system? I’m excited to keeping challenging myself while keeping my goal within reason.

2. Utilize my library more often and buy less books.

I already mentioned this earlier, but in 2019 I want to reserve my money for books that I’m truly excited for and willing to pre-order. Otherwise, I’ll get it from the library for not $17.99, not $1.99, that’s right, $FREE.99!! I’m a poor college student so this must be a priority.

3. Request less ARCs.

I went a little crazy with ARC requesting last year, and while it was a privilege, it added a lot of stress to my daily life that I really didn’t need. Even this January, I’m going to have to read like a madman just to review the ARCs I received on time. After I finish with those, I want to read more books that I pull from my book jar or let my mood be my guide! On top of that, less ARCs usually means reading a lot more books off of my backlist.

4. Post on my blog and bookstagram more regularly.

I’ve written a post before on how I’ve realized that I will never be able to stick to a strict blogging schedule. I tried it once, and it pretty much put me in a slump. I do much better if I just write what I want, when I want. So I’m not exactly sure yet how I’m going to go about pursuing this goal, but for right now I’d really like to post on here about once a week. Honestly, if I can just post semi-regularly and not take weeks- or months-long breaks (especially from Instagram), I’ll consider it a huge success.

5. Start writing my WIP.

Just typing the words “my WIP” gave me chills because, well, I don’t exactly have a work-in-progress yet, just a work-I’ve-been-mulling-around-in-my-head-for-literally-years. I’ve had an idea for a story for a while, and one of my 2018 goals was to finally start making tangible progress on it (whether that means outlining, brainstorming, or drafting). But 2018 really wasn’t a conducive year to start something like that, so in 2019 I’m really serious about beginning work on that story. After all, I’m telling you guys about it and I mentioned it on Instagram, which I was much too shy to do last year, so I’d say this is a huge step in the right direction.

And that’s a wrap on 2018 my friends! Can’t say I’m sad to see the year go, honestly. Was 2018 a good or bad year for you? What were your favorite reads of 2018, and what are some of your bookish goals for 2019? Link me to any of your wrap-up or “best of” posts, I’d love to read them!

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19 thoughts on “2018 Wrap-Up and Reading Stats”

  1. Your graphs are gorgeous! Personally, this is my favorite time of year because I get to see how everyone’s year went and what their pie charts turned out like πŸ™‚ Anyway, that’s so amazing that the vast majority of the books you read were 4 or 5 stars. Hopefully it’ll be the same in 2019! Best of luck on your WIP as well! Those can be so, so daunting to start (I’ve been putting mine off for like five years…) so I’m sending you all the virtual cookies and cake πŸ™‚

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. Thanks! I love this time of year as well, it’s so satisfying to see what everybody in the book community accomplished over the last 12 months! And it really is so daunting to start a new project, like where do I even start ya know? But maybe 2019 will be a great year of writing for the both of us!

  2. I absolutely LOVE the way you broke this down! I have never seen this done before (on a blog), although I find myself doing this for my own amusement in my notebooks. It’s always refreshing to see where one’s time and energy goes to in a year of books!

    1. Aw thanks! I think I originally saw the pie charts and break downs on Cait @ Paper Fury’s blog first, but every year I see more and more wrap-ups in this style, it’s a lot of fun! It really is refreshing to see what you’ve accomplished over the last year!

  3. I love this post, Mia!! I always have so much fun looking at reading stats (whether it be my own or others haha). And I feel you on the diversity thing! I was really devastated by the amount of diverse books I read in 2017 — 55/100 I think — but I’m so happy I did SO much better in 2018! Conscious effort really makes a difference <3 And I'm so with you on the ratings — I think almost half my reads were 4 stars, which seems to be my default "I enjoyed it" rating haha! Hope you're able to achieve all your 2019 reading goals and read amazing books <3

    1. Aww thank you May, I hope your 2019 is amazing too! I feel the 4-star default thing, that rating always seems to apply to any book that I loved but didn’t find perfect. Next year I’m definitely going to have to make a conscious effort to read more diversely like you said, it was one of those things that I pay attention to vaguely (I notice when a book has good/quality representation), but didn’t actively decide to pick up a more diverse book over a non-diverse read. 2019 is the year that changes! <3

    1. Thanks and Happy New Year to you too! Glad to hear that you also had a good year for ratings and that we share in the love for fantasy lol!

  4. I’m still working on my 2019 goals! 2018 was a good year of reading although in 2019 I want to focus more on classics and my backlisted reads. I’m also going to try completing, at least half, of The Wheel of Time series πŸ˜€

    1. Good luck with those goals! Reading more backlisted books is always a goal of mine, but I never seem to accomplish it lol. Maybe 2019 will finally be the year! And I don’t think I’ve heard of those books but they sound fun, good luck diving into them!

  5. I just love how you write!! This was an awesome post to read!! And look at all those stats! I love this!! Fantasy books are pretty awesome, aren’t they?! I don’t read near as much as you though. I think it’s anazing that you always increase your goal by 5 books. And I like that you made a goal of reading books with more diversity this year. It sucks when you realize how little the ones you read had. Can’t wait to see what else you write about this year!!πŸ’—

    1. Aw thank you so much, you’re so sweet! Comments like yours are the reason blogging is so, so worth it. Raising my goal gradually really seems to be a strategy that works for me, so I’m glad that I’ve been able to stick with it. And it really does suck when you realize that you should’ve been reading much more diverse literature, it’s something that sort of slips by you if you don’t make a conscious effort. <3

  6. Congrats on reaching your goal! I also graduated from high school and got into university this year, and was 6 books shy of my reading goal — which I’m fine with! 44 books is pretty good too. πŸ˜‰ I’m also excited to see that you loved Sky in the Deep as well! β™₯ And this post is one of the most aesthetically pleasing ones ever I AM IN LOVE! β™₯

    – Aimee @ Aimee, Always

    1. Ahh thanks I worked hard to try and make it pretty! πŸ˜‚ Congrats on getting into university as well, that’s really awesome! And 44 books is really good especially if you just graduated! πŸ’•

  7. Congratulations on meeting your goal, that’s so great, yay!! I’m so glad you liked A Reaper, The Light Between Worlds and Nimona, I want to read these three and I’m even more excited to after seeing you loving them πŸ™‚ they sound really amazing. and yay for loving the wrath and the dawn! This book and the duology is one of my favorites, ever <3
    Best of luck for your 2019 goals and I hope you'll get to start that WIP, you can do this!! <3

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