Q1 2020 Reading Update – By the Numbers

Can you believe that we’re a quarter of the way through 2020?! It’s been the weirdest year. You’d think that my reading would increase with everything shut down, but I’ve found it difficult to sustain my concentration and I’m so tired in the evenings during my typical reading time! Nevertheless, I’ve had an excellent reading year so far and I want to check in with the numbers.

I’d like to add that, especially during a global pandemic, numbers aren’t important. Many of us are finding it hard to concentrate and it’s been difficult to find the same pleasures in reading as before — myself included! And that’s okay. I’m not posting this to ensure my own productivity or reading success, but as a simple check in on where I am right now and to remind myself that, despite how I’m feeling, I have accomplished something. Its importance in life is debatable, but it’s something!

With that said, I’ve been tracking my reading in Google Sheets and use pivot tables to generate the data. I love it! Here are the categories that I track:

I know there are lots of other variables to track and one day I’d especially like to track how many writers of color I read, but that seems quite overwhelming to me. I like keeping this relatively simple!

So far in 2020, I’ve attempted to read 27 books. I’ve finished 25, abandoned 1, and am currently reading 1. This means that I’m already halfway to my Goodreads goal of reading 50 and am on pace to read 100 books this year, which would be my best year ever. I don’t think I’ll actually keep up my current pace so don’t have high hopes of reaching 100, but it’s fun to think about!

Of the 25 books I’ve finished, 20 have been fiction and 5 have been nonfiction. This is a very good ratio for me – I definitely prefer fiction books but have always wanted to read more nonfiction. The trick has been finding the nonfiction genre that interests me!

Of the 25 finished books, 4 have been Advanced Review Copies (ARC) from Netgalley, 17 have been from the library, and 4 have been from my own shelves. I love tracking the number of library books that I’ve read because that translates to dollar signs in my mind – the amount of money that I save on books is astonishing!

Of my finished books, 15 were in physical book form and 10 were on the kindle. All 4 of my ARCs were kindle editions. Of the 15 books from the library, 13 were physical books and 4 were kindle editions. And of the 4 books I own, two were physical books and two were kindle editions.

This is one of my favorite tables. I’ve read 20 books by women and 5 books by men. I’ve read 20 fiction books and 5 nonfiction books. Of the 20 fiction novels, 16 were by women and 4 by men. Of the 5 nonfiction books, 4 were by women and 1 by a man. I especially like to see how many nonfiction books by women I read for some reason. I like this ratio!

Another fun table! I’ve finished 25 books. I’ve read a total of 7,684 pages. The longest book I’ve read was 647 pages and the shortest was 190. The average number of pages of each book is 307.

And I love seeing the range of publication dates! The books published in the early 1900s are the Anne of Green Gables books and the ones in the 50s are the Chronicles of Narnia. It’s really cool to see those old series stack up like that! I’ll be interested to see where the Miss Marple series falls if I can ever gain traction there.

I hope I didn’t bore you too much. I just think those tables are too pretty to pass up and had to write about them a bit. And again – these numbers aren’t important, but just a little something to remind myself that the little things I do add up to bigger things. This keeps me motivated and on task.

How are things going for you? Not just reading, but in this weird world we’ve found ourselves in?

11 thoughts on “Q1 2020 Reading Update – By the Numbers

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  1. This analysis is fascinating! I lack the technical know-how to figure out all these details, but at the end of the year I’m always interested to see how many books were library borrows versus bought and digital versus physical and how many pages I’ve read.

    At the moment I’m ahead of schedule to meet my reading goal for the year (60 books), but my reading has definitely slowed down over the past few weeks, so I anticipate that I won’t be ahead for much longer. None of that really matters, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sarah! This is the second year that I’ve used Google Sheets and pivot tables to analyze the data and it’s been so easy! I could work on a spreadsheet to share, if you’re interested.

      And you’re right – the numbers don’t matter. We’re in the middle of such a huge hiccup and what was once important seems much less so!


  2. Wow! I am with Sarah – this is truly fascinating information! I keep track of some data, but this is incredible!

    I am slightly ahead of my goal, but like you I expect that to taper off as the year moves on!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your stats and tables! I think we’re all struggling with reading right now and questioning if it’s important. In the global scheme of things, it isn’t, of course, but if it helps us to get through these anxious days, then that’s a good thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am always in awe of people who keep spreadsheets of their reading. Iโ€™m just not savvy enough to know how to do that… or maybe too lazy, ha ha! I track through Goodreads and my reading journal. But youโ€™re doing some great reading this year. Hope the quality books keep coming for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You still track some great stats! I’m happy to share my spreadsheet if folks are interested!

      I have had NO interest in reading in the last few days – nada! I hope that changes soon. I hope you’re still doing well, Laila!

      Liked by 1 person

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