Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fun With Charts, Part Two: My Reading In Perspective

I was going to give this post a title something along the lines of, 'See? Playing Charts Can be Used for Good!' but I didn't think it had that certain something. I've been playing around with Excel and thought I would use my newfound powers for good rather than evil.
As I've said before, I'm the sort of person who likes keeping a record of every single book I've read. So when I was searching for some kind of data to test my mad new Excel skills on, I thought I may as well chart my reading progress throughout the year. I mean, technically, it's almost the middle of the year, so why not, right?

(By the way - Sarah Enni does some amazing things with graphs and charts at her blog, which I can never hope to live up to. But if you're interested in YA fiction, there's brilliant graphs for you right there. :)

Anyway, I believe it's good to have some variety in your reading; try new things, broaden your horizons, that sort of thing. The only problem is, of course, that at times I can be very cautious about my reading. I can go whole weeks without trying anything new or exciting, and I inevitably go back to my favourite authors for comfort. Not that this is a bad thing, of course. I also believe if you love a book you should be allowed to re-read it at your own leisure, and without being judged for constantly reading 'the same old thing'. Still, however, I thought making up a few funky graphs would make it a lot more exciting and colourful to keep up with what I'm currently reading.

Sorry for the way the graphs stretch across the page; I tried making them smaller but they weren't readable that way, so they'll just have to overlap with my sidebar.

Anyway, I decided I'd better start by taking a look at how many books I've read so far this year. The total number is a surprising 84. Of course, on Goodreads it says I've only read 24, but I don't bother listing books I've re-read, or indeed many of the books I'm forced to read for school.

And since there was such a huge spike in May, I thought I'd take a look to see exactly what was happening there...

Yes, I admit, I have listed Jane Austen as a separate genre. This is only because she's one of those authors I constantly re-read, and I wanted to see just how much I was re-reading her throughout the year. I seem to be reading a lot of classics, possibly due to school, so I'm not quite sure about that. Summertime, I find is usually the time of year when I like YA. In winter, I prefer to curl up with the classics, fantasy, or re-read Harry Potter. Which, now that I come to think about it, I want to do rather badly right now.

Speaking of genre, I thought I'd take a look at it throughout the year.

Classics still taking an alarming lead. I was forced to classify Bridget Jones as 'Chick-lit', which broke my heart, as I'm a firm believer in it being a hilarious modern satire though obviously is about twenty years out of date, and I'm sure I would laugh even harder if I understood half the cultural references made in the book. Still.

And speaking of Bridget Jones, I thought I'd see just how much re-reading I'm doing.

My favourite authors, the ones I read over and over again, or read with regularity as soon as they release a new book. 'Brand new, never-before read' means an author I've never read before, while 'Other/one-off' stands for those I have read before but don't read regularly, or don't re-read. This seems encouraging, although I would wish the 'Brand new' section was a little larger. I'll just have to wait and see how it looks at the end of the year.

Anyway, if you've made it through to the end of this post, thank you for sticking by my random little personal journey through my reading habits. Of course, if I really want to see what my habits are like, I'd have to follow them over the course of several years, make up a bunch more charts, compare and contrast... but I won't subject you to that. :D


  1. I find that when I start reading a lot of classics, my writing tends to get overly wordy and I have to balance it out with something modern and sleek. Charts are fun!

  2. Me too! I find myself writing a little like Dickens and Austen and have to deal with the fact that my writing can never be so good, nor does anyone today want to read like that. :)

    And yes, charts are lots of fun. XD