Takeaways from my Mid-Year Stats

Posted July 9, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 2 Comments

I didn’t plan to do another post about my stats (goals and numbers post HERE and challenge post HERE), but I noticed a few things as I was reading it through again and analyzing the numbers.  Keep in mind, I had read 77 books in total by this time last year. I’ve only read 60 this year because my challenge is down. This shouldn’t skew the numbers THAT much (especially not the averages), so I still think these are valid conclusions.

My average star rating is higher than last year’s so far, but I have less books that I would call a “favorite.”

In 2017, my average rating after the midway point was 3.3 stars and I had 8 books that I put on my “favorites” shelf on Goodreads. However, 2018 has the opposite situation. My average rating is 3.7 stars and I only have THREE books on my “favorites” shelf. I feel like this is the result of a few different things. I’m reading less overall so it could just be that I haven’t hit as many favorite books yet. I am reading better quality books overall (or being more picky about the books I pick up in the first place), but just less of them. I think I’m trying to be a bit more discerning in what I’d consider an all-time favorite book too. It’s also worth mentioning that my whole theory of favorites can differ in some spots. I don’t know how I got the 8 number for 2017, truthfully, because I found about 13 books on the Goodreads shelf; the 5 featured below remove rereads and only include books rated 5 stars. Either way, definitely a noticeable difference in books I’d call a favorite.

Last year’s favorites by July (only five stars, no rereads):


This year’s favorites by July:

My book buying is still decreasing, both in the lowest months of buying and the highest months of buying.

This is an interesting one too. I’ve made a conscious effort to buy less books overall, including ebook sales. I can probably count on two hands how many physical copies I’ve even bought this year and spent my actual money on. My average book buying amount per month last year was $30. In 2018, my average buying is $16. This could be because I spent literally $0 in January (more on that in a second), but it’s also just that I’m spending so much less overall. By this time last year, I had spent literally double on books. April, May, and June 2017 saw me spending between $40-55 on books each month! This year, the most I spent was $38 in February. The rest of the months are abysmal… including the $0 in January. This was 100% because I had gift cards from Amazon, because I actually bought 16 books that month.

I’ve read double the amount of egalleys this year compared to last year, and five times less physical ARCs.

This is kind of wild to me. I know that I favored my Kindle this year like nobody’s business, but I did not expect to see this big of a difference! The numbers are kind of staggering. I read double the amount of egalleys this year. I’ve already read 24 of them in 2018 and I read 23 in the ENTIRETY of 2017. Wowza. On the flipside, 2018 has only involved me reading 4 physical ARCs. FOUR. In six months. That’s wild to me. (This is partly because Around the World ARC Tours is no longer running?) Last year, I read 22 physical ARCs in the first half of the year. I barely read any in the second half of the year, but still. I read five times more ARCs in the first half of 2017 than I have so far in 2018.

My average ratings and my highest or lowest spending months are quite different than last year.

My worst average rating was in March last year… and my best average rating was in March this year. I’m not sure what that means or if it’s even worth mentioning, but I thought it was kind of neat. I did a whole analysis of books read by month (after Cristina did a post), and it brought up some intriguing conclusions that probably apply here. March 2017 was actually one of the months where I read the most books overall since 2015. More on why I read more:

I got addicted to the Black Dog Bay series in March 2017, which was four audiobooks in a row. There were a couple of other quick reads (one book I specifically remember reading all in one day). I think it was a quieter month on the personal front because my Lauren Lately in mid-March didn’t really have a lot going on. According to other notes, I was just really in the mood to read!

It looks like it really was just quantity vs. quality over these two years. It’s funny because I do see a mixed bag from 2017 right off the bat, with so many legitimate favorites… and a lot of stinkers too. I’m guessing it just averaged them out quite perfectly to get a sub-par rating. 2018 had very few books but a lot of great ones overall!

March 2017

A Little Something Different
What to Say Next
Wires and Nerve
Done Dirt Cheap
What I Lost
My Not So Perfect Life
Cure for the Common Breakup
The Best Kind of Magic
Zenn Diagram
New Uses for Old Boyfriends
Secrets of a Reluctant Princess
Put a Ring on It
Once Upon a Wine
At First Blush

March 2018

The Leading Edge of Now
Nice Try, Jane Sinner
Finding Felicity
Starry Eyes
Down Among the Sticks and Bones
Frat Girl
No Filter

As for the spending, my highest spending month this year (March) was only $26. My highest spending month  last year (June) was $55. My lowest spending month this year, as I already mentioned, was $0 in January because of excessive amount of gift cards. I also only spent $18 this June… which is a big difference from last June! I only spent $14 in March last year. I know this is all kind of random but it’s just funny for me. I think the takeaway here is that there really aren’t a lot of consistencies for book publishing months. I know everyone always says “oh man too many good books coming out in September!” or talks about lower months for releases, but I really don’t buy a ton of new books. I do a lot of backlist ebook sale shopping when I do buy books.

I read the exact same amount of books under and over 300 pages.

Of the books I read each year (in the first half of course), 24% were under 300 pages and 76% were over 300 pages. There’s not much worth talking about here but I just thought it was kind of crazy to see the exact same breakdown of books. I read a lot of contemporaries, which are usually right around the 300 page mark. I’m showing the full list for 2017, not just the first half, but it’s interesting to see how consistent I am!

Do you ever dive deep into your stats like this? What do you think of my random takeaways?

2 responses to “Takeaways from my Mid-Year Stats

  1. That’s really interesting that you’ve had more highly rated books this year but you haven’t had as many memorably good ones. Recently, I’ve been thinking about what makes a five-star book five stars and whether it’s just that it’s well written and makes you feel something, or whether it’s a book that you’ll want to reread over and over again because it’s just that good. I don’t really have an answer but it seems like it’d be different for everyone. Hopefully you’ll find some new favorites in the second half of the year, Lauren!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks recently posted: Review Sunday: Thirst by Michael Carson
  2. Interesting! I also think my average rating on GR is pretty high – I tend to give books either three or four stars and that’s it. I’m definitely buying fewer books and I know I’m reading fewer – I used to do 200 or more in the GR challenge and now I’m struggling to hit 125. Also reading more ebooks because I dont’ think pubs are sending as many physical ARCs over the past couple years. …
    Jen Ryland Reviews

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