[Yes, most people were more timely with their “best of 2011” lists. Better late than never, right?]
I’m not as statistics-happy as some, but I realized recently that Goodreads keeps some stats for you, and puts them into pretty little bar charts and scatter-plots. I’ve been using Goodreads pretty religiously since I discovered it mid-2007, and here’s what it had to tell me:
That’s 139 books in 2008 (the first full year I kept track), 133 books in 2009, 115 in 2010, and 124 last year, in 2011; it’s an average of 9.5-11.6 books per month.
Here’s another cool thing Goodreads calculates for you: page count! In 2008, I read 45,921 pages, or about 3,827 pages per month; last year, I read a total of 37,469 pages, an average of 3,122 pages per month. (This is just books, not articles online or for classes.)
Finally, it creates a scatter plot of the publication dates of books you’ve read, with the pub date on the y-axis and the date you read the book on the x-axis. There’s a pretty dense cluster around the late ’90s and early 2000s, which makes sense as I read a lot of contemporary fiction, but there are some older books too, back as far as the early 1800s.
What statistics don’t tell you, of course, is anything about content. Which books did I love, which would I read again, which would I recommend? I’m glad you asked! I read a number of books I loved in 2011, and I’ll share those here soon. Meanwhile, here are some favorites from 2009 (I seem to have skipped a write-up for 2010): nonfiction, poetry, plays, and young adult fiction; short stories, classics, and “re-reads”; and fiction.