Reading Habits of 2023

So an interesting thing happened with my star ratings this year, but before we go there, lets look at some of the highlights of what I’ve read this past year.

Cover image for The Country of the Blind

In the non-fiction category was a memoir by Andrew Leland called The Country of the Blind. It follows his grappling with slowly losing his sight over a few decades due to retinitis pigmentosa. Along the way he covers a bit of history of how blindness has been treated in the USA.

Cover image for Delta-V

The two books in the Delta-v series by Daniel Suarez were solid entries in the science fiction genre about asteroid mining and building infrastructure for space exploration.

Finally the third entry in the Judi Westerholme series by Sherryl Clark, Mad, Bad and Dead was solid. I don’t know why, but even though this book Cover image for Mad, Bad and Dead followed a lot of mundane detail of Judi’s life, like the minutia of running an Australian pub, I found it an engaging read regardless.

I’ve also launched into the Armand Gamache series about a Chief Inspector investigating crimes that keep drawing him to the small Québécois village of Three Pines. There was a short-lived TV series based on the books which is what got me into them. Five books out of eighteen read so far and will definitely pick up some more in 2024.

Other notable mentions are The Midsolar Murders by Mur Lafferty and the usual perennial favourites by Craig Johnson, Harlan Coben, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Robert Sawyer and Steve Cavanagh. I also worked though the back-catalogue of books I hadn’t read by Sally Hepworth.

On to numbers! A whopping count of 11 audiobooks this year, plus 51 ebooks for a total of 62, not including the two I did not finish. Although I read one less ebook this year compared to last year, I read about 1,500 more pages. So fewer but longer books.

Graph of books read per year.

Took a little longer to read each book, 7.2 days compared to an even 7 last year, but was reading four more pages per day at 53.

Graphs of days per book and pages per day by year.

The number of articles I’ve read this year is not terribly interesting. Less than last year at 318 compared to 342, but a higher total word count with articles being some 170 words longer on average.

But then we look at my star ratings:

Graphs showing my book ratings.

It looks like this year I read a lot of good books. With 84% of them rated three stars or above, compared to 70% over the last ten years. My average star rating of 3.51 was also a lot closer to the Goodreads average of 4.05. For the last ten years I’ve tended to rate books about 0.88 stars less then the Goodreads community, but this year was a narrow 0.54 stars.

Looking at the numbers it seems I’ve either had my best year ever as far and enjoyable book reading goes, or I’ve been a lot less grumpy and rated books more favourably. A little of both?