We’re giving away a stack of our 20 favorite books of the year. Click here to enter, or just click the image below.
At Book Riot, we loooooove books, but we also have this not-so-secret obsession with stats, too. About half of all Book Riot writers submitted their own reading stats into our annual contributor survey (you’ll be able to join in a Book Riot reader survey at the end of the post!). And the best part of data is the charts, of course. See how many books Rioters read, when they read ’em, how they read ’em, who they read, and more.
*BIG note: This is not an entirely rigorous or valid survey. I have a Creative Writing degree.*
How many books did you read this year?
Too often we judge whether or not we’re a “book person” by how many books we read, but this is a pretty poor definer. The average Rioter read 95 books in 2017, but some read less than ten and there were results all across the board. Whether or not you’re a “book person” comes down to simply liking books.
Unless you’re the Rioter who read 386 books. That’s definiteeeeely a book person right there.
How many books do you read at once?
Are you loyal to one book at a time, or are you balancing a fiction and a nonfiction at the same time? Or, are you going to the extremes by reading more than four at once?
The majority of Rioters are reading two to three books at a time.
When do you read the most?
In the pool, in a hammock, or simply curled up in a corner of the house, Rioters overwhelmingly get most of their reading in during the summer.
Winter, the season that’s seemingly made for reading, is a far-away second.
How do you read your books?
These results are for the average Rioter, with eBooks making up about a third of our reading, 13% designated to audiobooks, and 57% of our reading done in plain ol’ physical books.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t outliers. Some Rioters read exclusively in eBook or audiobooks.
Where do you get your books?
While one of the perks of writing for a book site is getting free books from publishers, our reading stats show that the majority of the books we read are still bought (again, for the average Rioter).
A large percentage of books come from the library, with some Rioters reading books exclusively from the library. Far less than I assumed borrowed their books from friends or family.
What are you reading?
Genre’s another difficult thing to track, especially with so many cross-over books that work in multiple genres. Even so, to get an idea of our reading habits in 2017, I asked Rioters to select all genres that they’d read at least once in the previous year.
Young adult and nonfiction topped the charts (with nonfiction getting just a nudge more), followed closely by literary fiction and SFF. Unfortunately, horror and drama got a little less love from Rioters this year (maybe because 2017 itself was a scary and dramatic enough year?).
Who are you reading?
The following questions have to do with how diversely Rioters are reading, but it’s a necessarily simplistic view of larger questions of diversity. For the purposes of these questions, these are the average percentages that made up Rioters’ reading list, whether they’re female-identifying, authors of color, or queer authors.
Again, some Rioters exclusively read authors who are women or queer or POC. Overall, these reading habits more accurately represent the actual makeup of the U.S. population (except for women—we read a lot of ladies at Riot HQ).
Where do you get your book recommendations?
For these reading stats, I asked Rioters to choose all the places they typically get their book reviews. In this category, book recommendations from other Rioters and other social media sites won (because of course we trust recs from people we know). Rioters also get recommendations from Goodreads, Amazon, their library, or other places like friends, family, colleagues, Litsy, other review sites, publicists, and the like. (Those numbers on the left are percentages of all Rioter responders.)
Where do you track your reading?
Again, this was another “Select All That Apply” question, but even so, you’ll see that far and away Rioters track their reading on Goodreads. (As do I. It’s just easy.) But, there’s also a lot of us who are using reading spreadsheets to track reading (and those people definitely had the prettiest stats).
Random bookish and reading stats
I told you we loved reading stats around here. Other Rioters tracked things like backlist vs. frontlist, specs on protagonists, and other great insights like:
- “32% of the books I read this year I already owned from previous years but hadn’t read yet!”
- “I tracked how many times have you wanted to punch a character in the face for making the wrong decision? How many times have you fallen in love with a character? How many times have you reacted to a book in public just to realise the person in front of you noticed?”
- “I like keeping track of authors from different countries. This year I read 32 books by non-US authors.”
Share your reading stats!
Wanna join in the bookish data fun? Click here to find a shortened version of the survey contributors took, custom-made for Book Riot readers like you! This survey will be open through January 19, 2018. Make sure to subscribe to updates to BookRiot.com to see results in 2018! Or, if you’re even more informal, hit the comments and share how many books you read in 2017.