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2012 Year in Review

January 5, 2013

Happy 2013, readers! Hopefully everyone had a lovely and safe New Year’s Eve!

When this posts, I’ll be in the middle of a move (pro tip: moving during the holidays is really, really inconvenient), but I hope everyone else’s 2013 has been relaxing and fun so far. Today’s post is, unsurprisingly, a look back at 2012 in books. I’m going to start with some stats about my reading, and then get to my favorites of the year.

  • I finished 156 books this year, 144 of which were new-to-me, and 12 of which were re-reads. 144 new books was my personal goal for the year, so there was a bit of a sprint to the finish line, but thanks to a few graphic novels, I made it.
  • 116 of those were paper or e-books, for a total of 38,952 pages read. The remaining 40 were audiobooks, with a total of slightly over 18 full days of listening time. (Plus another 41 hours’ worth of individual short stories.) If you count the text equivalent of the audiobooks, I consumed 53,391 pages of reading material this year.
  • I read books by 105 different authors, 41 of which were new to me. I also a good job of balancing the sex ratio: excluding anthologies, 49.7% percent of the books I read were by female authors.
  • I didn’t do a great job of reading my own books this year, primarily because I discovered the beauty of checking out e-books from my library. Of the new books I read, only about 38% came from my TBR pile. Another 21% were audiobooks, 24% were graphic novels from the library, 16% were non-graphic-novel library books, and the remaining 1% were e-book freebies.
  • I scaled back a *lot* on requesting review copies this year, and did my best to be good about the library booksale, with the result that I only added 44 books to my TBR pile – about half of what I added in 2011, and by far the lowest yearly total since I started keeping track. I also either read or cleared 72 books from the pile, leaving me with a net change of -28! Go me!
  • Of the books I read from my TBR pile, the average length of time between when I acquired them and when I finished them was 434 days. I’ve got books on my TBR pile that have been there an embarassingly long time, but I’m doing my best to work through them.
  • Half of the books I read were published in 2011 or 2012; however, the average publication date of my books was 2004.
  • Unsurprisingly, over half the books I read this year were fantasy. I read somewhat less science fiction this year than in past years, probably because I wasn’t tearing through the entire Vorkosigan Saga.


You can calculate these kind of stats for yourself using my reading tracking spreadsheet! I haven’t updated it at all since it was posted, so you can just change the dates on the version from last year and be ready to go!

I’m not going to do a formal “best of” list for 2012, since I always have a really hard time getting my picks down to 5 or even 10 “best” books. Instead, here are my picks-of-the-month for the year!

January
February

March

April
May
June
July August
September October November
December

January: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

February: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

March: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

April: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

May: The Alienist by Caleb Carr

June: The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

July: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

August: Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

September: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

October: Kushiel’s Avatar by Jacqueline Carey

November: Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold

December: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

As you may be able to tell, I got very into a lot of series this year. I loved the Kushiel series (Kushiel’s Chosen was in the running for September, but got oh-so-narrowly edged out). I also read the heck out of Rick Riordan’s books; only one made it to the top slot, but I read about one a month and all were great. I also have to give an honorable mention to Locke & Key. Graphic novels are not typically contenders for my pick of the month (they’re just too short), but if there hadn’t been a new Vorkosigan Saga book in November, Locke & Key would have taken the month, no questions.

What about you, readers? Read any good books last year?

© 2013 Fyrefly’s Book Blog. All Rights Reserved. If you’re reading this on a site other than Fyrefly’s Book Blog or its RSS feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is being used without permission.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2013 9:22 am

    The Wise Man’s Fear made my list of 2012 favorites this year, but The Fault in Our Stars didn’t. Even though I liked it a lot, I don’t think I would want to read it again. I definitely hope to get to Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series this year; my husband has read all. I downloaded your stats spreadsheet (again!) and have entered my first read of 2013, so thank you for sharing! (I downloaded it once before, but didn’t use it.)

    • January 25, 2013 2:24 pm

      Laurie – Yay! Yay for people using the spreadsheet (let me know if you’ve got any questions or suggestions), and double yay for people reading the Vorkosigan Saga!

  2. January 5, 2013 11:41 am

    We had similar reading years except that I read very little fantasy. Good luck with your move!

  3. January 5, 2013 12:53 pm

    A reduction in your TBR pile? That just feels wrong somehow! ;)

    • January 25, 2013 2:25 pm

      Darren – It’s like Halley’s Comet: it doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s spectacular. :)

  4. January 6, 2013 2:42 pm

    I really like your reading tracker spreadsheet. I’ve never seen anything like it, pretty cool :)

  5. January 6, 2013 4:05 pm

    I would enjoy decreasing my TBR pile. I was, but then my reading didn’t go well… So, I am impressed! I did do a HUGE book purge at the beginning of the year before, though; so maybe that is why I feel unaccomplished this year!

    • January 25, 2013 2:26 pm

      Oh, yeah, I doubt my TBR pile would have gone down without the purging. I didn’t read nearly enough for that.

  6. January 10, 2013 8:55 pm

    Last year was kind of a slow reading year for me! I found a few new books to love,

    • January 10, 2013 8:55 pm

      Blast, I pressed enter too quickly. I was just going to say that I didn’t read a whole bunch of books in 2012 that knocked me out with their awesomeness. I am hoping for more glorious things in 2013. (On all fronts. Stupid 2012.)

      • January 25, 2013 2:28 pm

        Jenny – I hear you. While I do have some awesome books up there, some months had a definite lack of any socks-knockingly awesome books, and some months only had the one. Here’s to a better 2013 for both of us!

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