Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Personal Reading Stats for 2008 . . . . and Reading Challenges for 2009

My Reading Stats for 2008
When I looked back to reflect on the books I read last year for My Favorite Books of 2008 post, I decided to take a closer look at my personal reading stats. 

Note the following simple chart:

Number of Books Read Per Month (2008)

#Books Read:

Mean: 5 Books
Median: 4 Books
Mode: 4 Books

Very interesting. This is what I discovered:

On one hand, you can look at the number of books I read each month and it looks like my reading patterns were all over the place! Reading anywhere from ONE to TEN books in one month is pretty erratic if you ask me.

However . . . if you look at the measures of central tendency, my reading patterns are practically a "normal" distribution! 

Um. Okay, so maybe that's not that funny, but it is kind of neat how the mean, median, and mode are so close. When those three measures of central tendency are the same, it means that I'm most likely to read four books in a month, but in any given month, I'm equally likely to read more than four books as I am likely to read less than four books. I think. And you know what that means? It means I need to read more this year. Okay, that I pulled from where the sun doesn't shine.

Anyway, I read a total of 61 books in 2008, which averages out to reading about 1.17 books a week or about 5.08 books a month. That number really isn't too bad considering that in 2006, the typical American was reading four books per year (courtesy of, All Things Considered.). So on average, I read more books in one month than the typical American reads in a whole year. Still, it's usually more prudent to read more books in a month than you buy. Isn't it?

Something else that I observed from my reflection on last year's reads that isn't revealed in those stats is that I actually read books from a wider variety of genres. In 2008, I actually deviated from my normal paranormal fixation and read quite a few urban fantasy novels and contemporary romances, a few historical romances, a few romantic suspense novels, a touch of straight fantasy, and I even went back to pre-romance reading days and read a handful of young adult fiction. I hope to continue this pattern this year as well. 

Reading Challenges for 2009
To encourage myself to read more in 2009, and to help whittle down my TBR pile (ha!), I joined a few Reading Challenges this year. 

In March of last year, I joined the TBR Reading Challenge hosted by Keishon at the blog. I did well the first four months, but failed to follow through the last several months. I was disappointed that I didn't keep up, and now my TBR pile is bigger than ever, so I rejoined Keishon's TBR Reading Challenge 2009 and am determined to complete it this time. To learn more about this challenge, visit Keishon at the

I also joined the Year of the Category Reading Challenge hosted by Kmont at Lurv à la Mode. Kmont mentioned late last year that she was going to resolve to read more category romance in 2009 and I coerced pressured encouraged her to organize a Category Reading Challenge and she did!!! So of course, then I had to join. Talk about pressure. To learn more about this challenge, visit Kmont at Lurv à la Mode

Last, but not least, I joined a Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge hosted by Brie at Musings of a Bibliophile. I already have several contemporary romances at the top of my TBR pile that I've been itching to read, plus a few MUST BUYS for 2009 (Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas, Too Good To Be True by Kristan Higgins, anything by Megan Hart ... ), so I figure I may as well join Brie's challenge in order to keep my head in the game. To learn more about this challenge, visit Brie at Musings of a Bibliophile

I was actually contemplating organizing a Young Adult Reading Challenge, but thought it might be kind of lame if the only participants were me, Thea and DarlingDiva. LOL! 

Did you join any Reading Challenges for 2009? What are some of your reading goals for 2009?


  1. LOl!! Now I feel like a lazy lima bean for only enlisting in 2 reading challenges. One is an audiobook challenge and the later the Young Adult challenge as you have mentioned. I wanted to join another that is geared at new authors for 2009 challenge, but forgot the blog at where I saw this posted. So, not only am I lazy, but guess I am forgetful.

  2. I'll be doing the TBR Challenge as well! Yesterday, I sat next to my TBR shelf and themes that Keishon came up with and started mapping out my year. Of course, it'll change over the months, but it was fun to look at my TBR pile with a little excitement (instead of guilt. lol)
    I'm also doing the Re-read Challenge hosted by nath at Books books and more books.

    @ Darling Diva: that audiobook challenge sounds tempting!

  3. Thanks for joining the CRC, Christine!

    I would have joined a YA challenge and I know other's who would have too. I actually have a bunch of YA in my TBR pile but no urge to, you know, read it. A challenge would have pushed me into it.

    As far as challenges go, I joined Nath's Re-Read Challenge, The TBR Challenge and The Category Romance Challenge. Yes, I'm up to my ears in it.

    Your stats look a lot like mine. I think I rounded out at about 56 books last year, this year I hope to at least reach what I did last year, and hopefully surpass it.

  4. I mentioned to you that I was doing the reread challenge. It doesn't really do much for the TBR pile, but it should be fun to revisit characters that I've liked.

  5. If I had more time, I might do a Young Adult challenge! I used an Amazon gift card to buy nothing but YA titles a couple of weeks ago.

    Thanks for the YotC pimping. :) I already read my first, a Harlequin Presents (I believe) and it was baaad lol, but better luck next time.

    We read about the same amount of books in '08. I'm hoping to surpass that and more in '09!

  6. I think these Reading Challenges will be a piece of cake. I figure all I have to do is find 12 Contemporary Category romances from my TBR pile and that ought to cover all three challenges at once!! ROFLOL!!!

    Ok, I'm kidding. No double, I mean, triple dipping. :P

    DarlingDiva:: Hiya! Do you have a link for the Young Adult Challenge on your blog? Maybe I'll check it out. I'll probably fail miserably, but oh well.

    Renee:: That's a great idea to get map out your selections for Keishon's TBR Challenge, especially since she added those neat themes. I should do that, too. I'll have to do it via my Shelfari account though, a majority of my books are packed away right now.

    Brie:: Sure! I'm excited about your CRC since I just finished a contemporary for January and I already have four contemporaries at the top of my TBR pile, plus I'm dying for Lisa Kleypas' upcoming Smooth Talking Stranger release in March, so that's half the year already!

    It's good to know you would have joined a YA Challenge. Maybe I'll do it next year. Or maybe a YA Summer Reading Challenge.

    I'm going to try to pass my last year's total books read, too. I have to if I ever want to catch up to my TBR pile.

    Good luck with all of your reading challenges! :)

  7. Amy C:: Yes, we did discuss Nath's Re-Read Challenge. That's such a great idea. I'm looking forward to seeing what books everyone likes so much they are compelled to re-read. I'll probably get some good book recs that way.

    Kmont:: I know which Category I'm going to read this month. All I have to do is go dig it out of the Pod unit. I knew I should have labeled the outside of those boxes. *sigh*

    You read about the same number of books as me? Are you sure? Ever time I visited your blog, it seemed you finished another one and I was still reading the same book!? LOL

    Good luck with your reading goals!

  8. Hi, Christine! I never knew about these challenges but I checked out the Contemporary one and I am going to give it a shot. I rarely read Contemporaries so this should be fun! Thanks for letting us know about it.

  9. However . . . if you look at the measures of central tendency, my reading patterns are practically a "normal" distribution!

    How do I love thee?

  10. Barbara:: Yay!! I'm so glad you're joining Brie's Contemporary Romance Challenge! Good luck!

    Lisabea:: Ha! I knew you'd like that. ;)

  11. "Mean, Median, Mode" and the sentence lisabea quoted - LOL, now that brings back some memories! :)

    I joined Keishon's TBR Challenge and Nath's Re-Read Challenge. I went through quite a few book boxes to get all possible books together. Then I sat down on the floor and sorted them into stacks - one for the Re-Read Challenge and several smaller ones for the TBR Challenge to fit the monthly themes. It was a good thing that I was alone at home at that time, must have been quite the picture. :)

  12. Taja:: LOL! I can't help it! The math and science talk just comes naturally... and sometimes I just can't hold back! Gotta let it out sometimes, you know? ;)

    I'm going to make tentative reading lists for my Challenges, too. Over the weekend.

    I should start a Procrastinators Reading Challenge. Now THAT I could do!

  13. Hi Christine!

    It's so wonderful to see you back online and being able to post more often!

    I love the forensic analysis of your reading for 2008! I think you did exceptionally well, considering your huge home renovation and all.

    As to your question, no I will not be joining any, Reading Challenges. I'm sort of a weird person in many respects because I'm totally none competitive and I mentioned yesterday on my friend Blanche's blog, my fear is I will fail miserably and then never pick up another book. Reading is one of my passions and a relaxation. I don't watch television. I just like to go to the TBR, pull out what strikes my fancy and read.

    I so admire all you ladies who keep track of the numbers of books your read etc. I really don't know how many I read in 2008. But that is just me. lol I know, weird.

    Sorry to ramble.
    Hope your having a great day.

  14. Thanks, Lea!

    I didn't even think of the Reading Challenges as being competitive in nature... just with myself. But you're right. Even self inflicted competition can be stressful! Ah well... I sometimes work well under pressure, so I'll see what kind of damage I can do with overextending myself with these Reading Challenges. Come May, I'll probably be like, "Remember those Reading Challenges I signed up for back in January?"

    And you'll say, "What Challenges?"

    And I'll say, "I don't know... I forgot about them already!"

    And we'll both ROFLOL!

    And Amy will be right on schedule .... :)

  15. ROFL Christine!

    Amy is my reading goddess, I live in awe with respect to her the number and variety of books she reads. It is truly inspirational. :)

    Have a great day..


  16. Look at you go girl! You're a joiner - I love it. Thanks for the info on the category challenge - I must have missed that post!

  17. I haven't joined any reading challenges yet, but I will think on it over the weekend...tempting, tempting :)

  18. tsk tsk Christine, I am so disappointed in you.
    July looked like a winning month for you!! I think if anyone can sit there and read a book in one week, that is a good thing :D

  19. (What Zeek said)

    Glad to see you posting more often again, Christine!

  20. Tracy & orianna:: So far I'm just a "joiner." Being a "doer" is a whole different story. Don't be impressed just yet. ;p

    KB :: If only every month could be as productive as July was.... *sigh*

    Zeek & azteclady:: LOL! So glad you appreciated that geek humor. :D


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