Sunday, May 3, 2015

2015 Reading Trends Pt. 1

I've been keeping track of the books I read every year since 2010, although it was only recently that I switched from old-fashioned paper documents to Excel spreadsheets (when I finally learned how to use them). Which is a much better format for gathering information about my reading patterns and preferences. All the important information about the books I read, right in front at me at a glance. Yesterday, I was bored and procrastinating on my assignments and took to comparing my 2014 spreadsheet to my 2015 spreadsheet and noticed some major differences. I thought it was pretty interesting to see how much my reading habits have changed so I thought I'd share them with you too!

Here's part 1 of my post, part 2 will be published later on this month though HOPEFULLY in the next few days but knowing my streak with sticking to my plans, let's not get our expectations up.


1. The use of half stars.
For two years, I had never felt the need to use half stars. In fact, I SCOFFED at it. When other bloggers agonized over Goodreads not having half stars, I just sauntered past everyone with my nose in the air because I was able to sort my books easily into five distinct categories - no need for any further complication. It was just "bad? Ok sir, that's a one star for you. Better but not great? 2 stars. Decent, good - 3 stars. Amazing? 4 stars. BLEW MY SOCKS OFF HOLY COW? 5 stars" and that was that.

I still use that model when I rate my books now but I don't know, maybe two years of reviewing books and not using half stars caught up to me? Maybe this is the fate of every single blogger out there. Maybe it was just a matter of time before I joined everyone else in begging for half stars. Or maybe it's just that I've read more books this year so far than any other year ever? And in reading more, maybe I've just naturally started to want more nuance in my ratings.

But to be honest, I really have no clue how this all came about. It was almost like a switch: one day I just decided that I needed more range in my rating spectrum. The only thing is, as lovely as half stars can be when I'm stuck over two ratings for one book, IT MAKES MY LIFE SO COMPLICATED because I don't use half stars on this blog. BECAUSE I NEVER NEEDED TO. So literally the only place where my half stars even factor in is my spreadsheet which isn't visible to anyone but me so like... what's the real point?

(Though yes I do realize I can easily make half star graphics but I'm just super lazy okay. I admit it.)

2. My increased affection for eBooks
eBooks have ruled my reading this year. I haven't done the exact math but I'm pretty sure around 80% of the books I've read so far have been eBooks. WHICH IS A LOT.

I've always liked eBooks because they're so handy and convenient; I can have multiple books on hand without added weight. I'm the person who never knows what she's in the mood for. Sometimes I'll be into a contemporary but other times I'll want a fantasy which is why I always need to have multiple books on me. Because what if I'm in the middle of a subway delay and suddenly decide I'm actually not in the mood for the contemporary I have on hand? THEN I DON'T HAVE ANY OTHER BOOKS and then I'm miserable. So that's one reason why eBooks or rather my Kobo is so handy: I can carry multiple books with me. (Also my Kobo fits perfectly into my red crossbody when none of my physical copies would ever be able to)

But also, reading eBooks means not having to leave my house whenever I want a book. See, I don't really like buying eBooks just because owning an eBook doesn't really feel like owning the book because I can't actually SEE it on my shelf and anyway if I'm to pick between an eBook or a physical copy that's maybe only five dollars more, OBVIOUSLY I'm going to pick the physical copy. So I don't really use my Kobo for reading eBooks that I own, I use it more for books that I get through my library's OverDrive system. Which is SO HANDY. I can place holds on books and even though it takes a longer time for them to get to me than regular physical copies, it's so nice because I don't even have to move to get my books. All I have to do is wait for the email and then download the book and then I CAN READ IT. And all without having to walk more than 3 meters. Which makes lazy me super happy.

AND I've noticed that I read much faster on my Kobo. I'm not sure why, maybe because I'm not as focused on the page numbers? Or maybe because the small selection of words at a time is a much more efficient way of processing them? I DON'T KNOW WHY but I do know that it's really handy for binge reads and read-a-thons.

3. My page count is down.
I BLAME THE EBOOKS. Literally the only downside with eBooks is that they screw up my page count massively and because I've read so many this year, I just know my page count will go PLUMMETING. I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHY because there are actual page number thingies on the side that indicate where the actual page starts and ends and yet, a 500 page book still gets turned to a 300 page book? Literally do not understand. Different editions and how they calculate page numbers confuse me. I WASN'T GOOD AT MATH ANYWAY AND THIS JUST MAKES MY HEAD HURT.

4. Series galore!
I'm typically a very standalone gal, mostly due to the fact that contemporary is the genre I read the most of and it seems to also be the one of the few genres where I can escape the wrath of the dreaded series. Though perhaps I'm not finding them so dreadful lately. Because a good chunk of the books I've read so far this year have been part of series. Let's just count them, shall we?

First we have the Pushing the Limits series by Katie McGarry which I finished this year. Then we have the I Heart series by Lindsey Kelk which I am just about finished, save for the last book which I WILL get to. I'm also currently rereading the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. Plus I've recently finished the Vampire Academy series by dusting off books 3-6 AND gotten all caught up on the Throne of Glass series. And then there were some other series I started and finished but didn't count because I really only read one book in them BUT STILL, that's a lot. Or at least a lot for me. I typically stay away from series because TIME AND COMMITMENT ISSUES, opting instead for quick and easy standalones but this year I have been all about series.

Weird or what?

What about you? Do you keep track of the books you read? And if so, have you noticed any trends in your reading habits this year? Have they changed a lot, a little or stayed the same from last year?

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