Books

Three on Thursday | A Reading Update.

If you read the title of this post, I’m sure you’re wondering how I could possibly share a reading update – even just a little over three months into the year – with only three things. Well – I’m only going to share three images 😉.

Image one – tracking the only reading goal I made for the year – to buy fewer books.
That 13% is just five books – three were definitely impulse (must keep reading) purchases, but two were for Lent – one for my daily devotion and one for my small group (I always buy those books). I’d like to see the blue “pie” get a little bigger – likely at the expense of the red, but honestly, I’m ok with where I’m at.
Image two – tracking the book format.
When I shared my January update, the Audio percent was the same (yeah, I know, that does seem weird, but I think it’s right!) but the real book percent was higher (17%). Since then, I finished 28 more books and only four were real books. I’m tracking this because I’m curious … I’m not surprised I read more with my ears than my eyes, but now I’m wondering about what kind of books are better to listen vs. read (I’d love to hear what you think!) … and how about the segue into 
Image three – my year-to-date favorites.
shelved here
I curate this shelf pretty closely because I like to keep it to no more than 12-14 titles (that’s about 15% of what I read). It’s not just 5-star books. and a book that I shelve here early on might not make the cut come December. Only two of those books are audio (the first two in the Scarlett Women series I talked about in January) and I rated both of them four stars (in other words they weren’t great, but I enjoyed them immensely). Eleanor’s biography (blogged here) and Interrupting Silence were real books I read with my small group. and the others I read on my Kindle (four borrowed, one bought this year – Gentleman in Moscow, which I bought last year on audio and wanted to read this time).
Hummmm…. in years past, I know I’ve listened to plenty of 5-star books. This year, I’m enjoying reading them. and I LOVE to read on Kindle because it’s easy to highlight, easy to read and eat (or knit … since no hands required and only one finger to turn the page) and easy to navigate (x-ray! dictionary!). like I said … hummmmm….
All that said – and especially considering that favorites shelf, I think the year is off to an OK start. I’d like to improve the quality (year-to-date, I’m averaging just over 3.5 stars and I’d like that to be closer to 4) and keep an eye on those top two charts. 
Summer Bingo will be starting next month (!!) and that always adds a bit of spice – and FUN! – to the mix. 
If you read this far, thank you! I would love to hear your thoughts on reading with your eyes vs. ears. or maybe what book you think should turn up next on my favorites shelf.
Carole does an awesome job hosting Three on Thursday. Check out her blog to see what she and others have shared!

11 Comments

  • Bonny

    Interesting data representations! I've been in kind of a reading slump, but I think that may be due to my own frame of mind. It's not bad; I just can't seem to muster the ability to concentrate and I've been quite busy. But … I had to pick up a book I had placed on hold, and when I went to the library last night I wandered through the shelves and chose a few books at random, and then hit the jackpot with three interesting books from the library discard shelves. All that is to say that even though audio and Kindle are my first choices by far, I'm thinking I may find a way out of my slump with some "real" books I chose without overthinking. Maybe without expectations I won't be disappointed!

  • AsKatKnits

    This is really interesting data! I wonder where I would fall if I would graph it out…I have been listening a lot more than actual reading, although maybe that is not true! I am having fun reading books from long lists… and have thus far, enjoyed most!

  • Juliann in WA

    This was fun to read. I like to listen to nonfiction books when I drive but then I sometimes miss really good nuggets. I just picked up two real books at the library today but will likely on,y be able to read one before they are due. This post has me very curious about my own book data.

  • Vera

    A fun and interesting post Mary. I don't know why, but when I've tried audio books I just have not enjoyed them. Perhaps it's time to try again. I do enjoy having Colin or Fletcher read out loud, so I'm not sure what the issue is.

    I tend to read many more books on my Kindle (so easy with Overdrive), but I actually prefer "real" books – easier to flip back if I want.

  • Kym

    I've been reading/listening to library/Overdrive books almost exclusively this year. The only downside (and it's not a big downside) is that I can't always read them when I want to read them. But that's okay! It keeps things interesting. I've been reading a bunch of not-so-great books lately, so I'm hoping for an up-tick soon. XO

  • Debbie

    A few years ago I tried a couple of audio books, but just didn't enjoy them. I've thought about trying again. Most of the books I read are from the library or on my kindle. Recently, I've been picking up books at a really cool used bookstore. They have a large and constantly changing collection of books, all well organized and they host community events like poetry readings, writer's workshops, etc.

  • margene

    I buy poetry books and book group books and the rest I listen to. Most of the books I read are audio books because I can be mobile, but if I want to absorb every word, underline, and discuss a book, I buy the "real" book. I've had a less than stellar year, too. I read several from the Woman's Prize longlist but have decided to move on and find my own books as there wasn't a 5 star among them.

  • Patty

    I've only read 6 books this year! 4 were audio, 1 real book, 1 ipad kindle. I'll say GWTW at 50 hours and Owen Meany at 26 or so (which I'm almost done with) have taken a fair amount of my available reading time! Though holding a real book is my most favorite way to read the available car time is what pretty much gets the job done. I love your data Mary and I'm not sure if there is a type of book that is better to read vs. listen to but…a narrator can really make or break the book at times!

  • Lydia

    I like listening when I'm moving-I try to have a good balance between listening and reading and I'm definitely in the camp of borrowing more.