Peek Behind the Curtain: Review Stats 2012

As 2012 draws to a close, I've been crunching some numbers.

How many books did I read in 2012? 

Answer: 200

You can see all of them here on my Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge Page.

I read 63 YA debut books, and you can see a list of those I read here.

How many books did I review in 2012? 

Answer: 120

Like a lot of bloggers, I complain that every book I read is part of a series. This year, it seemed like I read about a hundred dystopian YA books. And then there's that crazy idea that bloggers are all OUT TO GET FREE BOOKS.

With the help of Excel, Apple Pages, and some techie family members, I am out to dispel all those misperceptions. Because numbers don't lie. Unless I'm doing the math. But this time, Excel is doing it for me :)

Note: these statistics go through December 25. Books reviewed this past week release in January and are going to be counted with 2013 stats.

Question One: Where Did I Get the Books I Reviewed in 2012?

Okay, it's a little hard to read this graph. If I make it any bigger, it eats up my sidebar.

But, believe it or not.... in 2012, I bought over one-third (42 out of the 120) of the books that I reviewed.

My second major source of review books was Netgalley (34 books), swaps with other bloggers (11 books), Book Expo America (10 books), and my local library (10 books).

Question Two: What was the format of the books I read?

It did not surprise me that I read all formats pretty equally!

38 of the books I reviewed were e-ARCs
33 of the books I reviewed were paper ARCs
49 of the books I reviewed were finished copies

Question Three: What was the breakdown of publishers for the books I reviewed?
I'm doing two separate charts, the first for the so-called Big Six, plus Disney/Hyperion and Scholastic.

I reviewed 20 Penguin books, 18 HarperCollins, 15 Random House, 14 each from Macmillan and Simon & Schuster, 5 each from Little Brown/Poppy and Disney/Hyperion, and 4 from Scholastic.

This statistic really surprised me, because Penguin very rarely approves me on NetGalley or Edelweiss -- three times, say my stats. Most of those Penguin books were bought by me!

Now, let's turn to the mid- and smaller-sized publishers. 

I reviewed 6 Harlequin titles, 5 Bloomsbury, 3 each from KTeen and Harcourt, 2 each from Egmont and Candlewick and 1 each from Sourcebooks, Entangled and Flux.  Also one self-published title.

Question Four: What was the genre breakdown of books I reviewed?
Okay, this one drove me crazy. Due to the growing trend of genre-blending in YA, I struggled a little with this one. Where did I categorize books that were dystopian-fantasy with sci-fi elements? Or contemporaries with elements of magical realism? Or steampunk elements? To keep myself sane, I didn't overthink it too much.

I know I read a lot of contemporary/realistic fiction. But I was surprised that contemporaries made up less than half of my total books read.

Question Five: Is it true that I am in the middle of a million YA series?
It feels that way. But this one surprised me:

 Yes, I reviewed a lot of books that were part of series. 44 to be exact. But also even more standalones -- 67 of those! I'm sure that part of the explanation for this is that I read a lot of contemporary YA, which tend to be standalones.

And I'm loving the trend of the companion book -- I reviewed 9 companion books in 2012.

Okay, hope that was somewhat interesting. It was to me, at least!  
Are there any other stats you'd be interested in for next year? I'm making my 2013 spreadsheet right now.


  1. Oh wow. That's actually pretty interesting. I'm more of a series gal myself, but I've found that I've been reading a lot more standalones toward the end of the year (Splintered, The Dead and Buried, Broken by A.E. Rought, Doomed by Tracy Deebs) and actually liked them! I think I might try this stats thing if I have time, just because I'm really curious!

    1. I think because I love contemporary YA, I probably read more standalones than the average YA reader. Which is a good thing, because I can't remember any more plot details. My brain is full!

  2. I thought it was interesting and that your graphs were so cool. Definitely agree about the genre-bending-I struggled with that in my favorites of 2012 list but I decided to pick one that I felt dominated as it's my list anyway.

    It was very interesting to see your breakdown of publishers-I should keep track of that for 2013 as I have the suspicion that I tend to prefer the releases of a few publishers to those of others. I would like to see if there is a trend so I can pursue other books by those publishers.

    1. The genre thing drove me the most crazy. But I decided that I'd just try to choose one category for each book and not drive myself to insanity about it.

      I never kept track of who published anything until I started blogging, but I find that very interesting. I think some publishers and imprints definitely have typical types of stuff they publish.

  3. I loooove this! Now that you have suggested tracking via Excel, I'm going to do this next year! I love graphs!!!!

  4. Your graphs are wonderful!!! It's funny how you assume your stats would look a certain way, but actually reveal something else entirely. I used to not read a lot of contemp, but I think if I really looked at it this year, I would find that I read a ton of them. Perhaps more than any other genre.

    Today I am reading Shadowlands and hoping to finish, if I have time. First I have to survive a children's museum though. lol Happy New Year!

    1. Yes, I was amused to learn that I was wrong about a few things!

      Shadowlands O-O!!

  5. I enjoyed this! I need to make time to look at it for me too.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    1. Once you get the spreadsheet set up, it's really pretty easy!
      Happy reading to you too!

  6. This was very interesting! I know how you feel about series and Dystopian--it feels like that's all I read this year,too! Nice pie charts :)

    1. I may be avoiding series -- if I'm not loving them, I tend to abandon them after one book!

  7. Wow, look how organized all of those stats are!! I think I reviewed a majority of ARCs, but I bought a ton of books. (I just have yet to read a lot of them or they were books I read as ARCs and bought finished copies of.) I love how you broke it all down. I didn't even do a year end post lol!! #BloggerFail

    1. I was surprised that most of my review books were finished copies. But I think 2013 will be heavier on e-ARCs. We'll see...

  8. Wow that's great! You read alot of books! I feel likw i read alot of debuts this year as well!

    1. I was amazed at how many debuts I read. That may be because publishers seem to be more generous with eARCs and ARCs for debut authors.

  9. I don't have an exact count of the books I read this year - Goodreads didn't add all of them and I didn't notice right away. I'm guessing it's about 120 which is great because I didn't' read most of the first half of 2012. (reading slump)

    I counted the series I was reading last year because I was getting overwhelmed. The total was 49 and at least 30 were love triangles. I cut most of them lose and I'm pretty picky when it comes to starting new ones.

    I'm sensing a sci-fi dystopian vibe with the arc's I
    m reading for 2013.

    I'm glad you took a look at how many books bloggers BUY. It's a lot.

    1. Sorry to hear that -- yeah, if you don't enter the date when you log a book in Goodreads, it doesn't count it.

      I agree that there seems to be a lot of science fiction stuff this year. Which I'm not thrilled about, but we'll see!

      Yes, book bloggers buy a TON of books. We're not just grabby freeloaders!

      And those were just the books I bought that I also reviewed. I probably bought 2-3 times that many that didn't get reviewed.

  10. Wow, look at you getting all statistical :D
    exactly 200 books? that's awesome! I barely get 100.

  11. Wow, look at you! Color me impressed! :) I should do something like this, but I'm scared...I haven't kept track of my stats very well. Maybe I'll start that with 2013. Love the graphics and the fact that even YOU learned something about your reading habits from this little exercise, not to mention what you've taught all of us. :) Here's to a prosperous, book-filled new year!

  12. That is really interesting! Maybe I should try and keep track next year? Hmm, not sure it will happen though!
    I have no idea how many books I bought this year, it's definitely over 100 paperbacks, and I have no idea how many kindle books but there were a lot! I just have to find time to read them now!
    I only stick with series that I like, I didn't read much 2010/2011 so I have loads that I haven't started yet, but if I don't love a series I often don't continue with it - I prefer to buy something different to try :)
    Well done for reaching your 200 book goal!
    Happy New Year!

  13. Nice! I love how you break it all down. It would be pretty interesting to see what my stats are, maybe I should play around with it, after I finish cleaning and getting ready for dinner tomorrow of course!

    Really neat!

  14. You did a fantastic job on this breakdown, Jen! I wish I had thought to do one. I'm thinking about 2013 now and thinking I'd like to keep track of this sort of stuff, but I know myself to well. I'll give up two weeks into the new year! Anyway, I found all these stats very interesting. Especially the genre breakdown!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

  15. That was very interesting! I'm still not good in statics, but I always love to see how other people show their stats :D

  16. I resolve next year to have a bunch of charts for my end of year review, because I love yours and Kim's so much! It's seriously how Ross Perot made a fairly decent bid for the White House, his use of pie charts. I'm sad that I'm old enough to remember that...

    Yes, it does feel like I read a lot of series, but I probably didn't read as many as I think I did- it'll be fun to go back and check! I don't mind series, it just seems that some books really stretch out a story that could be told in one or two books.

    Happy New Year, Jen!

  17. There are SO MANY series books -- it kind of drives me nuts. I definitely find myself looking more towards the contemporary, or standalone books. And that's awesome that you bought 1/3 of the books you reviewed -- and I find it interesting that you only reviewed 120 our of 200 books. I put a lot of reviews on Goodreads, when I find that my blog is booked up. Of course, I expect my reading to drop a bit this year, so who knows what my numbers will look like at the end of next year.

    Thanks for sharing!

  18. very impressive! And so organized! Happy 2013!

  19. This was fabulous to read through thank you. I was surprised by some of the stats. I would have thought more series than stand alones. I hope you do this again.

  20. This was interesting. Most bloggers just post recaps of books they've reviewed, so I liked seeing the stuff behind the scenes. :) And I hate statistics (as in the class) but weirdly, I had fun reading this!

  21. That is really impressive, you are very organized! Do you mind if I do something similar on my blog, with statistics and break-downs? I'll link back to your blog if I do the statistics :D Great job! You read a lot this year :D

  22. Excellent charts!

    I really liked that you broke what you read down by publisher, that's something I'll have to do in 2013.

    The genre was super hard for me to, but like you, I didn't over think it and went with my first instinct.

    I'm so impressed that you read so many standalones, and I completely agree that I love companion books and hope to see a lot more of those in the future!

  23. This is a cool year end round up, Jen! I like the publisher break down, need to check out mine sometime too! I really like the companion novel trend as well!

  24. Jen this is such a fantastic post round up. You did a great job! Did it take awhile completing this with all the graphs etc? This is awesome!


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