Counting ink.

It is late, and everyone is discussing 2014. With my habit of getting bogged down in quantifiable minutiae, I am therefore posting about my reading and writing this year.

In 2014, I aimed for 80 books and finished 95, covering a total of 24421 pages.

I was also trying to aim for gender parity in my reading, and I failed. Overall the split was 38:14:43 (the numbers representing female authors:authors of non-binary or unspecified gender, or multi-authored works with a gender mix, or anthologies:male authors, respectively).

  • one was non-fiction. This low number isn’t surprising; I tend to dip in and out of non-fiction works, rather than read them end to end, and I don’t count RPG books as non-fiction. 1:0:0
  • eighteen were short standalones (stories or novellas); most were ebooks, although I did get four in print, including copies of Bob Leman’s “Instructions” and Naomi Mitchison’s Travel Light. 9:1:8
  • sixteen were anthologies! Unsurprising, as anthologies are generally my favourite kind of book to pick up. 2:13:1; the first two were Two of the Deadliest and The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women, and the last one was The Cthulhu Mythos Megapack.
    (I ran across two other Mythos anthologies this year which only featured male authors, earning Mythos anthologies the distinction of being the only genre of anthology I’ve learned I need to check when I’m tracking gender in my reading, as I clearly can’t assume they’ll actually have a gender mix. A++ Nyarlathotep, carry on. You jackass.)
  • fourteen were collections of stories by a single author (including one of the graphic novels, since the Jonah Hex collection felt more episodic than any of the others). 6:0:8
  • three were RPG sourcebooks. 0:0:3
  • five were game-related fiction: two Wasteland standalones, two Deadlands Noir standalones, and one Pinebox, Texas (now… re-mastered, I guess? as East Texas University) anthology. 0:1:4
  • eight were graphic novels. 0:0:8
    Yes, really. And I thought Mythos anthologies were bad. If you count the writer and the artist as co-authors, that changes to 0:1:7, and my overall stats become 38:15:42
  • twenty-five were ebooks; I read more of these towards the end of the year, and suspect I will read more in 2015. Cheers for a tablet and a new ereader. 11:2:12
  • thirty-seven were novels. 20:0:17

Four of the books I read I five-starred on Goodreads, which is a rating a reserve for books that I think people should read even if they usually pass over that genre (The Last Unicorn, The Inheritance and Other Stories, Save Yourself, and Strong Female Protagonist). 2:0:2, or 2:1:1 if you count writer and artist as co-authors.

Four of them I two-starred, which means I did not hate them but pretty much stopped enjoying them and ground on to see if they would get better. If they had, I would have rated them higher.

And the oldest book I read this year was Naomi Mitchison’s Travel Light, first published in 1952.

I also submitted stories 34 times, and got 31 rejections (although one of those rejections came in for a story I submitted in 2013, so you can say I only got 30 2014 rejections. This does not mean I got four acceptances, but it does mean I am expecting at least four rejections next year. 😉 ) I am slightly embarrassed by how little I wrote; my yearly wordcount hit five digits, but not six.

Happy New Year! See you on the other side.

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