Goodreads Reading Challenge 2019

As the year is almost over, it’s time to review my one and only resolution that I’ve been sticking to for the past four years: the Goodreads Reading Challenge. For 2019 I set quite a reasonable goal of reading 24 books, an average of two per month.

To combine my love for literature and data analysis, I’ve created a dataset with key information about the books I’ve read this year and visualized it in an interactive dashboard with Google Data Studio.

Surprisingly, I’ve exceeded my goal by a whopping 42%, totaling 34 books. In total I’ve read almost 9000 pages of authors from 15 different countries. My average book rating is 4, which means that mostly good books have fallen into my hands, or that I’m quite generous with ratings, but also that I keep on reading and eventually rate books that I like.

January was my peak reading month (9 books), whereas April and May were the lowest (1 book each). This looks like extreme reading habits, but it reflects the pace of my life throughout the year. January and September have been pretty quiet with a routine, which allowed me to indulge in reading. In contrast, April brought me a promotion at work and May a new home, so the new responsibilities and moving around left me almost no time to read for pleasure.

As in the past years, I’ve read mainly authors from the USA (12), followed by Germany (7) and France (3). However, I’ve read almost equally in English and German (15 and 14 books, respectively). I definitely want to explore more of the literary world, so if you have any recommendations, please drop me a comment here or on goodreads.

As for the format, more than a third of the books I’ve read are audiobooks (27%) and ebooks (12%). Yes, the digital format is my secret to reading at all times possible! I like to listen to audiobooks while cleaning the house, cooking, or commuting (especially at night after the training when I’m too tired to read a single line). I switch to ebooks usually when I travel, since a kindle doesn’t take up much space and I can move more lightly. However, I still prefer paperback books above all – there’s something about holding a book and flipping through the pages smelling of fresh print or old library.

An interesting observation is that, though I’ve read more fiction (59%) than nonfiction (35%), 8 of my 12 favorite books are non-fiction (and 3 of them deal with economics), whereas all 4 of my least liked books are fiction.

Now, for the last days of December, I still have a couple of pages left of Flights by the Nobel prize winner Olga Tokarczuk. For 2020 I already have a long reading list that I’m looking forward to.

Wish you a goodread year and insightful datasets!

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