Road Trip Wednesday: Books By the Numbers

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question. This Week’s Topic: About how many books do you read in a year? Do you want to read more? Or, less?


In 2010, Google estimated that there were approximately 130 million books in the world. I really wasn’t sure of how many books I was reading until I joined Goodreads in 2008. Now with just a few clicks, I can see each year’s book consumption broken down into stat-nerd goodness based on algorithmic wizardry that is most likely being data-mined right this minute:

2008: 15 books. The longest: BREAKING DAWN by Stephenie Meyer, 756 pages. I started grad school that year, so the majority of books were read for class. Funsnatchers!

2009: 24 books. The longest: SUITE SCARLETT by Maureen Johnson, 368 pages. The read-for-class ratio is even higher this year.

2010: 16 books. The longest: DOUBLE-TAKE: A REVISIONIST HARLEM RENAISSANCE ANTHOLOGY by Venetria K. Patton, 619 pages. Can you tell that’s a textbook? However, still shorter than BREAKING DAWN and with a much more satisfying ending.

2011: 51 books. The longest: AMERICAN WIFE by Curtis Sittenfeld, 555 pages. This was the first year I participated in Goodreads’ Reading Challenge in which I pledged to read 50 books. Reading for the sure hell of it rocks.

This year’s challenge pledge is for 52 books. That goal is doubtful (I’ve read 28 so far), but my reading was down due to a crapton of writing in 2012, so I can’t be mad about that.  I read mostly contemporary YA not only because I love it, but it’s also part of my development as a writer. But next year I think 30 books is actually more manageable. I’d like to expand a bit more out of my reading comfort zone while still leaving time for my own writing.

How many books did you read this year? If you’re a writer, how do you balance reading and writing time?

15 thoughts on “Road Trip Wednesday: Books By the Numbers”

  1. I say 50 every year and this year I’m not gonna make it – also due to writing and my day job 🙂 I’m close though, 36 and should hit 39-40 by year’s end


  2. I wouldn’t know how many I read if not for Goodreads. I find it helps when I’m trying to make suggestions to friends. I can be like, “Check out my Goodreads.”


  3. I keep track on Goodreads, and this year I’ve read a lot of books (30 or more). However, when I’m reading a book that means I’m not writing. I can’t do both at the same time. (I can’t really walk and chew gum at the same time either. Hahha.)


  4. About 47 so I’ll be hitting my challenge of 50 books and maybe more this year. Haven’t had to manage between reading and writing because November was the first time I actually sat down and wrote more than what I write for my blog. Henceforth I’d probably suck at managing both of them together. I think I only read 3 books in November. I think it’s hard to do them together.


      1. Frankly I don’t think writers read when they write. When they have an idea they concentrate on writing until it’s finished. When the book is finished then they read. It seems logical to me.


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