Posts Tagged ‘statistics’

Where is the Best Place to Write?

We’ve talked about writing locations before, Squiders, about libraries and coffee shops and home offices and whatnot. We’ve talked about setting up our own and what mine looks like (though the images seem to have been eaten in the website hacking snafu of October 2016) and talked about the pros and cons of different locations.

But recently, when I was on my way out to the coffee shop for writing again, my husband asked if I was really more efficient when I went out. And, to be honest, I didn’t know. I do like coffee shops because they allow me to escape from the house and because I like coffee (and tea, and hot cocoa, and iced tea, and…) but I don’t actually know that I am more productive than I am sitting at home in the office, for example.

So I’ve made a spreadsheet.

Have I concluded anything? Not yet. I suspect I need a lot more data (and I’ve been lazy this week as you can see), and I’m wondering if I need a few more columns. (I also need to be consistent on times–I’m trying to do 24hr time so it’s clear when I’m writing in the evening vs the morning to see if time of day is a factor–but I can see off the top of my head that at least the second entry on the 4th needs to be changed to evening.)

I’m also not sure if converting to words/hour is helpful. Like, that fifteen minutes at the library on the third. Would my output have been the same had I written for the full hour? Hard to say. Maybe things were really flowing. Or maybe I would have hit a block 100 words later.

Another thing that may be unduly influencing things is where I am. Some scenes are almost word for word reused from the last draft, so I’m just modifying wording or adding in a little more nuance this time through, and that certainly goes much faster. Some scenes are brand new and difficult (ala the entry on the second) and that really eats my word count.

Is word count even a good marker for telling how much I’m getting done? Not sure what else to use.

Well, I’m at 94K for the rewrite now, and I’m making decent progress, so perhaps in a month we’ll be done (finally!) and I can work on a different project which might be more consistent on scene difficulty. (That probably doesn’t exist.)

Thoughts, squiders? Better way to track? Maybe a column for “how was the flow today” with a scale to 1-10.

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2016 Books in Review

It’s that time of year, squiders, where I look back at what I read last year and play with stats (and then, if I have a lot of free time, I make comparisons to previous years!), and then I let you guys look too, because why not.

I keep track of every book I read, as well as their genre, publication year, and how much I liked them (out of 5). Noteworthy this year was that I apparently didn’t read anything too exceptional, because I only had a few books rated 4 or higher, and nothing in the 4.5 or 5 range (except for Howl’s Moving Castle which doesn’t count because it was a re-read).

On to the stats!

Books Read in 2016: 50
Change from 2015: -2

Of those*:
16 were Fantasy
9 were Science Fiction
6 were Romance
5 were Nonfiction
4 were Mystery
2 were General Literature
1 was Chick Lit
1 was Gothic
1 was Historical Fiction
1 was Paranormal
1 was Science Fantasy
1 was a Short Story Collection
1 was Steampunk
1 was a Superhero Tie-in

*Some genre consolidation was done here. YA titles went into the general genre. All subgenres of fantasy or romance, for example, also went into the general genre.

Wow, a little low on mystery last year.

New genre(s)**: chick lit, paranormal, superhero tie-in
Genres I read last year that I did not read this year: ghost story collections, horror, mythology, anthologies

**This means I didn’t read them last year, not that I’ve never read them.

Genres that went up: fantasy, romance
Genres that went down: nonfiction, mystery, general literature, Gothic

32 were my books
17 were library books
1 book was borrowed from friends/family

34 were physical books
16 were ebooks

Way down on library books (I guess my resolution to read my own books worked a bit) and way up on ebooks from previous year(s).

Average rating: 3.46/5

Top rated:
The Dark Days Club (4.2 – historical fantasy)
Sixteen Burdens (4.2 – historical fantasy)
Morning Star (4 – science fiction)
A Little Life (3.9 – general literature)

I don’t normally mention anything under 4, but apparently I was pretty underwhelmed by what I read this year. Nothing too amazing, I guess. Though I did really like The Dark Days Club and I should see when the sequel’s due.

Most recent publication year: 2016
Oldest publication year: 1906
Average publication year: 2004
Books older than 1900: 0
Books newer than (and including) 2012: 28

As you can see, I read a lot more newer stuff this year (more than half!) so all my stats skewed high. Normally my average year is in the ’90s somewhere.

How did your reading go for 2016, squiders? Any books to recommend? What are your goals for 2017? Mine is to read 50 books, as usual.

2015 Books in Review

If you’ve been with me for awhile, Squiders, you know I keep a list of every book I read in a year, along with genre, publication year, and a rating out of 5. Then, at the end of the year, I run stats to get a general view of what I read for the year. (I thought I started in 2010, but it turns out I started in 2009. Huh.)

I think this is the third year of me sharing here with you guys. Anyway, I’m always interested in the genre variations. For example, two years ago (2013) I read a ton of mysteries (19) and last year fantasy reigned supreme (16). 2011 I read mostly nonfiction (16) which–I must have been researching something. I wonder what. Death mythology, probably.

Anyway, I could go on about trends forever, but here are the stats for 2015.

Books Read in 2015: 52
Change from 2014: +2

Of those:
11 were Fantasy (includes all age ranges and subgenres)
9 were Science Fiction
8 were Nonfiction
5 were Mystery
3 were General Literature
3 were Ghost Story Collections
2 were Gothic
2 were Horror
2 were Mythology
2 were Romance
1 was an Anthology
1 was Historical Fiction
1 was Science Fantasy
1 was a Short Story Collection
1 was Steampunk

Huh. That’s a lot wider spread of genres than usual. Good for me, I guess!

New genre(s)*: ghost story collection, Gothic, horror, romance, anthology, science fantasy
Genres I read last year that I did not read this year: Christian literature, crime procedural

*This means I didn’t read them last year, not that I’ve never read them.

Genres that went up: science fiction, nonfiction, mythology
Genres that went down: fantasy, mystery, general literature, historical fiction

28 were my books
24 were library books
0 books were borrowed from friends/family

(Normally I borrow a few. I guess nobody wanted to pass anything on this year!)

47 were physical books
5 were ebooks

(I had been reading more ebooks every year–last year I read 12–but this year dropped to my second lowest ever. I blame The Mysteries of Udolpho, which I read on Kindle–and posted about here–and took me forever.)

Average rating: 3.45/5

Top Rated:
Collected Ghost Stories (4.5 – ghost stories)
Illuminae (4.1 – science fiction)
Blackout/All Clear (4 – science fiction – 2 books)
The Boys in the Boat (4 – nonfiction)
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore (4 – mystery)
The Supernatural Enhancements (4 – horror)

I don’t normally note anything below a 4, but I also really enjoyed (and gave 3.9s) to The Queen of the Tearling and Throne of Glass. I actually gave out quite a few 3.9s this year.

Most recent publication year: 2015
Oldest publication year: 1794
Average publication year: 1991
Books older than 1900: 2
Books newer than (and including) 2012: 18

How did your 2015 go in reading, Squiders? Any truly excellent books you want to recommend (or any terrible ones I should avoid)?

2014 Books in Review

As you probably know, Squiders, the left-brained side of me likes to keep statistics on each book I read in a year. This includes publication year, genre, and a rating out of 5. And then, at the end of the year, I look back through my list and look at trends.

I’ve been doing this for…five years now, I think, with the goal to read at least 50 books a year. The biggest thing that seems to change from year to year is which genres I’m reading, and in what amounts. Last year, for example, I went on a major mystery binge and ended up reading 19 mysteries in 2013. Fantasy, science fiction, and mystery are generally my top three genres, though they vary in amount and order.

This year, I also kept track of non-novel substantial things I read, which includes novel-length fanfiction, graphic novels, literature magazines (ones full of stories), and manga. I did not include those in these stats, as it was more an exercise to see if I was reading a bunch of non-novel stuff and, if so, what it was, but I read 11 of those, including 3 fanfics, 4 graphic novels, 2 manga series, 1 fantasy magazine and a collection of comics that were frankly terrible.

And, to start the new year off, I’m starting The Hobbit, which I’ve never successfully read all the way through despite owning the book in multiple languages and having tried at least a dozen times.

But, anyway, on to the stats!

Books read in 2014: 50
Change from 2013: no change

Of those:
16 were Fantasy (includes all age ranges, subgenres)
8 were Science Fiction
7 were Mystery
6 were Nonfiction
5 were General Literature
3 were Historical Fiction
1 was Christian Literature
1 was a Crime Procedural
1 was Mythology
1 was a Short Story Collection
1 was Steampunk

Wow. It’s been a long time since my three favorite genres were at the top in the correct order.

New genre(s): Steampunk, Crime Procedural, Short Story Collection, Christian Literature
Genres I read last year that I did not read this year: Romance, Thriller, Children’s, Magical Realism, Gothic

Genres that went up: Fantasy, Science Fiction, General Literature, Historical Fiction, Nonfiction
Genres that went down: Mystery

26 were my books
19 were library books
4 were borrowed from friends/family
1 was read online

38 were real books
12 were virtual/ebooks

Average Rating: 3.35

Top Rated:
Assassin’s Apprentice (4.5 – fantasy)
To Say Nothing of the Dog (4.3 – science fiction)
The Twistrose Key (4.2 – MG fantasy)
Foundation (4 – science fiction)
Hornblower and the Hotspur (4 – historical fiction)
Red Rising (4 – science fiction)
The Winter Witch (4 – fantasy)

Most recent publication year: 2014
Oldest publication year: 712 (haha, that’s going to skew everything)
Average publication year: 1963 (1988 without the 712 one)
Books older than (and including) 1900: 3
Books newer than (and including) 2012: 18

Did you read anything amazing in 2014, Squiders? I am going to try and limit the amount of library books I’m reading in an attempt to make a dent in the books I have sitting around the house, but I’m always up for recs.

And happy 2015, everyone! Let’s get out there and do what we want to get done!

Reading in 2013

Happy 2014, Squiders! I hope your holidays were lovely, or at least non-stressful.

For those of you just joining us, or those who have joined us recently, I am a nerd, and I like statistics.

And at the end of every year, I do statistics on the books I’ve read for the year. My goal is always to read 50. I usually reach that, but sometimes it’s a near thing.

So, without further ado, my reading stats from 2013:

Books read in 2013: 50
Change from 2012: -2

2012 was down from 2011, so this is NOT ENCOURAGING.

Of those:
19 were Mystery
15 were Fantasy
4 were Science Fiction
2 were Gothic
2 were Historical Fiction
2 were Magical Realism
1 was Children’s
1 was General Literature
1 was Mythology
1 was Nonfiction
1 was Romance
1 was Thriller

Children’s and YA genre is included with the genre.

New genre(s): Mythology, Magical Realism
Genres I read last year that I did not read this year: Science Fantasy, Horror, Chick Lit, Paranormal, Young Adult

Genres that went up: Mystery, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Gothic
Genres that went down: Thriller, Romance, Nonfiction, General Literature, Children’s

Man, that mystery binge really destroyed everything else.

29 were my books (7 were ebooks)
18 were library books (4 were ebooks)
3 were borrowed from friends/family

Average Rating: 3.36 (out of 5)

Top Rated:
Shades of Grey (5)
Murder with Peacocks (4.3)
We’ll Always Have Parrots (4.3)
Forged by Fate (4)
Inherit the Stars (4)
A Great and Terrible Beauty (4)
The Moon Pool (4)

Howl’s Moving Castle also got a 5, but it doesn’t count because it was a re-read.

Also Shades of Grey (not to be confused with 50 Shades of Gray) was amazing.

Most recent publication year: 2013
Oldest publication year: 1898
Average publication year: 1992
Books Older than (and including) 1900: 1
Books Newer than (and including) 2010: 13

I actually read several books that were published between 1900 and 1920, which brought down the average significantly.

How many books did you read last year, Squiders? What ones did you enjoy the most? What’s your reading goal for 2014?

What Did I Read in 2012?

Each year I keep track of what I read, genre and publication year, and what I thought of each book. And then I do nerdy statistics with said data.

Books read in 2012: 52
Change from 2011: -1

Of those:
11 were Fantasy
9 were Science Fiction
6 were Mystery
5 were Nonfiction
5 were Science Fantasy
3 were Romance*
2 were Children’s
2 were General Literature
2 were Horror
2 were Thrillers
1 was Chick Lit
1 was Gothic
1 was Historical Fiction
1 was Paranormal
1 was Young Adult**

*includes all subgenres of romance
**genre YA is included with the genre

New genres: Gothic, Thrillers, Chick Lit, Children’s

Genres that went up: Science Fiction, Mystery, Science Fantasy, Romance, Horror
Genres that went down: Fantasy, Nonfiction, General Literature

Pretty good spread, if I do say so myself.

27 were my books (5 were ebooks, 1 I originally got from the library but later bought)
18 were from the library
7 I borrowed from friends or family

Average Rating: 3.44

Top Rated:
The Return of Sherlock Holmes (4.5)
Parable of the Sower (4.3)
Catching Fire (4)
Dark Companion (4)
Elantris (4)
Lieutenant Hornblower (4)
Many Waters (4)
The Secret Circle II (4)
What the Lady Wants (4)
Your Best Birth (4)

Special mention for The Darkest Road and Anna Dressed in Blood, both of which got a 3.9. Still no 5’s, but it’s nice to see that most of my top books this year are in my favorite genres.

Most recent publication year: 2012
Oldest publication year: 1886
Average publication year: 1988
Books Older than (and including) 1900: 3
Books Newer than (and including) 2000: 27

Let me know if you’re interested in seeing the full list.

Happy New Year!

Well, Squiders, another year has come and gone, and, thankfully, the world has yet to end, so we can look forward to plenty of landsquid-y shenanigans here at ye olde blog(ge).

Every year, WordPress nicely puts together a year-end summary. You can find this below if, like me, you enjoy statistics. (And, if you don’t, I’m not sure you’re going to like Thursday’s post either, when I do my year-end reading recap.)

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

What did you like most about 2012 (both here on the blog and in real life)? What would you like to see more of? More re-reads/reviews, Landsquid stories, drawings, genre essays? Let me know.

The Landsquid and I shall just be over here in the corner, enjoying some tea and Cheez-Its for now.