On the Subject of Reading [Part 2]

This is a continuation of the first “On the Subject of Reading” post I did a few months back. I thought I could do part 3 in December, when I’m done with the challenge. The purpose of this challenge isn’t to see how many books I can read in a year but I thought it would be a great way to examine my reading habits.

I’ve continued to read more e-books versus print books. To be honest, I don’t really have a preference but e-books are a lot easier to read because you don’t have to go out of your way to get to a bookstore. This time around, I decided to calculate how much money I’ve spent on books this year.

While adding up the numbers, I realized that I’ve almost never borrowed a book from the library. I usually go to the bookstore or buy an e-book from the Amazon or Barnes and Noble online store. I also only calculated the books I’ve completed. This means that books I haven’t started yet aren’t included in the total amount spent. So really, I’ve spent about $500 dollars just on books this year!

That’s crazy!

One thing I realized is that I’ve never given a book one star before and also, I rarely give a book five stars. I also realized that ratings are subjective. Just because I thought a book was five stars, doesn’t mean you will think the book would be rated 5 stars. Surprisingly, I rated Dating-ish by Penny Reid five stars, even though I hardly remember what the book was about.

Books I’ve Rated 5 Stars
  1. One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews
  2. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
  3. Dating-ish by Penny Reid
  4. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

I’ve written a post about The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which can be read here. Before I started the challenge, I would always only read fantasy/paranormal books. I, for some odd reason, had a bias against other books of other genres being enjoyable. The book written by Sherman Alexie was really eye opening and I was able to relate to the book to a personal level.

I was even able to go see Sherman Alexie this year and he’s super hilarious! If he’s ever in your area, I highly recommend going to one of his events.

Another book that surprised me was The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. Although the book can be classified as Young Adult, it’s also historical fiction. So good! If you haven’t read this one yet, I highly recommend this one as well!

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Other revelations I’ve had (so far) while doing this challenge is the amount of books I’ve read that has POC (people of color) or minorities in them. Even though I’ve read 68 books, I realized out of 68 of those books, 11 featured a main character that was POC or had a main character that was a minority.

And at least 7 of those books are comic books/issues.

For books I wasn’t able to finish – The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen is one of them. However, I did hear that the later books get really good so I want to try re-reading it! But sometimes it’s really hard to finish a book when you’re so annoyed by the main character :/


After reviewing my reading habits about two thirds into the year, I’ve made the following reading goals for myself. I want to –

  1. Read more books with POC/minority main characters
  2. Check out more books at the library (instead of spending money)
  3. Finish at least one book I DNFed
  4. Read a book from a genre I haven’t read from yet


  1. Graphs made via R Studio
  2. Program used Adobe Photoshop
  3. Icons made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com & licensed by CC 3.0 BY


11 thoughts on “On the Subject of Reading [Part 2]

  • Wow, that’s awesome! I really need to start reading more, but I get distracted so easily. I just have to set aside an hour a day and force myself to sit down and open a book.

    I actually prefer physical books to eBooks, because I hate staring at a screen, but I totally get how it’d be easier to obtain an eBook rather than a physical one. Maybe your local library has an option to check out eBooks without having to physically go to the library?

    (Adding those 5 stars rated books to my to-read list c: )

  • I love the graphic you made about your reading adventures for this year. $430 spent (before taxes) for 68 books is really good! That’s a little over $6 each and it looks like a good deal considering how books can get pretty expensive! I agree that it’s easier to read e-books. I think my reason is that you don’t need to carry heavy books or books that takes room XD.

    Do you have membership to Barnes and Nobles? I think spending that much is fine because you enjoy reading books! I know I probably spent the same amount on something I enjoyed this year XD. Looks like you’re getting a really good share of urban-themed books! I feel like it’s good that you’re careful about choosing which books to give a 5 star rating. Including books that features POC or minorities is great because it kind of open your eyes to other potential issues you probably won’t see in other books. Good luck with your reading goals for the rest of the year!

  • Those are such awesome statistics for your reading! I wanted to read 100 books this year but have only gone up to 4 or 5 so far. :/ I get so caught up with work that once I put down a book, I forget about it.

    And $430 on books isn’t bad at all! Quite the deal. Do you always buy your books new or do you often go to secondhand book shops? Good luck with reading for the remainder of the year!

    • I mostly buy my books new! I think it’s because I buy my books in e-book format, which are often cheaper than physical copies. I have the Nook tablet with the Kindle app and sometimes Amazon has better e-book prices. They also have a larger collection (like smaller or independent publishers) that Barnes & Noble won’t have. And those books are usually super cheap – like $5 or less!

  • It’s great that your setting yourself these reading challenges! I’ve been trying to get into the habit of reading more often, but it’s so hard when I get busy. I’m hoping to get my to-read pile down so I can start exploring some different genres.

    Wow, you’ve spent a lot on books. It’s definitely a great use of money though! I still prefer physical books to ebooks. I’m just more comfortable reading them and find it easier. It’s probably more habit than anything.

    Good luck with your goals!

  • These reading challenges are awesome and I really liked reading about your progress! I guess I should start reading more, but recently my focus has shifted from novels to academic books such as history and political books – and I don’t think they’re counted, are they? HAHA!

    I actually prefer physical books to ebooks, but like you, I like the convenience that ebooks bring!

    And that’s an amazing amount to spend for books alone! Haha but I guess the expenses are worth it if you really love reading that much <3

  • Ebooks are far easier for me, too, and they definitely don’t take up much physical space. I’m really trying to cut down on my hording habit, so going mostly ebooks have helped!

    That is a lot of money spent on book when you actually compile just how much you’ve spent! Still, it’s good to support the author, and it’s a beloved hobby, so I think it’s worth it :3

    I do need to check out The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue — I have it on my Kindle, but I haven’t read it yet!

  • I really enjoyed reading this post and finding out what your reading habits are! The graphics are so pretty too – and illustrates this really well :) Great job!

    I definitely prefer ebooks over paper books because of how easy it is to get the book! I don’t have to wait for it to be delivered or to go and get it at the store because it’s already dropped to me on my kindle! :)

    WOW That’s a lot of books for the year – it’s amazing to see how much we spend on things! I’m definitely under the £100 for books this year but I usually get really cheap books on Amazon sales/deals anyway!

    I can never finish a book when I’m annoyed at the main character LOL

  • It’s interesting to see the things you read categorized like this! I especially liked seeing the split in genres. I don’t have a preference between printed or e-books either, but e-books are so convenient, both for buying and for bringing around. If I’m traveling, I usually prefer to load up on e-books instead of bringing several physical books.

    Oohh, I also found it interesting that you figured out how many books had POC or minorities in them. I think that’s a great goal to read more like that. I would have the same problem getting through a book if I were annoyed by the main character. That already happens to me in shows that I watch, haha.

    Good luck on your reading goals!

  • I’ve just started reading again as well. Not sure why I stopped for such a long time, but I had so many books when I was a kid. I guess I went from reading books to blogs. Haha.

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