I like reading books. Since 2016, I started to write summaries and reviews of all the books I read, and gave each book a score out of 10 (with the average about 7.5). In this article, I will analyze my book review data: which types of books do I enjoy the most?
In 2020, as the world entered lockdown and with social activities postponed, I found myself with more reading time than ever before in my life. I finished about one book a week last year.
What types of books do I like?
The majority of my books are nonfiction, and I don’t read much fiction (only 16% of books). I decided to assign separate categories for popular nonfiction (intended for a general audience) and textbooks (more technical material intended for a specialist audience, typically undergraduate level). Likewise, fiction is separate from classics — the boundary is fuzzy but I’ll assume it’s a classic if it’s famous and written a long time ago.
Textbooks and classics have higher ratings than general nonfiction and contemporary fiction. I guess classics are classics for a reason — they’re actually good books that stood the test of time.
What subjects do I like reading?
My highest rated subjects are Philosophy and Economics; the lowest rated subjects are Business / Finance and Current Events. There are certainly some good business books, but they often overgeneralize from anecdotes, and confuse correlation with causation, leading to a low rating. Philosophy and economics books tend to have well thought out arguments supported by either logic or data, which adds point from me, coming from a STEM background.
Books that I didn’t finish
I finish most (>90%) of the books that I start, but not all of them. For books that I didn’t finish, I usually read 100-200 pages before dropping it, and write a review for it anyways. As expected, incomplete books have a lower rating than completed books.
How much do I read a day?
On an average day, I read about 35 pages, which is not a huge amount. Consistency is key: on 85% of days, I read at least 10 pages. Over several years, a little bit every day adds up to a lot of books read.
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