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2013 in books by the numbers

One word best sums up my reading in 2013 — ebooks. Two-thirds of the books I read this year were ebooks, up from under 50 percent the year before. In fact, even though I read 30 fewer books in 2013, I read seven more ebooks than in 2012. And although I read more than 41,000 pages in 2013, that’s some 10,000 (that’s right, five digits) less than in 2012. I’ve no clue for the cause of the decline as I would have guessed I’d read about as much this year as last. In fact, the number of books and pages are even less than in 2011.

The counts don’t include graphic novels (I read a handful) or audiobooks. Just more than half the books I read were nonfiction, also a change from the prior two years. In that area, nearly two-thirds of the books were history or autobiographies, memoirs or biographies. Here’s a breakdown of how the year shaped up:

Books Read: 132

Pages Read: 41,560

Fiction: 60 (45.5 percent)

  • Translated Works: 20 (17 fiction and three nonfiction)
  • Languages: German (7), Russian (4), Albanian (2), French (2), Spanish (2), Chinese (1), Polish (1), Portuguese (1)
  • Science Fiction: 17
  • Short Stories: 3

Non-fiction: 72 (54.5 percent)

  • Autobiography/Memoirs: 18 (25 percent of nonfiction)
  • Biography: 4
  • History: 25 (35 percent of nonfiction)

Ebooks Read: 82 (62.1 percent)

Library materials: 27 (20.5 percent) (includes ebooks)


Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but, most importantly, it finds homes for us everywhere.

Hazel Rochman, “Against Borders

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