The other day I came up with a pretty nerdy idea to try and help me read more good books and less bad ones. It might look a bit confusing if I just throw it all at you at once, so I’m going to throw it at you in smaller amounts. Building up to it also adds an exciting element of suspense. Hint: it’s involves one of the nerdiest things I can think of.
The three types of books I check out from the library
Recommended: the books that I put on hold at the library because a blog/podcast/friend told me good things about them
Library acquaintances: the books I get because I recognize the author or because I’ve heard about it
Library strangers: the books I know nothing about but check out because the description or cover looks good
My method of classification
For me, this is probably the hardest part of the experiment. I find rating books with stars to be SO TOUGH, but it’s a bit easier to describe my feelings about a book in words. This is what the words mean and how they would roughly translate into stars.
Great: five stars AKA it was AMAZING and yep, that’s a new favorite
Good: four stars
Alright: three or two stars
Nope: one star AKA I didn’t finish it (Or, in reality, I skimmed through a good chunk of it and didn’t really read it. It’s hard for me to completely abandon a book because that tiny piece of my brain always asks, “What if it gets better??”)
Then I recorded the data…
I went back and looked at the books I’ve read this year through Goodreads and only used those. I decided not to use any from last year because
1. Oh my goodness, rating books is hard enough. Rating books you read months ago is even harder.
And 2. I probably wouldn’t be able to remember what category all the books fell into. Arranging them incorrectly could cause error- ERROR, I tell you, in the whole experiment. I’m trying to be as scientifically correct as possible over here. (I don’t even think “scientifically correct” is a term.)
and added percentages…
Then I used some of my very fancy spreadsheet skills and made it so I can see the percentages of how many Great/Good/Alright/Nope books I’ve read from each category.
and pie charts!
My dad suggested these because it makes it easier to see the percentages at a glance and because who doesn’t like pie charts? They’re my favorite kind. Actually, now that I think about it, a bar graph might show the information more clearly. I’ll have to try that. Well, it doesn’t matter, I still like pie charts more.
This is what it looks like all together.
Yep, it’s a spreadsheet.
A look at the current results
Right now Library Acquaintances has the best track record, which is a little surprising. I was expecting it to be Recommended. Recommended is actually doing somewhat worse than I thought it would. As for Library Strangers, it’s doing pretty terribly.
I will be adding in more data as I read more books. Maybe the numbers will change? Maybe they won’t? I’m hoping for the latter. It’ll be more interesting! Either way, there will probably be an update post about the whole thing.
What’s your classification method?
Dude, I can’t be the only one who struggles with stars. And HALF-STARS?? I can only imagine how long it would take me to be that exact. It’s hard for me to be so specific when gauging my feelings.
A random question: when I say “quadrilateral,” what do you think of? Today in math class, my teacher said of course, you’re going to think of a square or a rectangle, and I immediately thought what? I think of a parallelogram. I talked about it to some people later, and they agreed. This is really of no consequence, I just think it’s interesting.