Some books have a certain seasonal feel to them. A fluffy contemporary is often thought to be a perfect beach read but you would never think to pick it up when it’s snowing outside. Spooky thrillers belong to rainy days in November, and hard-hitting literary fiction seems to be an important part of spring.
After having followed many different Booktubers, Bookstagrammers, and Book bloggers for a couple years now, I have noticed that quite a few of us avid bookaholics are seasonal readers. We associate certain times of the year and certain weather with different book genres.
I have no idea where I fall on the seasonality spectrum. Do I devour more of certain types of books in different seasons? I want to know! So I decided to inspect all of the books I read in 2018 and divide them up in the four seasons. If I read significantly more of one genre, length or age-type (middle-grade, YA, or adult) in a certain season, then I can safely say that I am somewhat of a seasonal reader.
I tried to make a list of book types that I have noticed the book community often associates with certain seasons (the months signify when each season happens in Scotland):
Hard-hitting literary fiction, classics and nonfiction. Longer books. More emotional books that deal with difficult subjects such as immigration, the global warming etc.
Fluffy, easy-reads and contemporaries, romance. Short books.
Thrillers, mysteries, horror, fantasy. Anything spooky, gory or highly immersive.
Historical fiction, magical realism, sci-fi, holiday themed books and old favourites, rereads.
These are simply my perceptions about which genres are often associated with the seasons. It’s hard to say exactly why I think each one belongs in each category, and you might disagree with me (I’d love to hear what you think belongs in each season!).
I assume that spring is related to hard-hitting, more difficult to read books partly because of New Year’s resolutions. Who hasn’t pledged to read more classics, nonfiction, literary fiction, award winning novels or longer books next year? I definitely have. In contrast, summer should be related to easy-reads because many of us are on a vacation and we just want to chill out. (Also, maybe we are a bit burned out from all those acclaimed books we read in the spring?) Autumn is for Halloween, and the idea is to read darker, spooky books when the weather turns rainy and stormy. Winter is a tricky one. It seems to me that it is a time for a tiny bit of magic, but not full on fantasies like in the autumn. It is a mixture of spring and autumn, full of emotional reads that are nevertheless very immersive. Also, rereads. Who doesn’t love rereading Harry Potter at Christmas? I can’t explain why sci-fi is in the winter section. I just feel like it belongs there. I have no idea why.
Will I follow these seasonal reading guidelines, or do I have completely different seasonal patterns?
First of all, here is a count of how many books I read in each season. I’m actually surprised to see how even it is! Autumn was my best reading season and spring was my worst. As a fantasy-aholic, is this an indication that I may have read more books in Autumn because I let myself dive into more fantasies? Let’s find out 😱
Tadah, here are the different genres I read by the season I read them in. The values are now percentages in relation to each season’s total books read because I read a different amount of books each season. (so for example 50% in autumn in fantasy means that half of the books that I read in autumn were fantasy)
Let’s break this down a bit: I read classics only in autumn. I also spent the most time reading contemporaries in autumn. Although I binge-read a bunch of fantasies throughout the year, I read proportionally the most fantasies in summer. Similarly, I read the most historical fiction in summer. During winter, I spent most of my time reading sci-fi and magical realism. In spring, on the other hand, I devoured a bunch of nonfiction.
This certainly seems like I don’t read the different genres equally throughout the year.
Here are the different age-types that I read in the different seasons. This is actually pretty magical, I read YA and adult equally throughout the year with just a pinch of middle grade in spring and autumn! Well I’m definitely not a seasonal age-type reader.
Here are the different seasons arranged according to the format of reading; audiobook, ebook and physical print book (like a paperback or a hardcover). I read all three pretty equally but I seem to have a general preference for ebooks. In autumn I was especially keen on ebook reading, whereas in the summer I seemed to be more into audiobooks. Maybe that’s because I spent more time outdoors and travelling in the summer? Some seasonality there, maaaybee 🤔
This graph shows the different seasons by the length of books I read. I categorized long as any book over 500 pages, medium if the book was under 500 but above 300 pages and short if the book was under 300 pages. I can’t see any seasonality here, and as expected, I read mostly medium length books overall. If anything, spring seems to suffer from a lack of long books. The differences are tiny, but I read more long books in the summer, more medium books in the spring and more short books in the autumn.
I didn’t do a graph on which seasons I reread the most, because if I remember correctly, I only reread one book in 2018 🤦♀️ That was Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor and I read it in autumn.
Am I a Seasonal Reader?
I have to say that none of the above graphs scream of seasonality in my reading patterns 😅 That kind of makes me sad, it would have been really cool to find a distinctive pattern of reading by the seasons without having ever realized it before.
But it seems like I might be slightly seasonal; I read quite a lot of nonfiction and literary fiction in the spring, as expected by my seasonality predictions. I was also into magical realism in the winter.
None of the other graphs point to much seasonality. I didn’t read longer books in the spring and my summers were not filled with fluffy contemporaries. In fact, I read barely any contemporaries at all 😅
It could be that I have my very own kind of bookish seasonality, but we might have to look into it later with more data. Beware, there might be a part 2 of this blog post early next year, in which I combine both 2019 and 2018. Maybe some spooky patterns will arise!
Are you a seasonal reader? Do you buy books and not read them before their appropriate season begins?
I have a feeling that we all should be at least very slightly seasonal readers if we follow new releases; I could imagine that book publishers definitely follow seasonal trends and release more of a certain genre at a certain season. I’m very weak when it comes to new releases and so I’m pretty surprised that I’m not more affected by seasons 🤔
Chat with me, what do you think about the stats? Do have a certain genre that you read loads throughout the year? For me that’s definitely fantasy, haha just look at that spike in the 2nd graph!
Also, thank you to all of you for bearing with me while I was busy with my masters thesis! Now it’s submitted and all gazillion tabs on my computer have been closed. I’m ready to make a glamorous comeback into regular reading & blogging & blog-hopping!
(Also I have been planning this post for a long time but I found it so funny that my first blog post after a research thesis induced hiatus is a stats post 😂)
Thank you so much for reading!