An Introduction to the Graphic Novice Plus/Minus Statistic


Listeners of Graphic Novice might remember the episode where co-host “Doc Thirst (a discounted generic version of Dr. Pepper)” proposed adding some rudimentary mathematics, specifically, statistics to the podcast.  As with most things Doc presents on the show, the idea was received with skepticism and doubt, but despite Doc’s shaky track record, the plus/minus scoring system seems to be a success thus far.

Based loosely on the statistic of the same name in the sport of hockey, the plus/minus statistic, as it’s applied on the podcast, indicates whether each host likes or dislikes a book on their “pull list” or “subscription file”. There is no neutral score, and no free pass for not reading a book.  Each book must either receive a positive or negative, with the book of the week receiving a +2 score.

The primary intention of this statistic is to provide a comparison or index of how much enjoyment each co-host is getting out of the books they buy each week.  Quite obviously, a consistently low (or negative) score would indicate that the reader is not enjoying what they are reading each week, and might be choosing their books poorly. A relatively high, positive score, might indicate that the reader is choosing their books well and getting a higher amount of enjoyment out of the books they chose to purchase every week.

As an added bonus, each co-host will also be able to look back at a series of books or titles, and determine a score that indicates their relative enjoyment of the group of books as a whole.

Each of the co-hosts also receives one “mulligan” where they can eliminate one book from the scoring total and the end of the Rapid-Fire Review segment.  This allowance will offset the stockpiling of books to read all at once, etc.

An updated spreadsheet will be made available each week on this website, so that listeners can view the scoring, play along, and monitor each co-hosts ability to chose books they enjoy.

We officially commenced the use of the plus/minus statistic during Episode 26.  After the first episode with the scoring system in place, VF and Nickel were both at +6, while Doc Thirst was at +2.


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