Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Meditation on my 2013 Year in Reading

It's hard to believe that this is the fifth year I've done a post like this. I feel like I've done a good job taking control of my reading, at least in terms of tracking what happens, which has made it easier to compile stats. And who doesn't love stats? Don't answer that.

Read: 121 (including 24 audiobooks and 15 ebooks), about the same number as 2012. Goodreads says this is slightly over 40,000 pages. The longest book by far was Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings, which clocked in at 1,007 pages. More than half of the books I read were romances, so I'm going to break that down into more categories this year.

Romance, general: 18
Romance, historical: 17
Romance, lesbian: 17
Romance, erotic: 14
Fantasy: 21
Young Adult: 9 (4 Fantasy, 5 Science Fiction)
Manga/Graphic Novels: 6
Nonfiction: 4
Mystery/Suspense: 4
Middle Grade: 3
Science Fiction: 3
Historical Fiction: 2
General Fiction: 2
Picture books read to Little G: still ∞

My goal for 2013 was to read 125 books, and I didn't quite make it there, despite spending November reading furiously. I would have easily reached my goal if not for the siren call of fanfiction, which reappeared in my life at the end of 2013 after a long absence. In any case, I think 125 is the outer limit of what I can read in one year--not surprising, since it requires reading at a rate of more than two books a week. For the first time in many years, I didn't read any Young Adult books with LGBTQ emphasis. I'm not sure why, but nothing seemed to grab my attention. Some of the YA books I read refused to address LGBTQ issues at all. Last year was very light on nonfiction as well.

Compared to 2012, the number of audiobooks went down slightly, from 29 to 24, and the number of ebooks went up from 10 to 15. This is at least partially due to the fact that I chose the audio format to plow through some long works, such as the aforementioned Way of Kings. It takes a long time to get through 36 CDs, even with a half hour commute. On this front, I'm pleased to announce that I picked up an assignment, mid-year, as an audiobook reviewer for Library Journal. So far it's been very enjoyable!

My Fifty Shades of Grey readalike project (recap forthcoming) was the primary reason that I read so many erotic romances, and my Reading Roulette project (recap also forthcoming) led to reading several entire series--mostly fantasy and romance. This year I decided to look at the breakdown between male and female authors among the books I read, and the outcome was very heavily skewed toward female authors. I read 98 books by women, 22 books by men, and one book, Freedom & Necessity, that was co-written by a man and woman. I am completely on board with this trend and hope it continues in 2014. I'm not rejecting books written by men out of hand, but there tend to be more female characters in books written by women, and I'm past the point of wanting to read so much about dudes.

Looking forward, I am going to continue my Reading Roulette project into the new year. It's really expanded my horizons in terms of making me read things I would never choose on my own, which can only help me when it comes time for Reader's Advisory. I'm also going to try to participate in the Year in Reading, kicking off in January with a book from the year I was born. Some of the likely candidates so far: The Silmarillion (*sigh*), The Thorn Birds, and Agatha Christie: An Autobiography. I took my reading goal down to a more reasonable 100 books, as I am hoping to write some as well as read this year.

What were your favorite reads of 2013? What's your plan for 2014?

My favorite reads of the year:

Beautiful Bastard, Christina Lauren
Deep Deception, Cathy Pegau
Etiquette & Espionage and Curtsies & Conspiracies, Gail Carriger
For Darkness Shows the Stars and Across a Star-Swept Sea, Diana Peterfreund
Hyperbole and a Half, Allie Brosh
The Kat Series (Kat, IncorrigibleRenegade MagicStolen Magic), Stephanie Burgis
The Luckiest Lady in London, Sherry Thomas
A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent, Marie Brennan
The Republic of Thieves, Scott Lynch
The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion
A Woman Entangled, Cecilia Grant

Meditation on my 2012 Year in Reading (117 books)
Meditation on my 2011 Year in Reading (62 books)
Meditation on my 2010 Year in Reading (51 books)
Meditation on my 2009 Year in Reading (87 books)

Meditation Index

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