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2013 Reading in Review

For the first time since setting reading goals ... I didn't meet mine. I was going for 150 (which seemed infinitely doable since last year's total was 175), but there came a point where I realized that I wasn't going to make it unless I started reading a bunch of short children's books or did something drastic like stop sleeping.

Reader, I chose to fail in meeting my goal, which I think shows that I'm making remarkable strides towards being a responsible, emotionally healthy adult who can accept that not all failure is bad, especially when it's a self-imposed and artificial goal. Go me!

I read 131 books this year. I blame the lower number mostly on setting up an Etsy shop at the beginning of the year. Any half-way major life change seems to impact my reading life until I adjust to new responsibilities (the first year after I started working full time I only read 90 books, horrors.)

The stats:

46% were nonfiction, up just slightly from last year's 44%. 20% were young adult or children's books, down from last year's 33%. And rereads were at 10%, up from last year's 6.8%.

Only 9 were ebooks, compared to 27 last year. The novelty factor has worn off completely, and this year I only chose the ebook format when I was traveling or reading books from Netgalley.

And only five were audiobooks, way down from last year's 13, which may be another factor in my total being down.

Although my book total was dramatically lower than last year, if you look at page numbers the gap is a bit less - I read some long books this year! The longest was a re-read of Diana Gabaldon's Voyager, but Jerusalem: a biography and most of the Game of Thrones books were right up there in length too.

This was the Year of Lee Child: I read all 18 of his books, in chronological order. I started in April, but ended up marathoning about eight in a row in November. His books made up almost 14% of my total!

Although I didn't quite read the whole series in 2013 (I started it at the end of 2012) this was also the year I got through all of The Game of Thrones series (So Far.)

14 books got 5-star ratings, and only one only squeaked by with 1 star.

Some noteable titles:

Book that Deserves More Attention: The Winter Prince, Elizabeth Wein. Yes, yes, Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire are absolutely amazing and will rip your heart out in the best way possible, but her reimaginings of the Arthurian legends are every bit as worthy of attention.

Book I Read Twice This Year: The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neal Gaiman. I think everyone should read this unless you hate kittens or thinking about life. The End.

Book I Read and then Randomly got to Meet and High Five the Author: Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan. (he's adorable and funny and goodnatured.)

An Unexpected Delight: The Last Dragonslayer, Jasper Fforde. Dragons! Humor! Mind-twisting plot!

I Changed My Mind About: The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald. I hated this book for a long time, until this year when I realized that I actually love it.

And yes ... I did in fact re-read Blackout/All Clear yet again this year. I can't help it. Just typing this now makes me want to read them again this very minute. Seriously: if you have never read this duo (or anything else by Connie Willis), what are you waiting for.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 1st, 2014 01:52 am (UTC)
Love your recs! Thanks.

Will have to get Blackout/All Clear in paper. Listening didn't work. Couldn't keep enough straight. Tom bought "To Say Nothing of the Dog" and I'm very excited he's going to get sucked in to the wonder that is Willis.
Jan. 4th, 2014 07:16 pm (UTC)
I've read the duo four times, I think, and even now I'm not sure I could keep things straight with the audio version. There's just SO much plot twisty-ness (and non-linear timelines) that I think text versions are a must in this case.

I've now named both my cats after cats in To Say Nothing of the Dog. :)
Jan. 1st, 2014 05:55 pm (UTC)
It sounds to me like your trade-off was toward increased personal adventure, of the good kind. Increasing reading to the detriment of good life stuff would miss the point.
Jan. 4th, 2014 07:18 pm (UTC)
Yep! It was a good balance, although I hope to get just a little more reading done this year.
Jan. 3rd, 2014 08:47 am (UTC)
I really would like to try to commit to reading more, but I'm scared to death that this resolution/goal will get blown out of the water by all the changes ahead of me in the next few months (baby, house, etc). But...I guess there's always audio books, right? ;)

Maybe I should give this a shot.
Jan. 4th, 2014 07:21 pm (UTC)
Make it a small goal, and then you can likely have the satisfaction of not just meeting it, but beating it. :) Because yes, I wouldn't do *anything* too ambitious in any year when a baby arrives!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )