A Year In Review: Reading
Last year, I analyzed my reading and wrote down some goals for 2017. Here are my 2017 goals from this post (opens in a new tab.)
- I want to read 125 books in 2017.
- I want 30% of what I read to be *by* a person of color. Not just characters who are POC.
- I’m only going to buy physical copies of books that my friends write because I have not a lot of space and read everything else digitally because that’s how I apparently read. Or in audiobook format. My commute will triple starting in 10 days and I’m intending on using that for lots and lots of audiobooks.
- I’d like to read more nonfiction that isn’t research for a book, especially essay collections. I really enjoyed the handful of memoirs I read this year so more of those, and more on esoteric topics because I’d like to be as smart as I was 7 years ago, please. (Also because I am preparing myself for the next four years of anti-intellectualism and the need to be self-educated to resist).
I did not achieve any of these three. I don’t think I anticipated a) how hard it’d be to stay on top of my reading while debuting b) how short my attention span would be.
This year, I was the chronic non-finisher of books. I have–and I counted–43 books I picked up and did not finish and I would say for over 30 of those books, it’s on me, not the book. My attention span was completely shot. For the first 8 months of the year, I couldn’t get away from my phone. And for the rest of the year, I was debuting and I…did not read a lot of books this fall, I have to be honest. This was a real problem for me in 2017. I’m not sure how to fix that but…I need to work on it.
I wanted to break down my stats again. So here’s the nitty gritty.
I set the goal of 125 books.
I read 106 books.
I read 46 romance books.
I read 33 YA books (10 spec, 18 contemporary, 5 historical).
I read 5 MG books.
I read 2 poetry books.
I read 7 nonfiction books.
I read 3 picture books.
I read 3 adult SFF books.
I read 2 comic books.
I read 5 serial fiction ‘episodes’ (Serial Box Publishing.)
I read 90 unique authors, 82 women, 8 men. (Zero nonbinary authors to my knowledge…hopefully I did not mess that up.) Of those, only 11 were authors of color (known–there were several romance authors who are writing under pen names and I don’t know their race.) I read 2 Black authors, 3 Asian authors, 1 Latinx author, 11 queer authors (out), and 3 disabled authors (known/out).
Of those books, 18 had main characters (protagonists or POVs) of color. Of those books, 13 had main characters who were queer (protagonists or POVs). Of those books, 3 characters were disabled.
So as you can see, I fell way short on my goal to finish (not just start!) books by authors of color. My reading is still very straight, very white, very able/able-bodied.
So for the new year, I am making a conscious effort, again, to diversify my reading. A big part of that will be diversifying my Romance reading, which, as an act of self-care, still remains a bulk of my yearly reading. I have received some great recs, so I’m going to start there. I’m also going to stack the books by authors of color that I didn’t finish in 2017 at the top before I start on 2018 releases.
I also am going to do quarterly check-ins on my reading, so I can course correct, ask for recommendations, etc.
Why does this matter? Why do I think it’s important to course correct?
Because when left to my own devices, I seek out literature that is safe and reflects my upbringing and life, and does not expand my world. And I believe *deeply* that a core part of reading is universe expansion.
So here are my 2018 reading goals:
- Read 115 books
- Read 30 books by authors of color
- Read 15 ownvoices LGBTQIA books
- Read 5 ownvoices disabled books
- Read 5 books of poetry
- Read 5 picture books
- Read 10 middle grade books
- Read 2 nonfiction books not related to a book I’m researching or about writing
Tell me your 2018 reading goals here, or on Twitter at @bibliogato.
One thought on “A Year in Review: Reading”
Every year my plan is to read at least 52 books total (seems like a reasonable number – a book a week). Usually, I surpass it by reading 70-90 books. Don’t want to motivate myself with quantity. Last year for the first time I introduced some constraints as to WHAT KIND of books I’d be reading, like you did. It worked really well for me.
So I decided to add some specifics for 2018 as well:
– at least 15 books I own (physical or e-book)
– at least 5 books over 500 pages long
– at least 5 books written before 1950
– at least 5 books for work
– at least 2 books in Spanish + at least 1 audiobook in Spanish
– at least 2 poetry books
– at least 2 books of Ukrainian literature
– at least 2 books about art