2012 was not my greatest reading year in purely numerical terms; in fact, it was my slowest reading year since I started blogging. I completed a total of 138 books, the lowest number since 2006. There are a few reasons for this. The primary one is really that a friend gave me a computer, which I’ve since upgraded almost entirely, and I’ve been spending a lot more time since April playing various games on my own and with others, rather than reading and reviewing as I thought I would. I also started to spend some regular time with friends and my husband and I had stretches of time where we watched a lot of episodes of TV shows at once (namely How I Met Your Mother and Babylon 5). I’m not disappointed by this, but it’s strange not to approach 200 books for the first time in so long!
This is also the first year that speculative fiction – science fiction and fantasy – have outweighed historical fiction and romance since I started keeping track of genres, with 56 of the former and 50 of the latter. I’ve known and said for a long while now that I’ve been moving away from historical fiction, and the numbers are finally showing those feelings to be correct. I read a lot of urban fantasy this year and I’m getting more and more interested in science fiction at last.
Like last year, I haven’t borrowed any books from the library; the two books that I did read which were borrowed were from my mother and someone at work (I refused to purchase Fifty Shades of Grey). I’ve been working full-time all year and am now very comfortable buying whatever I feel like reading at any given time, within reason obviously, and I’d rather buy a book than pay a library fine. I also read nearly 62% of my own books, which is a higher number than since I started getting review copies. I stuck with my high percentage of female authors, around 68% this year.
If I’m disappointed by anything, it’s the low number of non-fiction books I read, just 18. That was one of last year’s goals and one that I spectacularly failed. Despite loving most history that I read, I seem to regularly decide that I don’t have the brain power for it and leave it to the side.
So! What would I like to accomplish with this year of reading?
- Read more non-fiction. Surprise, surprise – rather than letting these collect dust on bookshelves, as they have this year, I’d like to actually start making progress with history. I’m going to start with an aim of reading 20 books, to at least go over this year’s 18, but more would be brilliant.
- Read older books. This is another goal from last year that completely languished. I read 35 books that I got before 2012 in that year. Only 7 of those, however, were acquired before 2011, and in reality, I acquired well over half of my unread book collection before 2011, so I’m basically not touching those books at all. I don’t want that to continue. I’d like to set a goal of reading at least 1 book acquired before 2011 every month. Small, but progress.
- Be prompter at reviewing. I read less now, so I don’t have much excuse when my to-be-reviewed pile starts to stack up. I’m going to aim to review at least two books I read a week, which is close-ish to how many I read in total, and I won’t stress about which books I do and don’t review (unless they are review copies, of course). If it’s an urban fantasy series, I’ll probably continue not to review books after the first in the series, for example. I’m okay with reading even fewer books if I can get better with my blogging again.
Otherwise, I’m going to stick to what I’ve been doing, reading mostly my own books but keeping relatively up-to-date with my review copies. I’m happy with the quality and the variety of what I’ve been reading.
My non-reading goal is actually to get into the habit of writing fiction every day. I’ve set a goal of 500 words a day, and we’ll see how I do with sticking to that. I’m not trying to get anywhere with it, not yet, just trying to condition myself to actually do it.
What are your reading goals for 2013?