2016 wasn’t a great year in a lot of respects. For one thing, I got hit by a car while riding my bike. Thankfully, it wasn’t serious, but I did struggle for a while to find my footing after the fact. Oh, and also. There was the whole election thing when Trump won and now it feels like we’re screeching toward a dark, deep oblivion where we’ll never know happiness again. Basically, Trump’s presidency = getting the kiss of death from a dementor.
There was one way the year did not let me down. It was my one big bright spot. It was always good. Always reassuring.
My one real goal was to read more than 30 books, as I’d never been able to eclipse that number in year’s past. Other than that, my only other tangible goal was to track the books I read on a spreadsheet. Here’s a few of the outcomes:
Books read: 37 (I did it!)
Pages read: 10,837
Types of books read: 9 nonfiction books (my favorite was Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance), 28 fiction books (my favorites were Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami).
Average book rating (on a scale of 1-5): 4
female/male author breakdown: 30 female authors, 7 male authors
POC authors: 4
Number of Audiobooks: 1
I loved tracking all of this. It’s helped to show me my very clear reading preferences and trends. I gravitate toward female authors. Reading through my list also shows me that I also tend to be drawn to debut works by female authors. Oh, and most of the authors are white. There’s not a ton of author diversity there.
I’ve learned that the best nonfiction works for me are memoirs or essays. I’ve also learned that, though I LOVE the idea of audiobooks, for whatever reason listening to fiction is a struggle for me. The only audiobook I completed this year was Yes, Please by Amy Poehler. Nonfiction/memoir audiobooks work best, especially when read by the author.
Another trend I saw: the closer we got to the end of the calendar year, the less I read. This is something I remember from 2015 as well, but I wasn’t tracking it at that time. I’m not sure what it is about the late fall/early winter time of November and December, but I found it more difficult to sink into reading during those months. I read only 1 book in November and 2 in December. The most books I read in a month was 5 (May and October).
With all that said, I have one specific goal and several general goals for 2017. I want to read 40 books. I know that’s only 3 more than I read this year, but…baby steps. I want to diversify my reading a bit, too. For instance, I LOVE fiction. However, maybe I can break away from gravitating toward debut releases from white, female authors? There’s too many good books out there to continually be sucked in by buzzworthy books. I want to continue reading more nonfiction that excites me (more memoirs and essays). I also want to read books by authored by folks other than white Americans.
So there we have it… 2017 reading goals are listed. Time for 52 (well, 51-ish at this point) of dedicated reading!