I said farewell and good riddance to 2016 three days ago. I set a reading challenge goal of seventy-five (75) books at the start of last year.
I participated in three real-world book discussion groups in order to diversify my reading horizons. I nominated, voted and attended the Hugo Awards during 2016. I joined two reading programs at my local library (summer and winter). I also set other personal goals that I didn’t statistically track but achieved despite real-world hurdles.
I began the year by reading my first ever graphic novel – Persopolis by Satrapi – one of three graphic novels I would read in 2016, two of which were for different book clubs. I wrapped up the year with my second ever Hemingway book in paperback edition – his memoir A Moveable Feast – for a total of eighty-eight (88) books read. Click here for a complete list of books I read in 2016.
88 looks like double infinity sideways to me (hence the odd title to this blog post).
I surprised myself by splitting my reading up almost perfectly between audiobooks (32%), ebooks (35%) and print editions (30%). The remaining three percent (3%) fell in an unknown or blank binding type on the export I produced from my GoodReads library catalog. I suspect they were the short works I read for the Hugo Awards which came in various formats (mostly electronic or website links).
I continued my practice of not rating anything through GoodReads with a slight modification. As I’ve remarked upon in previous blogs here, I use shelves to rate books at GoodReads. Most of the time a book will end up on the ‘liked-it’ shelf (63% last year), but the occasional dud will land on the ‘meh’ shelf (15% for 2016) or, for the truly ignoble authorial efforts, on the ‘abandoned’ shelf. My ‘loved-it’ shelf gets few additions each year, usually less than ten. Last year I added fourteen (not including a few anthologies and re-reads) to that shelf or twenty percent (20%) of my reading. And, for the first time since I swore off rating books, I allowed myself to give five-star ratings to a subset of those as a way of showing support to those authors.
I read sixteen (16) non-fiction works last year which amounts to only eighteen percent (18%) and none of them landed on my love-it shelf. I still much prefer fiction, but oddly enough my two fiction book clubs read non-fiction works as selections more than once last year. My one non-fiction book club struggled with a lack of leadership and direction and met only three or four times. We resolve to do better in 2017!
I feel good about what I read last year, especially if one of every five books I’m reading I’m really enjoying. Kudos to all my friends, to all the libraries (@kclibrary and @lansinglibks) and librarians, to all the book-related blogs and feeds (@tordotcom) I follow and to the authors (@JannyWurts and @KameronHurley) I follow and go out of my way to support. Without you, I would be floundering around without a clue what to read next. Instead, I have a seemingly infinite shelf full of the next best reads just waiting for me to dive in and immerse myself somewhere else and in someone else.