Thursday, December 19, 2013

Reflecting on 2013 Reading

I've been doing lots of reflecting lately. This time of year always seems to bring these thoughts around, and of course my reading is included in these reflections. Every year always seems to sort itself into some sort of trend, and this year has had several.


This was a year of reading women. 

Right this minute, I've read 72 books for the year, and I will probably manage to squeeze in a few more before we're into 2014. Of those 72 books, 48 of them have been authored by women. And WOW! That's a big change from my past reading experience. For many years I read more male authors than female, and then the numbers got more even, but this year the authoresses take the cake. And it seems to be working for me because this has been the best year of reading I've had in probably 5 years?


This was a year of reading backlist. 

While earlier on in the year I tackled a few frontlist offerings, I really set my sights on backlist, especially in the latter half of the year. I have probably 250-300 books on my TBR, and there is a REASON why I bought them! The ones I own now have survived endless culling, and they're books I genuinely want to read, so I devoted myself to giving them some love, and I could not be more thrilled with the results.



This was a year of making lists. 

And sticking to them! I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I used to suck at following any kind of challenge or TBR planning. But somehow things clicked into place this year. I suspect it has something to do with the challenges on my time. Having a list of books I want to read at any given time actually helps me focus instead of bouncing all over the place to find something to read.

I'll be posting my favorite books of the year after Christmas, or maybe early in 2014. I can't stand the thought of doing it now and reading one or two more great books. But these trends have clearly established themselves, so I figured I'd go ahead and celebrate them. They've made for a stunning 2013.

What trends have you seen pop up in your 2013 reading? 






28 comments:

  1. It looks like a great year regarding books, Andi!
    I usually read a lot of female authors every year, not on purpose, but it happens to be like that everytime I look at the books I've read.
    Well, hope 2014 is also a great reading year :)

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    1. Thanks, Isi! I'm definitely looking forward to reading more female authors in 2014. I think that's a trend that might still...especially because there are tons of woman-authored books on my TBR. :)

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  2. So glad you had an awesome reading year! Mine, on the other hand, has been pretty lackluster . . . a few outstanding reads (like Maryanne O'Hara's Cascade), but mostly lukewarm. Of course, I was seriously distracted and read fewer books this year than I have at all post-college (six years! Sigh), but I'm hoping to get back on track in 2014. And definitely read more backlist titles.

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    1. Thanks, Meg! I'm sure 2014 will sort itself out as you're settling in. :)

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  3. I admit that one of my favorite parts of this time of year is my book and reading analysis! Happy listing...

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    1. It's so much fun, isn't it Care?

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  4. Yay for a great year of reading! My year hasn't gone so well. I still haven't figured out why but there weren't too many reads that stayed with me. Next year I plan on reading more books from my tbr pile.

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    1. I hope your reading picks back up in 2014, Natasha!

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  5. Great trends! I should go through my list for the year and see what I would find. I know I read a lot of ARCs, which was fun (this was my first full year book blogging after all)...but next year I would love to fall back on some older titles instead.

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    1. Thanks, Kelly! Reading ARCs is fun, but if I read or request too many of them I feel a bit like I'm back in school with too many deadlines. Eeek!

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  6. Hmm, I don't know if there were any trends in my reading, this year. I need to sit down and look at my lists but I haven't sent out any cards or wrapped any gifts so . . . priorities.

    Oh, ditto the comment you made to Kelly, above. I've been whining about the burden of ARCs for years. It's unfortunate that I'm such a wimp when it comes to books. I have waaaay too many, as is, and I'm a slow reader so it's silly to give in to the deadline pressure involved. But, I persist. I'll keep trying to buck up my intestinal fortitude when it comes to saying, "No, thank you."

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  7. Looks like a great year of reading! Looking back I seem to have read mostly books by women. It's not something I particularly try to do, I just seem to be drawn more to books written by women. I think next year I want to do more backlist reading, I can imagine it is very satisfying.
    I hope 2014 is a great year for you too :D

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  8. Yay for having a good reading year! I read less this year - less than 100 books, and discovered I'd like to keep it around 100 - I'm not satidfied with less.

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  9. I love that you had such great luck with your backlist this year! I think I just read more widely than I ever have, and it gave me a great vision of what I do and don't like.

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  10. I'm so impressed by your working through the backlist this year! I am pondering resolutions for next year because this was the year of flying by the seat of my pants!

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  11. That's a good question. I'm sure to have read lots of books from authors of colour and women. I'll probably need to look a bit closer if I want to be sure of that though. ;) I thoroughly enjoyed following your reading here on your blog and over on You Tube of course. I'll be taking my 8 days away at my mother-in-law's(no internet) to read like mad and to reflect on my reading goals for 2014. I feel I need to be more ambitious with my blog and more organised with my reading to chop away at my monstrous unread book pile. I hope we can get some book tubers together to do a buddy read of Kavalier and Clay and maybe do a Google hangout discussion. I think that would be fun. Are you in? Thanks again Andi for sharing your love for good stories! I really appreciate it! :)

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  12. Sounds like you've had a great year of reading. And congratulations on all the female authors!! I'm going to be putting together some stats on my reading soon and we will see where i fall on the male/female divide. Right now i think it is about even, but we shall see!

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  13. I read more consistently than ever...doubling the number of books I read just two years ago. Other than that, I'm not sure. But this year I want to hit my TBR like you did this year. I too have a couple hundred books at home that I want to read still.

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  14. I'm impressed that you've been able to stick to your lists! I love making them, but rarely seem to follow through.

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  15. I hear ya. I have to get to that backlist, but the new shiny books are just so enticing. I watched my reading this year turn toward more serious nonfiction ("chunksters," even) and I learned that I adore history. How could I not have known that about myself before now? Here's hoping your 2014 reads are even better than 2013!

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  16. I've been reading all review copies all the time. Once I really got in with the publicity people, I went on a binge and asked for every ARC ever! And I really regret it (though it was a great year for books) because there are so many 2012 titles I want to read! I can't wait till I'm done reviewing and can read freely again!

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  17. That is one crazy TBR! Dang! There aren't any obvious trends with my reading this year, although when I start looking at doing my best-of list maybe some will pop up.

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  18. Congrats on your making your reading goals. I'd like to read more from my backlist in 2014. And I like making lists too which are quite helpful. I fell a bit short in 2013 with my reading but vow to do better in 2014. cheers
    http://www.thecuecard.com/

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  19. Making lists for me used to be the one way to guarantee I wouldn't read a book, but I think I might try again this year to get books off my shelves. I want to start keeping the books I love and giving away the ones that I don't. I love that you were able to knock off a bunch of books from your shelves and you are inspiring me to do the same! I have a ton of books at the office also. If I could get rid of those too... That would be great. Maybe my goal will be just to get rid of three books from home and one from the office and then I'll have at least two or three books from other places a month depending on the length. Hmm I'm going to have to think about this! Thanks for the food for thought!

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  20. That is too cool that you were able to stick to your lists! I can stick with my to-do lists for work and personal but when it comes to reading I'm strictly at a reading at whim kinda-girl :)

    Isn't it great to think about what the reading year ahead has in store for us. Can't wait!

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  21. Good for you that you can make a list and stick to it. I'm good at actually writing the list - it's the sticking to them I find challenging. It doesn't help that I continuously re-write and update the list :)

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  22. I found myself reading a lot more books by women authors this year, too. I used to associate women authors with women’s fiction (I know, I know) but have really enjoyed discovering female writers who don’t fit into the Nora Roberts or Jackie Collins stereotype.

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  23. I think your lists of books to read do the same thing as having review obligations does by narrowing your choices. Trying to pick one book out of 300 is just so hard to do!

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