Happy New Year Book Worms!
Do you track your reading? Are you a stats nerd?
It’s time to reflect on 2022 Reading Stats and set 2023 Reading Goals.
2022 Reading Stats and 2023 Goals
Brace yourself for a nerdy post, bookaholics!
Have you ever set a reading goal or considered a reading challenge?
Reading in 2022
I’d love to hear from you if you analyze reading data at year’s end. Although I’ve always been analytical, I think my appreciation for using data to plan was heightened during my tenure as a teacher when I poured over student data to inform my teaching. Now, instead of looking at student achievement, I’m paying attention to my own numbers as it relates to reading achievement. I realize that while numbers are not that important in a rewarding reading life, they do reveal some trends and inform future reading choices. It’s important to me that I’m reading diversely, supporting women authors, and increasing my nonfiction percentage. While this post about the numbers is mostly a self-reflection, I hope you find it interesting and possibly motivating toward considering your own reading achievement during the past year and setting some goals for the New Year.
If you’ve read ONE book this year, you’re a reader and I encourage you to celebrate that read and accomplishment!
I’d also like to know (in comments) what you’d like to see more of or less of on the blog for 2023. Has the variety this year been satisfactory for you?
2022 has been another challenging year, but I’m also so grateful for wonderful books and delightful bookish conversation! Thank you to each of my followers and visitors! Thanks for the views, comments, and shares! I appreciate EACH one!
Best of 2022
See this post for my list of especially satisfying reads in 2022.
My official Top Ten List will be published on January 3.
Let’s Talk Numbers!
Total Books Read: 123
Remember….it’s really not about the numbers! It’s about the enjoyment of reading.
This number is up a bit from last year, but as long as I’m above 100 I’m satisfied. I averaged 25-30 books a year when I was teaching full time and the majority of those were read during the summer. For me in this season of life, 100 books is a comfortable number. I average two books per week and the weeks when I can only read one dense nonfiction or a 500+ page fiction are balanced out later when I can read 3 lighter, shorter books in one week. Pictured below is a Goodreads generated summary for 2022.
Books Abandoned (DNF): 11
I’m getting better at knowing my reading tastes and passing on books/genres that I know won’t be to my taste. Although eleven is my official DNF number, this does not take into account the books I abandoned after reading only a few paragraphs or pages and didn’t bother to record. I’m not reluctant to abandon books that aren’t working for me. There are too many great books waiting to be read to make myself finish something that isn’t right for me at the time. Related Posts: My Love Hate Relationship With DNF. Confessions From an Outlier.
Women Authors: 115! (93%)
One of my goals in starting this blog is to support women authors writing about strong women and I feel like I’ve had success in this area. We’ve certainly come a long way since the days when women had to publish under a man’s name!
Authors of Color: 8
Reading and promoting authors of color is one of my primary reading objectives, and I’ve really fallen short this year. I can’t give a reason, except that there were not that many books that matched my reading tastes. Another contributing factor is that the publishers or the publicity teams that offer ARCs are not promoting enough authors of color. The few I read were wonderful reads (two ended up on my best of year list), so in my mind the number was inflated. That’s why tracking is important….data reveals the reality. Hopefully, next year will show improvement. Three of my fav stories this year by authors of color include The Last Summer on State Street by Toya Wolfe, The Thread Collectors by Edwards and Richman, and The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb.
One stat I enjoy tracking each year is the percentage of books from various sources.
Library = 24 (20%)
ARC (advanced readers copy from the publisher) = 61 (50%)
Own = 38 (30%)
70% of my books are free! Great kindle deals help me buy books to own.
Forty-three 4.5-5 Star Reads
(WOW! highly recommended, memorable)
Fifty-three 4 Star Reads
(very good read)
Twenty 3-3.5 Star Reads
(just OK, no WOW factor, mixed bag)
Seven 2 Star Reads
(not especially enjoyable but I finished or skimmed it)
(usually my DNFs)
Fiction: (Broken Down by Sub-Genre): 110
The sub-genres add up to more than 110 because a few books fall into more than one category.
Historical Fiction: 50
This is obviously a favorite sub-genre! Almost half of the fiction I read is historical. (Also, this is why I think I read more nonfiction than I do!) My favorite histfic this year is The Girl From Guernica by Karen Robards.
Literary Fiction: 8
This is a category that brings about some debate among readers….the most simple definition is that literary fiction is not genre fiction. Also, it’s usually character-driven and written to explore the meaning of life and its issues….for example, most prestigious award recipients and national prize winners are categorized as literary fiction. My favorite literary fiction this year is The Winners by Fredrik Backman. Even though it has a page-turning plot, there is heavy character development and an emphasis on addressing some big issues in life.
Women’s Fiction: 45
Ever since the pandemic started, I’ve been reading more “women’s fiction.” There were months when these lighter, escapist reads were a balm to my pandemic brain! Again, a reader’s definition may vary….for me they are books in which most characters are women and the plot centers around women’s concerns and issues….some in this category are lighter reads that readers refer to as “beach reads” or “vacation reads.” One of my favorite lighter, escapist reads this year is The Christmas Castle in Scotland by Julie Caplin. There are also more and more women’s fiction/historical fiction mash ups. Two favorite women’s fiction/histfic mashups this year include The Next Ship Home by Heather Webb and The Sisters of Seaview by Julie Klassen.
Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Science Fiction: 6
Clearly, I don’t read too much in this category because real life is scary enough. My go-to mystery read of the year is usually Louise Penny’s new installment of the Inspector Gamache series; however, this year’s content was too disturbing and I ended up skim reading it. Several of the histfic stories I read have sides of thriller such as The Girl From Guernica by Karen Robards and I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys (YA). Although I rarely read scifi, I did read a good Middle Grade scifi, A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga.
Issue Centered: 6
The main purpose of these stories is to focus on a certain issue. I usually enjoy these books unless they are heavily agenda driven by the author. My favorite title in this category is Hello Stranger by Katherine Center (living with a brain injury). Review coming soon.
Middle Grade: 5
I love a great Middle Grade read! There’s some enjoyable and engaging literature in this category for adults! Two of my favorites this year are A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus and A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga.
Young Adult: 3
I didn’t read in this category as much as in previous years. My favorite this year is I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys (which made my best of year list).
Nonfiction (broken down into sub-genres): 13
My goal is to have a 20% nonfiction percentage. I’m far away from that goal. My favorite nonfiction reads in 2022 include The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield and Atomic Habits by James Clear.
Narrative Nonfiction: 2
Nonfiction written in story format.
You may have heard about Story Graph, an alternative book tracking app to Goodreads. I decided to use both Goodreads and Story Graph and compare them (a blog post here about the results). I remain undecided, so I’m still using both. Two delights of using Story Graph include the ability to use half stars and the neat charts and graphs. My Story Graph handle is reading_ladies_blog. Here are two of my 2022 charts/graphs:
Let’s Consider New 2023 Goals
(please share yours in comments):
Goodreads Reading Challenge (determine how many books you’d like to read and track them through the Goodreads app). This is the easiest of the goals/challenges as it simply involves setting a number. This number can be adjusted throughout the year if you are reading above or below your goal. I recommend setting a reasonable goal and then raising it if necessary. My goal is 100 books. I met this goal in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, and it’s reasonable that I will meet it again. Retirement helps tremendously! The 2023 Goodreads challenge will be available at the first of the year. Are we friends on Goodreads?
I want to curate a satisfying reading life in which I read what I want, when I want! (Thus, no other challenges for me this year.) I’ve come to the conclusion that life is hard enough without adding book challenges.
My goals are simple: read at least 100 books in 2023, read widely and diversely, and increase my nonfiction percentage.
What reading goals do you have for 2023?
Happy New Year! I hope you’ve experienced some pleasurable and challenging reading in 2022 and are eagerly anticipating the reading year ahead!
Did you meet your reading goal for 2022?
What is your 2023 Reading Goal?
Do you use a method for tracking your reads during the year?
Have you considered your best read of the year? My Top Ten List for 2022 will be published on January 3.
Happy Reading Book Worms!
“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes
“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text
Let’s Get Social!
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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.
Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.
What a great roundup! I love how you broke down the stats and the different categories/sub categories you included. Just sent you a friend request!
Thanks for your kind comments Patricia! I gotcha on GR! 🙌
Your tracking is so fun! I haven’t really done this but I’m interested in starting something (albeit less detailed) for 2023.
Thanks Stephanie! Tracking is good nerdish fun! Happy 2023 reading!
My goal on Goodreads will be 75 again. I read about 85 this year. The only time I’ve gone over 100 was during Covid lockdown. A friend and I make our own reading challenge taken from other challenges. There are 12 books on the challenge, so not too much pressure. this helps us expand our reading experience. This year we added a Western! Neither of us have read a Western before. It should be fun.
75 is a very fine number! So fun to do a buddy challenge! Book people are the best people! For a western, I recommend News of the World (followed by a movie night!). Thanks for commenting Virginia! Happy 2023 reading!
I use Goodreads for my reading record and challenge myself to 100 books each year. I always make that comfortably but don’t want to put pressure on so will choose the same number for the 2023 challenge. I’m away to see if we are friends on Goodreads now. 😊
No pressured reading! It felt so freeing to pass on some of the challenges I participated in over the years. I hope we’re friends on GR…if not, I look forward to remedying that! Thanks for commenting and I appreciate our bookish friendship! Happy 2023 reading!
I love nerdy posts! I track my reading on Goodreads and also in a notebook (which is my preferred method). I don’t do charts or graphs of any kind, but I love to look at them. I fell short of my Goodreads goal of 100 this year, with 97. That doesn’t bother me, I was doing other things and didn’t have as much reading time. I love your simple goals for 2023! “I want to curate a satisfying reading life in which I read what I want, when I want!” I couldn’t agree more.
Here’s to a satisfying reading life in 2023! (I don’t think we are friends on Goodreads, I’ll remedy that)
Thanks for commenting Gretchen! 97 is an admirable number! I wish I had the patience to keep a paper reading journal. Happy 2023 reading!
I am also nerdy 🤓🧐 with stats so this was definitely fun to read! Just sent you a friend request on Goodreads as well 😊
2022 is my first year making my own reading tracker on Excel so it will be fun to put my stats together tomorrow. I’m still trying to get a couple of books in 😅 before the new year!
Thanks for commenting Peachy! Enjoy collecting your excel stats! 🙌 I look forward to connecting with you on Goodreads. Happy 2023 reading!
Congratulations on a great year!
I always start out using a spreadsheet that will provide handy stats at the end of the year, but forget about it part way through!
I enjoy your site just as it is, wishing you a happy new year!
Thank you Shelleyrae! Goodreads seems to work the best for me (as far as remembering) and I do use an excel spreadsheet also to track to track a few extra categories. I update my excel spreadsheet at the end of the month when I’m doing other routine blog maintenance tasks. I’m so thrilled we connected in the bookish blogging community! Happy 2023 reading!
I said immensely the same thing about 2023 🤣
Lovely to hear from you Athena! Happy 2023 reading and blogging!
Carol your posts are always diverse and interesting. I haven’t set my reading goals for 2023 yet, but I guess I had better hurry as it’s New Year’s Eve here in New Zealand. I thought I was going to have more time for reading in 2023 having retired twice in 2022. But I have been made a very interesting offer in the form of a twelve month contract which I think I am going to accept. I have until 7 January to decide. So I may keep my goals low. I can always increase them. Wishing you many interesting and rewarding reads in 2023, along with good health and much love and laughter. 🥂❤📚
Lol! You are so busy retiring! So cute!
Thanks for your kind words! I’m thrilled we are bookish friends! Happy 2023 reading….when you’re not busy retiring or working!😂😂😂
Happy New Year! 🥂
I only just realised you are a fellow teacher. You read so much, with great reviews. Happy 2023!
I’m retired now but still a teacher at heart! Happy New Year, Jamie! 🥂
Fab round-up Carol! I’ve read 148 which I think us the most I’ve read in a year. I love StoryGraph and definitely prefer it to Goodreads, which feels so buggy abd bloated these days. I’ve still got my Goodreads account but don’t update as regularly as I did. Here’s to another wonderful bookish 2023!
You’ve had an amazing year! Happy reading in 2023! 🥂
Thank you, Carol. I enjoy your style of writing and your professional knowledge of literature. We both enjoy data so I loved your analysis. You have inspired me to set a reading goal for next year.
Happy New Year
Thank you for commenting Diana! Happy goal setting and reading in 2023! 🥂📚
This is a phenomenal breakdown, Carol! I love seeing those graphs too. But, wow, that’s an amazing number for the year. I hope you’ll be able to do just as well if not better in 2023, Carol. Happy New Year! 😀
Thanks Lashaan! Being retired helps tremendously! Now I read like it’s my job!
If I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t have it any other way too!!! 😀
What a wonderful round up, Carol! Looks like you had a great year of reading. I hope you have a wonderful year in 2023 too!
Thanks Wendy! I’m thrilled to have connected with you this year! Happy New Year! 🥂
Had to smile at your comments about how you’ve read so many more books in retirement than you managed during a working life. Before retirement I envisaged the same experience but it hasn’t happened – somehow I never seem to have time during the day to read. Always too many other activities to do.
I think the reason I read so much in retirement is because I started my blog the very afternoon I retired and in my mind it became my job! 😂 plus I’ve always been a huge reader and not having time or energy to read as much during my working years was a huge frustration.
Ah well now that makes sense.
[…] for reading, cozy fires, hot chocolate, and reflection. I wrote a post on December 30 discussing my 2022 reading stats and 2023 intentions. This post lists more specific (reading) goals. (in no particular […]
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