December 30, 2021
Happy New Year Book Worms!
2021 Reading Stats and 2022 Goals
Brace yourself for a nerdy post, bookaholics!
Have you ever set a reading goal or considered a reading challenge?
Reading in 2021
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 2022.
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 2022. Has the variety this year been satisfactory for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts! In fact, I may put together a survey in January.
2021 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 2021
Let’s Talk Numbers!
Total Books Read: 119
Remember….it’s really not about the numbers! It’s about the enjoyment of reading.
This number is down a bit from last year’s high of 131, 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.
Books Abandoned (DNF): 7
I’m getting better at knowing my reading tastes and passing on books/genres that I know won’t be to my taste. I’m also 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. Are you a fearless abandoner or a committed finisher?
Women Authors: 102!
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!
Diverse Reads: 20
For this number, I counted the books that take place in a culture other than my own, whose characters are ethnically different from me, and whose author is an author of color. It was my focus this year to intentionally read and promote authors of color. I have read other books in a broader sense of diversity, and it’s always my goal to read more diversely.
One stat I enjoy tracking each year is the percentage of books I read that are from the library.
Library = 41 (34%)
ARC (advanced readers copy from the publisher) = 40 (34%)
Own = 38 (32%)
I didn’t realize until I counted them up that the percentage is evenly distributed! Between library books and ARCs, 68% of my books are free! Great kindle deals help me buy books to own.
Fiction: (Broken Down by Sub-Genre): 107
The sub-genres add up to a more than 107 because a few books fall into more than one category.
Historical Fiction: 29
This is obviously a favorite sub-genre! See my top five memorable histfic reads in this post.
Literary Fiction: 4
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 character driven (usually) and known as literature 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 title this year in the category is Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.
Women’s Fiction: 57
Wow! This is the first time I’ve ever read this much “women’s fiction”! There were months when these books 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.” Two of my favorites in this category are Three Words For Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb and Yours Cheerfully by AJ Pearce.
Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Science Fiction: 8
Clearly, I don’t read too much in this category because real life is scary enough….mainly, the books I read in this category are best sellers that I want to form my own opinion about. Although I rarely read scifi, my favorite read in this category is the audio version of Project Hail Mary…simply fabulous!
Issue Centered: 5
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 The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom (what if God appeared to you when you called out?)
Middle Grade: 12
I love a great Middle Grade read! There’s some enjoyable and engaging literature in this category for adults! Two of my favorites are Ghost by Jason Reynolds and Other Words For Home by Jasmine Warga.
Young Adult: 6
I didn’t read in this category as much as in previous years. One of my favorites this year is Firekeeper’s Daughter.
Nonfiction (broken down into sub-genres): 12
This is a definite area for improvement for me in 2022! My goal is to have a 20% nonfiction percentage. In this second year of the pandemic, I have been more drawn to escapist reads! My favorite nonfiction in 2021 is The Day the World Came to Town (don’t miss the Broadway musical Come From Away streaming on AppleTV +).
Memoir is a favorite form of nonfiction.
Narrative Nonfiction: 1
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 this year to compare them (a blog post about this coming soon). One of the delights of using Story Graph is that it provides you with neat charts and graphs to help summarize your reading. My Story Graph handle is reading_ladies_blog. Here are a few of my 2021 charts/graphs:
Let’s Consider New 2022 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, and 2021, and it’s reasonable that I will meet it again. Retirement and pandemic isolation help tremendously! The 2022 Goodreads challenge will be available at the first of the year. Are we friends on Goodreads?
This year I used StoryGraph concurrently with Goodreads to compare and contrast the two platforms. A blog post about that is coming soon.
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 2022, read widely and diversely, and increase my nonfiction percentage.
What reading goals do you have for 2022?
Happy New Year! I hope you’ve experienced some pleasurable and challenging reading in 2021 and are eagerly anticipating the reading year ahead!
Did you meet your reading goal for 2021?
What is your 2022 Reading Goal?
Do you use a method for tracking your reads during the year?
Have you considered your best read of the year? (see my most memorable reads of 2021 in this post and my top five historical fiction reads in this post.)
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
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