What a year, huh? Never mind Covid — a real buzz kill — but in 2021 we moved house twice, and a couple weeks ago we celebrated the birth of our daughter. Despite all that turbulence, I managed to read 151 books this year (including graphic novels; a real saviour recently, when reading prose has felt far too hard an undertaking). You can check out my favourites here.
According to Goodreads, I read 43,911 pages. Based on their stats, my average book length was 290 pages. My longest was Ken Follett’s Never (816 pages) and my shortest was The Dry Heat by Natalia Ginzberg (86 pages).
That’s 14 fewer than last year, for those keeping score, and I imagine that number is going to be reduced further in the years that follow as my regular reading time is absorbed by parental commitments. But it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality and enjoyment.
Anyway, we’ll talk about 2022 next December. Let’s carry on with my 2021 breakdown.
If 2020 was good for anything — besides, y’know, moving in with my girlfriend, getting engaged, and being named Young Bookseller of the Year — it was reading. And this year I totalled 165 books, which is 18 more than last year, but not as many as my best year in 2018 when I read 166. I know, right? A couple more graphic novels or short story collections and we’d be celebrating a monumental year. Sorry, folks. We almost made history.
I’ve already listed my Favourite Crime Novels 0f 2020 and Favourite Fiction of 2020. But lets dig a little deeper into all those books, eh?
This year I managed to read 147 books, which is 19 less than in 2018, which is a lot, but then, 2019 has been a much better year for me personally, so it’s hard to complain. I’ve already posted about my favourite books of the year, but as I’ve been doing since 2016, this year I tracked my reading by a variety of categories, the results of which are below.
This year I reached as close to gender parity as I ever have before, and I hope to continue closing the gap. In fact, I’d love an even split in 2020. I read far less crime than last year, but it’s still the genre I read most. And my reading continues to be dominated by American authors; I’d love to read more nationalities, and that’ll be another mission next year. Interestingly and unintentionally I listened to far fewer audio books. And despite the avalanche of proofs several publishers supply me, I actually buy most of the books I read.
It’s that time of year — mid-November — when proofs for 2017 titles are beginning to pile up, which means it’s time to pull the plug on what’s been a great year of reading, and jump heard-first into the future. But before that, let’s pause and reflect on the year that was — well, still is, for a few more weeks. You understand.