If I were one to have a “number of books read” goal, 2018 probably would have been a banner year for me. I read 115 books!
Not like I have to qualify my reading or anything, but to make some people feel better, I read many children’s chapter books, which are 15-30 minute reads, so that helped pad my numbers.
More personally for me than setting a goal for number of books read was who and what I was reading.
Last year, I said this:
“I am most disappointed with my #ownvoices statistics. 20% is a really poor showing, especially from someone who claims to be an advocate. Obviously this doesn’t mean I’m not an advocate, but it really highlights how much further I have to go in putting my money where my mouth is.”
And so, my goal this year was to make a much more conscious effort to increase this percentage.
Here is something that I did: like many big readers, I have a crazy long “To Be Read” list. In fact, I think it was last year that I switched over from using Evernote to One Note and now I have a TBR list in Evernote, a new one in One Note, the ones I marked in Goodreads, the bookmarked booklists in my browser, the favorited tweets, and of course, the random emails and slips of paper. (It’s totally under control.) What I used to do was simply add to my list when I read or heard of a great book and here and there I would reserve from the library one those listed books. This year, however, whenever the book was by an #ownvoices author, I immediately placed it on my holds list at the library (if available) instead of just writing it down.
And while sometimes that put my reading schedule on the crazy side (8 books on hold all coming in at once, anyone?), it also meant I had a continual feed of really great books.
55% of the books I read in 2018 were by #ownvoices authors. Way better than 2017. And still further to go for 2019.
A couple of other miscellaneous stats:
I enjoy this kind of tracking. I think it’s useful to get a true analysis of what and who I am reading. For example, when I say I read widely, am I telling the truth? Or is it just what I like to say to make me sound interesting? Looking at the chart below, sure, 48% of my reading material is contemporary, but the rest is made up of a lot of other things, so yeah, I’m giving myself permission to keep saying I read all kinds of things.
If you’d like to track your reading in the same way I have, here is a copy of my log template, which is adapted from BookRiot’s Rachel Manwill.
And here, also, are a few of my top 2018 recs – in no particular order and not all-inclusive because honestly, I read a ton of really stand-out books this past year:
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saénz (YA)
The Girl Who Drank the Moon – Kelly Barnhill (MG) ß especially good in audiobook, btw
The Poet X – Elizabeth Acevedo (YA)
Half a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie (A)
An American Marriage – Tayari Jones (A)
The Great Passage – Shion Miura (A)
Echo – Pam Muñoz Ryan (MG)
The Hating Game – Sally Thorne (A)
The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion (A)
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things – Lenore Look (MG)
The Calculating Stars – Mary Robinette Kowal (A)
The Way to Bea – Kate Yeh (MG)
And to start out 2019:
Currently reading (print): Bridge of Clay – Markus Zusak (YA)
Currently reading (audio): How Hard Can It Be? – Allison Pearson (A)
What were some of your top 2018 reads? What should I add immediately?
(Tell the world about the [books we’ve read]…)