A Year in Review: Reading
Last year, I analyzed my reading and wrote down some goals for 2017. Here are my 2017 goals from this post (opens in a new tab.)
I want to read 125 books in 2017.
I want 30% of what I read to be *by* a person of color. Not just characters who are POC.
I’m only going to buy physical copies of books that my friends write because I have not a lot of space and read everything else digitally because that’s how I apparently read. Or in audiobook format. My commute will triple starting in 10 days and I’m intending on using that for lots and lots of audiobooks.
I’d like to read more nonfiction that isn’t research for a book, especially essay collections. I really enjoyed the handful of memoirs I read this year so more of those, and more on esoteric topics because I’d like to be as smart as I was 7 years ago, please. (Also because I am preparing myself for the next four years of anti-intellectualism and the need to be self-educated to resist).
I did not achieve any of these three. I don’t think I anticipated a) how hard it’d be to stay on top of my reading while debuting b) how short my attention span would be.
This year, I was the chronic non-finisher of books. I have--and I counted--43 books I picked up and did not finish and I would say for over 30 of those books, it’s on me, not the book. My attention span was completely shot. For the first 8 months of the year, I couldn’t get away from my phone. And for the rest of the year, I was debuting and I...did not read a lot of books this fall, I have to be honest. This was a real problem for me in 2017. I'm not sure how to fix that but...I need to work on it.
I wanted to break down my stats again. So here’s the nitty gritty.
I set the goal of 125 books. I read 106 books.
I read 46 romance books.
I read 33 YA books (10 spec, 18 contemporary, 5 historical).
I read 5 MG books.
I read 2 poetry books.
I read 7 nonfiction books.
I read 3 picture books.
I read 3 adult SFF books.
I read 2 comic books.
I read 5 serial fiction ‘episodes’ (Serial Box Publishing.)
I read 90 unique authors, 82 women, 8 men. (Zero nonbinary authors to my knowledge...hopefully I did not mess that up.) Of those, only 11 were authors of color (known--there were several romance authors who are writing under pen names and I don’t know their race.) I read 2 Black authors, 3 Asian authors, 1 Latinx author, 11 queer authors (out), and 3 disabled authors (known/out).
Of those books, 18 had main characters (protagonists or POVs) of color. Of those books, 13 had main characters who were queer (protagonists or POVs). Of those books, 3 characters were disabled.
So as you can see, I fell way short on my goal to finish (not just start!) books by authors of color. My reading is still very straight, very white, very able/able-bodied.
So for the new year, I am making a conscious effort, again, to diversify my reading. A big part of that will be diversifying my Romance reading, which, as an act of self-care, still remains a bulk of my yearly reading. I have received some great recs, so I’m going to start there. I’m also going to stack the books by authors of color that I didn’t finish in 2017 at the top before I start on 2018 releases.
I also am going to do quarterly check-ins on my reading, so I can course correct, ask for recommendations, etc.
Why does this matter? Why do I think it’s important to course correct?
Because when left to my own devices, I seek out literature that is safe and reflects my upbringing and life, and does not expand my world. And I believe *deeply* that a core part of reading is universe expansion.
So here are my 2018 reading goals:
Read 115 books
Read 30 books by authors of color
Read 15 ownvoices LGBTQIA books
Read 5 ownvoices disabled books
Read 5 books of poetry
Read 5 picture books
Read 10 middle grade books
Read 2 nonfiction books not related to a book I’m researching or about writing
Tell me your 2018 reading goals here, or on Twitter at @bibliogato.