Before we get swept up by another inevitably fast year, there’s just about time to take stock of how my reading fared throughout the previous 12 months, whilst setting out some new goals for 2019.
According to Goodreads, I read a total of 131 books, the best of which I highlighted in my Top Reads of 2018 post. My average rating for the year was 3.6 stars. This is a little lower than the previous couple of years, but I suppose it’s natural to become a more critical reader over time, and thus harder to please in some respects. It still means I’m picking up more books that I enjoy than I am books I don’t like, and that’s definitely a good thing.
I never read or don’t read a book based on the author’s gender; it’s just not a factor that even computes when I’m deciding what to pick up. Purely out of interest, however, I went through all of my 2018 reads and found that I read more than twice as many books written by women than I did books written by men. This fact is somehow unsurprising yet very pleasing.
My specific goals were:
- Read 90 books. At 131, I greatly surpassed that number, so this one gets a big tick.
- Pick up the longer books I’ve been putting off for ages. Meh, the success of this is fairly subjective. I did pick up the likes of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, and Vixen by Rosie Garland, but I still haven’t read Jane Eyre or The Heart’s Invisible Furies. So, I ticked a few off the ‘long books’ list, but there are others I can roll over to this year.
- Read by whim. I definitely did this, which I’m pleased about, as it seems to be the best way to avoid or get out of a reading slump. It’s also part of the reason I still haven’t picked up some of the aforementioned longer reads. The moment I told myself I had to pick one of them up so I’d meet an arbitrary goal, my brain lost interest. Definitely a lesson learned.
In terms of this year, I’m keeping it pretty simple again, with my goals being:
- Read 100 books. Pretty self-explanatory.
- Read more non-fiction. I don’t pick it up all that often, but when I do, I tend to really enjoy it. I’m not going to set a specific number for this; it’s just something I’d like to consciously reach for a little more often.
- Read more plays. Again, I don’t reach for them that often, but for the last two years, a play has ended up being one of my top 10 reads of the year. That has to say something.
- Read more Daphne du Maurier. I didn’t read a single full-length du Maurier book in 2018 (just a short story chapbook), and given that I read and adored 5 the previous year, that seems really stupid.
- Keep mood reading. The more of my life I spend as a bookworm, the more I come to accept that I’m a mood reader. Set TBRs and suchlike just don’t work for me. As I said, as soon as I tell myself I have to read a certain book, my brain just stops co-operating.
I always like to end these posts by sharing my monthly wrap up pictures from throughout the previous year. It’s a fun way for me (and anyone else who may be interested) to look back at everything I read at a glance. Happy reading in 2019, folks! Here’s hoping lots of good books come our way.