I had a very odd and rather lackluster reading year in 2021, culminating in a really awful slump that began sometime in mid-June and still hasn’t really ended. Not really sure what the issue was, but I’m very excited for a new reading year. For this post, I’m going to be looking at how I did on my 2021 goals (not terrible), I’ll be examining some stats, and I’ll be listing my new reading goals/resolutions for 2022!
So first, how did I do on my 2021 goals?
→ Read 100 books. I actually failed! I think this is the first time ever that I’ve failed my Goodreads reading challenge, but not by much; I’m on track to finish 92 books. However, I did read an astonishing amount of graphic novels this year, which definitely helped bloat this number. This is one of those things that feels a bit weird but also doesn’t matter at all.
→ Read more backlist and indie books. I think I did an…okay job at this? I definitely didn’t read as many indie books as I’d wanted but I did get to some books that have been on my backlist for a long time. Again, not as many as I’d hoped, but at least I made a dent.
→ Read the books I own and decrease my physical TBR. I did only okay at the first part of this, and…so-so on the second part? I did declutter and get rid of a lot of books on my shelves that I realized I was never going to read, but I also bought quite a few books his year (65…I bought 65 books y’all–granted some of those are ebooks but STILL). Generally speaking, though, I’m definitely doing better at tackling the books I own.
→ Start more fantasy series. Weirdly, this has gone terribly! I counted, and I only read 8 adult high fantasy books this year! How is that possible!
→ Read some classics. This has gone swimmingly, thanks to a book club I joined at the beginning of the year. We started off by reading all of Jane Austen’s works, and then we decided to move to reading a classic and a modern book that ties into it, so I’ve read 9 classics this year!
→ Continue reading at least one non-fiction book per month. I’d have to go back and look, but I think I succeeded at this for all but two or three months, which isn’t bad!
→ Use the Book Riot 2021 Reading Log. I started off using almost every functionality on this spreadsheet but then realized I didn’t care about like 80% of them, so I downsized, but I still used it for the whole year, long enough to confirm that I am definitely not a spreadsheet person. I think I’ll still do a spreadsheet next year, but will stick to only a few stats, so I don’t get burned out by it. I…might make my own spreadsheet just to capture the breakdown of genres better, though that would involve learning how to use Excel, and I can just barely navigate that thing, so we’ll see.
→ Read more short story collections. LOL. I read…I think 1 short story collection? I guess it’s better than nothing, but not by much.
→ Continue to DNF liberally. Oh yes. I DNF’d 17 books this year!
Like I said, I ended up not really using much of the spreadsheet’s capabilities, but there were some stats that I wanted to capture. Well, four, mainly:
I read a lot less YA than I thought – 12% vs 87% adult fiction. This probably shouldn’t be that surprising to me given how much my reading tastes have shifted away from YA, something that kind of makes me sad given how much I used to enjoy the genre.
I also read mostly fantasy in terms of genre, at 42%, which isn’t surprising, despite the fact that only 8 books this year were secondary world fantasy — most of the books I read have are some flavor of speculative. General Fiction came in second at 13%, which is also not at all surprising.
And then, in terms of author gender, I read 83% female authors, which, yes, of course, and I read 88% fiction as opposed to 12% nonfiction, which again, unsurprising and a stat that I’m fine with.
And, yeah, these are the only variables I care enough about to report!
2022 Reading Goals
→ Read 100 books. I think I’m just always going to maintain a goal of reading 100 books per year, even if some years I don’t actually hit that. I just want to aspire to this.
→ Continue to DNF. Self explanatory, but yeah, I really want to read more books that I love rather than just like, so I definitely want to continue to DNF if I feel like I’m not going to love a book.
→ Read more adult fantasy series. This is always a goal of mine, but I really, really want to try to do better at this; I was so shocked that I only read 8 adult secondary world fantasy books this year. That number really needs to be higher. There’s a lot of series I intend to start next year (I may make a post about that) so fingers crossed.
→ Read less YA. I mean, I’ve already been doing this, but I really need to stop buying into the hype and adding random books to my TBR. There are YA books I’ve read this year that I really loved, and that are favorites, but most have been meh. I just want to be more discerning about what I choose. This isn’t to say I’m going to stop reading YA entirely — I still generally enjoy YA horror, for example, and there’s some YA fantasy that I still enjoy — but I think just being more circumspect about which books I pick up means I will read fewer books that I end up being lukewarm about.
I have fewer goals for 2022 because I really just want to focus on reading more adult fantasy; I think everything else can be on the backburner for a bit. I also need to write Book 2 of my contracted duology in 2022 so I expect I won’t be doing as much reading as I want anyway, but also the reading I do should be fantasy because that will keep inspiring me, since my duology is adult high fantasy.
I am…really hoping for a better reading year next year; I truly think 2021 has been one of my worst reading years overall (despite some excellent standouts!).