My 2021 In Reading

Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve found reading (and to some extent writing) more difficult. At its best, stories offer an escape from the everyday, and yet my brain has been fractured. If it isn’t the news, it’s TikTok or late-night emails or my own writing.

So, it was a surprise when my accounting showed I’d read 30 books last year. 30 books! One for every year of my age! Certainly the most productive reading year of my life.

As with last year, I stole this handy, dandy Google Sheet from Book Riot to track my reading. If you’re a person interested in a more thorough review of your annual reading preferences, I highly recommend using this. For 2022, they’ve made some updates to the form to make an even more detailed accounting.

Then, at the end of the year you can see the nifty charts populated based on your activity.

For instance, in 2021 I read an average of 7.74 pages per day. That’s down from the 10.35 I read last year. But I did read some 1,200 more pages in 2021 compared to 2020. Basically, I read less…more often. Great.

Compared to last year, I’m still a down-the-middle fiction man. Nearly two-thirds of my reading is contemporary or classic fiction, which tracks. Compared to 2020, I read more sci-fi and a little less non-fiction. I don’t have enough of a sample size to know if this is weird for me or not.

I did it! I finally read some poetry, and my share of short stories jumped, as well. You don’t get to reading more books without the quick hit of a poetry or short story collection, so I look forward to more quicker hitting fiction in 2022.

Congratulations to me for finding two 5-star quality pieces of fiction: The Stories of Breece DJ Pancake and American Salvage by Bonnie Jo Campbell. I still have trouble rating stories outside my 3-4 comfort zone. Maybe this year that’ll change.

Click here to see my favorite reads from last year.

In 2021, I stuck to short page counts, thanks to a jump in poetry and short story collections. But I also got a taste of longer novels, going so far as to read Dune, which is long!

Despite knowing that I read an overwhelming number of white authors last year…my split in 2021 was no better. Here’s to doing better in 2022.

Another one…my split of male-female authors tipped more toward men.

We can all be better readers, and I’m no exception.

Cheers to that. For now, onward.

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