Though delayed, we return to our most beloved of traditions: the annual recap of the previous years reading performance. There’s nothing quite like mindlessly tracking your impulsive reading habits and then spending a Winter (Spring this year, pardon) morning auditing yourself. Finding your faults. Uncovering your unseemly habits.
As with 2021, 2022 was a good year for reading books. The pandemic disappeared further into the rearview. More traveling, more opportunities to read on planes or in front of large bodies of water. These are good things. And I took advantage.
As with the past two years, I used Book Riot‘s Reading Log Template to track my activity. As ever, I recommend you use it if you’re interested in such things – or at least until Goodreads comes out with its own version of Spotify Wrapped.
Without adieu, here’s my 2022 in reading. With a quick pitstop to compare high level trends starting in 2020.
For this year, what sticks out is a flattening of genre. In 2021, my reading was slanted nearly 40% to general fiction; in 2022 that percentage dropped (along with a drop in Sci-Fi and Classics) in favor of Memoir and Nonfiction. Memoir is typically lighter fare and as I get older I find myself gravitating more toward it as a sort of amuse bouche between heavier bites of fiction.
This year, Book Riot collapsed nonfiction prose and novels into the same, plain “prose” category, but despite the less specific category characterization, my 2022 was slanted overwhelmingly toward prose than any other category – and far more slanted than in years past. In my personal writing, I write more short pieces than longer novels which accounts for a larger share of story collections, but this year I began writing a novel and I found myself reading more nonfiction to influence that piece.
One again congratulations to me for finding several 5-star reads last year (including Macbeth and The Secret History). I did offer some bad reviews in 2022, most notably for Where the Crawdads Sing, a book I despise and have yet read three times now.
No BIG BIG BOOKS this year. I need to remedy that for 2023. You heard it here first: 2023 is the year of BIG BIG BOOKS and BIG BIG FILMS. Let’s go!
Not that it’s so impressive, but I wanted to read less books by White authors and I did. That 76.9% represents a nine percentage point drop from 2021.
The gender change was less apparent. I typically read 1/4 works by women and that’s still true, though I increased the share from 25.7% to 26.9%. More work to be done.
See you all next year. Upward and onward!