2022: A Year in Review

It’s time for the annual year-in-review, folks. (You can view past years here.)

In 2022, I read just 99 books (to 2021’s 108). This, to begin with, means I missed my goal of 100 by a hair. I made a big push there at the end, to read 10 books in 10 days, and I kept up that pace for a few days (winter break from school and all), but it proved unsustainable, especially after a truly uncanny and laughable series of illnesses and injuries in the final days of the year. All things considered, I’m happy to have hit 99. Also, Liz tells me I had to make a similar push last year – I don’t remember this but I trust Liz always. Although my records of 108 books show it wasn’t quite as bad as this year (scratches head). At any rate, my first observation is that I will back off my goal for the coming year. Say, 85 books? Set myself up for success.

Of those hard-won 99 books I read this year:

  • 80% were fiction! That’s a big number compared to years past when I was a majority-nonfiction reader. The rest were split between nonfiction and poetry. (Last year, 85% fiction and the remainder nonfiction. No poetry?!)
  • 80% were written by female authors (61% last year); 17% were by men (32% last year), with the remaining few being collections by multiple authors, or variously unidentifiable, or other. That’s a fairly large change considering I wasn’t making any conscious effort.
  • Of the fiction I read, the largest categories were that nebulous ‘contemporary’ (38%), fantasy/speculative (30%), historical (15%), and science fiction (10%: hello, NK Jemisin!). The remainder were small numbers of children’s/YA, fairy tale retellings and mythology, horror, mystery, thrillers, and short stories. (Last year, 14% were mysteries or thrillers, 10% historical, 12% fantasy or sci fi, and equal handfuls were fairy tale/folktales, horror, and children’s or YA. The overwhelming 46% I labeled contemporary fiction – my largest and most nebulous category.) I am continuing to work on narrowing in that ‘contemporary’ category – mostly by adding a secondary label.
  • I “read” just 2 audiobooks (last year 8, because of a little more road tripping).
  • This year 60% of my reading was for pleasure (very close to last year’s 58%), and the rest were for paid reviews.
  • I purchased 56% of the books I read and 40% were sent to me for review; just a few were received as gifts. In a big departure, I didn’t use my library at all. I had a hard time finding what I was looking for there! And also, I’m happy to be patronizing Gaslight Books. (Last year 14% were library books, and the rest were an even split between purchased books and those sent to me for review.)
  • I reread two books this year (and last year, just one).
  • 21% of this year’s reads were e-books (last year, 46%. Fairly pleased about this one).
  • 33% were by Black authors, and 58% by white authors. (Last year, 19% were by Black authors, and 66% by white authors.)
  • 11% were authored by people who publicly identify as queer. (Last year, 8%.)

Those last two stats offer some obvious challenges when I categorize, but I do my best. And I’m glad to inch those numbers up a bit.

All in all, as I type this post with a stuffy head and some bumps and bruises (2022 going out with a bang), I’m grateful to have read what I did: the number, the breadth and diversity in every respect, and the excellent quality. I’m especially grateful to have a lifestyle that allows me to continue these pursuits. And for those readers who’ve made it this far into this nerdy numbers post: thank YOU for following along. Wishing us all great reads in 2023.

Happy New Year!

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