The Compulsive Reader: Merry, Merry and Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Merry, Merry and Happy New Year

As 2014 winds down (and my New Year's Eve drink gets a little emptier), I'm finding myself getting a tad bit sentimental. This year was probably the lightest year for blog activity, and that makes me a little bit sad. But it was also a big year for things not blog related--I wrote and finished and submitted a Masters' thesis on the features and functions of banter in YA novels. I wrote an entire first draft of a YA novel. (A disaster draft that needs revisions, but still!) I read more widely than I ever have before. I visited new cities, ate good food, went to lovely Vermont twice, and wrote wrote wrote like mad. So 2014 ought not be judged solely by blog activity.

One of my little habits (or neuroses, you choose) is recording the titles of books as I finish them, along with the date. I've been doing this since 2010, and frankly, I'm shocked that I've managed to keep doing this it for so long, and that I haven't lost this little notebook yet:

I've learned in 2014 that it's important to take a moment and appreciate the small things.

So on New Year's Eve, after I finish the last book of the year (this year it was Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger, whose writing is delightful and madcap and smart, as usual), I tally up the numbers and compare them to last year's. I've given up on making any specific reading goals for myself at the beginning of the year, mostly because that seems like setting myself up for failure, but also because I've definitely become a bit more of an eccentric reader. While the bulk of my reading continues to be YA, I've also expanded into new forms and genres, and it's been a lot of fun. Sometimes you don't know what you need to read until you're at that moment. And the nice thing about books is that they wait for you, until you're at that moment.

So, if anyone's interested, here's the break down for 2014:

112 books read (1 more than in 2013!)
65 YA novels
11 adult books (must work on bringing that number up...)
33 middle grade books (a huge leap for me this year, hoping to read more!)
9 graphic novels (ha, up from the 0 graphic novels read in 2013)
4 non-fiction (actually down from last year...need to work on that!)
3 anthologies
1 book of poetry (but many individual poems were read!)

Of those numbers, only one was an e-book. I've all but abandoned by e-readers at this point--I just prefer paper. And nine of those books were re-reads. I love re-reading old favorites, and a lot of these are due to re-reading books multiple times for my thesis research. I really hope I can keep up the reading momentum and continue to expand my reading horizons in 2015. Already I can sense a huge shift in my habits--I used to read most of my books as they came out, but now that I'm in school, I'm reading a lot of backlist titles and as a result, missing some newer titles. This means that when I do get around to newer series or authors, I can often read entire trilogies or multiple books at a time in a row. Binge-reading a series is SO MUCH FUN. I probably haven't properly done so since I was a young teen and would plow through series at my library.

Another thing I'm really proud of (although it sounds silly to say I'm proud of this)--but I've used the library a lot more this year than I ever have before. My library was renovated and re-opened this summer, and it's sort of sad that it took a beautiful new interior to entice me back more regularly, but I'm thrilled to go every time. Also, I usually return books a few days late (sorry, I'm terrible), so gradually they are making a lot of money off of my patronage. Everyone wins!

My hope for you all is that you have a lovely, wonderful year full of good books, good friends, happiness, and strength to make it through all of the tough stuff in between. Happy New Year!

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