Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016, At a Glance : My Year in Reading

Well, here we are, on the other side of 2016 - slightly worse the wear, but still kicking!

This post is a long time coming... mainly in that I meant to get it tackled a couple of days ago, but didn't manage to finish up my Goodreads Challenge until literally 11:30pm last night.  So, my "2016, By the Numbers" was a happy surprise to me, too, when I finally clocked out all of my page counts!

This year was a strange reading one, for me. Due to a couple of changing trends in the ways I read, my goal was reached, but left my total page count lagging a little over 6,000 behind last year's.

This difference in total reading quantity didn't have much of an effect on my rating tendencies, however: whereas last year, I rated an average of a 3.9, this year, I rated an average of a 4.2! Maybe it was the fact that I grade certain kinds of books, like comic books, on a different scale than others, or maybe it was the fact that there was a dramatic uptick in my tendencies to trade books with other people this year - Hi, Callie! - which made me more likely to rate them highly.

It really was the year of the comic book, too. Thanks to a couple of my favorite vloggers, as well as a few of my really good friends - Hi, Bernie! - I finally started giving in to the aesthetic loveliness of some of the industry's best and most popular graphic novels of 2016. A fascination with Rat Queens ran alongside a growing obsession with D&D, while Hark, a Vagrant! comic collections helped lend comedic shadow to those last few university study projects I had to finish up. In total, I read 15 comic books, graphic novels, or comic collections, and I know that the trend will continue into this year for me, as well.

One of the other big trends for this year was, unfortunately, the idea of the slump, and the quick catchup afterwards. You've already heard my woes of sinking behind in my challenge goals to the end of the year, but that's only one example of lagging behind. Some of the slumps had concrete reasoning behind them - think constructing my Capstone project this past Spring, or scrambling to complete a NaNo assignment in half the allotted time - but other had no reasoning at all, other than the fact that I simply didn't have the patience or attention span at that time. Hopefully this is a trend that remedies itself for me in the coming year.

And, of course, these slumps, trend differences, and existence of other forms of reading in my life - primarily news articles and magazines - have really caused me to rethink my Goodreads Challenge for 2017. 2016 has actually been one of my heaviest reading-oriented years yet.... my Capstone project prompted me to consume over a decade's worth of The Smart Set magazines, while my NaNo novel required constant research and revision. The election had me scouring the front pages of my favorite news websites every time I had wifi, while plenty of fun international mags at Bulldog News kept me tethered to publications like Frankie and UK Glamour. However, none of this is reflected in my reading goals... which leaves me feeling a little like I've failed.

2017 will be a year of fresh starts, old favorites, and plenty of new growth and leaves to turn over... and it's definitely going to include more changes to the ways I read, especially in how they're measured. So, happy new year, happy new reads, and may all of us find bookish success in 2017! 

How have your reading habits changed in the past year? Let me know, in the comments below!

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