2012 is rapidly coming to a close and, like book bloggers everywhere, I’m taking stock of the year. I’ve spent the past week reflecting on my reading, and doing some housekeeping here on the blog. I added to my Best of Musings page, made sure all my other pages were up-to-date, and then decided to spice things up a bit with some new design elements. If you’re using a feed reader, I hope you’ll click-through and have a look!
Now about my 2012 reading. I finished 64 books (and might reach 65), fewer than in any of the past five years, but for good reasons which I’ve already explained. And as my book-blogging buddy Rebecca from Love at First Book reminded me in a recent comment,
I also don’t think you should be hard on yourself with the AMOUNT of books being read this year. Take a look at those books and think: Were they challenging? Did you learn things from them? Did you enjoy reading those books? Did you read when you could or was there more time you could have dedicated to reading?
It’s about quality, not quantity. I could read 300 zombie/romance YA books, one per day almost, but that wouldn’t fulfill my requirements of reading actual books.
Yes Rebecca, I’ve read some really great books — books that delighted me, challenged me, and provided insight. These are my Top 5, all of which garnered 5-star ratings (click on links for my reviews):
- Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
- The Fault in our Stars, by John Green
- Gillespie and I, by Jane Harris
- Good Behaviour, by Molly Keane
- In the Country of Men, by Hisham Matar
When I look back on my 2012 Reading Resolutions, I find a bit of a mixed bag. I wanted to read more books from my stacks than I acquire, and I did better at this than in earlier years. I added 64 books to my library, not including reference works like knitting books. This is, coincidentally, the same number of books I read. 28 of my 64 acquisitions were Virago Modern Classics, which I regard as a collection, something slightly different from a run-of-the-mill TBR pile (if you sense me rationalizing here, you’re probably right). 25 of my 64 books read came from my shelves, and 12 from my Virago Modern Classics collection. I don’t want to over-complicate the math here (!!), so I think I’ll just declare this reading resolution a draw. Are we all OK with that?
Moving on. I completely failed to read more non-fiction; in fact, I read only 6 books. They were good reads, too: books like The Hare with Amber Eyes (review), and The Worst Hard Time (review). I had good intentions to read more, but often found I just wasn’t in the mood. I’m not giving up on nonfiction entirely, but I now known I just have an overwhelming preference for fiction.
Moving on, again. I feel good about my remaining two resolutions!! I continued making progress on all reading projects,reading loads of prize winners/nominees and classics, including Virago Modern Classics. I also increased interaction with the book blogging community. This came about through The Classics Club, Book Blogger Appreciation Week, and the Estella Society’s Book Blogging Buddy System, which is how I “met” Rebecca.
And finally, there was the Elizabeth Taylor Centenary. This began in the LibraryThing Virago Modern Classics group, but in a burst of new year enthusiasm I expanded beyond LT, recruiting other bloggers to chat about one of Taylor’s novels each month. I had so much fun collaborating with the hosts, and of course reading the novels and talking about them with other readers. I’m also thrilled at how many people have discovered Taylor because of this event. It was one of my most satisfying reading projects, ever!
Well, that’s the year that was. And of course I’m already geared up for 2013. I’ll be back in the coming days with more resolutions to keep or break as I see fit. And I’ll tell you about a personal long-term project, too. See you soon!
What were the highlights of your reading year?