With another year of reading and blogging under my belt, I’ve come to the realization that writing out the entire list of books I read each year is a waste of time. And because time is something I have less and less of these days, I figured it made more sense to use this end-of-year summary to do something more worthwhile – talking about the highlights, the lowlights, and what I learned. I’ve included a few of the same stats from years past, but some new ones as well. Although I don’t typically set reading goals other than a vague number on goodreads, it doesn’t hurt to analyze what I tend to read more of in an effort to expand my bookish horizons.
The picture above is my current TBR pile: books that publishers have sent me for review that I have not yet read. I generally put them on the shelf in the order I get them. Many are books I’ve specifically requested after looking at catalogues or sifting through pitches, but some are just randomly sent to me. Because I have the luxury of choosing and requesting books that I want to read, I take some responsibility in the diversity of who and what I read, which is why I’m making more of an effort to track these statistics. If you can think of anything else I should start tracking, let me know in the comments!
Total Number of Books Read in 2021: 109
Total Number of Pages Read in 2021: 31,138 (according to Goodreads)
Number of Books Written by a BIPOC Author (Black, Indigenous, Person of Colour): 18 / 109 (Yikes this is low!!!!)
Number of Books Written by Canadian Writers: 48/109
Number of Books Written by Indigenous Writers: 4/109
My Favourite Book of the Year: Speak, Silence by Kim Echlin
The Book I Recommended Most: The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour by Dawn Dumont
Most Popular 2021 Review posted: Animal by Lisa Taddeo
The Book I Rated the Lowest: Poison for Breakfast by Lemony Snicket
I’m proud of the number of books I was able to read this year despite the other demands on my time (my two young children, my full-time job, and my contract with the CBC to name a few) so needless to say – things are busy! But I’ve discovered a secret weapon, and that is getting up at 5am before anyone else in my house is awake. It’s amazing what you can get done in the wee hours of the morning, and the best part is I never have trouble falling asleep at night. I turn out the lights by 9:30pm and I sleep like a baby, excited to wake up and drink tea and read books in silence. This no doubt sounds like a nightmare to some and a dream come true to others but it’s currently my reality and I’m grateful for it.
Speaking of being grateful, it’s the one side effect that remains consistent across my reading; reading people’s stories, both real and fictional is a constant reminder of how much I have to be grateful for in my life. That being said my the work is never done, and I clearly need to seek out more BIPOC writers when shaping this year’s reading list, which will be my bookish goal for 2022.
I’d also like to give a public shout-out to my new reading companion Makita, who is always happy to join me in my 5am reading sessions. She refuses to open her eyes fully at that time of the morning, but I appreciate the warm purring body all the same.
I only read *2* Canadian books this year!! Who am I?? This looks pretty good to me and though I will not be waking up at 5am anytime soon, I wish you well 🙂
OOh, exciting to have a huge pile of books to read already – I have a shorter list, some titles on scraps of paper somewhere about, a few recommendations on Whatsapp messages, some unread titles on my Kindle and two mini piles in the house. I don’t feel half as organised as you! However, I do use Goodreads and love it – I read 63 books in 2021 – probably the most in any year.
Nice! That’s a great number. I like goodreads too, although I don’t treat it as social platform or anything, I basically just track and publicize my reviews on it
I don’t look at it as a social platform either. I belonged for 2 years before I realised you could see things like the number of books you read in a year! Also, didn’t realise for ages that if you know someone else on there and they see you they can see what books you read – so if you are pretending your are all ‘high brow’ and they see you like Jilly Cooper then you are discovered!
hhahaha yes, your TRUE reading habits are on display for sure 🙂
I love your goal of reading more books by BIPOC authors! I’m also thrilled to meet Makita! She is gorgeous. ❤️
She’s got some sinus issues so her boogers are dried all over the place, but we love her anyway 🙂
Look at the lil baaaaaby! 😍 I know you guys were watching her for a while, but then you adopted her, yes? Also, when did you start a full-time job? I thought you had a part-time job working in publishing plus the gig with the CBC?
It’s complicated right? So my job became full-time in the Fall, and I’ve also maintained my CBC contract which is basically just doing one radio segment a month, occasionally tv. Every once in awhile I’ll do some additional reviewing for another outlet on top of that, but it’s not happening as often now that I’ve got a full-time job 🙂
Remind me what your job is? It’s publishing, right?
No actually, I’m a fundraiser for a small non-profit that gifts books to kids
That sounds hard to me. Asking for anything is very ehhhh in my world. Even if the person really, really wants the thing I’m offering.
Yes it can be hard in some cases, but honestly I feel a bit like robin hood – getting money from those who don’t need it, and giving it to those who do. Although, not stealing haha it’s completely legal and they realize they are donating money
Well done! I am impressed by all you manage to do! Getting up at about 5am and reading while my kids sleep is also my trick and I love it too.
Isn’t it lovely?
You…read…109 books in 2021 (gasping)…(bowing)…I read like maybe 10. I am in awe!
Your reading companion is super adorable snuggly looking!
Thank you! But I’m in awe of how incredibly talented you are, so we all have our wheelhouses 🙂
Your blog makes me want to be a better reader 🙂
Oh gosh, that’s just about the highest praise anyone could give me – thank you!!! xo
109 is fantastic given all your other commitments! I don’t plan to read at dawn but it quite often happens – Tommy demands to be let out at 5 and quite often I’m too awake then to go back to bed. And like you I find it a great time for reading, when everything is quiet and the day hasn’t had a chance to exhaust or annoy me yet!
Then again, why should she bother to open her eyes when she can read the book through her fur? I didn’t know you were on GoodReads but I guess I must have because when I clicked on your link, it shows pending at the top of your page!
I loved Dawn Dumont’s book too: great energy and definitely a pleasure to recommend! Like you, I’m often surprised (and not always in a good way LOL) when I look at my stat’s at the end of the year. I used to try to check quarterly and if that failed check in July, so that if I wanted to change my habits for the rest of the year I could, but now I guess I’m too busy reading to check in and see. For me, the important part is seeing if what I think I’m choosing actually proves out when I look at the details. I still remember the year that I was thinking to myself just how many books from small presses I was reading and, then, when I looked, it was hardly any (and for years it had been dwindling and I’d not noticed). That’s the kind of thing that encourages me to keep track. And, increasingly, a poor memory! LOL
Oh gosh I never actually go through Goodsreads and interact with ppl – I don’t even know where to accept requests! I just post the review and then leave LOL
It’s the little people symbol right next to your profile avatar at the top RH corner. There’s probably a red number atop it, trying to grab your attention!
haha I must be really good at ignoring it then LOL
Makita is gorgeous! I’m so happy you have a new reading companion. If I got up that early in my house, I would need the warmth of my critters for sure, since we always turn the heat off at night. However, I do have a similar trick: on the days I don’t have to get up for work, I lie in bed and read before getting up. Cuz once I get up, everyone wants me to do things for them, and by everyone I mean my furry children – especially the dog. So I just read in bed for a while before starting my day. I do love it.
It’s so impressive that you can work full time and still read so many books! My job is more like 2/3 time, if there were such a thing. Well I guess there is, cuz I work it! I was worried it would cut into my reading time, but instead I think it’s cut into my blogging time. I’m not sure yet how I feel about that. Something to think about this year…
I forgot about Echlin’s new book – I want to read that!
I love seeing the picture of your to-read shelves – so many good books to look forward to!
I love that morning routine Naomi, staying in bed awhile longer and reading sounds perfect!!!