It appears that I have not died. Even though my lack of activity here runs contrary to that fact. Truth is, I over-extended myself on the reading goals and burned out big time. Being in a reading slump is almost like being dead, so its an honest mistake. Fortunately for me I had other hobbies to keep me from flat-lining. I turned my bookstagram into an artstagram and got sucked into Inktober. I inked my way through November and by the time December rolled around, I came to the conclusion that I’d like to get a job. You know one of those things where you leave the house and people expect you to know what day of the week it is. I’d have a reason to wear pants occasionally and the money extra money would be nice so we’d avoid having all our eggs in one basket.
Somewhere in all that life shifting, blogging got misplaced. I think I even had the misguided notion that I would have to back burner writing if I wanted to go back to work. Then this morning as I was lying under the Christmas tree because the cat had knocked it over on top of me, I decided giving up wasn’t necessary. So after scrambling out of the branches and the obligatory troll through the job postings, I set to work on the book blogger staple…the end of year wrap-up.
Now typically when I talk about books, I try not to bash. To one person a book may be so beloved that they chant passages from it over their morning blood sacrifice. But for another, that same book goes first when they need something to line the bottom of the hamster cage. Of course there are some books that are objectively good and we could argue which those are. But for the most part people have subjective preference and so I try to not to insert my preference as objective truth. Somewhere in here you will see a list of books I would most like to add to one of those “will it blend” videos. It’s not that they are bad books or people are stupid for liking them, they just aren’t my preference or they have violated one of my key peeves. Forgive me if I have pitched one of your staple goodreads into my composter. It can still be your favorite and I will love you no less.
Lets get started..
As a reader with an enormous collection and limited life span I need to be on top of what is working and not working reading-wise so I can get some shit done. I can’t be falling into one of these pits of reading despair in 2017 too. I need some raw data to analyze my reading habits and determine which ones aren’t working.
*Number crunching sounds effects*
There are a few things you can tell right off. I read a lot of Sci-Fi/Fantasy, but I give it much lower ratings that average Goodreads users, so I probably should develop a better sense of what type of Sci-Fi/Fantasy I like and be more discriminating. I seem to read a lot of Literary Fiction and Non-Fiction and like them better than most Goodreads users, so I’ll keep that up. I should probably read more classics, poetry and philosophy too for the same reason. And it is abundantly clear that I loathe any YA I get my hands on, so I should probably ditch that pursuit altogether.
Now, let’s have a frank talk about something many book bloggers have debated…the Goodreads challenge. I’ve been doing the challenge since 2013 with increasing goal numbers and varied success. A quick data dump from Goodreads and a fast pivot table later and we are left with the cold, hard truth. My average rating was higher in the years before I started doing the Goodreads challenge. I was reading fewer books and liking them more. Since I am reading a lot more during challenges and rating them lower it means I’m reading a lot of stuff I don’t like. Which could explain why I get burned out. Another quick table and I discover I tend to like longer books better. In fact my all time favorite book of 2016 was 1,000 pages. I’m always finding myself putting off longer books to keep up with the challenge, so there is another indication that I’m not reading what I like.
I think this means adios to the Goodreads challenge for me in 2017. I’d much rather read quality over quantity. I guess this is the year I’ll finally get around to Infinite Jest.
A note to my current book blogger followers. I could be talked into crunching some of your goodreads numbers if that is something you would like. Comment if you are interested, and we can talk data!