2022 Reading Reflection

I always enjoy taking some time at the end of the year to pause and reflect on what my reading’s been like and what that might mean for me going forward. Last year I realized my reading had been pretty lackluster and that I hadn’t been enjoying reading as much, so this year I leaned hard into rereading, and it made such a difference!

Alas, my reading is still not what it was pre-pandemic, and it is probably time to admit that this is the new normal for me. My interest in reading goes in streaks, and oftentimes I want to read but struggle to give it my attention. And I’m still reading romance much more heavily than I did before and not picking up nearly as much SFF and nonfiction as I’d like.

That said, this is the year I fully embraced the reread! I haven’t added up my stats just yet, but I would say more than a quarter of what I read last year was a reread. I wound up rereading pretty much all of the books I had planned, and a few more besides. I actually read Ilona Andrews’ entire backlist, whether it was for the first time (like The Edge series), or a reread (everything else), and I got through the last of Tessa Dare’s backlist that I had been meaning to reread. I read The Immortals quartet by Tamora Pierce and Kristin Cashore’s first three Graceling books, which I picked up after thoroughly enjoying Winterkeep (I still need to get to Seasparrow!). I didn’t wind up finishing my Psy/Changeling reread, but I did reread Alpha Night, which is still one of my favorite Psy/Changeling books.

I also focused a lot of my reading on authors I already know and like. A pretty good chunk of what I read last year are from authors I’ve read and enjoyed before. Or, alternatively, I often tried a new author and proceeded to gobble up a bunch of their books in a row. It was very much a year of familiarity and comfort in my reading, and all in all it was exactly the reading experience I needed.

Last year is also the year I made it on the audiobook bandwagon! The thing is, I used to be perfectly content to sit in one place and read a book for hours, but these days, my attention span is not long enough for that. So I leaned in to exploring some of my hobbies more, namely doing embroidery and puzzles, both of which happen to be perfect activities for listening to audiobooks! Again, I don’t have statistics finalized, but at least 20 percent of my reading last year was in audiobook format, and I only expect that number to go up in 2023. It’s been a really great way to take advantage of two hobbies at once and maybe either enjoy it in a new format (a lot of the audiobooks I listened to were rereads) or get myself more engaged in genres I’ve been struggling to pick up, like SFF and nonfiction.

I say I don’t feel like I expanded outside of romance that much, but looking back, I actually read a fair amount in different genres! I’m not reading what I did before the pandemic, exactly, as it’s still predominantly romance, but there is other stuff there! A lot of the books I reread were fantasy books, and I listened so some nonfiction this year. I think a large part of it right now is that it’s easy to get quickly invested in a romance, whereas in science fiction and fantasy, you have to wait for them to build the world out a bit and get your bearings, and then you can get to the actual story. And nonfiction is often just slower to read in general, though I’ve found Randall Monroe’s books hilariously entertaining and very easy to dip in and out of.

Unfortunately, I was planning to read through all of the physical books I had on my shelves last year, and that definitely didn’t happen. I listed out 15 titles in my 2022 Reading Goals post, and I read four. I’ve also added an additional books to those shelves and am now up to 19! I think reading them via audio is what’s going to be key, but I know the fact that I’m not reading my usual genres has definitely impacted my interest in reading the books I already own since they’re overwhelmingly not romances.

So yeah. Reading the past few years has been a lot more of a struggle than I’d prefer, but it does still consistently take up a good chunk of my time. After all, I read about the same number of books every year whether I try to or not! Though the page count has definitely gone down. Regardless, I think 2022 was ultimately a pretty good reading year, and I have high hopes for 2023! Though I will say, I’m having a hard time getting to excited about making plans in the new year because I fell last February and tore a ligament in my foot, which required surgery and lots of physical therapy. The whole experience just very clearly reminded me that life can very quickly derail my plans, and I’m wary of that happening again this year. But I’ll still be back soon with a list of my reading goals for 2023, and of course, a recap of my reading stats for 2022!

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