75 Books in 2014

I’m finally getting round to rounding up my year in books. It might seem slightly redundant, because I do a monthly books post, but I like to do a yearly round up for my own satisfaction, and I do enjoy looking back at them.

As I mentioned in my December post, I only just reached my target of 75 books for the year. It was a sprint finish, which resulted in me reading fifteen books in the last month of the year, and seven of those books over Christmas and New Year! I had the time, because I had two weeks off work, and it was rather enjoyable to just sit and read and read and read, but ideally, this year, I won’t leave it so late!

A few stats:

  • Although I can’t be sure that it’s entirely accurate (because of differing editions, etc), Goodreads tells me that I read 24,922 pages in 2014. This is marginally more than my 2013 total of 22,656. This year, I’m planning to keep a note of the pages I read myself, so I can be sure of an accurate total.
  • My most read author in 2014 was J.K. Rowling! I embarked on a Harry Potter re-read, though I stopped shy of reading The Deathly Hallows (mainly because I couldn’t find my copy, but partly because Goodreads won’t let me add it twice, and it’s in my 2012 total). I did read The Tales of Beedle the Bard though, and The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (I know that doesn’t technically count!). So after Rowling with seven comes Mark Kermode with four, and Simon Mayo and Jennifer E. Smith with three each. Not at all surprising to see our two Wittertainers there, given my level of that particular obsession this year.
  • Because of Harry Potter, I have rather more re-reads on my list this year than last, when the total was one. The six Harry Potter books, as well as The Go-Between made up seven re-reads.
  • I changed the way that rated books halfway through 2014; instead of rating everything, I only rated books that were four or five stars. It is still a flawed system, and I can’t decide whether to do away with stars altogether, but until I decide, I will stick with it. The books that got five stars in 2014 were Fangirl, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, We Are Called to Rise, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Itch Rocks, The Bookshop Book, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Yes Please, Shakespeare, and Only Remembered. I’m very happy that there have been so many excellent books in my year!

I know a lot of people prefer not to set themself a goal like this, preferring to ensure that they read one good book rather than a pre-determined number. I don’t feel this way, obviously. I love having a goal to work towards, and I try to make sure that all the books I read are good, and if they aren’t considered ‘good’ by awards committees and best books list-makers, I make sure they are entertaining and enjoyable to me.

As you’ll know if you’ve seen my What to Do in 2015 post, I am going for 75 books again in 2015. Aside from the fact that I have had to rush at the end for two years in a row, I feel confident that I will be able to reach it again!

Did you set yourself a target in 2014? If you have read anything good, please let me know if you think I might like it! Please feel free to add me on Goodreads and share your recommendations with me!

75 Books in 2013

So here we are, on the last day of the year, and as I know I won’t be finishing any books before the end of the day, it’s safe to share my 2013 books without the fear that I am missing any out!

In 2012, I surpassed my aim of 75 books by eight, and I almost upped the challenge for 2013. I am so glad I didn’t, because various factors meant that I actually only just reached 75! I finished the 75th book on 27th December, meeting the challenge with just days to go!

Books 2013 - IBooks 2013 - IIBooks 2013 - IIIBooks 2013 - IV

A few stats:

  • Last year Goodreads told me that I had read just over 30,000 pages. This year’s total was just 22,656. I read quite a few young adult books this year, and they always tend to run a bit shorter, so this isn’t a big surprise.
  • My most-read author was Lee Child. This is a surprise, because it feels like so long ago that I was reading the Jack Reacher books that I can’t believe it was this year! I stopped because I think I just read too many in a short space of time, and I got a little bored. But I’m planning to go back to them soon!
  • 23 of my books were read as part of my A-Z challenge.
  • This year only one of my 75 was a re-read! I have been trying to limit my re-reads in the last two years. I used to re-read a lot, but since I started using the library more regularly, I have so many more books at my disposal, and there just isn’t time to go back to ones I’ve read before!
  • This year I gave seven books five stars (as opposed to eight last year): The House Girl, My Life by David Jason, The Cuckoo’s Calling, Wonder, The Truth About Melody Browne, The Fault in Our Stars, and The Presidents Club.

I’m really pleased that I managed to complete my challenge, but, as with last year, I’m mostly just pleased that I’ve had a year full of reading. Not all the books were great, but the majority of them were, and it’s nice to be able to cross off another challenge. I’m sticking to 75 again next year, and I’m going to try hard not to leave it so late next time!

What was your total in 2013? Do you have any recommendations for me? Please feel free to add me on Goodreads if you have an account, I keep track of all my books on there.

83 Books in 2012

As you probably know, at the beginning of 2012 I set myself the challenge of reading 75 books. I had managed 70 in 2011, so I knew it was possible, and I’ve pleased to say that I managed 83!

I wanted to do a collage of all my reads, but there were too many for just one collage, so I had to break it up a little bit! This is what 83 books looks like:

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A few stats:

  • Goodreads tells me that I read 29,339 pages in 2012. I am not sure how accurate that is, because I didn’t necessarily read the same editions as they have on there, but it’s more or less right. Maybe I’ll aim for 30.000 next year! 
  • My most read author was George R.R. Martin. I read all seven of the as yet published books in the Song of Ice and Fire series, starting with A Game of Thrones in May and ending with A Dance with Dragons: After the Feast in October.
  • I also read six books by Sophie Hannah, four by Nora Roberts, four by Lynda la Plante, and four by Judy Blume.
  • As well as the Song of Ice and Fire series, I also read the Bride Quartet (Nora Roberts), and the Millennium trilogy (Stieg Larsson).
  • I got an eReader for my birthday in November, and my first eBook was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I’ve read four more since then, all of them in the last three days!
  • Only two of my books this year were rereads (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Nippy), compared to 17 in 2011!
  • I gave eight books five stars out of five on Goodreads: The Hunger GamesThe Girl With the Dragon TattooBossypantsThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest11-22-63A Storm of Swords: Blood and GoldI Remember Nothing and Other Reflections, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I’m really pleased with myself; I like being able to say I’ve completed a challenge, but also I’m just really glad that I’ve done lots of reading again this year. My goal for next year is 75 again, so stay tuned!