Notes on This Year’s Reading (which is not finished yet!)

This isn’t an official “Year in Review” post, because I feel like it’s still a little early for me to go there, but it is a bit of a rehearsal for it. I haven’t done much in the way of taking stock this year, so I feel a need to get my bearings.

Part of that need comes from a sense that, particularly for the last few months, I haven’t done much bloggish, period. This was the year I discovered the fun of photo-editing apps, and playing with them has cut into the time I spend on both writing my own posts and reading other people’s. (Tradeoff: I am doing more photo-based blogging!)

And for several weeks now, I’ve been feeling much more drawn to reading books than blog posts. I still skim my feed-reader frequently (as in multiple times per day), and I do make an effort to share good links as often as I can even if I’m not commenting on them directly. But when that reader feels overly full, I’m not hesitant to activate the “mark all as read” function to make the backlog go away–and make myself feel better about it–for a little while. (It’s not all better. There’s still a little guilt. But can anyone keep up with it all these days?)

Bookshelf collage

As far as books go, though, I’m on some sort of year-end reading tear. I am currently reading three books at once–one in print, one on my iPad, and one audiobook. Last month I successfully double-teamed a print book and an e-book. I’ve never been a proficient polygamous reader, but getting more into audiobooks may be shifting me in that direction.

This year I gave up on trying to maintain a book-review index here and decided to start using Goodreads as my review archive. I also joined their 2012 Reading Challenge with a goal of 52 books for the year. I won’t make it, but I don’t think I’ll miss it by much…and I’m pretty sure that tracking my books-read number via a blog widget is a factor in my recent binge reading.

I think I joined three reading challenges besides the Goodreads one, and other than labeling my Book Talk posts when they fit into one of them I haven’t given them much attention. I’m pretty sure I met my goal for the Memorable Memoirs Reading Challenge, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I’ve already beaten my target for the Audiobook Challenge–I aimed for six and I’ve read ten so far, with one still in progress as I draft this post. I fell short on the E-book Reading Challenge, though. I’m no longer using a dedicated e-reader; I’ve found that regardless of whether it’s in the Kindle, Nook, or iBooks app, I’d rather read on my iPad. The drawback to that is that I’m too easily diverted by the other things there are to do my iPad. I’ve also concluded that although I like the idea of killing fewer trees, I still need to see print versions of ARCs and review books waiting around my house in order to remember my responsibilities toward them, so e-galleys are probably not for me at this stage.

I may not achieve my planned book-a-week average this year, but the quality measures are good. As I said, I’m using Goodreads much more now, but LibraryThing remains my first love for book cataloging, thanks to their tagging capabilities and their enabling of the more nuanced half-star in book ratings–I use tags to note my own quarter-star adjustments. The rating I gave most often was 3.75/5, but I gave three books a rating above 4 of 5 (and five-star ratings on Goodreads). Theoretically, that should make my “Books of the Year” choices pretty obvious, but I’m not sure it will.

That’s still a few weeks off yet, though–it may not be done till after January 1, 2013–and I want to get to Jamie’s End of Year Book Survey, too. But even if I’m not ready to bestow year-end honors, “Best of 2012” book lists are popping up in lots of places already! I’ve compiled some that you might not have seen yet into a Readlist, and if you’ve come across others you’d like to add, please use this edit link to share them!

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