How many books do you read in a year? How do you keep track?
I honestly never used to track how many books I read (or re-read) until I discovered Goodreads and the annual Goodreads Reading Challenge. I always knew I read a lot—more than most people I knew. Even in high school, I could read a book in a day. Or two, if it was Saturday. I just managed to keep my addiction fed between the school library and the town library.
Then I went to university, and my recreational reading dropped off. I lived in the university halls of residence, which meant a lot less alone time for reading, and a lot less access to books. And a lot more homework—which included reading loooonnnnggg textbooks.
I started reading fiction again after I finished university and learned Christian fiction existed.
I’d grown out of young adult fiction, and realised I didn’t necessarily like grown-up fiction because of the prevalence of bad language, sex, and violence. But I did make my way through most of the classics of British literature (which are much more interesting if you’re not having to write essays on symbolism and the metaphorical conceit). I also read many books from authors like Georgette Heyer, Agatha Christie, Mary Stewart, and Victoria Holt—older writers who didn’t see need for the content I didn’t care to read.
Later, I discovered Christian fiction.
Then Amazon. Then ebooks (Kobo first, then Kindle). And Goodreads, and the annual Reading Challenge. I discovered Goodreads in 2010, and have participated in the Reading Challenge each year from 2011. My annual “target” has varied between 150 and 200 books a year, and I’ve “won” every year.
That pales into insignificance next to some of the readers I’ve met online, who read a book a day or more (some read over 500 a year. And they review many of them as well). Many have notebooks of books read that go back decades. I am not and have never been that organised.
But I can manage to keep my Goodreads Reading Challenge up to date. More or less—there is usually a last-minute 31 December rush to include the books I’ve read over my summer break (I live in New Zealnd, remember. That means my summer break starts on Christmas Day!).
I will admit that my 2017 figures include some books I didn’t actually finish. I figure that if I start and read at least 10%, and that’s not enough to grab me, then I’m better marking it as read rather than having the book hang around on some virtual “am reading” pile for half of forever.