Year in Review (Reading) 2018

Year in Review (Reading) 2018

Unlike other past years, this year my writing was cut back in certain ways, though I still wrote a lot. In consequence, my read skyrocketed. Well, this is not just due to my shifted writing duties, but also to a better management of my time. Mainly, I read more before sleeping, instead of watching something. Last year, I dipped down to 75 books after a big year of 81. This year I busted all records with 135. I could’ve easily pushed that up to a much higher number had I not picked up writing again halfway through the year. But I’m not sad about it.

Clearly, my page count is up with more books read, though not by much. This is mainly as a result of a huge graphic novel binge I got on after visiting the States. I took down a lot of Walking Dead—the whole series up to date—and part of the Saga saga. With one or two other ones in the mix, my numbers dropped. Not bad as I’m hoping to see Chewy graphic novel soon as well. Besides that, I had two giants on my must-read list.

JR: Done

Don Quixote: Done

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As hard and slow as Recognitions was, JR, Gaddis’ follow up to his debut, was rollicking. True, the start was trying, shifting views with little or not notice, not to mention little full narration or sentence work, but once I got the hang of it, it was amazing. One of the funniest and wittiest books I’ve read in a long time. Three weeks in, I couldn’t put it down, and had it done before week three was done. The other book on my list fit the bill of trudging lit. Don Quixote, though interesting and well-paced, dragged much of the time. Don, himself, usually spewed heavy-handed morals from books, while the more interesting parts were those who had the misfortune to bump into him. This book took the whole duration I allotted it to finish.

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Although I tried to stick to a balanced reading like years before, this time I was mainly focused on clearly my to-read shelves—both tangible and electronic. The first two months shot me off to a good start, taking down 15 books a month for January and February. I pulled a one from the kindle, one from the shelf method, depleting both to a nice manageable sum by March. Through the semester, I kept hacking at it, bringing my shelf down to eight left, and kindle to one screen, or twelve books. Then summer hit.

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With my trip to the states, obviously, my book count rose. I gained many for my shelf, raising it up to twenty. My digital one grew with mainly newer titles, and then I found out my hometown library had a digital service to check out books from anywhere in the world. I subscribed, and started filling up. Although I only get to check a book out for a week or so—which really puts the pressure on, especially for 700 paged books—I found myself slacking on the other e-books in my reserves. This leaves me with 18 books on the real shelf, and somewhere around 16 on my kindle.

In the end, the reading surprised me and made the year feel slower than usual, though I’m still overwhelmed that another year has come which means another reading challenge. Already I feel the stress of it and the excitement.

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