Tuesday, June 23, 2015

2015 Reading Trends Pt. 2

I am proud to finally reveal part 2 of my 2015 Reading Trends post series. It’s been a long time coming (good on me for not making any promises in the first post because I would not have met the one week deadline, as you can see) and an INCREDIBLY stressful road all culminating to this moment, so you better enjoy it because I put a lot of blood and sweat into this (kidding, kidding) (although it was very stressful because I had accidentally deleted my first draft where I had half the post already written and then promptly forgot all my ideas upon my attempt to recall what I had typed up. QUEL DOMMAGE. But that’s all past now so yay!)

1. I’m rereading more
I don’t know why but this year, I have seriously been hit by the rereading bug. Before this year, not only did I NOT reread but I also didn’t understand why anyone would want to reread. I mean, hello, these are words that you’ve already read, this is a story you already know the ending of, so where’s the fun in doing it all over again? But I should’ve known, as someone who has always flipped to the end of books and even skimmed huge chunks of books in advance, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. It’s about revelling in the joy of how things unravel and develop, and settling back into the familiarity of old characters and settings, and just savouring the glory of this one book. Like if you’re having a really great meal at a buffet – say, a really great lasagna – do you not go back for seconds? Why just stop at ONE when you can have it TWICE and basically as many times as you want? And that’s what I’ve come to learn this year (the book bit, not the lasagna bit). I’ve been revisiting old favourites like the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella, the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series and the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series for all of those things I’ve mentioned above. Also in the case of Georgia Nicolson, the fact that I haven’t finished the series which really really bugs me because I NEED to know what happens to the Sex God and Dave the Laugh and who she ends up with and etc etc. AND also another thing to add: sometimes when you’re reading some really shitty books and you’re just DYING for a book that’s actually good, rereads are useful because they’re already books you’ve read that you know you enjoy. So that’s another reason why I’ve been rereading books this year. Not that the other books I’m reading for the first time have been shitty this year but sometimes, they are OR you get bogged down by the STRESS of reading and just want something comfortable and AMAZING without having to go through the process of wondering “is that actually good and worth my time??” So basically, I am 100% on board the rereading wagon and you should be too because it’s fantastic.

2. I’m reading more books per month on average
But really just MORE books in general. At one point this year, I was on speed for 120 books and now I know for some of you who are INSANE and read like 200, 300 books a year, this is nothing but for me, even hitting 100 is a challenge sometimes so 120 was a huge deal. But of course, all good things must come to an end and when we’re talking about how much I read, that’s something that’s pretty much inevitably going to drop. And drop it did! But also I had culminatings and exams last month and this month so I’m allowed to slack off a little right. And PLUS I’m still ahead of my Goodreads reading challenge so I am technically still a success (even though I have my goal set at 70 when I was really aiming for 100 the entire time but just didn’t want to make myself feel bad if I didn’t reach it. I think that was smart). On the subject of WHY I’ve been reading more this year though, I’m not really sure. I’ve been reading a lot more eBooks and I’ve always felt I read faster reading on my Kobo but that may also totally be a concept I’ve concocted from my imagination. I think it may just be that I’m slotting more time to read? Like I read a post before about how you need to MAKE time to read, like if you really wanted to read 100 books a year or 200, you can make the time to do so and I think that’s what I’ve been doing this year. Like before I used to read only at night and now I’m reading on my commute to school, my commute to basically everywhere, in line, waiting, at lunch, during class – LITERALLY whenever I am able to do so and feel like it. Also I’ve been watching less TV so I think that’s a definite factor as well.

3. I’m using the library more
Well, I’ve always used the library a lot since I am horrible with buying books and literally just want to buy every single book, regardless of whether I’m ACTUALLY interested it or not, so I’ve made myself use the library and check out books before I go buying them to make sure I am not spending my money like crazy AND on books I despise. It’s worked really well (but let’s not mention the fact that in the past month alone, I have bought ten books – more than I probably bought in the last six months of last year put together. They WERE all books I already read and loved though so I think I get a pass, right?) and I’m a firm believer in the library but this year, maybe even more so? Probably 97% of the books I’ve read this year have come from the library and this high percentage probably also has a lot to owe to the fact that I’ve discovered the magic of eBooks and Overdrive which is so easy that I don’t even have to LEAVE my house to get books. PRAISE. Because yes, I really am that lazy.

4. I’ve been reading a greater variety of books
Okay now I’ve actually took a look at my spreadsheet and it appears to be pretty on par with last year but I just FEEL like I’m reading more diversely, okay? Like instead of the 10 000 contemporaries I usually read, it’s like 5000 and that’s a pretty BIG step down for me. So far this year, I’ve read – in addition to my YA contemporaries: YA fantasies, a Shakespeare (!!!! look at me being so cultured !!!!!), a Canadian classic (!!!! again, look at how academic I am !!!! even though I did loathe it a bunch), a YA thriller, memoirs and NON-FICTION WOWEE. Like I said, it’s actually pretty similar to what I read last year but I guess because I’ve also been kinda branching out in genre in terms of what I’m marking to-read on Goodreads, I have this notion that I’m reading more diversely? Though that notion isn’t entirely wrong because I HAVE been branching out a lot in the books I’m interested in. Like recently, I’ve been finding a huge interest in non-fiction in general and finding myself reading up about these different non-fiction books and being super intrigued and eager to learn more. I read a book about Russian society and culture last month and it was maybe the first non-fiction book I’ve read that wasn’t a memoir or a biography of someone else’s life and you know what? I really, really enjoyed it. I thought it was exciting and entertaining and that wasn’t something I would have thought a non-fiction book could be last year. So yeah, although I may not actually be reading more diversely than I think in comparison to last year (YET), my reading taste HAS changed a lot. Like I’m finding a lot of books that interest me outside of YA and in terms of books within the YA label, I’ve also found myself wanting to reach for books that aren’t just contemporary.

I have to be honest with you, 2015 has been a great reading year for me. I’ve read a lot but more importantly, I’ve read some really fantastic books and that’s made keeping track of the books I’ve been reading really fun for me. Just looking at my spreadsheet and analyzing it to find trends / patterns for these posts, I’ve come to realize the sheer amount of books that I’ve just so THOROUGHLY enjoyed reading and it has me all like THANK YOU BOOK GODS WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS AMAZING RUN and when is this going to end?

What about you? How has your year in reading been so far? Do you keep track of the books you read as well (whether you have a spreadsheet or you use Goodreads or another method entirely)? And have you noticed any trends or patterns in your reading this year, good or bad?

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