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My Year In Books

Updated: Dec 12, 2022

Happy New Year, fellow book lovers. I thought I'd kick 2022 off by sharing a little data about my reading habits during 2021.

Let's start with the format. 65% of the books I consumed this year were ebooks. I buy these from Amazon and Kobo. I read ebooks on my phone, so I'm not limited to the store connected with my e-reader. Now before anyone scoffs, yes, audiobooks count, and they made up 16% of the books I got through in 2021. This number would be much higher if I recorded my stats for those wonderful pre-pandemic days. I used to listen to audiobooks on my way to and from work, but during almost all of 2020 and large parts of 2021, I wasn't commuting anywhere. My audiobook consumption dropped so low that I cancelled my subscription to Audible. Perhaps this will change in 2022 once I listen to the books already in my Audible library. Paperbacks accounted for 16% of my reading. However, these numbers only include books I read cover to cover, which means there are many non-fiction books that I didn't count here. Books such as The Crime Writers Casebook, The Dictionary of Crime and Cops & Writers have been flicked through and read as and when I need inspiration or need to research something. I only read one hardback book this year: Where The Magic Happens by Casper Craven. Although the book was well written, I didn't find it as inspirational as other readers. It was pitched as "if we can sail around the world for two years, anyone can, and we'll teach you how." The secret, it turns out, is to be very wealthy, have an expensive house you can rent out, and well-paid jobs you can come back to.

Moving on to star ratings. I like to record a rating for the books I've read, even if I don't leave a review on Amazon or Kobo. I only write reviews for books I enjoyed, so one or two stars are for my records only. I gave four or five stars to over 70% of the books I read / listened to. Some of the five-star books included Sapiens and Unnatural Causes, both fascinating non-fiction reads. I won't name the book I gave one star to, but it just seemed to go on forever, and the story never came to a conclusion. I wasted so many hours on a book I'd hoped was going somewhere but sadly wasn't. Finally, genre. It won't come as a surprise that 70% of my reading was within my own genre. If I didn't enjoy mysteries, thrillers and police procedurals, there would be no way I could invest so much time and passion into writing them. In 2022 I would like to read a more diverse range of books. In December, I started to feel crime-fictioned-out (yes, I know that's not a real word) and browsed the Kindle store for something a bit different. However, the algorithm knew me too well and bombarded me with more crime fiction. Guess what I settled on? Yes, another murder mystery. That's my year in books. I've already set up my 2022 reading spreadsheet and look forward to filling it with more non-fiction, lots of murder mysteries and a sprinkling more of mythology.

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