Every year, I set a goal on Goodreads. I used to get super ambitious with it (one year I read 100 books!), but since having a baby, I’ve had to adjust my expectations. It’s hard to concentrate on those little black caterpillars when someone’s screaming in your face.
For 2019, I set a now-standard goal of reading 12 books. One per month. I figured that’s my minimum while at home with a toddler—anything above that is gravy. But since it appears that I read 6,347 pages across 24 books this year (counting my in-progress which I’ll finish shortly), it might be time to aim higher.
I will admit that a large chunk of the books I read this year were graphic novels, and YA/children’s ones at that. My inner bookworm feels a mite embarrassed at counting those, simply because they’re so easy to read (and often quite short). But then I remind it that I also read an entire Bible and it shuts right up.
My favourite read this year was Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon, followed closely by the Hilda comics by Luke Pearson. I’ve followed Kleon for years and finally reading his masterpiece on being a working artist was a balm to my frustrated creativity. Buy it now. And if you haven’t read (or watched) Hilda yet, you’re seriously missing out, especially if you have a girlchild in your home.
My least favourite was a tie between Tree and Leaf by JRR Tolkien and The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami. Both took ages for me to get through; the only reason I didn’t throw them out a window was a stubborn refusal to let them beat me. The Tolkien is obstructively dense despite the fascinating subject; the Murakami is downright boring despite me having loved hearing “The Second Bakery Attack” on LeVar Burton Reads.
Next year is the also the start of a new decade, so it seems appropriate to up the ante. 20 Books in 2020 does have a nice ring to it. I’m also hoping to read a better balance of fiction and non, as well as intentionally folding in non-cishetwhite authors. But no promises on cutting the number of comics. That stuff is gold, Jerry, gold.