My Year In Books: 2022

It’s Christmas day, so for those of you who celebrate Christmas, Merry Merry, and for those who do not, hope you’re having a good holiday season. As many of you know, this year has been very difficult and time challenging, forcing me to post far less frequently than in the past. And sadly, to follow in my new tradition (I very much hope this will not be my new primary tradition), I feel I must follow on in like manner because my family isn’t going to appreciate my spending time on this project today and I need to get back to festivities. The point then is I’m probably going to introduce this using a past similar post simply because I need to salvage what time I can, so hopefully, this may be of interest to some people and I hope the holidays are treating you all well.

Every year I participate in the Goodreads Annual Reading Challenge. At the beginning of each year, you set a goal for how many books you’ll read that year. Goodreads keeps track of your running total and then lets you know how you’ve done and what percentage of your goal you met. You can also see other participants in the Reading Challenge. Each year, they provide an end of year webpage showing your stats, how you did, etc. 

Per usual, I’m writing an end-of-year post about it (here is my 2019 post from December 24, 2019) and I’m posting the results in the form of jpegs for a glance at the overall totals at the top of the long webpage and then providing a link for anyone who might be nerdy enough to get the 48-page PDF showing all of the books. People sometimes ask me how my current year compares to previous years, but that’s a near-impossible task as each year, dating back at least to 2018, has been radically different in many different ways than the years that precede it or move on past. It’s hard to know what goal to set because it’s become impossible to predict what will transpire in any given year. There can be so many unknown variables, but it’s been interesting to see how this and any year compares to others. That’s why one of the few pics I’m posting shows a chart dating from the present to 2013, when I started taking part in these Challenges, with the year, my goal and results (found on my 2022 Reading Challenge page). FYI, nearly every year I’ve increased my goal and my output has also typically increased. I’ve never NOT met an annual Challenge goal. In my “lightest” year of 2013, I passed my goal of 65 books by reading 115 (177% of my original goal). My personal high came in 2019 when I set a goal of just 90 books but read 558 (620% of my goal). But as things have progressively gotten more challenging since then I’ve naturally expected a drop-off, so last year I read 345 books with a 200-book goal. This year has been really, really difficult for me and I’ve been far beyond pace most of the year and didn’t feel good enough to really even care — a first. But the last few months I was able to add to my numbers because I’ve been carrying a lot of books in my “Currently Reading” library shelf that I actually finished some time ago, in some cases one or two years. I haven’t “finished” them and moved them to Read because I’d wanted to write a ton of reviews, but just never got the time. So I decided that while I still would have liked to write reviews, I was just going to “x” those of the list, mark them as finished and move them to the Read shelf. Which caused my overall 2022 numbers to go up by over a third in just a couple of months. So the final total looks great, but it’s a bit disingenuous (not intentionally) as the number contains many books long finished, only now moved to my Read pile. All that said, as of December 24, I finished my 2022 Reading Challenge having surpassed my goal of 210 books by reading 404 books this year (192% of my goal). The core basics are

Scott’s 2022 Goodreads Reading Challenge Basics

  • Books Read: 404
  • Pages Read: 124,116
  • Shortest Book: 8 Pages [Leda and the Swan, YB Yeats]
  • Longest Book: 3,980 Pages [The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire]
  • Average Length per Book in 2022: 307 Pages
  • Average Rating: 3.8/5
  • First Review of the Year Written: Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
  • Last Review of the Year Written: Anu Partanen, The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life

Fun Fact: I found myself reading original material by authors who’ve not been translated. So this year I translated and read books and articles in Finnish, Korean, German, Chinese and Russian.

One more thing before I post the pics and link. These results ALWAYS look better onscreen on the Goodreads site than if you turn your results into a PDF. The graphics don’t translate well and so the page count goes up while the aesthetics go down. This year, though, I’m not happy about one extra thing. While Goodreads is usually good about adding book covers, when they can’t find one, you’re left viewing a generic tan Goodreads insignia placed on books lacking covers. Often that happens to older books, out of print, very niche, etc. This year I went through a ton of older but important (to me) and expensive reference/research indexes, directories, biographies, etc., and covers for most weren’t available when I searched for them here, so I have a huge number of boring books that look blank — because not only are the covers missing, but everything is, including title, author, publisher, etc., so that dozens of my books are not easily identified for anyone. And that ticks me off. Which is why I’m *considering* later on listing an inventory of all 404 books so that those mysterious will be identified for any interested parties. Considering how little time I usually have, that probably shouldn’t be near the top of my priorities so we might have to live with a ton of blanks. These days there are certainly many worse things than that.

I really need to wrap this up, so I’ll post those pics (really unnecessary since the webpages can be seen by anyone, but trying to save a few people from an extra step they don’t want to make) and a link to the PDF. With that, thanks for staying with me, Happy New Year and here’s to a better 2023 for all!

Scott Holstad’s 2022 “My Year in Books” on Goodreads

Scott C. Holstad Goodreads Author Profile

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