Trying To Be A Better Reader
So that was the best of what I read in 2012 but what about the rest? Well, I didn’t read many books this year; according to my hapzard notes only 33, though I suspect I’ve missed some off my list. This is lower than most other years I can remember and I also failed to finish far more books than usual, either through carelessness (Swamplandia! by Karen Russell left on a train) or disinterest (Wildwood by Colin Meloy, for example). I did, however, manage to achieve one of my two reading resolutions for 2012.
Firstly the one I failed to met though. I planned to read and review on this blog one science fiction novel written by a woman each month, the same resolution I made in 2011 when I achieved ten out of twelve. This year I read four from my list and only managed to write about one: Gwyneth Jones’s excellent Spirit. This is in the context of a year when I reviewed far few novels (six) than any year since I started reviewing. This did includenew science fiction novels by Moira Young and EJ Swift though and two thirds of the books I reviewed were by women.
More positively, I planned to achieve gender parity in my reading and I did. By my count, 18 of the books I read this year were by women which is 52.9%, massively above my previous annual average of 16.9%. It was a very interesting experiment to structure my reading this way and one I feel I’ve benefitted from. I am not going to consciously repeat it this year but I am going to monitor it and see if it has altered my reading patterns.
This post was inspired by Victoria Hoyle’s excellent post on Eve’s Alexandria about the agony and ecstacy of stretching yourself as a reader. So I’d like to take half a leaf out of her book when it comes to a resolution for this year: I’d like to read more, to read more broadly, to read more deeply, to write about more of what I’ve read. We shall see.