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2022 Year-End Reading Review

What I Read in 2022

I read 212 books in 2022, compared with 175 in 2021.

2022 Reads by Type

  • 122 novels
  • 32 novellas
  • 39 non-fiction books
  • 7 graphic non-fiction books
  • 12 graphic novels and art books

2022 Fiction by Genre

Of the 154 novels and novellas I read, here’s the breakdown by genre:

  • 141 romance
    • 27 contemporary romance
    • 53 sci-fi romance
    • 23 fantasy + paranormal romance
    • 38 historical romance
    • 5 I missed when I counted and I’m not doing it again
  • 2 sci-fi
  • 6 fantasy

2022 Reading Stats

I changed up my stats this year — it’s kind of fun to look at something different, plus I didn’t feel like doing the data entry 😂 (Why I track my reading)

Did I read widely?

  • 50 new-to-me fiction authors
  • 46 new-to-me non-fiction authors
  • 49 re-reads
  • DNF’d 44 books

I’m including Did Not Finish (DNF) books here because they’re often a sign of trying to give a new author or something outside my usual interest area a try. But, I’m not going to make myself read something I’m not enjoying. Quit early and often.

Who published what I read?

As someone planning to self-publish, I’ve been trying to read lots of self-published works.

  • 71 self-published books

Who wrote what I read?

I read a lot of romance, which is heavily dominated by female authors, but in non-fiction find it easy to fall into reading more male authors than female.

Non-fiction:

  • 23 non-fiction books by women
  • 15 non-fiction books by men
  • 1 non-fiction books by openly non-binary and trans authors

When was what I read written?

33
86
96
02
03
07
08
09
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22

All but three of the books I read were published since 2000. I read six books from the 2000s, 104 from the 2010s, and 99 from the 2020s.

How I Read

Reading Habits

When did I read?

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sept
Oct
Nov
Dec

I took two weeks off in May so I read a good bit extra. I quit my job at the end of June, and October is when I started doing a substantial amount of work again.

What format did I read in?

I only read art books and graphic novels and non-fiction in hard copy. But I’m willing to read fiction novels and non-fiction books in either e-book or hard copy.

I prefer to read in e-book on my Kindle Paperwhite, where I can increase the type size and read in the dark thanks to backlighting. However, I’ve recognized that some non-fiction books benefit from being read in physical format, and have been shifting some of my non-fiction reading away from e-books. I do like being able to highlight quotes and send my notes to my email, allowing me to save them on my mind garden, but have seen evidence that we are more likely to recall notes we’ve hand-written.

For fiction, I read:

  • 152 books in e-book
  • 11 books in hard copy

For non-fiction, I read:

  • 19 books in e-book
  • 31 books in hard copy

How much did I read from my TBR list?

At the start of each year, I curate a list of diverse books to read. The exercise forces me to look back through my long list that I add to throughout the year, and helps me resurface books I’d forgotten about. I never read strictly from the list, but intend for it to help guide my reading.

In 2022, I picked 102 books and started reading 44 of them (43%):

  • Read 21
  • DNF’d 13
  • Marked 7 as ‘not interested’ or ‘try again later’
  • Currently reading 3

Only just over half of the books I tried turned out to be for me. In 2023, I’m going to forgo making a to-read list at the start of the year, and just read “at whim” and see how I do at reading broadly.

Where I got the books I read

I mostly borrow books from the library, and subscribed to Kindle Unlimited for a few months in the spring. I also acquired indie books this year through giveaways and newsletter signups.

How many books did I buy?

I’m limited by bookshelf space, so I tend to only buy physical copies of reference books, cookbooks, graphic novels, and art books. In recent years, I’ve expanded that to include some non-fiction for authors that I want to support. The fiction I buy is mostly pre-orders from my favorite indie authors and favorites I want to reread.

  • Bought 14 e-books on Amazon
    • previously read 5 (borrowed from library and Kindle Unlimited)
  • Bought 9 physical books: 1 from Amazon + 4 from Bookshop + 3 through Kickstarter + 1 direct from author
    • previously read 4 (borrowed from library, webcomic and puchased copy I regifted)

Given how much I read, I should probably buy more books. But, I prefer to borrow books from the library rather than buy or acquire them because having a deadline makes me actually get around to reading it.

Did I read the books I bought?

  • Of 14 e-books purchased, I started reading 10 (71%):
    • read 8 in 2022
    • currently reading 2
  • Of 9 physical books purchased, I started reading 4 (44%):
    • read 2 in 2022
    • currently reading 2

How many books did I get for free?

  • Acquired 76 free e-books: 65 through Amazon giveaways and 11 through newsletter giveaways
  • Borrowed 197 unique e-books from the library, with 26 additional borrows of the same titles
  • Borrowed 112 physical books from the library

Did I actually read free books?

Self-published authors debate the pros and cons of giving away books. It’s a no-barrier entry point to your work, but also there are so many free books, will people bother to read what you gave them?

  • Of 76 free e-books, I started reading 19 (25%):
    • read 15 in 2022
    • DNF’d 4
  • Of 186 library loan e-books, I started reading 131 (70%):
    • finished reading 82
    • ran out of time on 9 I’d like to finish eventually
    • DNF’d 40 (some I might try again)
    • did not start reading 57
  • Of 112 physical library loans, I started reading 62 (55%):
    • finished reading 38
    • currently reading 5
    • ran out of time on 6 I’d like to finish eventually
    • DNF’d 13
    • rejected 17 that weren’t what I wanted
    • did not start reading 33

For library books, I don’t consider it a failure that I didn’t read everything I borrowed — I like to keep a wide variety of options available so I can read whatever I feel like, and so I can quit books easily because I know I’ve got something else that scratches the same itch. I would like to read a higher proportion of free ebooks I download, so I think I need to be more discriminating about which I try.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at tracy.durnell@gmail.com. She/her.

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