Friday, January 4, 2013

Conclusion - A Year in Review

I find it hard to believe that I began this challenge just over a year ago.  2012 has been such a rewarding year - and not simply because of the challenge.  This year, I started a new job and got married, among other adventures (If you are interested in checking out more our personal life and less about what I'm reading - check out our other blog here).  I could hardly claim that accomplishing this goal beats the things that happened in my personal life, however, I still find it immensely rewarding.

This year, I saw myself becoming a better reader.  I pay more attention to how books are written and I find more inspiration for my future literary aspirations.  I also saw myself branch out significantly in the types of books that I read.  I read books because they were best sellers, books that were recommended because I like other books, books to learn, books to indulge quirky interests, books to challenge my thinking, books to challenge my taste buds, books to cry with, books to laugh with, books to feed my imagination, and books for book lovers.  I cannot say that I loved them all, or even liked them all.  But there were a few I completely fell in love with and spent the weeks after completing them telling everyone I knew to read them.  Next week, I have a post planned to give some "awards" to the books I really enjoyed this year.

I realize that most people reading a blog about books probably process in words over numbers.  There may be a few of you out there, though, who like me, love some good statistics.  For those of you left-brained thinkers, here are some numbers which catalog my year.

Books Read: 54
Total Pages Read: 22,806
Average Page Count (per book): 422 pages
Most Read Author: George R.R. Martin, 4 books (#1, #2, #3, #4)
Average Pages Read Per Day: 62
Most Read Genre: Fiction (38) 
Second Most Read Genre (since Fiction is so broad): Historical (18)
Busiest Months: February, April, October (wedding month even!), and December - 6 books each
Slowest Month: August - 2 books
Books I Started but Didn't Finish: Sophie's World (so close!), several marriage books that were started but abandoned post-wedding, Mere Christianity (too deep to take in more than a chapter at a time)

In the end, this experience has been a challenging, satisfying, growing experience.  I do not plan on repeating this challenge in 2013, particularly since I am considering starting grad school in the fall.  Still, my reading adventures are far from over.  Over the holidays, I picked up 8 new books (for a total of only $12!) in various locations.  I was at least if not more excited about those than any Christmas presents I got.  I have already started into the pile and Kevin says the next purchase for our home needs to be another bookshelf.  At the moment, I am looking for a new challenge to tackle.  I am thinking about finding a "100 Best Novels/Books of All Time" type list and tackling it over the next couple of years.  Or perhaps I will try something completely different.  I am open to anything.  All I do know for sure is that my love of reading has grown this year, which is something I did not imagine to be possible.  

Did you have a reading goal for 2012?  Did you complete it?  How about 2013?  Do you have any suggestions for what my next reading goal should be?

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