Books and Pages Read in 2022

Screenshot from Goodreads website that says "2022 Reading Challenge. You read 12 out of 22 books. 55%. There are still 5 days left! You can do it!"

So I did pretty abysmally on my reading goals for 2022:

  • I was aiming to read 22 books, and I only managed 12. A meagre 55%.
  • I was aiming for 7,500 pages read and I only managed 3,639. A meagre 48.5%
Screenshot from Goodreads of the 12 books I read this year. They are described in the rest of the blog posting.

Two of the books that I read are so obscure that they don’t even have a cover image in Goodreads (from which I took the above screenshot). One was a book called “It Is Was It Isn’t” by Ted Hunt, which is a book that my sister had that I read when we were both staying at my mom’s place in February. The other was the textbook that I wrote “Nutrition Basics: An Active Approach“. Now, it might seem weird that I read my own book this year, but there is a good reason for it. We are working on a new edition of it, so every chapter needed a major overhaul. My current co-author is retiring, so a new co-author has come on board. We split the book into two, each taking half the chapters to re-write, and then we each read and provided feedback on each others’ chapters. Which meant I read the whole book, cover to cover, and thus I get to count it as a book that I read this year.

Also on the list are four other work related books:

The rest of the books I read were for fun:

  • The Sisters Brothers was a book I read with my on-again, off-again book club. I typically wouldn’t choose a Western novel myself, but that’s part of the fun of a book club – reading stuff that you wouldn’t otherwise read.
  • Faceoff Brewing was a book I was gifted from a friend who thought that its themes (hockey, beer, and statistics) were ones that would really resonate for me. My friends know me so well!
  • Diary of a Bookseller and The Midnight Library were both books that I got from my friend Cath after she had finished with them. The former is a journal of a somewhat grumpy man who owns a bookshop in Scotland – it was a very entertaining read! I found myself thinking about his complaints about customers (in particular the ones who stand in his bookshop looking at books and then checking them out online on their phones and saying “It’s cheaper on Amazon, I’m going to go buy it there.”) when I was in Powell’s Books in Portland in the fall. The former was an interesting book too – it explores the idea of what a person’s life could be like if they’d made different choices at various points in their life. The idea was pretty good, but I didn’t 100% love the writing.
  • I can’t even remember how I came across Factfulness, but I’d had it on my Kobo for quite some time and felt inspired to read it one day while looking through my Kobo to decide what I wanted to read. I quite enjoyed it – with the world looking so bleak, it was nice to have a bit of a reminder of all the things that are actually improving (which don’t get our attention as much as the bad stuff).
  • Another book I’ve had on my kobo for a while, but finally got around to reading was The Man in The High Castle. I watched the first season of the TV series back when it came out and thought I’d give the book a try. Have to say, I liked the TV show better.

So there you have it, the 12 books that I read this year, out of a goal of 22 books. I do have a few books I’m in the middle of reading right now, but I figure there’s no point rushing to finish them in the next 5 days – I’ll just count them towards next year’s goal (I always count a book in the year I complete it, regardless of when is started reading it) to give myself a running start.

I also set a goal to read a certain number of pages, both so I wouldn’t avoid reading long books (which having only a number-of-books-read goal incentivizes) and to give myself credit for all the other long form reading that I do. For this one I kept track of all the journal articles, reports, research protocols, grant applications, and student papers that I read, and added the number of book pages from tracking my books in Goodreads. For the number of pages, I don’t count references lists, title pages, or tables of contents, and I only count a document if I read it in full (and I mean actually read it, not just skimmed it). I also only count a document once, although many of these I read more than once (e.g., multiple drafts of a student’s paper or a colleague’s grant application). And I don’t count any of the documents that I wrote, even if I did read them over again (e.g., editing them or proofreading them after I wrote them). I also think it’s highly likely that I forgot to record things that I read, so this count is probably an underestimate, though I don’t think it’s so much of an underestimate that I would have reached my goal had I not forgotten anything.

Pages read in 2022

As you can see, the vast majority of pages read were as part of books (though I do think this is because I know I recorded every book I read, whereas the combo of stuff I forgot to record or papers/reports that I only read part of and thus didn’t record, means the underestimating is all on the non-book side of the equation).

Anyway, all in all, 2022 was not a great year for reading. Better luck to me in 2023!

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