2013 Year in Review, and a Look Ahead to 2014

Posted January 1, 2014 by Heather in Monthly Wrap-ups / 38 Comments

Happy New Year

It’s a new year, which means taking a look back at my reading stats for 2013 and looking ahead at plans for 2014. I’m going to be as brief as possible because I really want to just sit down and read, which I haven’t had a chance to do a whole lot of lately. So instead of typing out all my stats for 2013, I took some screen shots of the app I use to keep track of my reading:

Year End 2013Totals for 2013

The numbers for 1001 Books (You Must Read Before You Die), The Classics Club, and The Non-Fiction Adventure are all-time totals, but the rest are my totals for 2013. I did a lot more reading on my Kindle this year than I’ve ever done since I bought it, and I used the library way more than ever. This also means that I spent quite a bit less money on books this year than I usually do. That’s a plus in the banking department. 2013 ended up being the year of rereads, which was a lot of fun, although I didn’t read as many books from my TBR pile mountain as I would have liked (understatement of the year). I have over 500 books on that mountain (the curse of the library book sale), so I really need to put a bigger dent in it this year. 2013 was also the year of 21st-century fiction, apparently, and I usually read more nonfiction than that. I’ll have to get back into the nonfiction this year if I want to meet my goal for the Non-Fiction Adventure. I also totally slacked off on the classics this year–I need to get back into those, too. I’m pretty happy with my male to female author ratio this year, but disappointed in my authors of color stat. I also need to work on reading more LGBT literature (by LGBT authors). The entire list of books I read in 2013 can be viewed here.

Some other interesting statistics that I didn’t keep track of with that app:

My friend sj and I started a project in 2013 to read all of Stephen King’s books in order of publication. In the first year, we read 25 out of his eleventy-billion published books. That’s actually pretty good. We averaged two a month. We also read a bunch of non-King books together, for a grand total of 39. Some of the other books we read together included the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde and the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane. We always have great conversations about books when we read them together. So much fun.

Goodreads 2013

According to Goodreads, I gave a 5-star rating to 57 books this year (they actually say 56, but they’re not counting my reread of Infinite Jest in any of my stats); I gave 106 books a 4-star rating; 46 books received a 3-star rating; and I gave a 2-star rating to 5 books. I tend not to give out 1-star ratings because that would just be a DNF for me (which wouldn’t get a rating anyway, if I didn’t finish it). I’m not going to attempt to list my favorites of 2013 because it would be a long list. There were far more than 10 and I would feel bad leaving any of them out. Les MisΓ©rablesΒ was the longest book I read in 2013.

Plans for 2014:

2013’s YoRWtFIW was a relative success, but again, because of my ever-growing TBR mountain, I’m hoping to be more staunch about it in 2014. I’ve started a new page to keep track of the books I read in 2014–you can find it in the blog menu under YoRWtFIW.

sj and I will be continuing our READ ALL THE SK project, obviously.

2014 is also going to be The Year of the Comics/Graphic Novels. sj keeps telling me about comics and graphic novels she thinks I would enjoy, and they are both something I’ve been meaning to spend more time with for a few years now. Since getting hooked on the TV adaptation of The Walking Dead, I’ve been wanting to read the comics the show is based on–I will be doing that starting this month. I don’t have a definitive list of the comics/graphic novels I’ll be reading in 2014 (I’m just going to play it by ear as sj recommends them to me), so if any of my readers have recommendations for me, please leave them in the comment section.

I have decided not to finish Project Read All Of Atwood as it was originally planned. I have read/reread 14 of the 21 books that were on the original list (which didn’t include MaddAddam). The rest of the books on the list were going to be rereads for me anyway and I really, REALLY want to reread Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood so I can finally read MaddAddam. (And I wasn’t looking forward to rereading The Blind Assassin since it’s not one of my favorites of hers).

20131207-094030.jpg

#SlutsInTheAttic is still going strong through January 10th on Insatiable Booksluts. This part hasn’t been officially announced yet, but I think we’re going to try to get a watchalong together for the airing of the new Lifetime version on January 18th, so keep your eyes on IB if you’re interested.

I set my 2014 Goodreads Challenge goal at 150 books again this year. I probably could have bumped it up to 175 considering how many books I read in 2013, but I have been sucked in by the boob tube again. Sigh. After my favorite Sunday night lineup on HBO ended (Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Sex and the City), I basically stopped watching television. The only thing I’ve regularly turned the TV on to watch for years now is college basketball. Then Eric got me into The Walking Dead a few months ago. About a week ago, a friend of mine kept updating Facebook with intriguing posts about The Vampire Diaries…and now Eric and I are into that, too (we’re currently watching the old seasons on NetFlix). Once we’re caught up on TVD, we’ll have to watch the spin-off (The Originals). Not to mention that we’re still enjoying Sleepy Hollow, although the first season of that will be over at the end of this month. Needless to say, all of this has cut into my reading time. Stupid TV. [stamps foot]

Blogging. I really need to get back into blogging regularly. I said this last year, too, but then all I wanted to do was read, read, read. I couldn’t stand the thought of sitting in front of another screen. I just need to schedule one day a week to sit down and do the blog stuff without feeling bad about not getting as much reading done that day. I can do it.

I think that’s it. I don’t think I’ve forgotten anything. If I have, I’ll update this post when I think of it. I hope everyone has a wonderful year, full of books and happy times. Thank you to everyone who continues to read Between the Covers even though I’ve slacked off a bit over the past year or so. I appreciate all of you. You’re the greatest.

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  • I liked the screen shots. What app do you use to track your reading? I hope you enjoy your foray into graphic novels. Since you don’t have a list yet, I will boldly recommend Page by Paige, Laura Lee Gulledge.
    Happy Reading!

  • I’m so glad you shared the app because it looks awesome!!! I hope that 2014 is a really great year for you. I’m hoping to read more classics as well but sometime It’s hard to find the right one.

    • Heather

      Thank you, Trish! Likewise!

  • I really like the graphics for your year in review. I don’t read enough books in one year to bother with anything like that myself. Good luck with your reading plans and happy reading!

    • Heather

      Thank you, Amanda!

  • Ooh, very interesting idea to read all the Stephen Kings in order of publication.

    By the way, I think I asked you a while back if your blog url had changed. The reason I asked is because I wasn’t getting any of your new blogposts in my blog reader and also I never had to manually enter my name and blog address into your comments section before. Not sure what happened and I’m not the best with technology, so….:)

    Happy reading in 2014, Heather! πŸ™‚

    • Heather

      My URL didn’t change, but I *did* move the blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. All of my followers were automatically moved to .org *except* for people who chose to receive emails using .com’s “Follow” button, or something like that. Those people had to re-enter their emails. You can probably just add my URL to your blog reader manually and you’ll start seeing my new posts there again. It’s still btweenthecovers.com.

      Happy New Year, Rowena!

  • Oh yes, glad you shared the app – though to be honest, I’m not thrilled abt keeping up with something else but… I liked the breakdown. I wish goodreads would be a little more flexible and offer more on that.
    I did track hardback vs ebook, etc but forgot to add it up and include it in my post. And I hadn’t thought about adding up how many exactly on the 1001+ to read! I was shocked that I only read one book from the 1800s.
    I do so love reading what everyone tracks. Happy New Year!

    • Heather

      It took me very little time to use the app. When I finished a book, I just took the extra minute or two to add its info to the app. (The pages read I just added at the end of every day before getting in bed.)

  • Stupid TV? And yet you still read 200-plus books? Shutttt uppp! πŸ˜›

    Like you, I want to read more in the graphic novel area and have the first issue of The Walking Dead on my tablet.

    As for TV, though, I can’t blame you for stopping for a long while after that lineup. It was a great one. We especially loved, and still love, The Sopranos.

    • Heather

      I still love The Sopranos, too. I started rewatching it, but I’ve only gotten through the first two episodes so far (haven’t had much time to watch lately).

  • Tif

    I love the look of that app you have! I see you posted about it in the above comments and I need to see if they have an Android version. I’ve always just used Goodreads … or, nothing before they allowed the stats to be tracked.

    I can give you a few of my personal recommendations for graphic novels and comics. Here’s a quick list, but you have to let me know if and when you decide to read them!!! πŸ™‚

    Locke & Key by Joe Hill
    Fables by Bill Willingham
    Y: The Last Man by Brian K Vaughan
    Saga by Brian K Vaughan
    The Unwritten by Mike Carey

    And, if you want quicker, stand-alone versions, I adore everything by Doug TenNapel.

    • Heather

      Thank you, thank you for the recommendations! I will definitely let you know when I read them.

      I’ve always used Goodreads, too, but I wanted to track some things that they don’t. It’s a great app.

  • I’m going to do bullet points because I’ve got a lot of responses πŸ˜€
    – Yay more LGBT authors! I’ve got plenty of suggestions! I got one from my former boss that looks really interesting.
    – I’m excited to read the Thursday Next series!
    – It bothers me that goodreads doesn’t track multiple reads πŸ™
    – Can’t wait to see what Graphic Novels you read! I’ve read a lot of the ‘creme de la creme’ but haven’t expanded much beyond that.
    – Although I’m sad about the demise of Project Atwood I completely understand it. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say about MaddAddam. Did you have a graphic for PMA? If you did I might want to steal it. I need to finally read all of her works.

    And just to close it off hope you and the family have an amazing 2014!

    • Heather

      Email me a list of LGBT works you recommend.

      I didn’t have a graphic for PMA. I’ll probably reread the others I hadn’t gotten to after I re(read) the MaddAddam series. Just because I love her.

      I hope 2014 is a grand year for you, too!

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  • I hope to focus on only watching the tv shows I really want to watch this year and not be sucked into crappy reality tv like Storage Wars…!
    I want to read more graphic novels (and manga) too. I would like a good app for this – can you or anyone recommend it?
    And of course I’m just in awe of the amount you read. 68.000+ pages!!!

    • Heather

      I’m not sure what apps are out there for this, but you know who probably would know? sj. Haha! I bet if you tweeted the question and tagged her in it, you’d get suggestions from her and others.

  • Incredible list of stats! And I am going to look into that app!

    • Heather

      Thank you!

  • Amazing year of reading! I bet you could hit the 175 book mark. I noticed you were reading Stephen King’s books and would like to take on that challenge myself one year. I’m also watching The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries, among many many other shows. Probably too many. I had no intention of watching Orange is the New Black, but somehow I got hooked this week.

    • Heather

      Thanks!

      I’m not sure if I want to watch Orange is the New Black. I’ll probably skip that one.

  • Looks like it was a great year!

    And yeah, TV cuts into my reading time quite a bit as well. Netflix… it’s a blessing and a curse.

    • Heather

      It sure is.

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  • I totally missed the Flowers in the Attic readalong but it’s in my wishlist now so I hope to read it sometime this year. Happy New Year!

    • Heather

      Happy New Year, Athira!

      Feel free to add your comments to our Flowers in the Attic posts when you read it! πŸ™‚

  • sj

    I keep meaning to start a list of things I think you’ll enjoy and then I forget. Because I’m the worst.

    I totally agree that you need to read Saga, though. πŸ˜‰

    • Heather

      You’re not the worst–you’re the best…who just moved to another state and has been very busy. We’ll choose them as we go. <3

  • Happy New Year, dear Heather. Wishing you success with all your reading plans and in your life πŸ™‚

  • I stink at finding a balance at anything. I want to blog regularly (i.e. have three posts a week on regularly scheduled days), but that’s not happening.

    I fully support the reading all the SK. I’m (still) trying to do the dame, though without any particular order.

  • 204 books? Oh my, I’m so jealous – I can’t even get to 100 books a year any more. That’s fantastic!

    • Heather

      Thanks, Lisa! I was actually quite impressed and surprised with it myself.

  • Hi, Heather, and happy new year!

    I actually do a lot of social media and digital PR for authors, which is great because it means I can read a book and get paid for it. (Not that all the books are unequivocally engrossing or even marginally interesting, but…)

    Anyway, I was talking to a client the other day and confessed to her that sometimes it can take me a little longer to read a client’s work, especially if it’s a really GOOD one. I’m such a voracious bibliophile that when I’m reading a great book, I feel oddly guilty about it because I feel like I should be WORKING instead, even though I AM working. Isn’t that weird? Whereas when it’s a book I don’t particularly find interesting or even well-written, it really DOES feel like work and thus doesn’t make me feel guilty at all. πŸ˜‰

    Still, I love your commitment to reading more in 2014. It’s a resolution I think everyone should make and will be far more enjoyable and productive than resolving to, say, lose 10 lbs. I’ve made the same resolution myself — plus the resolution to write a couple of books, too! — so it’ll be fun to see how that goes.

    Salut,
    Marjorie

  • Wow these are amazing stats, what app do you use to track your reading? I’d love to use something in depth like that…

    • Heather

      Look up near the top of the comments–I put a link to it in my first reply. πŸ™‚