30 Before 30: 2014 Books in Review

#13: Read 375 400 books (between Jan 1, 2013 and Dec 31, 2018).

2013: I read 96/100 books.
2014: I read 95/100 books. (So far.)

[ 375 – ( 96 + 95 ) ] / 4 = 46

Wait, what? I only have to read an average of 46 books each year 2015 – 2018 to meet my goal? Where is my original math on how this would all make sense? Ah, here it is:

Let’s see….25 this year, 100 next year, 100 again the next, 50 for the next three? So approx. 375 books?

“This year” was finishing out 2013, but at some point I decided it would be easier to just use the full year and use the Goodreads goals to track it. So I guess that’s where it got kind of wonky. Maybe I should bump it up for an even 400? Of course, there are plenty of books that I marked as “read” when I didn’t actually finish them. Some books that I got as a free Kindle download were so poorly written I couldn’t even bring myself to finish them. But I read as much of them as I’m ever going to, so I counted it. #DealWithIt

What if I were to round up to an even 400 books?

[ 400 – ( 96 + 95 ) ] / 4 = 52.25

I may do this. I’m in a panic all year, trying to stay ahead of my Goodreads counter “You’re x books ahead/behind schedule!” Blech. And I’ve read a ton of crap books just to get the numbers up. Not to mention counting all those unfinished books to boost my numbers! It’s even more depressing to acknowledge that even after all that I still didn’t make my goal! This way I can be honest… I think I’ll set my goal to 50 from now on. Take the pressure off, and allow myself to read higher-quality books. Life’s too short to waste on bad books, amiright?

The longest book I read this year was Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon. 627 pages. It took me 3 days to finish it.

It looks like I gave 41 books a five-star rating. I have a hard time giving books low reviews…and I tend to really enjoy nearly everything I read. A book has to suck pretty hard to get a bad review.

Another 41 books got a four-star rating. What are the odds? These are usually books that I really like, but don’t necessarily love, you know what I mean?

I gave 10 books a three-star rating. These are books that I finish, but begrudgingly. Probably because they were short and I needed them to boost my numbers. I’ve learned to not blindly download free Kindle books…they are rarely worth it. The I Bring the Fire series is the most notable exception to this rule.

Only 2 books were given a two-star rating. Peony in Love I couldn’t finish, and Big Sky Blue was just too short. It would have probably only warranted a three (mayyyyybe four) star rating if it had been fleshed out a bit more. There was zero plot/character development.

The only book I’ve ever given a one-star rating to…poor Beyond the Eyes… I think I was just in a bad mood that day. I’ve probably read – or at least started – books that were equally as poorly written, but I was just not in the mood to deal with that one. It was a decent premise, I think…just very poorly executed.

One thing I started this year were audiobooks.

  • Sycamore Row (4 stars)
  • Bad Monkey (5 stars)
  • Let Me In (5 stars)
  • The Language of Flowers (5 stars)
  • The Shadow of the Wind (5 stars)
  • The Witch’s Daughter (4 stars)
  • The Mating Season (4 stars)
  • Bossypants (still reading listening)

Wow, that’s more than I thought… Listening to audiobooks has definitely improved my commute. I do miss listening to NPR, though… I tend to take a day or two off between audiobooks to listen to NPR. I would much rather listen either over music, surprisingly. Because they are both consistently interesting. Unlike trying to listen to a music station, where you end up with ads and songs you don’t like.

I have noticed that I enjoy male narrators more than female, and pretty much any other accent over a boring American accent. Tina Fey’s pretty awesome, though. Of course, her book’s a memoir more than a fictional tale, so there is less dialog, and she doesn’t try to do voices even when there is dialog. That’s what really bothers me – women trying to sound like men. It’s always, always horrible. I don’t know why men impersonating a female’s voice is better, but it is. Just barely, though.

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