Hi friends, long time no see – 2023 really woke up and chose ✨breakneck✨! It’s been a whirlwind of a year and I am so glad to be stepping into 2024 with a clean slate. If previous years are anything to go by, then resolutions, plans and me do not get along very well, so I’m starting the New Year with a single goal of just being happy. Also, I cannot believe this is the 5th end of year post.
I hope you’ve been keeping well and read lots of great books in 2023!
Talking of, here’s what I manged to get through, despite having very little headspace for reading throughout the year. The number of posts I’ve written in the past year also somewhat reflects the status of my headspace. Or is it the other way around?.. Anyway. I read a total of 8 books, which funnily is less than I what I got through in just February 2020 alone. Regardless, I’m just glad I read something! I squeezed in the last book of the year in the last week of December.
The year started off strong – I finished 3 whole books in January. Then I fell straight into the downward spiral of a reading slump for pretty much the rest of 2023 reading just one book in 7 months! That book ended up being my favourite of the year. I’ll get to that a little later!
All of the 8 books I read were backlisted, 7 targeted for adults and one primarily for children. Genre breakdown was quite vague, with 1 thriller, 1 memoir and 6 that fell under “other”.
I only bought three of those, and one was lent to me by a friend. Bookshelf Raiders would be proud of me knowing I reduced the number of books I already owned but hadn’t read yet.
I started, but did not finish/continue, 10 books throughout the year. Largely due to my attention span only just about being able to handle a 10 second TikTok video! Maybe one day I’ll give those books a new chance. After all, it wasn’t them, it was me!
The average rating of 3.6/5 also shows a decline in my “reading enjoyment”. And whilst it really isn’t an awful average by any means, it’s definitely the lowest since I started tracking in 2018.
Books I rated highest were Confessions of a Forty-Something F##k Up (2023 favourite! Read Instagram review here..) and The Happiest Man on Earth. I started the year with Lights Out in Lincolnwood, which ended up being the lowest rated book this year. Maybe it was a sign of things to come!
I also overhauled my bookshelves and unhauled a large number of books – a few bags went to charity and some I tried to flip on Vinted. Unfortunately, I didn’t record how many I actually gave away, but I’d think the number is easily over 50, including books I’ve already read and held on to because I’m sentimental and a bit of a hoarder, not because I ever wanted to re-read them.
And whilst my to-be-read list is still large enough for me to probably never being able to finish them all in my lifetime, it is the lowest it has been for a long time, too! You bet I’m counting that as a win!
A quick look at the previous years, and we can see that eBooks have made a huge leap forward by making up half of all the books I read this year. Granted the small number of books I read this year could skew the data slightly, but comparatively that’s the highest % and I think might be here for it. Hardcovers continue to be my least favourite format to read – I’ve not finished a single one since 2021. Ugh, but they look so gorgeous on the shelves, though!
Conclusion & looking forward
Personally for me this year was one of the hardest on record, but also maybe the most transformative. Watch me rise from the ashes like phoenix, lol! 2023 certainly wasn’t my best performance reading wise either, but I’m taking the small win of at last having had read something! I will not be setting myself a reading challenge for the new year, I know better than that after 5 years, but I do have a few new releases on my radar I want to get through in 2024:
- You Don’t Have to Be Mad to Work Here by Benji Waterhouse
- The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton
- The Women by Kristin Hannah
There are more, but these three stood out the most. Who knows, maybe I’ll even write a review in the new year! Watch this space..
Happy New Year to you all, I hope you will prosper, be happy and achieve whatever you set your heart on! I am really looking forward to the year ahead. Speak soon!