{reading} Why I read fewer books in 2018 than in 2017

In 2017 I read 120 books. You can read how here (that’s one of the most popular posts on the blog, by the way).

Last year I passed 100, didn’t hit 120 but ended up on 112.

Let me tell you why:

  1. I read longer, more challenging books

One of my reading goals for 2018 was to read books that would stretch me, some more literary fiction. I specifically set a really low Goodreads goal of 80 books. This means I still needed to be reading almost two books a week, so I had to prioritise reading but I could read longer books during a month and not choose ones I’d finish within 4 days instead of say, 6.

2. I worked from home more

I listen to audible books on the way to work. A standard non-fiction read is about 8 hours long and a standard fiction read is about 10 – 11 hours long, so let’s average out at 9 hours.

Given these stats, and my commute being about 45 minutes, in 2017, I’d get through a long audio book in 3 weeks, but on average this year it was taking me 4 weeks because for many weeks, I’d work from home two days.

(no complaints; I’d gladly sacrifice books for focussed deep work time)

3. my reading slump

I won’t go into the whole thing here again but when you’re in a reading slump, you’d rather do other things than read, so I organised, took jacaranda photo walks and had other kinds of fun 🙂

It was really helpful analysing why I read less this year. The bottom line is I’m an upholder and it’s still best for me to make my own rules about reading (and everything else) and uphold those rules.

Read more about my reading rules here, and on re-reading them now, it’s so obvious the commenters are not upholders 😉

How did your reading life compare from 2017 to 2018? Have you noticed any trends?

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  1. I read roughly the same amount of books in 2017 and 2018. Both years, I fell just short of my reading goals (somewhere around 90%) and I am fine with that, as both were really hectic years for me. I did read some great books that I really enjoyed though. Currently my reading is terrible probably because I am reading 2 non-fiction which is a stretch for me. I started with the happiness project and the konmari book as I thought they would be perfect for the beginning of the year but am reading at a snail’s pace and losing interest. I think I need some non-fiction first to make me happier and I probably need to focus on 1 of them instead of trying to do both at the same time.
    P.S – I read your linked post – I have no rules when it comes to reading either like the commentors 😉

    • Marcia Francois says

      How many books in 2017 and in 2018?

      Apparently I heard (I think on MMD) that anyone who reads more than 12 books a year is considered a bookworm, or maybe that’s 24.

      Can I suggest two things:
      1. Go watch my reading slump stories again.
      2. I’m bringing you The Friend tomorrow and read it – you’ll be hooked.

      I think you need a thriller (maybe the book club read?) to get you out.

      I like to only read one non-fiction at a time, so I’d choose the one that speaks to you most, and finish that one, and then start reading the second one. Because you can quite easily read a non-fiction and a fiction simultaneously.

      • 44 Books in 2017 and 45 in 2018. I don’t think I am in a reading slump just think that I need to abandon 1 of the non-fiction for now. I actually found a copy of one of ny favorite books that I read a couple years ago and am now dying to reread it. I do want to the read The Friend after hearing how much you loved it.

        • Marcia Francois says

          That’s a great number!

          Agree with you – choose one and finish it. And read your fave and The Friend.

  2. I was four short of my goal this year. I think some of the books I used to listen to on audio (the time, I mean) got replaced by podcasts I love.

  3. I cheat…I set my reading goal for 100 and go so so far beyond it – I ended last year on 460. I don’t want to turn my reading into a competitive sport, so while I could set higher goals, I don’t. Reading slumps hit me more often than I’d like. I am, I’ve realised from the comments stuck in my same old genres, I wonder if a lack of academic commitments might spread my genre a bit. All the academic reading makes it easier for reading for pleasure to stick to what I know will work for me. Okay, ramble in your comments over :p

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