I saw this idea from Ellyn’s blog post, and I really enjoyed it. I thought it would be interesting to see how my reading habits from 2015–2021 have changed over the years.
My genres are going to stay about the same. I’m a fantasy and a science fiction gal through and through. Those two have been my priority since I was in elementary school. So, while other genres might become more prevalent (like poetry), those two should stay about the same.
I also think my readings are going to become more diverse. I’ve been choosing to read more diverse books lately.
As you can see from the photos, I’ve mostly kept the number of books I read in one year about the same.
For 2015, I read twenty-five books. Then it rose to thirty-nine books in 2016 and forty-nine books in 2017. But then the number of books I read in a year levels off in the thirties with thirty-four, thirty-two, thirty-six, and thirty-seven for 2018–2021.
It is interesting how I just kind of found my range of books to read and stuck with it. No matter if my year got busier or not, I just read about the same amount of books.
It’s weird looking back at 2015. I still have some high school textbooks in there (The Road, Heart of Darkness, and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead), but most of my chosen books are YA series (The Young Elites, Witch & Wizard, The 5th Wave, and The Infernal Devices). Out of those four series, I only finished three. The more I look though, the more I see books tied to series instead of standalones.
College influences started reaching into my books more and more. I still read some Japanese books from the same series as mentioned before. But I would not have read older books like The Bhagavad Gita and The Aeneid without someone making me. I just don’t get into older works well.
I continue the trend of reading a lot of series, but I see more variety this year. Last year, it was a lot of Cassandra Clare, but now I’ve started new series and finished old ones. I read more sci-fi this year than the previous year as well. Still mostly the same age range and genres of YA and SFF (science fiction and fantasy).
2017 was the year of the YouTubers and artists. I have Book of Mythicality, How to Write Good, and The Only Pirate At the Party. While I still marked a lot of textbooks from English class, I read a lot more Rick Riordan this year as well.
I also read a few manga and graphic novels this year, which is new. The reason being was that I took a college class where the teacher told us that he would make us all appreciate art in literature by the end of the semester. We started with analyzing these 1800s paintings and went all the way up to modern graphic novels and comic books. My favorite had to be Daytripper though. I also read my first novella (Clockwork Girl).
The first thing I noticed for this year was so many senior English textbooks. Also, so much William Shakespeare. I accidently took a Shakespeare class. They tricked me into thinking it was the one senior course that wouldn’t read work from only one person for the whole class. I was trying to go for variety. Instead, I got stuck with the most Shakespeare that I’ve ever read. I didn’t enjoy it much.
I still read a few more comic books and graphic novels this year (Adulthood is a Myth and Fun House). I also read books about editing books (What Editors Do), leading toward my field. I didn’t read as many SFF books this year, which is a shame. But considering how many textbooks I read, I can’t blame myself.
No more textbooks! By now, I had graduated college, but I still ended up reading some educational books for editing (The Copyeditor’s Handbook and The Copyeditor’s Workbook). I had gone to my first editing conference that year, so I got a lot of recommendations. I also read a book that made jokes about Hamlet, which kind of shows my feelings about getting away from textbooks.
With more control over what I could read, a lot more SFF books came back into my realm. More science fiction than fantasy this year. I still read some comic books, and I started reading more poetry collections, which is new. I also see a lot more diversity from sexuality (Let’s Talk About Love and Slow Lightning) to race (The Hate U Give) to just reading books not set in America (Crazy Rich Asians and We Crossed the Bridge and It Trembled).
I read a lot of shorter works in 2020. During that year, I was working and going back to school to get a copyediting certificate. I read more shorter children’s books as well because of places I was applying to be an editor for. I also read some poetry and comic books.
I did read fantasy and sci-fi this year. I even read my first historical fantasy (The Kingdom of Back). I wouldn’t mind going back into that subgenre more. I read a lot more fantasy comic books, specifically with the Artemis series by Lindsey Stirling. I even read a few outside of my normal SFF that I loved like We Are Okay.
With more time on my hands again, I went right back to reading more SFF books overall. This year is the same as last with me reading more fantasy than sci-fi. I do find that I’m not reading as many series as I had around 2016. I read a couple of fantasy novellas and standalones more. I also continued to read more diverse books (I Rise, Cinderella is Dead, and The Bone Way).
I mostly noticed that I’ve been branching out more and more in different ways while still staying to my core. For example, I’ve read more queer SFF books and ones that mix into other genres (comic books and historical fiction).
I also noticed just how much other people have influenced or controlled my reading habits for most of my reading life. There weren’t any SFF classes in school. And while school taught me a lot, I still read many books I didn’t enjoy and look back on with a sense of ugh.
When I could choose, my books got more diverse. Most of my college textbooks weren’t diverse at all. (If I remember right, the only Black man who I read from in college was Frederick Douglass. And while he’s important, there are more Black people I could’ve read from as well.)
Now that I get to choose my books, I read the genres I know I love more. I also still branch out into other genres, which is good. Because reading only one genre is not a well-read writer or editor. It helps to get ideas from all around. And while I read more queer and POC books overall, I need to read more books with disabled characters.
I also notice that I’ve read more indie books over the years. I’ve been slowly dipping away from traditional publishing.
I hope you found this enjoyable! Are there any trends in your books that you’ve seen over the years?