I read 52 books in 2018, which is just two shy of the record I set last year (and still the second best year in recorded history (i.e. the last 9 years)). It's worth noting that a fair amount of these titles are actually short fiction, but we'll get more into that later. Full list of titles here. Also of note, a significant amount of these were audiobooks, which sometimes feels like cheating. These disclaimers also applied to last year's record-setting run, so I feel like I did alright, especially considering the next way to slice reading, where I did set a new record - total number of pages read: inherent variability of page numbers, but I managed to exceed the previous record by almost a thousand pages, which ain't too shabby (last year's record setting total was only about 100 pages more than the previous record). Some additional info:
While I did read short fiction this year, which does indeed help to inflate "book" totals, the average book length this year was 306 pages - a huge improvement over last year's 279 pages. This means that I read lots of longer books (i.e. 500+ page books) to make up for the handful of short stories (and to a lesser extent, the 150 page novellas). The record for average book length was set in 2013, a year in which I specifically and intentionally set out to read massive doorstops (and even then, the average was 356 pages). The longest book I read all year was Justin Cronin's The Passage at a respectable 766 pages (though a far cry from my record, which is somewhere in the 1000+ page range).
The pie chart breaks things down a bit further, though it's a weird graph due to the dumb way I categorize stuff on Goodreads (i.e. fiction, short story, and novella contain lots of overlap, non-fiction has no overlap). Still, roughly on par with previous years in terms of short fiction, with a mild increase in both novellas and non-fiction.
- Only 10 non-fiction books in 2018, which is actually an improvement over 2017 (when I had just 7), but still something I should probably try to improve in 2019.
- Only 15 books were written by women, which is a step down from last year when the proportion was roughly 50%. Then again, none of this happened by design and just came in the natural course of reading, so go figure.
- The oldest book I read all year was Isaac Asimov's robot story Runaround (for the 1942 Retro Hugos, which I didn't vote in because I didn't end up reading all the stories). Since that was a short story, the oldest actual "book" was Leigh Brackett's The Big Jump, written in 1955.
- A brief scan of the list sees that somewhere around 30 were Science Fiction, which is about in line with previous years (but more than last year, which was a divergent year for some reason).