All of the data that follows was collected by me throughout the year using a combination of Google Sheets and Google Calendar. All seasonal and monthly calculations are based on the date each title was begun. Average days to read titles are based on the number of days actually spent reading each title, and not necessarily the full span from begun date to completed date.
A complete list of all the books I read in 2018 is at the bottom of this post.
For a list of my favorite books I read this year, go here >
For a list of my least favorite books of the year, go here >
I participated in #LibFaves18 on Twitter. See my selections here >
I read 63 books in 2018:
- 37 fiction
- 26 nonfiction
This is a higher proportion of nonfiction books than usual for me.
I averaged 5.25 books per month. I read 28 books in the first half of the year and 35 in the second half. My average books per month for the first six months of the year was 4.67 compared to an average of 5.83 per month in the last six months. It’s normal for my reading to go in fits and starts but it’s unusual for it to be so unequal overall. It was a weird year for reading.
My fiction-to-nonfiction reading was more even through the year: 18 and 10 respectively in the first six months, 19 and 16 for the last six.
I spent 157 days reading in 2018 and 209 not reading. I averaged 3.27 days of reading in a row per stretch and 4.26 days in a row not reading.
My longest uninterrupted stretch of reading lasted 12 days, from July 1–July 12. My longest stretch without reading was 46 days from January 16–March 2. That’s right: I didn’t read a single page of a single book the entire month of February. That’s kind of ridiculous, if you ask me. Looking back, I honestly can’t remember why I didn’t read anything for over a month. I just… wasn’t in the mood, I guess. It’s also the longest I’ve ever gone without reading since I started tracking my reading data.
My seasonal reading pattern was less consistent than normal for me:
- 7 books in winter (January-February-December)
- 22 books in spring (March-April-May)
- 14 books in summer (June-July-August)
- 20 books in fall (September-October-November)
I read 10 books in October, the most of any month—I think that’s a new record for me. Other than February (with zero), the months with the fewest book were January and June, with 3 each. I had two months with 4 books (November and December), two months with 6 books (August and September), and two months with 7 books (April and May). March saw 8 books read and July had 5.
On average, it took me 2.71 days to read a book:
- 2.65 days for fiction
- 2.81 days for nonfiction
I read all 63 books this year in less than a week. I had a record of 17 books which only took me one day each to read. I should note that I read 7 novellas this year (by my count, not based on official word counts) and one children’s picture book. A surprising number of nonfiction books also read quickly.
This year, I have two reading resolutions:
1) Try to read more consistently. I tend to read in huge chunks, for hours at a time, and so I’m in the habit of not bothering if I don’t have that much time to devote to it. I need to accept that it’s good and healthy to read even if it’s only for an hour or less. I think it would be good to read at least a little bit every week.
2) Stop judging myself for my reading lapses. It’s not like I’m in any danger of never reading again. It’s not like there’s some commandment somewhere that I MUST READ MOAR BOOKS! While reading is very good for your brain under just about any circumstances, there’s some evidence the benefits are lessened if you’re not in the proper headspace to do it. Forcing yourself to read when you’re not in the mood is really only worth it if you have an assignment with a deadline.
I read a handful of romance novels this year, thus completing a small portion of the diverse reading challenge I set for myself in 2017. Perhaps my continued hypocrisy on this front is somewhat redeemed by the list of books I read specifically to check my privilege and challenge my bias.
I plan to get into some Westerns and Urban Fiction in 2019.
I continue not to write many book reviews anymore, although I wrote a couple of movie reviews. See my reviews here >
2018 continued a several year pattern of me not watching TV much, either. Maybe I should just accept I’m not a TV buff anymore. When I’m not reading, I fill my free time scrolling around on my phone. (By the way, I love how that sentence wouldn’t make any sense to anyone not too long ago.) Makes me wonder if it wouldn’t be better to go back to watching TV.
* John the Librarian is my personal blog. The opinions and ideas I express here are strictly my own and do not represent the views of my employer.
Books Read in 2018
I’ve linked titles which I’ve reviewed on this blog. Asterisks (*) indicate titles I reviewed for Booklist.
|1||The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World—and Us||Richard O. Prum||1/4/2018||1/8/2018|
|2||Running Scared||Elizabeth Lowell||1/9/2018||1/13/2018|
|3||Mr. Perfect||Linda Howard||1/14/2018||1/15/2018|
|4||Persepolis Rising||James S. A. Corey||3/3/2018||3/4/2018|
|5||The Dinner||Herman Koch||3/4/2018||3/5/2018|
|6||Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution, Second Edition||Susan Stryker||3/5/2018||3/6/2018|
|7||A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America||T. Christian Miller & Ken Armstrong||3/6/2018||3/6/2018|
|8||Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within||Chade-Meng Tan||3/7/2018||3/9/2018|
|11||The Robots of Gotham *||Todd McAulty||3/26/2018||4/2/2018|
|12||Mrs. Caliban||Rachel Ingalls||4/4/2018||4/5/2018|
|13||Arthur C. Clarke *||Gary Westfahl||4/6/2018||4/8/2018|
|14||Break Beats in the Bronx: Rediscovering Hip-Hop’s Early Years||Joseph C. Ewoodzie, Jr.||4/9/2018||4/13/2018|
|15||The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World||Simon Winchester||4/13/2018||4/21/2018|
|16||Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America (revised and updated)||Ayana D. Byrd & Lori L. Tharps||4/22/2018||4/24/2018|
|17||Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks—A Librarian’s Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life||Annie Spence||4/30/2018||4/30/2018|
|18||Rogue Protocol *||Martha Wells||4/30/2018||5/1/2018|
|19||Kill the Farm Boy||Delilah S. Dawson & Kevin Hearne||5/1/2018||5/2/2018|
|20||Apocalypse Nyx *||Kameron Hurley||5/2/2018||5/5/2018|
|21||The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World||Steve Brusatte||5/7/2018||5/12/2018|
|22||A Voice in the Night *||Jack McDevitt||5/12/2018||5/16/2018|
|23||Lincoln in the Bardo||George Saunders||5/19/2018||5/21/2018|
|24||Bimbos & Zombies||Sharyn McCrumb||5/26/2018||5/29/2018|
|25||Exit Strategy *||Martha Wells||5/31/2018||5/31/2018|
|26||The Million *||Karl Schroeder||6/3/2018||6/3/2018|
|27||Venus on the Half-Shell and Others||Philip José Farmer||6/24/2018||6/26/2018|
|28||Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction *||Alec Nevala-Lee||6/27/2018||7/3/2018|
|29||The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies||Jason Fagone||7/3/2018||7/8/2018|
|30||Iron Dawn||Matthew Woodring Stover||7/9/2018||7/14/2018|
|31||Dispatches from Planet 3: 32 (Brief) Tales on the Solar System, the Milky Way, and Beyond *||Marcia Bartusiak||7/18/2018||7/20/2018|
|32||Lost Mars: Stories from the Golden Age of the Red Planet *||Mike Ashley (ed.)||7/22/2018||7/25/2018|
|33||The Three Questions||Jon J. Muth||7/23/2018||7/23/2018|
|34||Resistant *||Rachael Sparks||8/13/2018||8/13/2018|
|35||Black Belt Librarians: Every Librarian’s Real World Guide to a Safer Workplace||Warren Graham||8/15/2018||8/15/2018|
|36||Bowie on Bowie: Interviews and Encounters with David Bowie||Sean Egan (ed.)||8/16/2018||8/18/2018|
|37||The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog||Adam Gidwitz, illuminated by Hatem Aly||8/19/2018||8/19/2018|
|38||Probability Shadow *||Mark Laporta||8/19/2018||8/28/2018|
|39||The City of Brass||S. A. Chakraborty||8/29/2018||9/2/2018|
|40||Relic||Alan Dean Foster||9/2/2018||9/4/2018|
|41||The Science of Science Fiction: The Influence of Film and Fiction on the Science and Culture of Our Times *||Mark Brake||9/5/2018||9/8/2018|
|42||Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man||Thomas Page McBee||9/8/2018||9/8/2018|
|43||Amateur: A True Story about What Makes a Man||Thomas Page McBee||9/9/2018||9/9/2018|
|44||The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018 *||N. K. Jemisin (ed.); John Joseph Adams (series ed.)||9/10/2018||9/25/2018|
|45||The History of White People||Nell Irvin Painter||9/26/2018||10/1/2018|
|46||The True Meaning of Smekday||Adam Rex||10/2/2018||10/4/2018|
|47||Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life||Eric Klinenberg||10/7/2018||10/7/2018|
|48||A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life||Allyson Hobbs||10/8/2018||10/13/2018|
|49||I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness||Austin Channing Brown||10/13/2018||10/14/2018|
|51||Binti: Home||Nnedi Okorafor||10/16/2018||10/16/2018|
|52||Binti: The Night Masquerade||Nnedi Okorafor||10/17/2018||10/17/2018|
|53||Spacecraft: 100 Iconic Rockets, Shuttles, and Satellites That Put Us in Space *||Giuseppe De Chiara and Michael H. Gorn||10/18/2018||10/27/2018|
|54||Rock Manning Goes for Broke||Charlie Jane Anders||10/28/2018||10/28/2018|
|55||Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism||Safiya Umoja Noble||10/31/2018||11/19/2018|
|56||Nighttime Is My Time||Mary Higgins Clark||11/2/2018||11/7/2018|
|57||Arkad’s World *||James L. Cambias||11/10/2018||11/10/2018|
|58||The Bone Clocks||David Mitchell||11/20/2018||11/27/2018|
|59||Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster *||Adam Higginbotham||11/28/2018||12/2/2018|
|60||Set the Boy Free||Johnny Marr||12/2/2018||12/6/2018|
|61||Terminal Uprising *||Jim C. Hines||12/12/2018||12/17/2018|
|62||We Are Mayhem *||Michael Moreci||12/26/2018||12/28/2018|
|63||Art Matters: Because Your Imagination Can Change the World||Neil Gaiman; Chris Riddell (ill.)||12/30/2018||12/30/2018|