Goodreads is a social media site for book lovers. People who use it can opt-in to a yearly challenge called “My Year In Books”. It is a reading challenge that encourages people to read more books. Each person gets to choose for themselves how many books they want to have read by the end of the year.
I like that this challenge is individuated. You pick your own goal. You spend the year competing against yourself to complete that goal. One of these years, I hope to be able to successfully complete the challenge.
The first time I attempted the “My Year In Books” challenge was in 2015. I failed miserably. Part of the problem was that I set myself the high goal of 52 books. The other problem was that 2015 decided to afflict me with not one, but two, incredibly bad pollen seasons. I did more sleeping than reading and only managed to read 15 books that year.
Realizing that 52 books was too high a bar for me to get over, I cut my goal for 2016 in half. I figured that I could manage to read 25 books in a year.
However, 2016 had other plans for me, including two bad pollen seasons, a new diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, a new diagnosis of fibromyalgia, plenty of doctor’s visits, and a whole lot of time, effort, and stress related to my disability hearing. I did not complete my reading goal for 2016.
I ended the year having read a total of 11 books. Together, they worked out to a total of 2,753 pages. The shortest book I read was a Ms. Marvel comic book (#2, Super Famous Part 2). The longest book I read was Twilight Eyes by Dean Koontz.
The average length of book that I read in 2016 was 250 pages. Knowing this makes me feel less guilty about including three comic books into my challenge. Some of the books I read were longer than 250 pages.
Goodreads takes a look at the books a person finished reading in a year and figures out what the most popular book, and the least popular book, were. The popularity is determined by the number of people who also read that book.
According to Goodreads, Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn was the most popular book of all the books I read in 2016. A total of 511,807 people read that book. Goodreads said that Blood Sky by Traci L. Slatton was the least popular book of all the books I read in 2016. Only 27 people had read that book.
In 2015, the most popular book – out of the ones I had read that year – was Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. The least popular book that I read that year was American Gothic: A Life of America’s Most Favorite Painting by Stephen Biel. It seems that Goodreads doesn’t have a lot of people who want to read about old paintings.
My Average Rating for 2016 was 4.5 out of 5. In general, I try and select books that I think I will enjoy, so this average rating does not surprise me one bit. There were some books that I liked better than others.
The Highest Rated book on Goodreads (of the ones that I read in 2016) was The Year of Loving by Traci. L. Slatton. It got a 4.62 out of 5 rating. I think that makes up for Blood Sky being the least popular of the books I read in 2016.
In 2015, the Highest Rated book on Goodreads (out of the ones I had read) was Far Shore by Traci L. Slatton. It got a 4.27 out of 5 rating.
The screenshot above shows the 11 books I managed to read in 2016. Almost all of them are “keepers”. I wasn’t too thrilled with the C.S. Lewis one (but this did not surprise me).
The screenshot above shows my epic fail of the 2016 “My Year in Books” Goodreads reading challenge. I decided to give the challenge one more try in 2017. This time, I set my goal at 15 books.