As my first yearly project draws to a close, here’s what I learned about my reading habits, in no particular order.
- I like science fiction much better than I thought I did, though mostly if it’s written by women. I’ve always gravitated to fantasy in the past, but I found myself really enjoying the science fiction selections I read (see: Melissa Scott, CJ Cherryh, C.S. Friedman).
- …and I think part of that is because I really, really love some good political intrigue (see: Finder, Foreigner, In Conquest Born).
- I would like crime fiction and noir to stay far, far from my specfic. I think I gave it a good shot, but it’s just not my thing. This crosses over into my other media consumption, actually, because the best way to turn me off from a SFF premise is to make it a crime procedural. (I’m looking at you, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) (See: short stories from Dangerous Women.)
- It turns out I was right – I don’t particularly care for short fiction. Even the best short stories I read were slightly unsatisfying. All remaining anthologies in my TBR were sold to Half Price Books, and now I know not to buy anymore.
- A lot of what I (tried) to read was very, very problematic, in ways that I wouldn’t have recognized if I’d read it when it was published. I think this is a combination of both the world moving on and my own evolving understanding. In this case, the Suck Fairy visited preemptively.
- I hate writing reviews. Early on in the project, I was pushing myself to write a cogent, useful review for every book I read. This was perhaps the hardest part of the project. In the end, I dropped that “requirement,” and never missed it. I definitely do not have a future as a book reviewer.
- I’m still not a particularly critical reader, and I think I’m okay with that. There are a lot of critical reviewers and theorists out there, and I adore reading their dissection of what I’ve read – once I’m done with it. But I prefer to read through for enjoyment first. This may be a character failing, but I’ve come to accept it.
This was definitely a good outing for my first yearly project, and I’m glad I did it. I learned a lot about my reading preferences that will hopefully guide me in future purchases. As an added benefit, I now have a dedicated bookshelf for my TBR – and it miraculously fits all my books. (Though there’s also my unread ebooks … and unlistened to audiobooks …)