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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

2023: A Year in Review



Another reading year has gone by with what I would say is to moderate success. Reading is always a gamble, you never know whether or not you are going to like what you pick up. For me, I usually end up disliking or feeling apathetic towards what I read, and good books are few and far between. That is kind of why I like reading though, to find those gems among the rough.


I didn't have the greatest reading year I would say, but also not the worst. I ended up not reading as much as I would have liked in the latter half of the year seeing as I barely read anything at all. I just hit a huge slump in terms of reading actual books since I was going from hyper fixation to hyper fixation which took up my spare time.





As you can see from the chart above (courtesy of Book Roast's CAWPILE), I really didn't read a lot to the point of reading nothing in August, November and December. Well, I take that back, apart from reading nothing but fanfiction. I was in fact constantly reading, just not actual books. Compared to last year this year was pretty bad seeing as most of my reading months last year had my numbers at 20+/month.


Now, let's get into some details.


 



Of my goal of 65 books for the Goodreads reading challenge, I ended up reading 69. Technically, I did complete the challenge, but did I really? Considering I ended up reading over 30 volumes of manga, I don't really consider this challenge to be a success.


In 2022 I read 260 of a goal of 180, and in 2021 I read 399 of a goal of 120. So, compared to the last two years, this year was kind of sad. Again, though, it wasn't like I wasn't reading, I just went down rabbit hole after rabbit hole of hyper-fixated fanfiction binges. I am still currently in one of those hyperfixations, but here's hoping that I kick myself into gear by next month.


According to CAWPILE though, I read 79 books, not 69, and I ended up DNFing 13 books. So I don't quite know what happened there with my totals, but I guess I read a tiny bit more than I thought. I did DNF less than I thought, but I guess that is due to the lack of reading.



 


With the number of volumes of manga I read this year, it is no surprise that it has a higher percentage compared to novels. To be fair, I do actually want to read more manga and manhwa since I have a lot more success with them compared to novels.


One thing I am kind of curious though, I wonder what this chart, and all of the charts frankly, would look like if I also tracked the amount of fanfiction I read.



 




I read roughly, and I say roughly because manhwa and webcomics don't have page counts to track, 19,692 pages. Again not much compared to the last two years, but I did get through some chunky books this year. I didn't, however, listen to a single audiobook which is a bit odd.



 


I consider it a win that I didn't have a single 1-star book this year, and another win that 50% of what I read were 4 stars or above. Compared to last year where I had only 26%, I guess you can say I had a way more successful reading year. Even having less than 10% below 3 stars is a win for me.



 




Surprise, surprise, my most-read genre of the year is fantasy. It is after all what I like to read most, and even the manga I read are shonen and therefore technically fantasy. Besides that, I only read 5 mystery books and 11 horror books. I do want to read more mystery/thriller and horror books in general so hopefully my count next year will be more.



 


An ongoing goal I have every year is to read a bunch of books published within that year. I thought I didn't read that much since I fell behind on some ARCs, but I ended up reading 16 which was the bulk of what I ended up reading.




 


I read a good amount of standalone, but I also started more series than I should. I started 17 this year with reading 38 sequels. However, I only DNFed 2 series and completed 4 which is...not good. To be fair, some of those series are ongoing and some of them have 10+ books. I know that I am going to end up starting a bunch more series this year, but I hope that I can also finish some I start.



 

READING GOALS

 

Oh, boy. I am not good at completing the goals I set up at the beginning of the year. Sure, I completed the Goodreads reading challenge, but that is kind of all I did. At the beginning of the year, I made a post of all the reading goals I had for the upcoming year. First on the list was to hit 1000 books read on Goodreads. I am currently at 929 so that didn't happen, but hopefully this year I can reach that goal.


My next goal, same as the previous year, was to read more manga/manhwa. I did end up starting One Piece which definitely helped considering how many volumes that series alone has.


My next goal was to read the books on my previous top books-to-read list. You can imagine how well that went considering how I did with this year's list, which I will get to now. For 2023 I ended up dividing up my '23 Book to Read in 2023' list into books then manga series and a bonus section for webcomics. Of the 23 novels, I ended up reading 9. I want to say that isn't bad but...not great. If that is bad then the manga and bonus sections are worse because I read none of them except for starting One Piece. Guess I will just have to extend my goals into this year in the hopes I actually complete them.

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