2016: A Review

January 2, 2017 at 6:00 pm (Reads)

So, 2016 was a pretty good reading year for me. I read a total of 226 distinct works, which is the most I’ve read in a single year since I started tracking my reads in 1995. That’s 60,632 pages read this year! (Note: For audiobooks and ebooks, I go with the printed edition of the book I listened to or read. For books that had multiple editions, I went with the most recent mass-market paperback edition for page count.) As goals go, I suppose I could have reached a bit higher (writing at least one book might have been loftier), but I’m satisfied.

This year I started listening to audiobooks, which certainly helped my numbers. I only listen to them to and from work, so audibooks only added 12 books to my total, but two of those — Dreamsongs and Locke & Key — made up 2,263 pages. Those were the two of the three longest books I read this year, too. I also read a number of short stories and novellas that took much less time to read than a standard book, though when I look at books read that are less than 100 pages, there are only 19 of them, for a total of 1,251 pages. It’s not an insignificant number, but it’s a small percentage of all my books read this year. The two shortest works read this year were short stories: “Pay the Ghost” by Tim Lebbon (27 pages); and “The Christmas Spirit” by Brian James Freeman (24 pages). Normally I don’t record short stories, but these were sold as individual works, and Goodreads had them listed as individual works, so I counted them.

My Star Wars reading project is still underway, though I shifted from reading all Star Wars all the time to reading one book (or series) and then reading a random book (or series) from my backlog. I read 60 books in the Expanded Universe, including 13 juvenile books. I’ve been reading the Legends books, figuring I’d rather get that universe read before moving on to the new canon, but I did read Claudia Gray’s Bloodlines and Chuck Wendig’s Life Debt this year. The former was as awesome as I would have expected, having read Lost Stars, but the latter was even worse than Aftermath. I did tell myself I’m going to read all of them, good or bad, so I’ll grit my teeth and suffer through Empire’s End in 2017. All told, I’m 22% of the way through all of them, Legends and canon together, so I guess I have another four years of making progress through the books.

I re-read 25 books this past year, most of those horror novels from the ’80s when I tried to re-read some of the authors I liked when I was younger. Jack Ketchum held up remarkably well; Richard Laymon and Rick Hautala did not. I also re-read the Miracleman series, thanks to it finally being reprinted, and I powered through the Myth Adventures books at the end of the year to make up the bulk of those re-reads. I thought that Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle was in this year’s list, but it looks like that was a 2015 re-read.

Speaking of Miracleman, I read 28 graphic novels this year (one of those being the audio presentation of Locke & Key). Graphic novels are usually the kinds of books I can read in a day or so, and I usually feel like I’m cheating by adding them, but I read fewer of them this year than last year. It helps that Fables has wrapped up, but I added a few new titles to follow, notably Harrow County and Paper Girls. I also started reading Invincible, and made my way through the first compendium, which reminds me: I’ve had the second compendium for several months and still haven’t read it. That’s something for the 2017 list, I suppose.

Here are some of the best books I read in 2016:

Earlier this year, I changed my publishing schedule from whenever I finished a book to once a day on weekdays, so I have a backlog of reviews from this year that won’t get published until next year (as of this writing, I have posts scheduled through January 27th). I’m hoping to have enough of a backlog so I won’t have any days when I don’t post something, but I’m not making any guarantees.

My goal for 2017 is going to be 200 books read, which sounds low compared to 2016, but I can’t see trying to break this year’s record. I do have a lot more juvenile Star Wars books to finish, so maybe we’ll see something similar for next year. Again, no guarantees. I don’t try to force my numbers any given year, but when I have the time, I can knock out two of those juvenile books in one day. Either way, I look forward to the challenge in the new year!



  1. Bookstooge said,

    Tracking since ’95? That is awesome.
    What was the evolution of that; I’d be wicked interested.

  2. Isaac said,

    The fall of 1994 was the first year where I made reading a serious hobby, and I was curious to see how much I would read in a year’s time, so I started recording my reads the next year. After that, it just became a habit.

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