Looking back at 2011

I’m not going to do a “Best of or Top Ten of 2011”. There are already a gazillion of those out there and another one isn’t needed. If you’re looking for what books I liked most in 2011 check out my Goodreads “Highly Recommended Shelf” down at the bottom of the page or check the categories over to the right and select 4.5 or 5 stars.

I am going to talk about my reading and blogging in 2011.

I read one less book in 2011 than I did in 2010. I ended the year with 80 books completed. 63 of those were paper or electronic books and 17 were audiobooks.

What was interesting is that while I read fewer paper and electronic books than last year, I managed to listen to more audiobooks. I haven’t changed my audiobook listening habits that much. I still only listen when I’m in the car by myself during commute and errand time. What I did change was one little setting on my ipod that allowed me to increase my audiobook listening by 40 hours over last year. The playback speed adjustment that is called “double speed” really isn’t what it sounds like. For the longest time I thought that this would just speed up everything and make the narrator sound like The Chipmunks. This is not the case. What it seems to do is shorten the empty space between words so that the book plays faster but the narrator’s voice isn’t changed. It’s really not ‘double speed’ either but it does manage to allow me to finish audiobooks faster. It takes a little time to get used to and it’s not something that works for every book or every narrator. I did start using the faster playback speed with most audiobooks and increased my audiobooks completed by quite a bit.

I remained picky about reading challenges. The only formal challenge I joined was the What’s in a Name? challenge. It continues to be one of my very favorites. I also am a member of the 75 books group on Goodreads and while I was wondering back in October whether I’d meet that goal or not, I did make it.

Looking back at the books I read in 2010 I can tell that I was good at making my reading choices. I read a lot of books that I liked and ended up with quite a few in the 4-5 star range. That’s not because I think every book I read is stunning, it’s because I’ve done a better job selecting books for myself. I hope I can continue that trend in 2012.

I tried some new things on the blog in 2011 and some worked and some didn’t. I kept up with my goal of monthly Confessions of a Serial Reader feature posts. That’s been fun. I’ve also done a Weekend Update almost every weekend. I like not having that committed to either Saturday or Sunday and it’s evolved a bit over the year. I had a books purchased page I started but took down because I kept forgetting to update it. Short Story Mondays has been a regular weekly post for the past few months. I’ll talk more about these blog features and where I want to go with them tomorrow when I talk about my plans for 2012.