So the past week or so I've been updating my Goodreads book database with the dates of books I'd read since June of 2001. Why? Um, because I can, I guess. I've been keeping a paper record (which I then transpose to a spreadsheet) of the date I finished reading books since June of 2001. The original idea was to NOT buy any new books till I'd read 10 books I already owned. I'm pretty sure I was in a deficit before June was over. Heh.
Anyhoo, last January I decided to try the Goodreads reading challenge and publicly pledged to read 75 books during the year. (I succeeded by the skin of my teeth!) Which meant I had to keep track of the dates I finished books in Goodreads. It got to the point where I was doing a better job of keeping track with the online database than my paper booklet. And I kept thinking that some day I'd enter in the earlier dates. Well, I just finished updating 2014's books and that has me caught up. And it looks like I now have about 500 read books with dates (out of nearly 1300 read books). Not too shabby.
While updating the database I discovered a number of things that I hadn't really noticed before. Such as getting into Lois McMaster Bujold so damned late. 2008? Really? I knew I was a latecomer, but I hadn't realized it was that late. I noticed that some years I read a LOT of library books (most electronic, but a few paper). And it wasn't till 2010 that I got back into library books (when I was working on my Masters degree). Last year wasn't as heavy with library books, but I did have a couple. This prompted me to create two exclusive groupings for Goodreads - owned and borrowed. (I also have reference, which is for books that I own but don't expect to read from cover to cover.)
I noticed that once I discover an author that I enjoy, I tend to binge-read. 2014 is when I discovered David Weber's Honor Harrington novels and I zipped through them so fast that I couldn't tell you which plot goes with which book title. But I remember pretty well what all happened overall. I shall enjoy rereading the series. (I don't keep track of rereads - I know I've reread the Bujold Vorkosigan novels, but cannot tell you which year it was.)
My main focus this year, as hinted at by my title and its explanation, was to finally get some Bernice Summerfield novels read. I read all of the Virgin books when they all first came out (long before I kept records on when I finished books). But I had quite a few Big Finish Benny books which I'd not yet read. This was prompted by a sale that Big Finish had in May. I ordered Bernice Summerfield - The Inside Story and the last of the books which I didn't yet own (and that were still in print). I started reading the big coffee table book after our Britain trip, and decided to relisten to the audios and then read about them in the book. And then I dusted off my BS books and started reading them for the first time. (I also managed to, ahem, "borrow" a couple that are currently out of print. I'm still looking for them IRL though and hope to get them someday. Even the juvenile (as in written for horny 13-year old boys) Squire's Crystal. It's more than made up for by The Glass Prison, IMO.
Though I've long since relistened to all the Benny audios, I've still got quite a few books to get through. I'm "currently reading" Collected Works. (The quotes because I haven't actually started it, but I will soon!) I've got 5 currently in my "Currently Reading" list at Goodreads. There's also a Murder, She Wrote (last one read in 2010!), an eBook (The Goblin Emperor), and a couple of books on my tablet I'm slowly working through. (My tablet is great for comic books. It's the main reason I bought it.)
Let's see, what are some other 2015 noteworthy reads. Well, I will say that HumbleBundle is both a joy and evil. So is StoryBundle. I wind up buying whole collections of books from them, then forget to add them to my databases (yes, I also have a LibraryThing account - it's my official one with Goodreads being my social one) till I finally finish one of the books from the set. HumbleBundle had the Berkley Breathed collection for sale this year which I snapped up and then read through. And then he started doing his Facebook-only 2015 (and now 2016) cartoon which has been a hoot.
Thanks to these bundling agencies, I've discovered some great authors and book series. Heck, I bought dad a set of Make: books for Christmas, then went ahead and bought the set for myself too! I'm pretty sure I haven't yet added them to my databases. The Order of the Air series by Melissa Scott & Jo Graham is probably the best example. I read Lost Things which came with one of the bundles and fell in love with the characters. And in looking up a link for the series, I discovered that book 5 of the series was just released in December. Damn... Another book to buy!
And that, my dear friends, has been the story of my life with books. I read a recommendation in Twitter or elsewhere, check out a book, discover another, etc. And wind up buying a shitload of books. Rosemary Kirstein - wish I could remember who first recommended her to me (might have been one of the webcomic authors I follow) - was a major discovery this year. I read The Steerswoman and loved it. I've since inhaled the series and am awaiting the next two books. My twitter feed was all abuzz about Elizabeth Bear's Karen Memory just before it came out, so I decided I'd buy it the day of. And inhaled that book too.
Just last night I was working on my database and wondered if Jasper Fforde had published a sequel to Shades of Grey (nothing to do with 50 Shades) and discovered another series of his. With, supposedly, a kickass female protagonist (why not - he's good at 'em). And wound up buying the series (The Chronicles of Kazam), plus several other books. After all, Kobo was having double and triple bonus points for their frequent buyer program. I wound up getting 11 books for $90. And the books all have protagonists who aren't straight white males! (I did debate buying The Martian last night, too, but decided to stick to my guns. Might borrow it from the library). And this just days after I bought The Goblin Emperor and a few other books. And then Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, Bujold's latest. *sigh* So many books! And I'm writing this up instead of reading!
Both cats are now with me (Lucy's been here the whole time I've been typing this, but Linus has now decided he should be sleeping on my arms while I type this). So I suppose I should finish up and get a bit of reading done. I suspect my goal of 75 books read in 2016 will be another success - I certainly have enough new books to get me started!