[Year in Review] Lazy Panda’s 2016 Reading Year Conclusion

 

Hey guys!

With just a few more days till the end of 2016, I figured it’s a prompt time to reflect onthe conclusion of my 2016 reading year. Let’s skip all the sentimental thoughts and dive right in to

What happened throughout my 2016 readings?

year-in-review-01
How many books have I read in 2016? I have no idea, as I never really bothered counting them.

(1) HABIT FOR READING 4 BOOKS AT THE SAME TIME

In previous years, I would at most go to 2 books at the same time, as I’d usually try to finish a book before I move on. But this year saw a difference in my reading mood, where I felt the compulsion to move into several different ‘worlds’ rather than be stuck with just 1 or 2 worlds in a couple of books.

Well, that and the fact that the book formats I read will differ based on my convenience and needs. Hence, all 4 books serve different purposes and needs. Just to illustrate a bit on how I read:

a) {Physical Book} Factual-based Non-fiction (Current Read: By the Book by Pamela Paul)

b) {Physical Book} Story-based Fiction/ Non-Fiction (Current Read: The Map Thief by Michael Blanding)

These 2 would be my main anchor books of my current reads as I have a preference for reading physical books, compared to any other forms. I’ll move in between these 2 books based on my current moods, whether I’m in the mood to read something based in reality, or to read a story that I can escape from my world into.

I’d usually bring these books around whenever I go out. So these anchors would be what I’d be reading if I’m waiting in the car, eating alone at the shopping mall, and most importantly, reading by my bedside whenever I could.

c) {Audiobook} Lighthearted Fiction (Current Read: Cress by Marissa Meyer)

I’ve only started reading audiobooks this year as my commute time to work has doubled to about at least 3 hours each day. This was what drove me to try out audiobooks, as I needed to make all those hours stuck in the traffic jam more bearable. In the end, the routine was actually enjoyable and I could enjoy reading in a new form – by listening to it!

As I’m listening to it while driving, I couldn’t really focus 100% on the book. Hence, I couldn’t follow the books very well when if it has more facts (a lot of non-fiction books fall into this category) or the lines are very witty and cerebral, that I require a re-read again and again (Tina Fey’s Bossypants got me screaming “Stop talking! I need to listen to your witty commentary again!”) .

Hence, I used this format to listen to lighthearted fictions that I can enjoy, but doesn’t require much concentration. Catching up on popular young adult fictions are usually my choices here (Throne of Glass, Lunar Chronicles, A Court of Thorns and Roses etc).

d) {Ebook} Fictions (Current Read: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan)

If for some reasons I don’t have any physical books with me but I’m still itching to read, then I’ll open up my ebook reader in my phone and read an interesting fiction that I wanted to catch up on. This can happen from when I’m waiting for people, or when I’m stuck in the elevator for a long time.

 

(2) EXPANDED MY READING GENRE

For a lot of readers, their reading goals would usually be a certain number of books to finish for the year, or reading more books from authors of diverse ethnicities. My reading goal each year is usually to read a considerable number of books from genres that I wouldn’t normally pick up.

For this year, I kind of went full force with Biographies genre, reading a lot more real-life stories than I expected. I was also able to pick up books with different passion points like Football, Mathematics, Modern Dating, Coffee Baristas, Hollywood Celebrities, Online Retail, Human Civilization, Classic Literature, Comedians, Youtubers etc.

Due to the variety of interest topics that I’ve had the opportunity to read and learn, I’m feeling pretty accomplished with my reading year!

 

(3) VARIETY OF BOOK RECOMMENDATION SOURCES

One of the reasons I’ve expanded on my reading genre is also because I’ve started looking beyond the Top 10 Lists of Books to Read on the internet, as these lists are usually set according to popular books and based on the reading preferences of the majority.

Starting this year, I mentally collected book recommendations from real life acquaintances around me instead. They aren’t bibliophiles, nor do they usually have the same reading patterns as me. But a lot of them have found books that they fell in love with, and all for good reasons.

I never had to ask for book recommendations, of course. It would usually start with them admitting that they like to read books sometimes, and I would casually ask, “Oh, so what are the best books you’ve read so far?”

And because of this approach, they name books they love according to their reading preference, instead of fitting a recommendation to what I would normally read. I’ve got some pretty rare gems from this method. And also happier once I’ve finished reading the books thinking that I would have never had the joy of reading these works if I had stuck to the internet’s list of ‘Top 10 Best Books to Read in 2016’!

 

(4) FIRST YEAR OF RE-READING BOOKS I LOVE

In my whole life, I have never read the same book twice, no matter how much I love them. As much as I’d like to dive back into the same beloved worlds, I always felt that my time should be spent reading new books that I have on my shelf, rather than going back to the same material.

But this year, I found out that I have access to audiobooks and this is the time when I feel less guilty about reading the same book, as I am now reading it in a different format- through audio! Which was why Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card was the first book I read through audiobooks, then later on followed by Ready , Player One by Ernest Cline.

Even though I was already familiar with the stories and the plot twists, but it still made me gasps and scream at the characters unrealistically while I was driving. It felt almost like I was reading the book for the first time. And yes, reading it in audio formats give a slightly different experience than reading it as a book. You can read about why the difference I felt with audiobooks through my previous post here: My Early Forays Into Audiobooks

I definitely enjoyed this experience and would be re-reading the titles below in audio format:

 

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What I see every morning in my car when I was listening to Ender’s Game on audiobook.

(5) FIRST YEAR OF MAINTAINING A BOOK BLOG

This has been quite refreshing and therapeutic in a away for me. It’s rare enough to find peers who even reads in the first place, let alone one with a similar reading preference as I do. I have no one to talk to on recent books I’ve finished and this blog is a good way to archive my thoughts on the books I’ve read, so far. Goodreads does’t do it for me as I just couldn’t be bothered to update my lists and reviews there.

I started this blog probably back in February 2016. It got started because I was in a transition period at work and found myself with plenty of free time at that moment and started catching up on my readings, as I couldn’t in previous years due to my workload.

And that was when I felt that I had the time to chronicle my readings and thoughts in a blog. Eventually after June, I sort of went missing for close to 5 months as my workload started piling up again.

I never stopped reading, of course. I’ve finished plenty of books in those times I went MIA. I just stopped writing to post online. Nevertheless, I miss writing about my interest and will soon be catching up posting reviews of the books I’ve finished.


 

With all of the  above, I’d say this year has been a pretty productive reading year for me, with some major changes unconsciously made to my reading habits.

There were some reading goals that weren’t met, of course. For one, I did not finish a majority of my Big Bad Wolf 2015 stocks, as I was distracted by reading books from other piles. If you’d like to read up on my reading progress of my Big Bad Wolf stocks, you can find it here.

Secondly, I was aiming to read 2 Sports books earlier this year, but only managed with Alex Ferguson’s autobiography. I was aiming to read I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic as I’ve heard it’s one of the more distinctive sports autobiographies around, funny too as the author can be quite sarcastic. But I’ve yet to have it on my bookshelf. Hence, this goal will be moved to next year.

How have your 2016 reading year been? Did you achieve your goals set for 2016? Let me know!

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