Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Books I read in 2013, and what I learned

I have a confession. I'm not the world's fastest reader. I'm not one of those people who can read a book a night. (Dangit!) In fact, it usually takes me a couple of weeks. This year, though, I decided that I was going to make reading more of a priority.

This year, I read 55 books. Or, on average, one every 6 1/2 days.

But not only did I read more this year, but I read differently. I decided that I wanted to read as many books as possible that were written by my fellow Lucky 13 authors. (We've all debuted in kidlit during 2013--- there's 101 of us! Click here to see all of our books.) Many of them I received as ARCs (advance reader copies), because we have a system where we sign up for the books we want to read, then when one comes to us, we read fast, then mail it to the next person on the list.

Remember how I said I'm not a fast reader? It definitely factored in to my reading choices in years past. Because I knew I wouldn't get through tons, I only read books that came highly recommended by people I trusted, along with the occasional book that I knew that appealed to me so strongly that I knew all on my own that they were going to be right up my alley.

But this year is different. I decided to read every book I could that was written by a Lucky 13, regardless of genre. Regardless of whether or not it's something I would normally pick up. Here's what I learned:
  • I like a lot of genres a lot more than I thought I would.
  • There are things to learn from every. single. book you read that will apply to the genre you are writing, even if it's nothing like the genre you're writing.
  • Not only will reading outside of your favorite genres still benefit your writing, but it will benefit it in ways that reading in your favorite genres cannot.
  • Getting to know someone as a person, and then getting to know them through their writing, will always fascinate me.
And here they are. All the books I read this year. (And for the first year EVER, all of the books I have read are kidlit.)

Middle Grade

Young Adult (Fellow Luckies from the Lucky 13s)

Young Adult (Fellow Leaguers from the League of Extraordinary Writers)

Young Adult (Others I've loved through blogging)

Do you keep track of the number of books you read each year? Do you ever branch out of your favorite genres? Did we read any of the same books?