Books · Reading · Writing

2015 in Reading

At the beginning of 2015, I challenged myself to read 60 books, upping the number from 50 books in 2014. Unfortunately, 2015 was difficult. Very difficult. Though I tried to maintain a positive attitude throughout the year, I think now that it was mostly all on the surface, and my happy façade started deteriorating towards the end. Many things happened, and – caught up in the midst of it all – I was only able to read 33 books.

Goodreads believed in me till the very last minute, but I sadly failed it.
Goodreads believed in me till the very last minute, but I sadly failed it.

Actually… some may argue that I didn’t really read 33 “books”, because 22 of these were graphic novels and manga volumes. Now I don’t know about you, but I consider these to be books, because creating a graphic novel requires the same work and trouble that go into creating a novel, if not even more. So they do count towards my challenge and that’s that!

Anyway… 2015 was a bad year for my reading resolutions, and I didn’t stick to any. Didn’t even stick to any writing resolutions either. I had been planning to publish a book, but I think I probably wrote only 15k words this year. Absolutely disappointing. (At least I managed to release the second edition of Puppet Parade though!)

Speaking of disappointing, my two most disappointing reads of 2015 were “YES PLEASE” by Amy Poehler and “Landline” by Rainbow Rowell. I expected more from an actress I enjoy watching and a writer whose books I have always loved, and that made these two titles even more of a letdown.

Funniest books of 2015 were all volumes in my prized Ouran High School Host Club box set. This was one of the first things I bought when I moved into my apartment, yet I didn’t start reading it until I felt like I had nested a bit, because it deserved a certain “mood”. The wait was definitely worth it, and I enjoyed all 18 volumes very very much. I feel like this set will be something I read once a year just for the sheer entertainment value. If you’re into manga (or wish to branch into it), I really recommend you try this one!

It’s actually difficult to decide which was the best overall book of 2015 because I didn’t read all that many… I certainly enjoyed the first book of Brandon Sanderson’s “The Stormlight Archive”, and though I gave it five stars, I wouldn’t say it’s the best. It’s kinda sad, because every year I come out with a book that leaves me reeling, but no book has managed to achieve the wow factor I am looking for. Though I would say that my most noteworthy read of 2015 is “The Humans” by Matt Haig; it was poignant in ways I can’t describe. Luckily he’s coming to Dubai in March and I look forward to having him sign my copy! =D

One thing I have done in 2015… accumulate more and more books. I cannot resist. Dubai has amazing bookshops and every time I go I cannot resist buying at the very least two books. I have also managed to stick with my colour coordinated bookshelf (though I admit it’s been a struggle), and I’m so very proud of it!

My bookcase in all its glory. Just you watch, there won't be any room left by the end of this year.
My bookcase in all its glory. Just you watch, there won’t be any room left by the end of this year.

In 2016, I am trimming back to 40 books, and even this number I am not sure I will be able to meet. I want to focus a bit more on writing this year. I want to publish a second book one way or another, so editing and writing will probably be given a priority.

How many books are you planning to read this year? Did you meet your reading goal of 2015? What is your most noteworthy read of 2015?

34 thoughts on “2015 in Reading

  1. Wow, I can’t believe you managed to read 32 books! I had similar goals, writing a novel and reading a lot, but I didn’t manage either of them. Unfortunately, I can’t decide what to write about and that gives me a lot of beginnings and no middle. Oh well, hopefully we will all have a more successful 2016!

    1. I felt like such an underachiever this year – last year I read 50! 😦 I know what you mean about being unable to decide what to write about; I have so many ideas and I don’t know what to do with them.

      Good luck to you in 2016!

    1. Awww. I’m so sorry it’s been so long! Almost four years… yikes. I promise I’ll release The Muse Bunny this year! It’s all written and just needs to be edited.

  2. Graphic novels definitely count! I’ve seen the size of ‘Watchmen’ which my teen son loves. Would take a while to get through that.

    I met my goal of 50 books and set the same goal for this year. We’ll see how I do.

    Sorry your year was rough. Here’s hoping 2016 is better.

    1. I’m glad you think so! And when I’m reading graphic novels, I like to pore over all the details too. There’s so much you can miss if you’re reading too quickly.

      Good luck with your goal! And thank you. I hope you have an excellent 2016 too!

  3. Want. Ouran. Collection.

    I totally count graphic novels and manga as books, regardless of how short a time it usually takes to get them read. The fact that you managed to get that much read on a pretty hectic year is still impressive!

    1. You haaaaave to get it. I was totally broke at the time, but the box set is so often out of stock that I ended up just putting it on my credit card, haha.

      Yes, thank you! They are totally deserving of being called books. 😀 And thank you! Here’s hoping I can get more read this year.

  4. I’m almost too embarrassed to tell you how many books I read last year, but lets just say you could count them on one hand 😦 Naughty me!

    I’m looking forward to you publishing another book, Zen! 😀

  5. Happy New Year Zen! You read a bunch! But I’m looking forward to see more of your own words in one of those books some time soon! Good on you to keep it up and focusing on it this year.

    On goodreads challenge too, I read 34 books last year and plan on 40 for 2016. I don’t really have any favorite, though. I truly enjoyed the Game of Thrones series, of course. And had a blast reading all of Britt Skrabanek’s books (my favorite there was Nola Fran Evie so far) and your Puppet Parade was one hell of a surprise!

    I’m looking forward to 2016! (btw, I love your colored-coordinated bookshelf!)

    1. Happy New Year! Aww, thanks – I will make it my primary goal to publish something this year, I promise!

      34 is a good number, especially if you’re reading thick tomes like GoT, haha. I’m halfway through Britt’s “Beneath the Satin Gloves” and really enjoying it!

      And thank you – I take great pride in my bookcase. 😉

        1. You don’t have to rate the books on Goodreads though! You can simply mark them as “read” without adding any star rating or review. I’ve seen a lot of people do that.

  6. For having such a difficult year, I think you did great, Zen! Truly. Releasing the second edition of Puppet Parade was a major accomplishment, and 33 books is more than one every two weeks. Plus, you moved! I expect your 2016 will be so much better for you. You’ll reach that 40 books – and maybe even 50. 🙂

    I just barely made my 50. I finished both #50 and #51 on New Year’s Eve. I’m shooting for another 50 this year, but I want to write more and blog more, so we’ll so how that works out.

    1. Thank you for putting it that way; it does make me feel better, haha. The move especially took its toll on me, but I’m finally settled enough to be able to curl up on my pink couch and enjoy a good book. =D

      Me too! Definitely want to write and blog more, though you’re already a champ at writing so I’m actually curious to see what your extra writing efforts will bring! 😉

  7. One of my favorite books that I read last year was An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. New author, new YA series, very gritty, very good. And it has a military academy! I love any story set at a school, so I was hooked from page one 😀 In terms of reading goals for this year … honestly, I don’t really have any. My basic reading strategy is to keep a book in the bathroom, and I read a few pages every time I go to the bathroom until I’m done the book, at which point I acquire a new book. Sometimes I’ll get really into the book and take it outside the bathroom (GASP!).

    1. Ooh that actually looks very interesting! Added it to my to-read list. =D

      I thought I was the only one who did that!! Haha, I too keep a book in the bathroom and read a few pages every time I go in, and like you I take it out when it’s too interesting. xD I think I may have to take it out more often now if I want to get to 40 books!

  8. For the first time last year, I surpassed my goal of 25 and ended up reading 29 books! I had to work at it though…getting my library card helped a lot!

    It’s tough with work and all the writing I do. I’m going with 30 this year. Think I can do it, but I probably won’t go higher than that for a while. I would rather enjoy a smaller amount than try to rush through a bunch of books.

    1. Yay, congratulations! I don’t think a library card would work well with me; I love owning the books I read, haha.

      Good idea! At the beginning I felt like I had to hurry to be able to get to my goal, and it took away from the enjoyment of it all, so… yeah, not doing that again.

      1. I used to buy everything as well, but I don’t have any room for more! I’d have to purge my collection, which I should do soon.

        There are enough goal-oriented things in life. No need to get stressed out about reading. 😉

        1. I can never throw out/give away any books. It would kill me, haha.

          But you’re right! Reading is the one thing that should be totally relaxing. 🙂

  9. Haha, great idea about colour-coordinating bookshelves. I remember your telling about it. Wow 33! I believe that is way more than the average American would read, hon. Give yourself a pat on the back. It’s not about the number rather about how much you “enjoyed” reading them along with the ‘other things’ that make up a fulfilling life 🙂

    1. I love it! I can’t go back to my boring shelf arrangement anymore, haha. And that’s a good way to look at it – I definitely enjoyed most of the books I read last year! 🙂

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