Non-traditional approaches to the annual reading roundup

We’ve all see the standard year-end “favorite books I read” lists. I’ve written a few myself…though at this point I’m a few years behind! But sometimes all the lists start to blur together. So I’ve been thinking:

What are some other possibilities for summarizing, surfacing, and otherwise digesting the things we read, whether for our own reflection, or to share with others?

A few initial ideas:

  • Reading diversity audit: by topic/genre, by author background, etc. — and changes year to year (on my to do list to write a longer post on this!)
  • Book acquisition log: all books purchased, found, or gifted; total $ spent, etc. (I’ve made a list for 2019; may share this at some point too!)
  • Other alternatives to books read: books you’ve added to your antilibrary? books you’ve abandoned?

One thing I think this can achieve is to help us step back and take a longer view on our reading — looking, for example, not only at what we read over the past year, but at how our reading habits and patterns evolve over many years.

I also think it’s interesting to think about reading, and associated metrics, along other dimensions besides quantity and completion.

I’d love to hear your ideas!

Another way could be focusing on where or from who you got the books you read that year. Were the majority of them from an indie bookstore? Took out at the local library? Loaned from your father-in-law’s collection? It could be a fascinating way to examine what your book sources are & allow you to change things up for next year. (going to the library more, doing book exchanges with friends, etc)

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Oh yeah that’s definitely a good one! For me, most (physical) book purchases from the past year I got from indie bookstores; a handful new (or ordered directly from small publishers) + ordered from Powell’s online…also some as gifts, a few from Amazon, a couple Kickstarters / other random online orders.

Also a bunch of ebook orders, those are mostly all from Amazon. Looks like I got ~40 ebooks and ~100 or so physical books last year :sweat_smile:

I do have a list somewhere of ones I borrowed from my dad’s house ages ago and still have! I know I have a handful borrowed from my sister and a couple friends as well. Mostly I just buy lots of books though haha. And yes definitely want to start going to the library more, and do more book exchanges! Also thinking of maybe trying some public giveaways on Twitter etc., things that could be good for promoting antilibraries + also just for fun / sharing my favorites!