I am very hit and miss when it comes to regularly updating my own Goodreads, but that doesn’t mean I don’t use the site regularly. I especially like to look at reviews for books I’m trying to decide for my TBR, or join book clubs, particularly for books I wouldn’t otherwise read.
Because of this, Goodread’s yearly Choice Awards are an exciting time. It’s the most prominent book awards voted for by us, the readers, and so feels like a true reflection of popular taste. I’ve usually read quite a few of the nominated books, particularly in the Fiction section, and am familiar with most. I think this year I’m even more familiar with all of the nominations, following so many blogs as closely as I do!
Except… I haven’t read any of the books. Not a single one. 🧐
I recognise all of the books in the Fiction and SF&F categories (the two I read the most), but as I was scanning through the nominations the other day to consider what to vote for, it was a big 😳😳😳😳 mood. How can I not have read any of the nominated books?
I mean, so many are on my TBR, I thought, does that count? Also, vitally, how can I vote for anything with such an incomplete reading history?
I think this is a good time to reflect on my blog this year. It’s not quite the end of the year, but almost. After all of the madness of last week, it feels like things are coming to a close. This is true for my blog too. I’m in the last read of my Reading Women Challenge, I recently purchased real, actual paperbacks and I’m pretty chuffed with the amount of reading I got done this year, so much of it in new territory.
One of the things I didn’t realise about blogging is that it makes you aware, all the time, of how much you are reading. You know which books you need to finish before a particular challenge, the debut novels you want to check out, the new releases for the next month/season/year. I’m really not mad at this, actually. I feel far more attuned to the things I enjoy. I have read more this year than any for years. It feels, a little, like I’ve recuperated that childhood fervour I thought I had lost, where I can lose myself in a book for days at a time and emerge feeling kinda changed and a bit victorious.
Naturally, for a book blogger I think, a large part of this reading has involved challenges, even if most of them were ones I set myself! Whether it’s delving into romance or trying to read all the eBooks I hauled or focusing on black nonfiction writing, it is nice to have a goal.
To return to Goodreads, then, I think this is where the disconnect lies. In doing all of these self-set challenges and reading so many backlist titles, I have found I have read more books published years and years ago than ones this year. Like N. K. Jemison, for example. I read The Inheritance Cycle, hut not The City We Became. Or, I’m planning to reread The Shades of Magic by V. E. Schwab but I haven’t read her newest book yet!
Would I have liked to have read more books published this year? Yes. Is it a problem? No!
I really really enjoy the reading I’ve done. How can I regret not reading more? The GCA nominees are simply books I can read next month and at the beginning of next year, before challenging myself starts again in earnest! Or I can read them a few years from new and fondly remember how often I saw them on blogger TBRs this year.
Either way, it is not a huge loss. Initially, I thought it was, but I think it’s showed me something else instead — how to appreciate the enjoyment of reading, which I think you can forget about sometimes, when confronted with lists and lists and lists.
TLDR: nbd. 🙂
Have you read many of the Goodreads Choice Awards books? Do you plan to vote? Have your reading habits changed recently? Let’s chat!