What was 2012 for me? 2012 started with a new job at a bookstore. I landed a role as an Associate Producer with the Emerging Writers’ Festival. I ran my first event, with support from some of the most amazing people ever. I wrote 10,000 words in a day. I started making guest posts on other blogs. I started reviewing for The Big Issue and Readings Monthly. I got 10,000 words into a memoir. I blogged for Melbourne Writers Festival. I graduated. I went to an internationally famed conference.
In 2012, I read 44 books. One of my favourite posts each year is the one where I get to look over my “100+ Books Challenge” from the previous year. And this is it! I like this post so much because I don’t consciously think about the numbers, genres, etc of what I’m reading while I’m reading it – I so rarely get to choose what I read, it’s often dictated by research or work. So it’s also interesting to think about what I’m being sent for review, given the talk about women’s books and reviewing.
So, the breakdown:
I read less books in 2012 than I did in the previous two years – only by a smidge, but still. I blame it on uni. This year is my year – it’s my year to say “yes” to every opportunity that I can, and to spend more spare time reading. One of my new year resolutions is to maintain a good reading and writing routine. 2013 is going to be big.
In 2012, I read 23 books by women, and 21 books by men. While I pledged my participation in the much-talked-about Australian Women Writers’ Challenge, I didn’t really consciously chase it – I mean to this year. 11 of my 23 women-writer books were by Australian women. With all the attention that the AWW Challenge has gotten from the media, I think it’s safe to say that the challenge has done good things to raise the awareness of reading habits and women’s work in Australia.
17 books were by Australian authors. I like to know what’s going on in the Australian writing scene, to know what my peers are creating, and to know how I can support Australian writers in my job, by helping to sell more books by Australian authors. Having said that, you’d think I’d have read more Australian works. Minus the Ancient Greek, I’m pretty sure everything else I read was from America… I know it’s big, and has a big population, but it does seem a bit out-of-whack.
I reviewed 15 of the books that I read in 2012. This was mainly due to time constraints (again – uni), so hopefully 2013 will have more blue links on my “Reading” page.
3 plays or screenplays.
5 collections – short story, essays, both single-authored and many authors… Given what I write, I need to be reading a whole lot more of this kind of work, especially nonfiction essay collections.
Like I said above, sometimes I don’t really consider my reading habits until I can take a step backward and consider the numbers, like I have here. Thinking about this breakdown, I’m going to focus on a few things in the next year of reading… I will aim to read more Australian work, more women writers, and more collections.
Bring it on, 2013!