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2023 Reads - Reading for Reading’s Sake

A couple of years ago, I sucked all the fun out of reading for myself. I was reading like a writer only, studying technique, language, characters, and arcs. I was largely focusing on books about being childfree--the subject of my memoir, Free or Less (currently in the querying process if you happen to be an agent or publisher 😉). I was analyzing their formats, and content, to inform and differentiate my own. I was robbing myself of my passion for reading!


If you are a regular here, you know I am goal-oriented and a recovering perfectionist. So last year, I consciously didn't set any reading goals. I read whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I let when my name came up on the library holds list dictate my next read. I didn't finish books I wasn't enjoying. Sure, I slipped up sometimes, reading journalistic nonfiction with little or no narrative (which I dislike with a firey passion that burns deep in my core), and finishing classics I wasn't enjoying (hey Frankenstein! 👋). But by and large, my strategy worked!


I had fun with my books, and unintentionally read more books this year than I have in the past two years--67 in total! Two books achieved the honour of getting read in one session (when I was home sick). To keep track, I took a picture of each of my reads and made a spreadsheet to crunch some stats in late December. Obviously, the categorization isn't perfect as some books fall into multiple categories, but I tried to pick the main 'type'... I said recovering, not recovered perfectionist!


A Facebook friend introduced me to the Storygraph over the holidays, so I'll be trying that in 2024 (while still trying not to be too strategic or

goaly (yes, I made up that word).


So here is what I read this year and then a breakdown, thankfully not of the emotional variety.




And some stats!







Any book that makes you look like this at the end is a winner in my books!


How was your reading year? Tell me about it.


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Sarah Butland
Sarah Butland
Jan 19

Brilliant! It's so freeing to read for fun and pick books on a whim! May you continue to find some greats, pass on the worst and celebrate reading Canadian and beyond every day! Sarah Butland

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