Good lord, I read a lot of books in 2015.
How many? Try 123. That's the highest number that I've read in years and a full 23 books more than I read in 2014. Wow.
Of course, the majority of this year's books (once again) were graphic novels. There are a few pretty good reasons for that. First off is the incredible Portland library system: they stock so many graphic novels that I have wanted to read for a long time -- along with quite a few books that I never even knew existed. Second, I spend most of my days reading and writing articles, so turning to a visual medium is a nice change of pace for my evenings. Finally, even though I read a lot, my reading schedule is a bit unpredictable. I'd rather get in and out of a book (or comic, or article, or poem, or short story, or whatever) when I know I can finish it than start a book and not know when I'm going to be able to pick it up again.
Looking back, I'm actually a bit disappointed in this number. I wanted to read even more books this year -- especially novels -- but that wasn't in the cards. Too much work, too much stress, too many responsibilities.... but oh well, I still knocked quite a few volumes off the "to be read" pile.
Even though I didn't get to every book that I wanted to, I managed to read some amazing books this year. Here are a few of the standouts:
Best Fiction Book: North American Lake Monsters, a stunning short-story collection by Nathan Ballingrud
Best Non-Fiction Book: The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, a wonderful memoir/history book/cultural study by Jennifer 8. Lee
Best Graphic Novel: The Sculptor, Scott McCloud's amazing opus is a work of rare genius (runner-up: March: Book Two, an important piece of first-person history by John Lewis and his artistic collaborators)
Best Art Book: Nextinction by Ralph Steadman and Ceri Levy, a true feast for the eyes and a blow to the soul
Well, that's that. On to 2016. I have a few days off from work (a rarity, let me tell you), so maybe I'll get a head-start on this year's list. I have a few shelves of unread books staring at me from the bookshelf next to my computer, so I have plenty of options to choose from.
As for you, here's to a year of great books, no matter how many you read!