2021 is, in its own surreal way, drawing to a close. The third anniversary of this blog recently passed, and the second anniversary of my agenting career is crawling closer. Looking back at my very first year-in-review post on Books Beyond Binaries in 2018, it’s hard to believe how much has changed for the world and for me personally. It is with a heavy heart that I share this year’s reading statistics, and the resulting conclusion that I’ve come to, after thinking about all of this data for a while… it’s time for a break.
Grief is a very difficult emotion for me. I remember realizing how bad I am at processing it back in my undergrad, when I was taking a Life Stages course as part of my first social work degree. I have trouble wrapping my head around loss, and my ability to digest grief without being completely consumed by it is really limited and complicated. This year has been a lot of loss. We had to say goodbye to Boom, the dog who loved me more and better than anyone ever has or ever will, back in September after a sudden, traumatizing accident. Shortly thereafter, one of my clients passed away completely unexpectedly, leaving behind her spouse, three children, her elderly parents, and shocked friends and colleagues. More recently, an ex of my partner lost their life as well. And those are just the obvious, normative sources of grief this year, never mind all the more ethereal causes that are harder to articulate.
Then there’s the weight of my words. Back in 2018, I was a bookseller with a couple of years’ experience under my belt, and an avid reader. Maybe I had interesting things to say, but they weren’t of much consequence back then. Now, I feel the heft of every syllable I say or post publicly, as a gatekeeping figure in the publishing industry… and it’s something that causes me confusion, anxiety, and dread, among lots and lots of other feelings.
All of this to say… there are things that are giving me a lot of joy in this world, and for now, I need to focus on those. I’m not sure what the future of this platform will be, except to say that I am deeply humbled and so grateful for the more than 700 people who visit this site every month! I hope that you’ll continue to tune in when good opportunities come up for sporadic posts over the next 12 months. Otherwise, 2022 will (I hope) be a year of rest and restoration for me, and for Books Beyond Binaries and its other contributors – and for all of you.
2021 By the Numbers!
How many books I read in 2017: 41
How many books I read in 2018: 57
How many books I read in 2019: 124
How many books I read in 2020: 99
How many books I read in 2021: 44 (yeah – I know.)
Average length: 309 pages
Male authors: 12
Female authors: 54
Non-binary and/or trans authors: 1
Children’s/Middle Grade: 6
Short story or anthology: 2
General NF: 6
Lit Fic: 2
Sci Fi: 5
True Crime: 2
Comtemp Fic: 12
½ Star Books: 0
One Books: 0
One ½ Star Books: 0
Two Star Books: 1
Two ½ Star Books: 0
Three Star Books: 2
Three ½ Star Books: 8
Four Star Books: 12
Four ½ Star Books: 7
Five Star Books: 13
Where to find me…
In 2022, while I’m away from this space, please feel free to check back periodically, because who knows? Maybe there will be some surprise posts! But in the meantime, you can always catch me on Twitter (where my DMs are usually open!), I will continue to track my reading progress on Goodreads, or you can check out my freshly updated agenting website. In the meantime, stay safe out there, and thank you so much for your support these last three years!