The list of books I compile on Goodreads and here is not actually accurate to what I read in a year. I mean, it is but also it isn’t. It has to do with how we ‘read’ books. Like how some people consider audiobooks as not really reading books. But it’s a bit more confusing and complicated then that.
Let me explain.
I’m part of a community that centers around one person and his perpetually un-preparedness. Mark Oshiro, the creator and mastermind of Mark Reads (and Mark Watches, find him here!) reads books he knows nothing about besides that they were recommended to him and posts him reading it online chapter by chapter. Additionally, he reviews every chapter with his thoughts, feelings and personal anecdotes, etc for people to comment on, laugh and cry with him or at him. He is always very unprepared, even when he is the most prepared, and it’s great fun to watch and join in. Plus you get to read great books and discuss them with great people. Part of the reason I have been making my way through Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series this year despite fairly average ratings for many of them was to go through them with Mark and his community. I have been reading the books on my own and then re-reading the books with Mark.
But I don’t keep track of this anywhere.
Well, it’s hard to call it reading, even though it is basically reading. It’s an audiobook, more or less after all, just in a video format where you get to see someone reacting to what is happening. You get 2-3 chapters a week, making it take a month or several to finish a book. Again, nothing wrong with that as many people take months to read a book. It could be because it’s reading with a community, but you can argue it’s a massive online book club with a very prominent figurehead. Because that’s what it is, abet in a different format and functionality then most are used to seeing with book clubs.
I think the real major reason I don’t count those books as being ones I read and track the year is because I mostly follow Mark as he reads books I have already read, know well and love. But this ‘excuse’ doesn’t hold much water because I re-read Harry Potter this year and counted it.
Essentially, this stream of conscientiousness post is basically saying a few things:
1. Check you Mark because he is AWESOME, funny, insightful (he and he’s community have opened my eyes up to many issues, tropes, themes in writing; for example why you shouldn’t describe people of colour using food or animal analogies) and reads great books.
2. I really should start tracking these books because it is still reading, if in an unusual way.
3. I don’t feel so bad about my 2016 reading challenge and the possibility I ‘cheated’ by reading tiny books, because I read a handful of books this year with Mark on top of what I tracked.
4. There are many different ways to ‘read’ books and all of them are valid!
Some more background on Mark: Currently he is reading great books, but he started out with Twilight many, many years ago. Then someone convinced him to read Harry Potter, which he did grudgingly thinking it was going to be as bad as Twilight. After that he started it up as a regular thing reading book that have been vetted as good, adding the video component to it later on.
For the record he is currently reading Young Wizards by Diane Duane and Discworld by Terry Pratchett.