Spotify tells me what I already know: I didn’t listen to a lot of new music in 2021, but to old and comfortable favorites like Take Five at #1 and Because The Night at #8. Ghostbusters scores very high at #6 because of Halloween, and the remaining songs in the Top 10 are from my “Work Hard” playlist that I put on when I need to just get s*** done. The first actual new (to me) entry is Red Eyes at #12, prompted by this video which has the old-school asthetic of PC games before 3D acceleration that I adore.
I know, it sounds crazy. That’s two books per week! But I have my Goodreads Challenge page to prove it.
How was this possible? Library loans and audio books, mostly. I have a powerbank / speaker in the kitchen that can play from an SD card, and there’s always a book in there that plays while I’m making food. Additionally, there’s a book on my phone, and while I no longer have a commute, I go for a 45 minutes walk every day, and ride the bus to go grocery shopping, which is time that I used to fill with podcasts, but last year I have mostly been listening to books during these times.
Additionally, I have a book that I’m reading next to my bed and I read at least one page before going to bed, but usually try to find a good stopping-off point that I’ll be able to remember the next day. Add a few Kindle books read during long flights, and some graphic novels and comic book collections, and the number goes up fast.
They were almost all good books, too. I can’t honestly think of one that I had to put aside because it was boring. My favorite book of 2021 was Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, who previously wrote Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell years ago, a massive book that I could never finish. Piranesi is much shorter, and it’s delightful.
I still have lots of books in my to-read list for 2022, but I think I’m going to cut down a bit in favor of getting back into podcasts and watching more movies.