Despite the fact that I read a large number of books this year, and that I posted several DIKs, I can’t contribute to “Best of 2014” lists. Why? Most of my reads aren’t from 2014. Nearly every 2014 romance I read this year was for for review here, and I didn’t have enough that I loved to vote meaningfully. I’m a huge reader, but for a variety of reasons, a few of which I’ll list below, I’m simply not a new-book reader.
Review filters: I admit to freeloading off of the rest of you: I wait for AAR reviewers, or the forums, or other review sites to generate some buzz around a book before I check it out. I hoard both my time and my budget, and I want not to waste them on lousy reads.
Space and cost: I’m a book hoarder, so I decided a few years back not to buy books unless I’m sure I will want to reread them. I lean on my library heavily, but that can mean signing up for long waitlists or placing an ordering request. Either of these done any time after July can take a popular 2014 book into 2015. This not only saves me money on books I realize I don’t want to keep, but it also saves me money because by waiting, I can sometimes find a book in a UBS, bargain bin, or online. I know, I know – it’s not good for authors, and I do try to buy their new books when I’m sure I want them. But on the whole, I’m selfish here.
Graphic novels: While every now and then, I get a manga while it is still in English-translation release (this year I read Midnight Secretary and Library Wars), I usually prefer to wait until the entire series is out. That’s for two reasons. First, I can’t always find out if the series is going to have a happy ending until the whole thing is out (marketing classifications for graphic novels are not the same as in genre fiction, and a central relationship is often enough to get them called “romance” no matter how they end). Second, I like to binge-read the entire work. Waiting months for Volume 3 and another year for the final Volume 11 drives me bonkers. Hardly any series comes out in full during a calendar year, and I don’t like to select just one volume for a “Best of” list when what I really enjoyed was the full work.
What about you guys? Do any of you feel left out of annual lists, and even the AAR annual poll? Or do you read enough new books to feel like you have something to say? If you don’t read new books, is it for the same reasons as me?