Happy New Year! 🌠 🎇 🎆
I hope you have had a great start to 2021. I have a feeling that this will be a good one!
Although I’m already dreaming of all the books I can read in 2021 and all the new releases that are coming out, I must take a peek at how 2020 went. I’m actually pretty scared because the entire pandemic and busyness at work has meant that I have had a hard time sticking to TBRs. But honestly, I’m just happy that we have all made it here!
In this post I’ll go through my reading stats first, then we will dive into all the crazy things I promised to read (and didn’t). This post will be one of many I hope to do on my 2020 reading! Keep your eyes peeled for my Top 10 of 2020 and All Books I Read in 2020, Ranked from Best to Worst 👀
Let’s get into it!
In 2020, I managed to read 59 books in total. I’m very happy with this! In 2019 I went through 85 books, but I was hoping to have a more chilled out year in 2020 with more of a focus on longer books. According to Goodreads, I read 22 302 pages in 2020 – with the average book length being 378 pages.
The longest book I read was Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson that has 1088 pages, and the shortest book I read was No One is Too Small to Make A Difference by Greta Thunberg.
The most popular book (according to Goodreads) was Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens which was shelved by 1 891 344 other people. In comparison, the least popular one was Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Book 2) by Hayao Miyazaki which 223 other people had shelved in Goodreads. I think Nausicaa is actually quite popular but I happened to read an edition that isn’t as common.
I tend to read a lot of fantasy, and 2020 wasn’t any different. But I’m pretty happy how half of the genres I read were a mix of different things! Hopefully I can add even more genres in 2021 – maybe some horror, suspense and thrillers!
As YA Fantasy tends to be one of my favourite things to read (especially when I’m otherwise busy in the whirlwind of life), I thought that over half of the books would be YA. But that wasn’t actually the case! 55.9% of the 59 books were adult and only 44.1% were YA. I sadly didn’t read any middle-grade – I rarely pick MG reads but I feel like I should try it more.
I read in many different formats and I love ebooks, audiobooks and print books equally! This definitely shows in this count of different reading platforms:
I also had a very varied sources for the books I read. In the below graph, I have listed a bunch of different places from which I acquired each book. Note that the books I own are actually spread into many different categories, I own print copies for all books in ‘gift’, ‘BoughtIndie’, ‘Fairyloot’, ‘BoughtAmazon’, ‘Giveaway’, and ‘Publisher’. I separated the bought books into indie and Amazon because I would like to avoid buying from Amazon and encourage myself to pick up books from indie bookstores (also note that I didn’t necessarily buy these books this year)! Overall, I think I did really well. I gave a lot of love to my library in 2020 which is amazing. I also read 8 different Fairyloot books and 8 indie bookstore finds.
Most of the books I read where published in 2019 (20 books), and 13 books were new releases published in 2020. I also read 25 backlisted books (pre 2019). I feel like I could have read a bit more backlisted ones but I have to admit that new releases are so tempting. The below scatterplot showcases the publication years of the books I read – as you can see, most of it is clustered after 2000 but I read one classic too! If you’re interested, these books are actually listed in order of my enjoyment for them so the closest one to the y-axis is my worst read of 2020 and the one furthest to the right is my favourite read of 2020.
There’s one thing I’m definitely going to do something about in 2021, and that is reading more from authors of colour (AOC)! In 2020, I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t pay enough attention to the authors I was reading from. A large majority of the books I read were from white authors (71.2%) whereas only 28.8% of the books were from authors of colour. In the below pie chart I show the same information, I didn’t group authors according to their ethnicity other than white or non-white to make sure I don’t make mistakes. It isn’t always straightforward to tell what an author’s ethnicity is so I prefer to not make any guesses. But in 2021 I will do my best to read a lot more from authors of colour! I hope that white authors would only make up a maximum of 35-40% one day.
This year I pledged to read 52 books in the Goodreads reading challenge, and I’m happy to say that I accomplished it!
I also made myself a TBR for 2020 that I didn’t end up having time sharing here in the blog. The idea was to list 20 books I wanted to read in 2020 – but somehow I managed to completely forget about this list! I made it on the 1st of Jan 2020 and only re-discovered it in 29th December 2020 😂 So you can probably already guess how badly I did. Here are the 20 books I had on the TBR and how I did with them:
The Confession by Jessie Burton. ✅ Read in 2020.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. ✅ Read in 2020
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. ♻️ Currently reading
The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky. ❌ Unread
Autumn by Ali Smith. ✅ Read in 2020
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. ❎ DNFed in 2020
Let Her Fly by Ziauddin Yousafzai. ❌ Unread
Middlegame by Seanan McGuire. ❌ Unread
A Heart in a Body in a World by Deb Caletti. ❌ Unread
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. ❌ Unread
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. ❌ Unread
Heart of Fae by Emma Hamm. ❌ Unread
Damsel by Elana K. Arnold. ❌ Unread
Storm Glass by Jeff Wheeler. ❌ Unread
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. ❌ Unread
The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi. ❌ Unread
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeko. ❌ Unread
Han Sanoi Nimekseen Aleia by Erika Vik (a Finnish, untranslated copy). ❌ Unread
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. ❌ Unread
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. ❌ Unread
In addition to the Goodreads reading challenge and the 20 for 2020 TBR I set myself a couple resolutions for 2020.
Read 52 books. ✅ Success! This is of course very related to the Goodreads challenge but yay I managed to clear one resolution!
Read longer books. ✅ Success! I’m going by the Goodreads stats for this one; in 2019 my average book length was 346 pages and the longest book I read was Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon at 827 pages whereas in 2020 my average book length was 378 pages and the longest book I read was Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson which has 1088 pages. That went well!
Increase average rating. ✅ Success! Yay this one worked out too! I tried to make more informed choices in 2020 and pick books I believe I will like. In 2019 my average rating in Goodreads was 3.5/5 stars but in 2020 it increased to 3.8/5 stars!
Finish series. ✅ Success! This one is difficult to judge as I have unhelpfully not given myself any certain goal. But I did finish 7 series in 2020 which to me sounds like a lot! I think that is pretty good as I read less books in 2020 than in 2019, but in 2019 I only finished 5 series.
I have to say that I’m positively surprised about how well I managed to keep to my 2020 resolutions and challenges! I also managed to crush many of my personal resolutions such as cutting waste in my everyday life by using washing nuts for laundry and relying on re-usable period products only! I also managed to make a clearer division between work and personal life by decisively stopping work in the evenings despite of how much stress I was under.
2020 was a wild ride, and honestly something I never expected to happen (a global pandemic would have sounded like a dystopian novel to me a year ago). But lots of good has been going on in my life too. I have struggled less with social anxiety (because I don’t go out haha), my skin has cleared up, my relationship with my partner has been great because we get to spend a lot of time together, and I started properly focusing on learning art and digital drawing!
How was 2020 like for you? Did you have good moments sprinkled in between the bad? I hope you have some good things to hang on too, but I totally get it if you want to chuck 2020 in the bin and forget about it! How did you do with your resolutions? I would love to know!
Thank you so much for reading and happy 2021!! May there be lots of books in the new year!