End of Year Reading Stats - because it's fun to track this minutiae!
This year was a very good year of reading for me. I ambitiously signed up for a record five (count 'em FIVE!) reading challenges and surprised myself at how much I accomplished. I didn't completely finish all of them, but that's okay - #readingisnotacompetition. I accomplished my goal of reading more widely, finding new authors, and discovering how much I enjoy fantasy books. You can see the complete list of each challenge and the books I read for them in the "Challenges" tab at the very top of the page.
Because I'm such a list maker, an organizational nerd, and actually have fun keeping track of my reading, I've kept a pretty complete record on Excel for over 10 years (wish I'd started earlier!!). It's evolved over the years, but currently I track:
Title - Author - # pages - GR rating - My rating - Genre - Brief comments - Publish date - Read date - Date added to TBR - Where I found the book - Locale/country - Buy/library/friend loan/ARC, etc.
Here's the breakdown for my reading of 2020 by month and genre. The categories to the right are other categories I track for my own interest.
Keeping track of the genres I read has shown me a real evolution in my reading habits. This year mysteries were only about 21% of my total reading. 10 years ago they were 56%. Two years ago that dropped to 35% and now this year, it's an even smaller amount. I still love me a good mystery/thriller, but, I've discovered there are good books in other genres! For example, 10 years ago fantasy books were only 6% of my reading, this year it's 22% and historical fiction hovered around 1-2% with the highest percentage at 6% a few years ago and in 2020 I ballooned to 14%. I like the more balanced variety of genres!
I know all of us busy readers also keep an active and growing TBR list as we see books recommended by our favorite bloggers, bookstagrammers, or podcasts. I share the books that make it to my TBR list every month in the Virtual Bookshelf post - this year I added 191 books to my TBR list (plus maybe a few more that I forgot to add to the blog). How do you choose which books to actually add to your TBR?
MY READING CHALLENGES
If you add all the categories for these 5 challenges, it comes to 198 - obviously since I only read 117 books, there's a bit of a discrepancy. But, to make the challenges work for me, I double dipped many of my books to fit more than one challenge. Links are to this year's challenges.
Modern Mrs Darcy has 12 categories which I completed 9/15/20.
Read Harder has 24 categories which I completed in October with the exception of one category that I purposely neglected: poetry.
Pop Sugar has 50 categories which I finished in December.
Booklist Queen has a challenging 52 categories (a book a week) for the ambitious among you. I fell 3 short on this challenge because I didn't request them from the library soon enough. I requested them around Thanksgiving and I'm still on the wait list for all 3. Oh well, I'll read them this month and call the challenge complete!
Linz the Bookworm had a whopping 60 categories which I would not have attempted if I wasn't planning on double dipping. For this challenge, there is one of the above library books here as well, and there were 2 categories I chose not to complete; so, I called it "complete for me" in December.
I have to say, tracking the books and cross referencing them for the various challenges was ..... challenging (and time consuming)! It was a lot of spreadsheet time, even for a spreadsheet nerd like me. This year will be simplified! Only 2 challenges and more random reading. I have a bunch of series' where I've just read one and want to go back and dig deeper into the series.
How did your reading fare in 2020? Did you struggle with concentration with all the political and health concerns or did you read to retreat from the world?
#Readingisnotacompetition and I hope you enjoyed all the books you read whether 10 or 200. Here's to a satisfying reading life in 2021!
Happy New Year.