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Well 2020 certainly didn’t go as planned! What a crazy, scary, l-o-n-g year. It’s been a decades since the world was so united in being truly happy to turn the calendar to a brand new year. Despite COVID, teaching from home, and quarantining it turns out I had a pretty good year in books, hitting my all time high of 120 books finished. My reading was slow at the beginning of the lockdown, but after the initial shock wore off, my pace really picked up and as always books were a comfort to me. So, let’s look at how I did with books in 2020!
Looking Back at 2020 Goals
- Goodreads Goal – For the fourth year in a row my goal was 100 books. I’ve surpassed that the last two year, this year by 20 books. It might be time to raise it?
- Instagram/Bookstagram – My goal here was to increase my presence and I’ve definitely done that. Bookstagram is actually my preferred platform now. It’s definitely the place where I find the most book recommendations and have the best exchanges about books. If you’re not already following me, I’m @novelvisits.
- Improve my Photography Skills – I’d say I’ve done okay on this. I’ve worked at taking better pictures, and learning more editing skills. I love some of my pictures, others? Not so much!
- Blog Redesign – Nope! I didn’t even consider it.
- Looking Further Forward – I did okay at looking forward, but not at doing things ahead of time. The older I get the more I procrastinate.
- Better Variety of Posts – I did a few posts that weren’t reviews, but not as many as I’d like. This is an area I can continue to work on.
2020 Reading Year Statistics
It was an interesting year for me with books. Most of the time I had no desire to read nonfiction and when I did, I needed it to be something easier and lighter. So, my reading world was primarily filled with fiction. Lots and lots of fiction. I DNF’d fewer books than normal and I’m not sure why, except I was more willing to stick with a book that I wasn’t loving. Sometimes that worked out for me and sometimes it didn’t!
I was fairly evenly split between the three different categories of authors this year. I was a little surprised that repeat authors was the lowest, and judging by what I’m seeing coming in 2021, I’d expect that to be a little higher next year. Of all the authors I read this year 21% were BIPOC and 35% of the books I read were diverse. Those number are something I’m working on growing.
No huge surprises here. I normally love coming-of-age stories, but there were just very few out there in 2020. I was also pretty picky about historical fiction, only reading 11 which seems a little low for me. My sweet spot was contemporary and literary fiction…of course! And, I had a love-hate relationship with mystery/thrillers. A few I loved, but most left me wanting to skip them all together this year!
I thought of myself as the queen of 4 star books this year and those are the ones that usually work out to be in the B range. Between A’s and B’s, that was 96 books or 80% of the books I finished this year. I don’t know why I stuck with the 6 books I gave D’s to. Sometimes I just get stubborn and dig into a book even if I’m not liking it.
No huge changes here from last year. My e-book reading was down slightly and my books in print up a bit. I still prefer to read electronically and often do so even when I’ve been sent a print copy. Audiobooks continue to make up nearly a third of my reading because I always have to have one going. I listened for a total of 398 hours last year. That’s 16.6 DAYS!
The big shock here was that my ARC numbers were so high. In part that’s because this year I’ve also been getting audiobook ARC’s through a couple of different programs, where before all my audiobooks were purchased or from the library. I feel like my library stat should be higher because I’m constantly getting books from Libby, but the numbers don’t lie.
A special thank you to Sarah from Sarah’s Book Shelves. Her Rock Your Reading Tracker helps me keep track of all these stats and MANY more.
Goals for 2021
- Goodreads Goal – I set my goal this year at 110 books and I’m already nervous about making it. I’ve surpassed that number the last two years, but if life gets back to normal I see myself wanting to do other things. I’m also having some remodeling at my house done this year and I know that’s going to eat into my reading time.
- Read More Diversely – Here I mean both the obvious and the not quite as obvious. I want to up my numbers of books written by BIPOC authors and those with diverse characters. I had great success with so many diverse books in 2020, that I know I can find even more in 2021. Publishers seem to be starting to give more attention to diverse books, hopefully making it easier to get them in our hands and minds. I also want to be more willing to read different genres/types of books than I normally do. I stepped out of my comfort zone to read The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and it was my favorite book of the year.
- Bookstagram – I continue to feel like that platform is just as important to me as this one, and so I need to find a better balance between the two.
- Being Okay with Less – If you’ve followed my blog for a long time, you already know that I don’t post as often as I used to. Life is busy and often I just want to do other things. At times this year the blog has felt like a job and I don’t want it to be like that. Posting less often helps, and I need to learn to be okay with that.
- THAT’S IT! – With the insanity that blindsided us in 2020, I don’t want to make any big commitments for 2021, another year that we can’t really be sure about. I just want to be free to go with whatever happens this year. I’m keeping it simple in 2021!
I think my actual average rating was somewhere around 3.6 (according to Goodreads), but I also feel like I was always giving out 4 stars, which isn’t too bad! I like your goals for this year, keeping things simple. I set my Goodreads goal at lower than what I read last year, in hopes of being able to do other things at some point, too!
It would actually be nice if I DON’T meet my Goodreads goal because we were all able to do more this year!
What interesting stats. I do love looking at those numbers. You read/listened to a lot of audios as well. I’m not sure what 2021 will bring just yet but, it has to be better than 2020 (hope). Happy reading
Laurie C says
Happy New Year! I’m not a numbers person but I always admire the reading charts and graphs of others! I am trying to keep better track of books and audiobooks read for 2021 and have copied an idea I saw on another blog which was to keep a running list by month in a draft post; at the end of the year, just hit Publish for the annual list of books read. This sounds like my speed! I’ve tried tracking with more detailed stats, but I can never keep it up.
I’ve been finding Instagram too cluttered with ads and posts about things other than books, and because of the link with Facebook, it’s not all bookish posts in my news feed, either. You’ve given me the great idea of searching for #bookstagram — or following the tag — to connect my Instagram back up with books and book blogging, which was why I joined to begin with.
This is the one time a year that I look at numbers. It’s fun to see how they change (or don’t) over time. My year in 2020 turned out to be pretty similar to 2019 in terms of reading stats.
Another couple of tricks that I’ve found with the feed on Instagram are:
1. On ads, tell them several times in a row that you don’t want to see that type of ad and that usually helps for a bit.
2. I hate the video posts and IG tends to put a bunch of them together in my feed and when they do that, I scroll relly fast through all of them and then slowly read the normal picture posts when I get to them. This generally makes the videos go away for a few days!
When COVID goes away, we need to get together!
JoAnn @ Gulfside Musing says
Congratulations on an outstanding year… and thank you for all the book recommendations. My year was pretty bad as far as reading goes, but I’m hopeful 2021 will be better. Happy New Year!
Thanks, JoAnn. I wouldn’t worry about the reading. We’re all just doing the best we can.
Happy new year and congratulations on an all-time high!
Thank you, Sharlene.
Kathy Martin says
Great looking charts! You keep track of a number of things I don’t. I don’t pay attention to whether the author is new, experienced, or belongs to any particular group. I just choose stories that appeal to me. Good luck reaching your new Goodreads goal. Come see my week here. Happy reading!
Congrats on your great reading year! You hit it out of the park as usual. I like fiction the most too! I need to get on Bookstagram more often this coming year …. I always seem to forget about it or not make time for it … but I do like it when I visit there. Still like blogs best though, ha. Best wishes with your goals in 2021!
Happy New Year to you, too. Susan.
I’m with you on the idea that big/grand commitments seem a little sketchy right now! The only major reading goal I’ve made is to continue to grow my percentage of books by BIPOC authors and diverse reads (like you!). I think this is very doable! Happy New Year, Susie!
And I think that’s a great goal for everyone.
I upped my Goodreads goal as well this year. I finished 2020 strong in terms of reading and I surpassed my goal by almost 20 books. So, I decided to go for 96 books (or 8 a month) which will be a challenge, but doable.
Good luck on reaching that goal, Melinda!
Les in OR says
You had a really good year of reading! I love your charts/graphs and am always so impressed with your graphics/collages on IG. I’m trying to learn how to make some myself!
I’m sort of relearning how to do charts and graphs this year. For years I’ve used Old PicMonkey, but was forced to switch to New PicMonkey on 1/1. I sometimes use Canva, too.
Les in OR says
I’ve been messing around with Ribbet, which works pretty well, but I’m still learning the ins and outs of it.
120?! With a full-time job and COVID? That’s amazing. I think you and I switched with nonfiction- I read 11% 2019, but 20% in 2020.
Like you, I’m re-evaluating what I do and making “less” and “acceptance” words for 2021. I don’t see IG becoming more important to me, I just love words and long form reviews too much. But, I’m going to accept that it may mean I don’t have growth this year.
I also need to re-evaluate my GR goal. I go higher every year, but last year I found myself passing on books because they would take too long. Not good! In fact, I’m heading over there now to cut 15 books off my goal. Thank you!
Those are two great words for 2021 (or any year). I think it’s important for our sanity to know what to let go of and when to say “I need a break.”
I’m nervous about my Goodreads goal and know I’ll fall behind this winter/spring, but I can usually recover some in the summer months. I know your goal is a heck of a lot higher than mine!
booker talk says
So many of us are saying that our plan in 2021 is around simplicity. I think the pandemic has pushed us to think about what is really important and to be willing to let go of the unimportant things.
My plan this year is to cut back on reading challenges so I can read more of what I want rather than feeling I’m reading just to complete a challenge
You’re so right about priorities shifting in part because of the pandemic. Even since I wrote this poat, I’m finding that my priorities have shifted. I’ve long been considering a mini-home makeover including a kitchen remodel and just decided to go for it. It’s a lot of work and though it’s not cutting much into my reading time, it has cut into my blogging time. We’ve all just need to do what works for the moment!