It’s that time of the year again, when we take stock of the year (in this case, reading year) gone by and review it. And that’s exactly what I did last week, and thought I’d share it here with you guys.
Though to be honest, before I thought of sharing these stats with you, I had only done a cursory review of sorts. It’s only when I decided to share, that I dug deep & reviewed the genre split, the formats, and the authors I read. And it’s resulted in a few interesting revelations.
But let me first share the overall stats, and come to these revelations later.
In 2019, I had set a goal to read 52 books, basically a book a week. A relatively ambitious goal by my standards because I hadn’t ever read a book a week, and am very prone to falling into unexpected reading slumps throughout the year.
But be that as it may, I not only reached the goal but surpassed it. As of this writing I have read 55 books this year.
And the broad genre split is as follows –
Non Fiction – 20 Books
Contemporary Fiction – 18 Books
Mystery / Thrillers – 4 Books
Adult Fiction – 3 Books
Paranormal / Fantasy – 3 Books
Re-Read – 6 Books
DNF-ed – 1 Book
Though here I have to mention, that all the re-reads were in paranormal / fantasy genre, so I essentially read 9 books in the genre.
Moreover, by the time I wrote & published this post, I read two more books, both re-reads in the paranormal fantasy genre, which brings up the total to 11 books.
Non Fiction Books form the biggest chunk..
..and this was very intentional. Though I’d say it was only possible because of audiobooks.
And I say that because these days I have a hard time reading non-fiction in the print format. So audiobooks were a lifesaver. Especially because I found a lot of new favorite authors and books in this genre this year that I would love to re-read or rather re-listen.
Of the books I read, some of my favorites & ones I’d recommend to anyone and everyone are –
1. Becoming by Michelle Obama – A real, relatable & POWERFUL memoir!
2. Atomic Habits by James Clear – By FAR the BEST book on Habits!
3. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Adichie – This must be made mandatory reading for all!
4. Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Adichie – Every single parent / guardian must read this one!
5. Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis – Got Goals to Chase Down? Read This!
Contemporary Fiction / Romances constitute the second biggest chunk..
This was totally expected, even though not necessarily intentional. As in, I did not mean to read a lot of these books, but I knew these books will form a sizeable chunk of my reading.
Mostly because I turn to this genre for comfort reads, whenever I am even remotely stressed. But also because a lot of my friends write books in this genre, so I consistently receive review copies.
Some of my favorite 2019 reads from this genre have been
Science Fiction / Fantasy / Paranormal Books come in third..
This is the one category that kind of surprised me, in terms of how many books I read in this genre. And I know I mentioned I read only 3 new fantasy books, which isn’t a lot, but I re-read 8, and that counts, right?
Almost 20% of the total!! Which amazes me, because I usually avoid picking up new books in this genre, especially staying away from long fantasy series. Mostly because I am kinda-sorta intimidated by their size and the seemingly complex / new world I would need to familiarize myself with.
And yet.. some of my favorite books / series’ are long fantasy series’ like The Lunar Chronicles, and do I even need to mention Harry Potter again?
So maybe I need to re-think my stance on this? Because clearly when I do pick them up, I end up enjoying them AND re-reading these books.
Which is what I did this year btw, re-read The Lunar Chronicles & The Twilight Saga, bumping up the total number of fantasy / paranormal reads this year.
And now finally the rest of the books..
The stats show that I read 3 books in the Adult Fiction Genre, DNF-ed one Young Adult book, and read 4 Mystery / Thrillers. And while I have no opinion on the other genres, I somehow believed I read more than 4 mystery / thrillers in the year.
I don’t know why exactly. But I know this. This is the one genre I want to read more of next year. And I think it’s doable as I plan on cutting down on non-fiction books, and turning to podcasts to satisfy the non-fiction itch.
So fingers crossed it works out!
I meant to read 52 Books, completed 57 so far, and am on track to get to 60 books this year, so I can safely say, at-least in terms of numbers I had a great reading year.
That being said, I have to also admit that this number was only possible because out of the 57 books I read this year, I heard 37 of them on audio. Which is my preferred as well as practical choice of format these days.
But on the flip side, this meant that I did not read as many physical books at all. I read only 3 paperbacks, which is a shockingly low number. And I read the remaining 17 books on my Kindle.
Going forward, I want to read more physical books, and I’ll try to do that. Because in an ideal world I would like to read more versus listen more.
But we live in the real world, where I know audiobooks are still going to be the dominant format for me, even if I bump up the number of physical books I read.
And even though that statistic bothers me a bit, I guess books are books are books, and formats are not as important because it’s the words that hold the power.
Though speaking of being happy with the reading stats, there is one area that has pleasantly surprised me.
I reviewed the authors I read in 2019, in terms of how many were new-to-me vs old favorites, and I realized that I read 27 new-to-me authors vs 11 authors whom I was familiar with. And I have to say this is one ratio that makes me happy, even though it was not an intentional decision.
Looking Forward to 2020..
At the moment I have decided against setting a reading goal for the next year. Not even a number goal really, at-least not an aggressive one.
Because in 2020, I have pretty aggressive goals in other areas of my life, and don’t need to add another goal post here.
All I truly need is a relatively relaxing, and rewarding reading year. And I hope 2020 proves to be just such a year.
That being said, I have still gone ahead and decided on a Goodreads number goal, because well, it’s just a habit at this point, and I have a hard time breaking patterns.
But I have planned on a really small goal of 24 books, which is no challenge at all (for me anyway).
How about you? Have you set reading goals for 2020? What is your number goal? Do share!
Oh and are you on Goodreads? If yes, do share a link to your profile, as I am always looking to connect with fellow readers & book nerds.