I know, I know, I promise I’m getting closer to shut up about 2020. But I’m super excited about today’s post because 2020 stats! Keeping track of my spreadsheet during the year brings immense joy (what a nerd, I know) and I couldn’t wait to share all the graphics and numbers with you. I’ll be also talking about my 2020 resolutions and how I did there, favorite blog posts and some of my 2021 resolutions.
Read 200 books. This was my minimum goal, as I wasn’t sure what the year would bring and I didn’t know what expectations I should have. I ended up moving the goal up to 300 books and then COVID happened, laughing at my face. I was so nervous and scared at the end of 2019, many of the things I was worried (personal stuff blah blah) turned out better than I was expecting. Which it was a relief but then the pandemic, losing friends, cancelling vacations, losing my job… I’m not complaining by any means, I know I was very lucky in many ways. But still, what a rough year it was, even if I accomplished so much reading wise.
Read more romance. As you will see with my stats, I read less romance than 2019. What a joke! I mean, I did read but maybe it was the year, I found myself super picky and putting a lot of stuff down. I was not in the mood for alpha heroes, or angsty stories. I guess it makes sense *gestures at the world* but still sad that so many 2020 romance releases were left unread.
Tackle unread tbr. More about this in my stats, but hands down my biggest accomplishment here. After reading 304 books, I guess.
Read more non-fiction. Read 25 books when my goal was 12, so yay me. Some of the best nonfiction books I read were Stamped from the Beginning: the Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space, and All Boys Aren’t Blue.
Finish series. This I accomplished for the first time since ever, I’m very bad at finishing series. Did I finish all the ones I want to? No, of course not because I am me. BUT I managed to finally read some romance series like Forbidden Hearts by Alisha Rai, The Loyal League and Reluctant Royals by Alyssa Cole, London Celebrities by Lucy Parker. Read my two favorite middle-grade series, too: Sal and Gabi by Carlos Hernandez and Love Sugar Magic by Anna Meriano.
2020 releases. I’m usually very good at reading backlists, but I never keep up with my most anticipated releases. I did pretty well with this time, reading 129 new releases (42.9% of my reading) and 58 of my 144 anticipated releases (that’s 40%). So yeah, very good!
I had other resolutions like reading SFF (yes), listening to audiobooks (omg, yes), reading Latinx authors (stopped counting after LHM for a lot of reasons, but I guess yes), read sapphic books (didn’t really keep count so yes question mark), and read graphic novels and comics (yes).
I read 304 books (ten less than 2019) and 79483 pages. I lost count of how many books I DNF, or paused indefinitely, back in October. At that point I had 66, but it’s not very accurate. The more I grow in my reading, the more I realize that I have not time, energy or space for the things I don’t enjoy, so I DNF often and sometimes quite early. Also pretty understandable because 2020 was so ugly.
My shortest book was Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi and Ashley Lukashevsky with 24 pages and my longest book was Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela with 656 pages. This was also one of the unread books that I’ve had the longest on my shelves, a gift from my dad from 2015. So feeling very good that I got to cross it from my list.
I found myself rereading quite a lot, looking for that comfort that past favorites brought me like Wild Beauty, Don’t Date Rosa Santos, Merci Suarez Changes Gears (reread this one twice in 2020 because I love pain), and Pie in the Sky.
In terms of books finished by month, my average was 25 books per month. I read the less in January (13) and the most in March (38). I spent two weeks of January travelling, so I wasn’t very into reading that month. March, well, we all know what happened in March and I found a lot of comfort in books. I was also reading a lot of middle-grade and I tend to read those faster. July was a month I was very burned out and exhausted, from reading and creating content. Still read, but I had some low ratings there, I wasn’t enjoying the books and I felt a reading slump coming… It was also when I started thinking about going on hiatus/closing the blog. Whole reason this time I’m trying to take things at my own pace and not pressure myself to reading and create content all these platforms at the same time, because not healthy and really overwhelming.
I find my star ratings so interesting. I had 56 five stars and 105 four stars (combined 4 and 4 and half), which makes very happy. That’s 52.96% of my reading! I mean, half of the books I read I very much enjoyed. But as you can see, my highest rating was 3 stars (80 books). I don’t think three stars are bad books, more like there were things missing in here for me. Sometimes that’s the kind of reading that puts me in a reading slump. And those books are also very forgettable, to be honest. I didn’t remember how many 3 stars I had…
I always get asked how I read so much and friends, it’s because I can’t do chucky books. I mean, I guess I can because I managed to 4 books with 500+ pages. But omg, why am I like this? For some reason my brain decides big tomes are a big nope and I never read them. It was one of my resolutions for the year and ended up reading one less than 2019. Embarrassing. Interesting enough, I lower the amount of novellas compared to 2019, reading 100 books between 301-400. So maybe I wasn’t that bad.
This is one of my favorite stats! I love how pretty balance it looks, 141 (one hundred and forty one!!!) audiobooks, 142 digital (both ebooks and earcs) and 109 physical books. If you’re like, Cande, that’s not how math works, they don’t add up? It’s because I usually switch between listening to the audio and reading digital/physical copy and I counted both instances. Anyway, this right there is big achievement of 2020, listening to 141 audiobooks, baby!!
This is so interesting because I was convinced that I haven’t read that much YA, apparently I was very wrong because that’s 97 books. We also have 119 adult and 83 middle-grade or children’s books. Compared to 2019, the percents are pretty close, kind of disappointing when I wanted to read more middle-grade and reduce my YA number. Not surprised by how high adult titles get as I read a lot of romance.
Once again, my most read genre was SFF (science-fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction) with 123 books. Follow by 65 romances (20 less than 2019), 57 contemporaries, 25 nonfiction, 11 mysteries slash thrillers, 8 historicals, 6 horrors and 8 other because I was too lazy to fix my spreadsheet. Overall… I don’t know to be honest, I very much enjoy SFF above anything else, I wished I had read more romance and I’m very proud that I achieved my nonfiction goal.
Another of my biggest achievements was finally tackling my own TBR. I read 70 books that I already owned (be ebooks or physical) and 51 books purchased in 2020, that’s a lot better than I did any other year. In part thanks to the pandemic (what am I even saying right now, omg), my library was closed so I started reading my own books. Also thanks to CW’s Start On Your Shelfathon challenge (did you see my update shelf? that’s one of my biggest flex). I also read 67 review copies, 9 gifts and 8 borrows.
Favorite Blog Posts
2020 allowed me a lot of time to think about reading, goals and books. I’ve realized how much I enjoy middle-grade, the ways these stories fill me with joy. And how much I enjoy adult SFF. I’m slowly making my way out of YA, I’ve been getting super picky about YA contemporary in the past years. Although YA surprised me in wonderful ways, I’m glad that I’m letting it go. Not because I don’t think it’s good quality, or good enough for me, not at all! But my reading taste has changed with time and I want to keep exploring and branching out.
I also did a lot of changes to my spreadsheets, like not keeping track of my dnfs anymore and stop counting the number of ownvoices books I’m reading. It wasn’t working for me, calling it ownvoices didn’t tell me what marginalization the author shares with the character, which it was just pointless to keep track of. I know I could have fixed it, but by then it was a label that I had some complicated feelings about. There’s such a huge misinformation and misuse. I feel like many people think ownvoices means not criticism allow. Maybe all started after my review of Woven in Moonlight, how it has been praised as ownvoices Bolivian inspired fantasy and it’s not. The author may be Bolivian-American, but she’s not Indigenous. There were also so many conversations about the label in the year that it just showed me that many reviewers don’t get it. Since then I have been cautiously using it.
Fadwa wrote this amazing blog post and she articulated so well my thoughts, so you should definitely read it. And since then I had stopped tracking the label on my reading. Of course, these are all personal feelings and thoughts and I’m not trying to start a whole discourse about it. Personally, I don’t want to have the label on my spreadsheet, doesn’t mean I won’t use it ever again. Anyway, MOVING ON NOW.
Eventually, I also dropped my stats for AOC and queer authors as I felt like I was keeping authors’ marginalization like a number to check and it made me very uncomfortable. When I started reading diverse, I had to be conscious of the books I was reading. I had to check myself constantly in the stories I was supporting, but I don’t have to do that anymore. I know that I’m reading authors of colors, QBIPOC, disabled and Latinx authors. So that’s why I don’t have any of these graphics.
So what are some of my 2021 resolutions?
I take my reading as constant work that can be improved. I like challenging myself to try new things, like diving more into adult SFF. I want to keep reading middle-grade novels and romance books. Maybe finish six more series? Too ambitious? I beg future me to stop giving the white gays more chances when they disappointed me again and again in 2020.
I’m hopeful this will be a better year for all of us. Yes, there’s still work to be done to fight white supremacy, to hold our governments accountable, to support and boost our global south friends. But we can do it.