quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


My 2020 Reading Year

This year for me, as for the entire world, was crazy.  

Once quarantine happened, I thought I would read so much (I'm sure a lot of people thought that).  

But that is not what happened, instead I felt less motivated...at first. But then, things started, not becoming normal, because nothing about this year has been normal, but more familiar (which is a little sad, but reality). 

I got back into my groove.  

Reading has always comforted me, so I was very glad I could get my mind to focus on the one thing, besides my family, that always brings me joy.

With that said, I read 10 books beyond my goal this year!

I know a lot of people have put reading challenges to the wayside, but for me, I utilize it when I am in a slump.  This works for me, to look at my Goodreads page and see if I'm 1, 2, 3+ books behind.  

It forces me to pick a book up, maybe a comfort read, maybe a new release that sounds exciting, but whatever it is, once I start reading I can typically get over that hump.

So to not only have hit my goal (I make it a simple 50 books --- I am in awe of those who read 100+ in a year), but to have gone 10 books over it was quite an achievement for me.

Okay let's break down some stats.  I find it interesting watching/reading anyone's end of the year reading stats videos/blog posts.  Mine is never quite as extensive, but I think it is interesting to track my own reading in different ways.

This doesn't surprise me; Young Adult is my jam.  Any genre, any format, I will choose a YA book 95% of the time...well 50% of the time with 30 books read according to my list this last year.  Young Adult is my comfort zone, and my area of study, so I tend to lean into it more often than not.

Then 35% of my reading with 21 books  was Adult/New Adult, which, again, not super surprising.  I love to read romance as a genre, and all the most steamy are Adult/New Adult (I mean...as it should be).  Most of my Adult/New Adult reading is dominated by romance.  So that is one thing I'd like to try and change this coming year (not off to a great start, 2 of 3 books I've read have been romance...oops LOL).

Then coming in last is Middle Grade/Children at 15% and 9 books read.  Small, but mighty, I am getting more and more into Middle Grade/Children books.  Some have been excellent, and I think this is a category of book that is often overlook for nuance.

Again, not totally surprising as most YA books are 300ish pages, as are most romances (my other comfort genre).  For this, even though I have audiobooks on the list, I took what was the physical hardcover book page count to tally.   This is also a comfort number for me, as 300-350 is usually my sweet spot.  Of course, the one biggin that I read in 2020 was Middlegame by Seanan McGuire --- a perfect book.

Of course, looking at this you would think that the 0-100 books were all Middle Grade/Children, and none of them were: one was a YA short story, one was an art book (that contained words I promise), and one was a smutty novella. 

I love that I didn't use the "crutch" of reading shorter books to obtain my goal this year, either!  I actually hit my original goal of 50 books in October with One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake.  And after that I read a few good sized books.  Not that reading short books is a problem, I just didn't want to force myself to read them in order to reach a goal, if that makes sense?

I still read the most physical books: 19 total (between 6 Paperback and 13 Hardcover), but the fact eBooks are my second highest at 14 books, is surprising to me. But something I took into consideration for this year.  

I had read all of those eBooks on my phone, using the Kindle app; not ideal.  So I did research about eReaders, and purchased a Kindle Paperwhite as a birthday present.  I've already read 4 eBooks on it this month, and I am really loving it.  Always will be a physical book reader, but ebooks aren't horrible as I previously thought.  Also, if you include graphic novels, which were all physical copies, that total bumps up to 32 total physical.  So definitely my still my preferred format.

A lot less audiobooks, but that is not surprising.  I have moved back into the city where I work, and I am commuting only twice a week to the office.  So no more long car trips 5 days a week where I can get a good chunk listened to.  I am not a audiobook listener anywhere but my car, so that number will probably stay low in 2021.

Finally, let's talk Star Ratings.  I use to use this elaborate like 10 point system, then give an A+ - F score.  But that got exhausting, so a couple years back I just went to Stars.  I do use half Stars because sometimes a book is good, but not quite full step up good.  You need an in-between option.

So overall, I had the most 4 to 4.5 Star books this year.  Not surprising, since I tend to be generous with my ratings.  I do not typically read books I am not going to like.  But I have also come to the conclusion that a 3 or a 3.5 Star is pretty good still.  So for 2021, I am really going to consider if this is a book I would recommend to people (a 4/4.5) or if this is just an enjoyable book, but maybe not a high recommendation (3/3.5).

And then my 5 Stars are only going to be 100% percent, loved and would recommend to everyone reads.  Which for 2020, I tried to keep that in mind, and I had some very good books.

So out of the 60 books I read 20 of them received 5 Stars; about 33%.  Then I had 33 4/4.5 Star books; about 55%.  The 3.5 Star or lower was only 12% of my overall reading.  I think that will definitely be changing.

Now I did some analysis, but y'all probably want to see the books I read.  So here are just the covers of all 60 books I read in 2020 (thanks Goodreads for putting them together so nicely):

A plethora of excellent books, I really enjoyed my reading year in such a godawful time.  I had a lot of slumps, but was able to finish strong.  I hope that 2021 is the same or even better (January was excellent for me; February...isn't going as well).  

If you found some new books to read through this post, let me know in the comments, and happy reading!

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