2020, the year we all hope the door hits in the ass on the way out. Hard enough to leave a mark.
I know a lot of people saw the stay-at-home orders and lockdowns dramatically improved their reading, but for me, when I was already in a mother of a reading slump, the beginning of the pandemic tanked what little reading progress I was making. Add to that the forced move to a new book tracking site, and this was, without doubt, the worst reading year I’ve had in 20 years.
Most everyone following this blog knows I hate WordPress, but the silver lining is a book library plug-in I bought that does some nifty stats. So without further ado, my reading stats for 2020, such as they are.
2 years ago (I think?) I read 220 books, so, yeah, a slight downturn. Average rating seems to be about the same though, so what I am reading I seem to be enjoying as much.
Another tell of a bad year, by average days to finish this year was 5 when it used to hover around 1.
While I was reading much less, I was, at least, still reading (except March, a complete write-off). In spite of everything going on, you can see the slump’s regression as the year progressed.
Writing reviews, however, took a wee bit longer to recover.
Stats on what I read:
While my most read genres continued to be the same, the proportions were dramatically different for 2020. Normally, Mystery and UF would be swapped. (Fiction, btw, refers to anything not a mystery nor urban fantasy: contemporary mostly.)
The size of the books I read changed little as well. My sweet spot definitely seems to be firmly in the 200-399 page range. Seems there were a lot of short stories/novellas this year too.
It’s clear I need to re-evaluate my rating process. I’m heavy handed enough with my 4 star ratings to warrant taking a close look at those books to make sure I’m not unconsciously shifting the curve, making 4 stars ‘average’. I’d like to think I just read a lot of books that are just that little bit better than average, but you never know unless you look.
This is unchanged – although that 42% Unknown means I missed some data entry somewhere. It’s safe to say they’ll all be either Hardcover or Paperback; I’ve read almost no audio this year, though it’s possible there might be 3-4 audiobooks in that Unknown. Something to look at next year.
I was going to add my 5 highest rated and lowest rated, but looking at the titles, they aren’t anything anybody would be interested in. My reading this year was truly coping related in many ways, including 5 star rating a bird ID book. ::shrug::
To me, this is the most interesting part of the site’s analytics. Because I can track editions I own, I can get stats on what I’ve acquired over time and from where.
If there was any good news to my 2020 slump, it was that my acquisitions also slumped dramatically. Good news because even with a whole new shelving system in my library, space remains at a premium, and mount TBR doesn’t need to be any higher than it already is. Still, 73 new books were bought; at least that was fewer than I read though.
Nothing new here, I still like mysteries. Because I’m trying to make genres adhere somewhat to standards, Fantasy is Urban Fantasy.
Also, nothing new here. Ebooks and I are not friends.
This one’s fun – at least I think so. At first I was disappointed at how many books I’d still ended up buying from BookDepository (because: Amazon) but I’m heartened by the fact that the vast majority of my books came from non-Amazon sources, and a fair few from independent booksellers.
So that’s it; the one thing that stats are missing is the ability to breakdown the gender of authors, for obvious reasons (I’m not inputting author data, for one), but I’m wholly confident that more than 50% of the books I’ve read this year are by women, mostly because every year, more than half the books I read are by women.
Book Goals for 2021
If I had any book goals for 2021, I’d do a seperate post for them. But I don’t. No goals. Not even a total books read goal. I’m just going to read and see where it takes me.
May God (or what/whomever you believe in) give us the strength to make 2021 better than 2020.