I say this every single year, but putting together posts analyzing my reading stats is my absolute favorite, and I’m so excited to share this post with you! I did get distracted this year and never finished writing this post, hence why it’s going up in…May. But still! Let’s talk numbers!
Starting off with a few quick stats:
Total books read: 166
Total pages read (including DNFs): 52,161
Average page count per book: 314
Normally I would compare these stats to last year’s stats, but they’re so down it’s too depressing to talk about. Let’s just say I read a lot less, and the books I did read tended to be shorter. Though I did DNF less, which makes sense since I wasn’t pushing to read what I own and work towards a zero TBR, and I didn’t attend any conferences where I acquired a random assortment of books or bought books I hadn’t originally planned to.
Honestly, this is a pretty solid reading year in terms of ratings! I didn’t realize how many books had four or five stars, though I suspect rereads account for a lot of that. Regardless, I’ll take it!
Also, please note that N/A were books I wasn’t sure how to rate, oftentimes because I rate by my own personal enjoyment and I don’t think I was really the target audience for some of the books I didn’t necessarily enjoy. I also refuse to rate books by authors I have personal connections with or authors whose Goodreads review numbers are low and I didn’t want to negatively impact.
My kindle reading went waaaaaay up in 2020 compared to previous years! Like, more than 20 percent! This makes a lot of sense because I didn’t own as many physical books on my TBR this year as I have in the past. I expect this number to stay fairly consistent going forward, honestly, because at this point I tend to check out digital copies from the library of physical books that I own and want to read. I just prefer reading on my kindle! I’m also not surprised that my hardcover reading is practically nonexistent since I don’t care for holding hardcovers, and audio stayed the same.
Backlist vs. New Releases
I actually read more new releases in 2020, which kind of surprises me? I stopped requesting as many arcs by the end of the year, but I guess I also didn’t have as many backlist titles I was pushing myself to pick up while working towards a zero TBR. I kind of wish I read more backlist just because there’s SO MUCH to read and I think a lot of my new release reading is more because I get caught up in the hype (which I don’t always like doing), but for the most part this is fairly consistent with last year.
This graph is not that exciting. I thought I actually reread a fair amount in 2020, but it was actually only 15 books, which is one more than last year. Although percentage wise, it is higher than last year’s 5.8 percent. I think 10-15 percent sounds like a good amount to aim for in 2021, but we’ll see! I feel like I’ve done a good amount of rereading so far in 2021 and have plans for more.
Owned vs. Library
It’s so interesting to see how many books I read this year that I owned! It’s actually down from last year, which was at 58 percent, though my library usage also dropped from 31 percent and my arcs jumped up from nine percent. I guess we know where all of those new releases came from after all!
This graph is soooooo different from 2019, and I think it’s safe to say it’s because of the pandemic. Romance went from about 60 percent of my reading to 77 percent! That’s a big jump! Nonfiction was cut in half from 11 percent, fantasy was cut from 17 percent, and contemporary stayed about the same. The Other category is made up of scifi, mystery, thriller, and historical fiction, each of which were such tiny categories this year that it made sense to roll them up into one slice of this graph.
It’ll be interesting to see if romance continues being such a huge part of my reading in the coming years, or if it’ll drop back down to the 45 percent it was before I started attending lots of romance events and then, you know, covid.
This year I made an entire graph for the romance subgenres I was reading, since that’s the large majority of what I read last year. Historical surprisingly dropped from 45 percent last year despite being my preferred romance subgenre, though that’s really not a big difference, while contemporary jumped up from 31 percent. I didn’t really break down fantasy and scifi into percentages last year, though I did notice that paranormal dropped off significantly, presumably because I’m all caught up on Psy/Changeling. Though I’m kind of surprised fantasy is so high, because I feel like I never really read fantasy romance! I think I technically classify a lot of Ilona Andrews as fantasy romance because it feels like urban fantasy, but I think of high fantasy when I hear the term fantasy romance, which is why I don’t think I read that much of it (but actually do).
This section is becoming less interesting with time since I really don’t read as much YA these days as I did when I started my blog. About 92 percent of my reading last year would be classified as adult; I only read seven YA novels (four percent), five New Adult, and two Middle Grade. I’ll probably keep tracking it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I don’t include this section next year.
Gender of Author
Shocker, I read largely female authors, with a sprinkling of men and co-written books in there! This is pretty consistent with last year, though the Male and Both categories shrank slightly. Unfortunately, I don’t think I read any non-binary authors in 2020, which I should definitely fix in 2021. I also don’t know that I tracked how many trans authors I read (does that belong in gender? LGBTQ?), but I should pay attention to that in 2021.
New to Me Authors
This is about on track with last year, which is so cool because it’s not a statistic I make an effort to change one way or the other. It just so happens that about a third of the books I read are by authors I’ve never read before!
The stat in the graph only accounts for the first book I picked up by a new to me author, but if you count all of the books I read in 2020 by authors I hadn’t read prior to 2020, the number jumps up to 40 percent, which is quite a bit different from last year when the number went up to 51 percent. I guess I didn’t read as many new authors who inspired me to pick up a bunch of their backlist (or perhaps they didn’t have big backlists), though I do plan to read more from a lot of these authors in the future.
Most Read Authors
Interestingly, I don’t think I read from the same authors as much in 2020 as I did in 2019. Both in that my list of most read authors is different, but I also picked up books from a more varied group of authors. That said, Ilona Andrews again made a strong showing with eleven books, as did Nalini Singh with seven. Courtney Milan was also one of my most read authors of 2020 with nine books, as was Talia Hibbert at six and Rachel Reid at five.
But those are the only authors I read five or more books from last year, compared to ten authors the year before. If I dip down into the authors I read four books from, you’ll find Olivia Dade and Jeannie Lin, who are new favorites, as well as Sarah J. Maas, a longtime favorite of mine. But that’s it! I didn’t read any other authors more than three times last year, which is fascinating.
I doubled the number of Black authors I read in 2019, which is awesome! The number of East Asian authors I read is also up significantly, though South Asian is down by quite a bit. What upsets me about these numbers, though, is that the number of Latinx authors I read this past year is practically nonexistent. And also, the chunk for white authors is just soooooo big. There is definitely room for improvement in 2021.
*Please note that these numbers are absolutely not 100 percent accurate and not at all nuanced. I tracked the authors’ ethnicity to the best of my knowledge based on a quick Google search, relying on images, website descriptions, and Twitter bios, and chose to label them as white if I couldn’t confirm otherwise. This coding also doesn’t account for authors who identify as biracial or mixed race, instead identifying them primarily by the marginalized part of their identity. Obviously reality is much more nuanced and complex than what I have in this graph, but I think this still provides a good snapshot to ensure I’m reading diversely.
About a quarter of the authors I read in 2020 identify as LGBTQ+, which is about double from last year! This could be a result of better tracking, but I also read a lot of Courtney Milan, Talia Hibbert, and Olivia Waite last year, among others.
As I mentioned in 2019, I want to keep making an effort to read beyond just the G in LGBTQ+. I think I read a lot more f/f books this past year and a lot of books with bisexual characters in either homosexual or heterosexual relationships, but there are a lot of other queer identities I really haven’t read from at all. Something to keep striving for in 2021!
I was originally going to include a bunch of statistics in this post about my book buying habits because I actually kept track of all the books I acquired last year and where I got them from, but I decided that was getting to be too much for this post and I might never actually publish it since I don’t have the graphs and everything ready for it yet. So if that’s something you’re interested in, definitely let me know in the comments!
Also, if you compare this post directly to last year’s, you’ll notice that I dropped the section about Author Country of Origin. I decided this wasn’t really providing any useful information, and trying to read more globally is something that hasn’t been much of a priority recently. I really like reading romance, and unfortunately it’s very American/British centric at the moment.
Oh, and I have plans next year to make this stats post EVEN COOLER by incorporating graphs! My husband tried to push me to do it this year so you can more readily see trends in my reading stats, but I really enjoy the pretty pie charts and had already made them by the time he encouraged me to change it up. But that way I don’t have to remind you what my stats were for last year, you can just see it for yourself! And I’ll have been tracking this data for four years by then, so it should make for some cool graphs next year.
And if you enjoyed this post because of how much you like stats, be sure to check out Nick and Ari’s critique of The Ripped Bodice report. They get into a lot of nitty gritty statistics and data collection stuff, and it makes my inner stats nerd so, so happy to read. It also reinforces that my own personal data collection is absolutely not up to snuff, but I think it’s sufficient for my own personal use. It definitely inspires me to keep doing better, though, and is a good reminder on how to critically analyze data!
What do you think of my 2020 reading stats? Any interesting trends that jumped out to you? Ways I can improve this post for next year? Stats I should have included? Let me know in the comments, and PLEASE drop your own stats posts if you made one! They’re just so cool to read, and I’d love to check it out!