As I said in yesterday’s post as well: 2020’s been a bit of a doozy, hasn’t it? The entire world seemed to shift every other day, which meant we didn’t go on a holiday this year – and I spent 6 months at home on sick leave. All together? It’s made for a year with some new discoveries, some old loves returning, and a lot of numbers and figures for my 2020 reading overview!
At the start of this year, I set my Goodreads Reading goal for 50 – that’s actually the lowest I’ve ever set it, but I had a good reason – namely, I was in the middle of a burn-out and reading wasn’t really (read: not at all) a priority. What I, apparently, didn’t take into account? First of all – I’m me. Reading happens. So I bumped it up to 100 around April, and to 150 around August. And I ended up even surpassing that goal!
Secondly: 2020 can go down in the record books as the year I really learned to enjoy graphic novels. Out of a total of 163 books, no less than 58 were graphic novels of some sort! In case you were wondering: I read 9 non-fiction books, and the rest of them were all fiction – no poetry or theater this year, and altogether a pretty big move away from the trends of the last years!
As has become usual, by now, the largest part of those books were romance (81 out of 163), with equal portions taken up by adventure and realism (27 books each), and 13 Christmas stories. Fun fact: that’s probably the smallest amount of Christmas books I’ve read in the lead up to the holidays, since I started doing posts dedicated to them!
When choosing what books to read, there’s a couple of things I really try to pay attention to – like whether the author is white or not, whether the author is female, male, or genderqueer… I’m definitely not doing as well I would like to on that account, so that’s something I’m really hoping to work on in 2021.
If nothing else, 84% female and 2% queer writers is better than my average since 2014, which is 66% female and less than 0,5% queer writers? The same can be said for 6% non-white writers (my average over the last 7 years is 3%) – but again: it’s nowhere near enough, and that’s something I’m going to be trying to improve on over the next year(s).
About the books
Fun fact: apart from 2017, the average length of the books I read has never been as short as this year – now, that might just have something to do with the second half of this post (fanfiction ftw!) but I’m sure the graphic novel had some input in that as well.
I also read less books that are part of a series as compared to my usual habits – only 74 books (or about 38%) were part of a series – usually, that’s somewhere around half of the books I read. And that’s even taking into account the fact that almost every graphic novel I read was part of a series!
Another area where the influence of this year’s fanfiction-addiction is clear: usually the summer months are some of my better reading months – this year? Not so much :p Not at all, even – I mean, you can basically read off of these bar graphs every point I fell into a new fandom. Oops?
Across the board though, I actually did enjoy most of what I read this year – sure, there were some exceptions, a couple of DNF’s. But come on – an average rating of 3,27 for the entire year? That’s not too shabby, right?
In the spotlight
And, in case absolutely anyone cares: here are my top 5 books I read this year!
- The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom
- The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse, Charlie Mackesy
- Heartstopper-series, Alice Oseman
- The Neighbours, Nicola Gill
- The Wedding War, Liz Talley
I don’t think I’ve ever read as much fanfiction as I have the past year – maybe back in 2012 or 2013, when I first started reading it, I spent a lot of time procrastinating through the wonders of fanfiction.net. This year, it was my obsession with Downton Abbey that started things off – we started watching the series in March, and it all sort of went downhill from there.
As of my writing this (in the evening on December 30th) I’ve read a grand total of 1324 fanfictions this year. That’s good for 65 171 pages, or approximately 179 pages per day – the entire year!
For those of you who are interested: my main fandoms were Downton Abbey (the one that started it all), Supernatural, Sherlock and Merlin (that’s basically where my entire summer went), and Marvel (it’s a good thing I wrote so much of blogmas before the start of December). Sure, good ol’ Harry Potter made the occasional appearance, but weirdly (now why would that be, JKR??) I’ve sort of gone off the fandom a bit, these past 12 months…
Naturally – me being me – I’ve done some calculations, and I’ve rated all the fics, and… Because, you know… Reasons. Anyways, taking an average of 500 words for 1 page (this can vary a lot for books, anywhere from 350 to 600 is possible, so I figured I’d take it a little on the high side)… The longest fanfiction I read this year? 1100 pages. The shortest? Less than a page (yay for ficlets!)
The highest I rated a fic this year was To Build a Home (Supernatural), which I gave a good old 10/10, both A Lonely Vigil (Supernatural) and As a Sea Shell (Merlin) got a solid 9,5 out of 10. Fair warning though: all of these will make you cry. I have a bit of a thing for being emotionally ruined by fics, apparently…
All together, that gave me an overall rating average of 6,8 out of 10 stars – not too shabby, considering I only included those fics that I actually completely finished. So any DNF’s (and accompanying low ratings) aren’t even included in that!
All in all, 2020 has been a weird year – both in living and in reading. Luckily though, I actually did enjoy a lot of what I read, whether it be in physical form, e-book, fanfiction, graphic… If nothing else, this has probably been the year where there was the most variety in what I read. Ever. You know, within the realm of romance and all that jazz.
What have you been reading this past year? Are there any particular books you absolutely loved? Any that you absolutely wouldn’t recommend? Be sure to let me know below!