Old Year/New Year reading and resolutions

My blog is now over a year old and I have blogged for the whole of 2019, although perhaps not as frequently as I would have liked. At this time last year I published my review of 2018 and my resolutions for the coming year – you can find that here. Now is my opportunity to reflect on 2019 and talk about what I am intending to read in 2020.

I read 353 books in the past year. A bit fewer than 2018 and a decrease from 2009 to 2017 when I read more than 400 books in each year and in two years over 500. There are no medals given out for quantity of books read but like all avid readers I have such a large to-be-read pile (bookcase/Kindle list/audio collection) that I always feel like I should have read more if it hasn’t dwindled and, of course, it never does because I am always adding books to it.

I was particularly keen in 2019 to read more physical books because I need to reduce the number of bookshelves in the house pending a future house move. I read 64% of books in paper form as opposed to 45% the year before which shows that I am doing that. I read about the same number on audio as before.

75% of the books read were by female authors which is slightly up on the year before. That seems like a good figure to me. I had hoped to read more books by authors who do not share my ethnicity but I would find that very difficult to measure without having to do quite a lot of research but I am aware anecdotally that I am increasing the number of books I read which are set in locations away from the UK and USA and are written by people who are local to those settings.

The genre with the most titles in it was romance followed by crime/thrillers, non-fiction, fantasy/science fiction and literary fiction in that order. My reading is pretty evenly spread across these categories and pretty much the same as the previous year. Ten or twenty years ago my reading would mostly have been crime and fantasy and I am aware that I have expanded my tastes more recently.

I did aim to have 25% of my reading as non-fiction in 2019 but only achieved 15% which is a very small increase on the year before and not much of an improvement. I shall keep trying because I do enjoy non-fiction and have a lot of unread books on my shelves, especially history and biographies.

I have very much enjoyed 2019’s reading and recently published three blogs about my favourite books of the year – do have a look at them as they may add to your to-be-read list !

Now on to 2020 and my resolutions for the year :

  1. Reduce the number of physical books I have on my to-be-read shelves. To this end I have decided to theme my months in 2020 and read 12 paper books relating to that theme each month. I will call this my 12 in 12 Challenge and will blog about the books I read. That should dispose of 144 books from the shelves at least (I read 226 physical volumes this year so it is possible). I shall start in January with crime novels (also suspense and thrillers) and keep you posted.
  2. Have at least 25% of the books I read to be non-fiction. The 12 in 12 Challenge will help with this as I have one month earmarked for biography/memoir and one for history.
  3. Read at least 30 books each month which will give me an annual total of 360 or above (I have achieved this in 12 out of the past 20 years so it is possible).
  4. Blog about past reading and books I have loved during the year as well as current reading – I will do this by delving into the notebooks I have kept for the past 20 years recording every book I have read.

And, of course, I intend to keep reading !