What I read in 2020 and what I want to read in 2021

I have noticed lots of posts today on social media where people are talking about their reading in 2020 and what they want to do in 2021. The variety of these is amazing with many saying that the lockdown as a result of the pandemic has allowed them more time for reading. I thought that this would be the case for me too, after all I no longer have to commute each day which gives me more time at home, but my total of 355 books read for the year is only two higher than last year which was more “normal”.

In fact, this year has been anything but normal in global, national and personal levels. The global pandemic has caused me to work at home a lot more, I have been consumed with the arguments and wrangling around Brexit which has meant that I spend quite a lot of time reading up about that, I have had an operation to sort out the bones in my foot and I have finally moved house after ten weeks living in rented accommodation with all the anguish and work that comes with relocating. Let us all hope that 2021 will be less eventful and more settled.

In 2020 I aimed to read many more physical books from my to-be-read pile which was getting rather out of control. 58% of my reading this year was paper books which is an increase on recent years. To do this I started my 12 in 12 Challenge where I read 12 books with a similar theme each month and then reviewed them all. I managed 12 in each of ten months and occasionally a few more. I should have had 144 books reviewed this way at the end of the year and I had 147 – lots of reviews for you to have a look at if you have the inclination. I am also pleased to say that the number of physical books I bought during the year was less than the number I read which should mean that the to-be-read pile is reduced, if by no means eliminated (it’s in boxes at the moment as I haven’t finished unpacking after the move).

My other ambition was for non-fiction to comprise 25% of all the books I read in the year and the actual figure was 17% – I’m working on this one ! It is still an aim of mine to read more non-fiction and my to-be-read pile has a lot of these awaiting attention. 73% of the books I read were authored by women which is about the usual number. Only 14 books were listened to on audio which is considerably less than usual and as a result of the fact that I spend a lot less time in my car now that I no longer have to commute each day.

And so to 2021. I don’t usually set a numerical target for the year but I anticipate reading between 350 and 450 books in that time as this would be much the same as usual. I want to continue to read physical books to reduce that to-be-read pile and I am still aiming for 25% of the books I read to be non-fiction.

I don’t want to repeat the 12 in 12 Challenge because it was quite pressured at time but I enjoy the idea of reading by theme. This year I am, therefore, going to choose a wide theme for each month and read around it but also blog a little more about books I have read in the past and themes and issues in the book world. For January my theme is numbers and I’ll start blogging about numbers in books quite soon when I finally have Internet access restored (Oh, the joys of moving house !). I’m not thinking of participating in any other challenges but you never know what might take my fancy as the year progresses.

I love to read and I enjoy sharing my thoughts on books with those of you who follow and/or read my blog (and there are a gratifyingly increasing number of you). It’s the enjoyment that is important though and not the numbers read or even the type of books consumed. This is not a competition and there are no prizes. My aim in sharing my thoughts about books is to help others find books that give them the same amount of enjoyment as I get from them.

If I have one wish for 2020 for all my blogging friends it is this – keep reading ….