Good afternoon bookworms!
Ahhh… the dreaded annual wrap-up. I mean, it’s not really “dreaded”… it just takes me ages to write and so I procrastinate it forever. Except, this year I was pretty good at keeping my spreadsheets up to date, so *hopefully* this won’t be as terrible as my brain is making it out to be!!*
PS: This is going to be another long post, so apologies in advance!
* Spoiler, it was just as bad as last year!! I did NOT fill out that spreadsheet as well as I thought I had… 👀
So, according to Goodreads, I read a grand total of 120 books in 2019. According to my spreadsheet I read 122… I know, I’m shocked too. Except I forgot that I also read a beta book… And it turns out that Goodreads has deleted Memento by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff from its catalogue… Regardless of whether it was 120 or 122, quite honestly, it’s an obscene amount of books to read in a year. I remember setting my reading goal at 30 back in 2015, and slowly increasing it by 10 each year (or 20 when I read 10 over the goal). And now it’s just… crazy. Let’s look at some stats!
Books read per month
It’s kind of weird (to me) to see the number of books I’ve read each month. Last year I did this in a pie chart, but I think I like it better in a column graph. You can still see that my biggest reading months were January, October and December, but I can tell with better accuracy in this format that the pie.
In 2018 I read more books when I was doing reading challenges… while that’s technically still true for 2019, I think it’s more to do with the fact that I read contemporary and romance books more quickly that I did fantasy books. In fact, the months that I was more heavily focused on fantasy are the ones where I read less.
Books by genre
I know last year I lumped urban fantasy and paranormal in with fantasy, but this year I kept paranormal out because it was a pretty high number on its own, and it really is a genre in its own right.
Romance was up A LOT this year (last year was only 1 book), but I actually thought that I might have read more contemporary novels than fantasy in 2019, so I’m actually quite glad that I still read more fantasy (even without paranormal being added in). Maybe I just needed some happier thoughts this year, and romance has always got a happy ending!! 😂💕
Books by age group
Last year 78% of my read books were in the Young Adult / New Adult age group (I had merged them for reasons unknown…) but this year, even combined, they only make up 59% which is so interesting. I mean, sure, I read more middle grade books too, but adult books have certainly been increased in 2019.
In saying that, a lot of the adult books that I read were also romance genre, so there is that correlation between having more romance, and therefore more adult.
Books by page length
Total pages read in 2019 was 38,094, with average page count being 312. Both of these stats were higher than 2018 (27,613 total and 303 average), which did surprise me at first, but then I remembered that I had read a lot of single issue comic books in 2018, as opposed to full graphic novels this year. So even though my highest page count book in 2018 was 992 and in 2019 it was far shorter at 785, this kind of balanced out the averages. It’s still nice to see that over 75% of my books read sit between 200 and 500 pages.
Books by rating
I did a (somewhat) crazy thing this year. I kept TWO rating columns in my spreadsheet. One for a rating that I gave the book once I had finished it, and then I added a ‘revised rating’ column to go back and re-evaluate the book a month or so after I had finished it. I got so good at this that I have actually re-rated all of my December books already, and there’s definitely less discrepancy between them. It’s an interesting process. Last year I was still doing my rating out of 10, and while it really just became 10=5, 9=4.5, 8=4, etc. I still realised that I never gave a book less than 2.5 last year, because 5/10 just sounds so low! This year I handed out 1s. It was kind of liberating! Not the first time, but definitely when I went back and re-rated some of the books I had finished. (Note that a DNF book receives a 0 rating because I don’t rate books I haven’t finished.) So, there’s two charts here. The first one is my initial rating out of 5, immediately after finishing the book. The second one is my revised rating.
Even with all of this though, my average rating for the year was still 4/5, and my revised average rating was 3.8/5, as there were some instances where I had finished a book and thought “yeah, great”, but then I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so when I was doing the revised ratings, I actually went higher. The books that went up were Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, Vicious by V. E. Schwab, The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding, American Royals by Katharine McGee, The Foxhole Court and The Raven King by Nora Sakavic, and Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer. The most I lowered a book was from a 4 star to a 2 star, but everything else was only 1 or 0.5 of a star difference.
Reread vs new reads
Hahahahaha, remember how I was going to re-read a bunch of books this year? Yeah, that didn’t happen. I only reread 6 books in 2019. I started off well with two Discworld books… then that fizzled out (but I think it fizzled out for everyone, so I don’t feel quite so bad!). Then I reread Back After the Break because apparently I wanted to cry lots. Then there was my new annual goal of rereading The Scorpio Races every year. And finally, we rounded it out with a reread of Nevernight and Godsgrave to set the scene for Darkdawn.
I don’t know why I’m always so surprised by the number of books that I read that came out that year, but I am. And 2019 is no different. I read 55 books in 2019 that were published in 2019. However, that IS less than half the books I read in 2019, so maybe I’m not so surprised after all.
I was more surprised that the earliest publication date I read in 2019 was only for 1988… that was pretty bad considering the year before was in the 1800s…
The interesting thing about this – for me – is that I know I read more than one webcomic, which means that I didn’t record the others. I think primarily this is probably because I know they’re coming out in books during 2020, and I will probably read them again then, but that will technically be a reread!! Or maybe it’s because they’re harder to track on Goodreads?
Anyway, lots of eBooks this year too, especially compared to 2018 when I only read 15. This is likely down to using Kindle Unlimited this year, and also getting eARCs from Netgalley.
Author by gender
Surprising absolutely zero people, I read way more female authors than anything else. What was surprising (to me) was that I read so many ‘team authors’. I counted it a weird way this year. If I read multiple books by an author, I counted them as 1 tally. If I read a book by an author who was also part of a duo authorship, they got a tally in a the ‘f/m’ column, AND a tally in the ‘both’ column (pretty sure that Jay Kristoff was my only count here). If I read a book by two female authors, they also only got a 1 count in the female tab (I didn’t read any books by two men).
New author vs previously read
I read 72 individual authors* in 2019. Again, I read so many multiple authors this year so I can to cut out all the doubles before doing this one. It’s genuinely crazy to me that I read 7 books by Richelle Mead in 2019!! And she was only my most read author by 1 book.
Of those 72, 50 were ‘new to me’ authors, and 22 were ones I had read from previously.
* ‘individual’ can also mean duo if they wrote as a team. I just mean individual as in, I didn’t count them twice.
Ooof. This is awful, but I received (between purchased books and review copies) 240 books in 2019. That’s almost double what I read. And the two months of the year where I was supposed to get presents (June for birthday and December for Christmas) are my two smallest hauls of the year.
I did go back and look at the data a bit more…
Once I took out doubles purchased this year it went down to 219.
Then I took out doubles of books that I had purchased in previous years, taking it down to 207.
After this I took out unsolicited review copies of books, which took it down to 198.
Finally I took out the rest of the review books, leaving me with 163. This is certainly closer to my read total, but still not great if I’ve been replacing books 1 for 1!! Let’s hope 2020 doesn’t increase my TBR before I can get it down!!
Top books of 2019
I wasn’t going to do this section, but then I saw Shanah’s topics for Top 5 Tuesday in January and there weren’t any ‘best of 2019’, so it’s back here again!
To be completely honest, I’m coming up pretty blank on how to rate these books, so instead of a “top 5 or 10”, I’ll be sharing my Top 3 Fantasy of 2019, and my Top 6 Contemporary of 2019.* And it is technically like a top 17… but, I can’t pick, ok, and you can’t make me choose. Also, all these books made me cry. Not a pretty cry, but I was a great big heaving, sobbing mess lying on my floor with tissues piled around me, while shoving chocolate in my mouth. (Ok, less so for the fantasy, but absolutely for the others…) Which, as we all know, is how I judge a book. Yes, when I fall in love with characters and then the author tortures them, the book inevitably lands on my “best of” list… AND I LOVE IT. I am a reading sadist.
* I didn’t include re-reads otherwise The Scorpio Races would win every year.
Top 3 Fantasy of 2019
OK, so this is kind of cheating, but also, not really cheating. I’ve technically got six books, however, they’re made up of three series, so I’m saying it’s only three spots because in each of these cases, I loved the second book just as much as the first one.
- Nevermoor / Wundersmith – Jessica Townsend
- A Curse So Dark and Lonely / A Heart So Fierce and Broken – Brigid Kemmerer
- The Wicked King / The Queen of Nothing – Holly Black
Top 6 Contemporary of 2019
I know, I know, six is such a weird number, and it’s not really six, like the last one wasn’t really three… It’s technically a mix of contemporary and romance though, but I didn’t want to have more than two categories… so… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- The Hating Game – Sally Thorne
- The Boy Who Steals Houses / The Girl Who Steals Christmas – C. G. Drews
- Emergency Contact – Mary H. K. Choi
- The Kiss Quotient / The Bride Test – Helen Hoang
- The Foxhole Court / The Raven King / The King’s Men – Nora Sakavic
- Call It What You Want – Brigid Kemmerer
2019 goals wrap-up
These goals were so bad, and it’s really made me properly consider my goals for 2020… kind of. Anyway, I’ll tick and cross, and then give a mini summary!!
- Read 90 books ✅
- Read Pratchett’s earlier each month ❌
- Re-read Austen (or more classics in general) ❌
- Finish setting up my Netgalley and request 10 ARCs ✅
I’m really happy with my reading for 2019. And I got so many ARCs from Netgalley in the end that I think I have about 10 left to read still… 👀 Buuuut, I stopped rereading the Discworld books in March, and I didn’t read any classics at all.
- Publish 104 blog posts ✅
- 500 followers ✅
- Minimum monthly views of 500 ✅
- Clear backlog of draft reviews (currently back up to 48) ❌
- Stick to blog schedule 🌀
- Blog hop more – be one with the community ✅
- Discussion posts? ✅
Again, this is something I was really pleased with. I actually published 315 posts during 2019, and had an average views per month of over 1,900. So basically, I killed this. My final follower count for the year was 683* and I definitely started trying new posts like recommendations and discussions. I mostly followed my schedule, but I still have 26 draft posts in my backlog (all tags) and probably 100 books that I could review (but I’m also trying not to beat myself up about this anymore).
* Just quietly, I am so proud of this as at the start of 2019 I had 141 followers.
- Post 156 times on bookstagram ❌
- 1,500 followers ❌
- Post more stories (figure out stories) 🌀
AH-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, Insta was my biggest fail of the year. I only posted 84 times, and I did stories sporadically. I definitely got better towards the end of the end of the year, but I was never going to catch up. My follower count was pretty close at 1,274.
- Hate Twitter less 🌀
- Find like minded people and follow them (and engage with them too) ✅
- Post more ✅
- Be funnier ❌
- Sound less dumb ❌
I did re-join Twitter! In June! In fact, not only did I start using Twitter again, but I actually split my account and made a separate book twitter (as opposed to my ‘normal twitter‘ which I will probably close again soon because I’m not using it)! Also, now all my names match, and you can google “Meeghan reads” and be inundated with all of my social media. At the end of 2019 I had 178 followers on my new account.
- Move back to Canberra ✅
- Buy a house ✅
- Try bullet journaling again ❌
- Do more about wellbeing ❌
- Fitness is a thing ❌
- Be healthier ❌
Well, we definitely moved back to Canberra AND we bought our first home. It’s an apartment instead of a house, but honestly it’s huge (4 bed, 2 bath over 170m2 of living space + 3 car spaces in a secure basement) so it’s amazing and perfect and I love it. Additionally I also bought a new car. It’s an Iron Man limited edition Hyundai Kona, one of only 400 in Australia. I probably love it too much, but that’s ok too.
Everything else fell by the wayside, but that’s ok. It can all be carried over to 2020!