I had high hopes for 2020 as far as reading went. But 2020 had other plans for all of us. My wife and I welcomed a new baby girl into our lives and the world gave us a global pandemic. You would think I would have more time on my hands with a global pandemic, but preparing and having a third little girl did divert my time slightly. While I planned to read many more books in 2020 I only made it through 36 books this year. Less than the 55 I was able to read in 2019.
Although I read less I think I did better with reading diversity. In 2019 I read only 23% female authors’ books, while in 2020 I managed 40%, still less than half, and something I can still improve upon, but better. 89% of the books I read were non-fiction. I believe fiction is important to read, but my favorite genre is definitely non-fiction, I really feel like reading those books is time well spent. Back to diversity; I also look at the nationality of the writers I read. In 2020, I read 77% from United States writers. I did manage to read 3 Canadians, but that’s still the North American continent.
As far as how I liked the books, my average score was 4, the lowest was 2, and the highest was 5. I’ll make sure to link to all the 5-star books below. My favorite binding or way of reading was Kindle (48.6%). This makes sense when you see how many books I read about minimalism this year and last. Next was audiobooks, 31.4%. I’m sure I would have read even more audiobooks in 2020 if my commute would have lasted past March.
I read 6,524 pages digital and real this year. I listened to 6,170 minutes (102.8 hours, 4.3 days) of audiobooks. I enjoyed listening to books on walks while riding an indoor bike and sometimes laying on the ground waiting for a child of mine to fall asleep.
Topics or why I read the books I did this year. 9 books were related to minimalism, 5 were general education, 4 on the environment and cycling (4 each). This is a big one. I saved $310.09 by using the library in 2020.
One thing that was different this year is that each book got a blog post, something I have not been very good at doing in the past. I hope to get better at this.
In 2018, I read 28 books. My goal for the year was 50 books. How did I miss my goal so badly?
As you can see in November I didn’t read any books and there were 6 months were I only completed one book.
Obviously, we can see where I went wrong here. Pretty plain and simple, I had a few months where I really drove my reading and finished some books. Especially, March, May and June.
I just didn’t do a good job here. But let’s take a look at the data from a different direction. I have been making note of the nationality of the author, in an effort to try to read books from people outside of the US. I did not do well on this either. Only 21% of the books I read this year where from outside the US.
Okay, but how about gender. Did I read more books from female authors? Slightly better here. 32% of the books I read this year were written by a female author. A good improvement over last year at 24%.
What is my binding of choice? What format do I prefer to read in. E-books was the clear winner here with 10 (36%) e-books written. I think this makes sense considering that I was challenged to find time to read this year. By making it easier for me to read anywhere, I was able to squeeze in more reading.
Now for the big numbers. I read 5,724 pages. I also listened to 2,914 minutes or 48.5 hours (just over 2 days) of audio.
I spent $24.30 on books this year. The library saved me $225.36! Use your local library!
For the last 4 years my reading has taken a plunge! This is a trend that I don’t want to continue. I really need to do better in 2019. That is one of my New Years resolutions. Wish me luck! I will set my Goodreads goal at 45 books in 2019 and do my best to hit that number.
Lastly, I will leave you with a list of the books that earned 5 stars from me in 2018:
My daily profession is as an analyst, so I’m really into numbers. This is going to be a very number-heavy post. First, I should mention that without my reading log it would take me forever to put this post together. The reading log helps in a lot of ways. It helps me understand what kind of books I’m reading and why. If I am diverse in my reading or not. Links to my reading list are on the left side of the site. I’ve had a reading log since 2015. Let’s dig in.
Something that may not be that important to everyone, but is important to me is how much I spent on the books that I read this year. This isn’t how much I spent on books this year, but how much I spent on the books read this year, an important distinction. The total costs of the books I read in 2017 are $486.36. This is how much it would cost (MSRP) to grab the same book in the same format from Amazon. However, I spent $0 on my 2017 books read. I get a lot of my books from the library, which is a big way that I keep the costs of books down. 43% of the books I read in 2017 came from the library, the single largest source of the books I read. Library savings alone was $295.50.
Another very important but small number is the total number of books that I read this year. That number is much smaller than I wanted it to be this year, only 37. Other numbers that I would consider a miss was on the diversity side of things. Only 24% of the books I read were written by female authors.
I most frequently read on my kindle. This is how many of my friends gift me books. 46% of my reading was done on a kindle.
Audiobooks were close behind. I listened to 5,313 minutes of audiobooks or 89 hours, or 3.7 days. I count pages on kindle as actual pages to make these next numbers easier. I read 7,018 pages in 2017. The average book length was 242 pages. The shortest book I read was 36 pages, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. The longest was When Paris Went Dark at 480 pages.
And now the part you have all been waiting for. Here is the full list of all the books I thought worthy of a 5-star rating. Out of 37 books only 11, 30% reached this coveted placement. I’m linking to the review for each of the books below so you can learn all about them before diving in.
Just as in previous years I’m writing a post about the books I read in 2015. I read 87 books in total, below is the breakdown. This year I’m adding a few metrics which I think will be interesting. Like, how much I saved by borrowing books from the library ($807.40) and what percentage of the authors I read were men (67%).
Fiction was the majority of my reading at 60%. Fantasy (20%) and Science Fiction (21%) being the largest portion of all genres. Read a few series this year, meaning I read 8 books by Holly Black (Spiderwick Chronicles), 3 from C.S. Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia), 2 from Timothy Zahn (The Thrawn Trilogy) and 2 Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson). Paperback was the least popular binding at on 17% of my reads.
Most of my books came from the library (37%). Longest audio book I listened to was Capital at 1,503 minutes (25 hours), shortest was The Hamburger: A History at 180 minutes (3 hours). Total audio listening was 11,751 minutes (196 hours, 8.2 days).
The longest it took me to get through a book was Capital (195 days), Michelle and I listened to it in the car. Shorts books included a lot of the Spiderwick Chronicles, in all I finished 12 books the same day I started them.
So how does this year compare to previous years? Well, I read the most I have in the past 3 years, but still not as much as 2011, when I read 96 books. That big 100 is still just out of reach. Maybe this year…