2018 Reading Recap + 2019 Reading Goals

Greetings and salutations and a very Happy New Year to you all! I’m so excited to be back with another blog post – the first one of 2019! Goodness gracious, it does feel odd to write 2019… This has the potential to be a very monumental year for me, and while I’m slightly terrified of the shadows of the future, I’m also extremely excited by what may lie around the bends in the road that lies before us.

And now, as 2018 lies as just a memory in our past and all of 2019 is stretching out gloriously in front of us, I thought I would do a blog post that kind of reflects that reality – looking back at 2018, and looking forward to 2019. Of course, as a certified bibliophile, it should be no surprise to you all that I’m going to take a trip into memory lane to look back at all the books I read in 2018 – a reading recap if you will! – as well as look ahead as I share some reading goals for this upcoming year. It should be fun and I’m excited! So let’s jump right in!

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First of all, let’s take a look at some bookish stats from my 2018 reading year…

The grand total of books I read in 2018 comes out to: 175!

My original reading goal was 200, but as the year progressed it soon became quite clear to me that I probably wouldn’t hit that goal. Still, I made a valiant attempt and managed to hit 88% of my reading goal. In my heart of hearts, I’m a slight bit disappointed that I didn’t manage to hit the full 200. I think that if I had spent less time procrastinating on the internet, and more time deep in a book, I would’ve hit that goal. But on the flip side, 175 books read is nothing to be ashamed of! My reading life was deepened and varied through all the books I read, and I know that I have come out of 2018 with more insight, wisdom and inspiration as a result of the books I read. And, as my Mum has reminded me, ‘it’s about quality, not quantity’! Nope, I didn’t hit the 200 mark, but I did make my way through some incredibly beautiful, heart-warming/heart-rending and insightful books that have made a mark on my heart and life. And I am incredibly grateful for that.ย 

Total Pages Read in 2018 = 43,329

No, I did not count up the pages manually. ๐Ÿ˜€ Iย  was actually able to glean this bookish fact thanks to Goodreads. At the end of every year they create a lovely thing called ‘Your Year in Books’ that is chock full of information about your reading year to stroke your ego. And I was actually slightly staggered by that number – I mean, 43,329 pages?! But hey, I guess it’s pretty cool! ๐Ÿ˜€ (And if any of you fancy stalking that Goodreads page of mine, you can find it here)

Total Fiction Books Read in 2018 = 142

And a lovely varied lot they all were too… I managed to delve into children’s, middle grade, young adult, historical, Biblical, contemporary and even a handful of fantasy fiction books! I learnt so much, was deeply enthralled, had my imagination warmed and fed, had my funny bone tickled countless times, and even managed to eke out a few tears over a precious few. I read some great fiction this year, as the many reviews on my blog reveals! Check out my book reviews section on here to read through some of them!

Total Non-Fiction Books Read in 2018 = 33

That number may not sound very impressive to some of you. But let me explain… In 2017, I read 19 non-fiction books, in comparison to like 150 fiction books. After realizing that fact in early 2018, I made an unofficial resolution to read more non-fiction. Which I actually managed! I read some very insightful, inspiring, and helpful non-fiction books in 2018, and I’m excited to read even more non-fiction this year!

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Ok, now that the official numbers are covered, let’s move onto some more… eclectic stats… ๐Ÿ˜€ย 

Book I Read the Most in 2018 – The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

For the simple reason that I read it once for school, once to prepare to lead a book club on it, and once with the book club – for a grand total of 3 times! It’s not the best book I’ve ever read, but it is very hilarious and I must admit I did enjoy it thoroughly every time I read it. Plus there was the fact that every time I re-read it, I gleaned more insight from the plot. So that was cool! ๐Ÿ˜€

Authors I Read the Most Of in 2018 –

1st Place goes to… L.M. Montgomery [17 books]

This fact shouldn’t surprise anyone that knows me even remotely well. She is my favourite author by a long shot, and I never get tired of her beautiful, beautiful books. I re-read 17 of her delightful books this year, and I’m so glad I did. She is one of my role models in the writing world, and every time I read her, I am more in awe of how she crafts characters and plots in such a unique and wonderful way.ย 

2nd Place goes to… Kate Douglas Wiggin [9 books]

This delightful author was a new discovery for me in 2018. Actually the first book I read in 2018 was one of hers, and then I promptly forgot all about her until last month when I went in search of some short, old classics that I could devour to try and boost my reading goal. Her books can be summed up in 3 words: sweet, wholesome, and refreshing. I read a lot of little short stories/novellas by her, but my top pick of hers has to be Mother Carey’s Chickens, a book I read as part of my reading streak with my Mum. It is such a darling old book, with such gentle humour and goodwill infused into it. So yes, I would say this author has been counted among my good bookish finds in 2018!

3rd Place goes to… Lynn Austin [6 books]

When it comes to historical fiction (my absolute favourite genre of books), Lynn Austin is one of my favourite authors. Every book I have read by her has been so well written, vivid and insightful – it is a joy to pick up one of her books. As an avid history fan, her books satiate a desire within me to dig deep into the fascinating facets of the past, whether it be the American Civil War or King Hezekiah’s reign (her Biblical fiction is fantastic too!). I would highly recommend her books!

Favourite Newly Discovered Authors of 2018 –

(in no particular order)

  • Jeanne Birdsall – I have so enjoyed devouring her Penderwicks series over the course of this year. They are sparklingly witty and fresh and wholesome – a true kindred spirit of a book series! They even made it into my Top 5 MG Series!
  • Fredrik Backman – I have only read 2 of his books, but both of them have been fantastically written and have tugged on my heartstrings in new and thought-provoking ways.
  • Jaqueline Woodson – As a poet whoย  also loves story, reading her free verse novels have been so inspiring for me. They have opened my eyes to a totally new genre and given me hope that it is possible to combine poetry and story in a readable way. Special shout out goes to her Brown Girl Dreaming, the first book that Mum and I read in our reading streak, and a book that moved me in a deep way.
  • Charles Dickens – I was introduced to this classic author for the first time in A Tale of Two Cities in Autumn 2018, and wow… his writing is stunning. It is so rich and beautiful and thought-provoking – I am very excited to read more of him in the future!
  • Karina Yan Glaser – I read The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street over the Christmas period, and my heart was captured by this delightfully hilarious and heart-warming book. I related so much with the Vanderbeeker family, and I am eagerly anticipating enjoying the sequel in this upcoming year!

Favourite Bookish Highlights of 2018 –

  • I actually cried while reading some books this year – Hehe, it’s a strange highlight I know… ๐Ÿ˜€ But seeing as my past history of reading books has been rather tearless… well, I am quite happy that this track record has been finally broken. Read more about this breakthrough in this blog post! ๐Ÿ˜€ย 
  • American Libraries – Ok, yes this is also a strange highlight. Let me explain… English libraries (at least the ones near me).. are… how shall I put it… rather lacking in quality books. So when my family visited the US for 6 weeks this summer.. well.. imagine my delight at the large, well-stocked (and air conditioned!) wonderful libraries! I had a ball in there. ๐Ÿ˜€ And I borrowed far too many books and enjoyed myself very thoroughly. Haha, it was such a delightful experience, it just had to make it onto this list.
  • My reading streak with my Mum – We started this streak on the 2nd of August and are now on day 155 of reading together every day! We’ve made it a goal to read together for at least 10 minutes, but we often go over and beyond that… We’re currently reading our 7th book together, and it’s been such a joy and privilege to spend this daily time with my Mum, soaking up wisdom and beauty together. ย 

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So that’s it for the reading recap of 2018… now let’s move onto my 2019 reading goals!!

My reading goals are pretty simple… In fact, I think I only have two. (if I come up with more I’ll let y’all know. :D)

Goal #1 = Read 150 books

Yes, I am lowering my reading goal as compared to last year. You see, I’ve decided to be slightly more sane this year., hehe ๐Ÿ˜€ I knew going into 2018 that reading 200 books was a pretty ambitious goal, and I was proved correct. While I’m fine with not hitting that goal, I’ve decided that I would quite like to hit my goal this year. And so in order to do that, I’m aiming for 150 books (which is not exactly a small number to begin with :D). I’m very aware that 2019 could bring some pretty big changes in my life – such as graduating high school and potentially moving across the world to go to uni. I want to leave some breathing room for life to happen, while still aiming high! So yup, that’s my goal… Maybe I’ll do an update at some point to let y’all know how it’s going! ๐Ÿ˜€ย 

screenshot 2019-01-05 14.38.20
Picture proof haha ๐Ÿ˜€ #letsdothis

 

Goal #2 = Read More Non-Fiction

Hehe, I’m recycling this goal. But I do think it’s a very worthy one! You see, my first love in the world of reading is fiction. Stories have captivated my heart and imagination for as long as I can remember. I’m a reader of stories, a writer of stories, a lover of stories… you get the picture. ๐Ÿ˜€ But as I’ve grown older, I’ve begun to learn that one cannot live on a steady diet of solely stories. Non-fiction has great merit and I’ve learnt a lot from my 33 non-fiction books this year. And so, in a push to learn and grow even more, I want to read even more non-fiction this year! I wasn’t really going to put a specific number on it – just more than last year’s total. But as I’m thinking about it… why not put a number?! Gives me something to aim for, hehe! Soooo… let’s go with… how about 45? That’s a nice solid number and it gives me something to work towards!

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And so, with my 2018 reading year recapped, and my 2019 reading goals shared, my incredibly mammoth first post of 2019 is completed. If you have managed to get through this blog post, well done, and thank you so much for reading!!

Let’s chat in the comments below! How did your 2018 reading year go? Any highlights you’d like to share? And I’d love to hear if you have any 2019 reading goals that you’re working towards!! ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

Author: Hannah

Jesus follower. writer. bibliophile. dreamer.

11 thoughts on “2018 Reading Recap + 2019 Reading Goals”

  1. Libraries are awesome, and unfortunately we donโ€™t have them here. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    Haha thatโ€™s so cool L.M. Montgomery was your #1.
    And YES Charles Dickens is so good. I actually just finished A Tale of Two Cities and loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, I feel your pain to a certain degree. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Good thing that kindles exist, hey? ๐Ÿ˜‰
      And yes, it’s probably to be expected knowing me and LMM. ๐Ÿ˜€
      Isn’t he?! Ahh, I loved AToTC – and I’m glad you did too! What was your favourite part?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep. ๐Ÿ˜ญ Exactly! Haha thatโ€™s me.
        Yes!! Hmm it was all so good, but I liked the part when it was like the courtroom scene. Piecing together all the parts was really cool.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. 175 books is an amazing achievement, my friend! Thatโ€™s fantastic! And youโ€™ve been working so hard on all your scholarships recently – Iโ€™m so proud of you! โค
    Of course L.M. Montgomery made that list – I wouldnโ€™t expect anything less from you! XD
    Hereโ€™s to a new year, full of books and friendship! xxx

    Like

    1. Ah thanks dear friend! โค You achieved quite an impressive amount of books read in 2018 yourself – well done! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Hehe, of course she made it on the list. And I think she will continue to make it on the list for the rest of my life.
      And yes, I'm so grateful for both books and friendship – so here's to both in the next unfolding 11 months! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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