Hello, and welcome to the first blog post of 2021! Somehow it seems a little surreal that another year has run its course and we are embarking into a new one. I’ve noticed the older I get, the quicker years pass – which is mildly concerning since I haven’t even left my teens behind yet. But c’est la vie. I’m grateful for 2020, despite its shortcomings, and now I’m rather glad that we get to move into 2021.
You might’ve noticed that I took an extra week off blogging heading into 2021. That’s because I was travelling that weekend – the usual trip from the quiet corner of England that I call home to the quiet corner of the PNW that I also call home. Thus my unexplained absence for a week. 😀
But now I am back, and I’m excited to share with you some of my bookish highlights of 2020! I enjoy starting each new year with a reading recap and a public declaration of some reading goals because there’s nothing like a little peer pressure to start your year off right. 😀
All joking aside, I hope that you will enjoy this little foray into my reading world – talking about books is one of my favourite things to do. 🙂
So, first things first, we must answer the all important question: did I accomplish my reading goals for 2020??
Well, if you were to look back at my post entailing my goals for 2020, you would find that I made two goals. First, I wanted to read 100 books. Second, I wanted at least 35% of those books to be non-fiction.
Did I hit either of these goals? Nope. And that’s ok.
In 2020 I read 77 books. 22 of those books were non-fiction (29%) , 55 of them were fiction (71%).
So no, I didn’t accomplish either of my goals for 2020. And you know what? I’m ok with that. 2020 was a year like no other. It was one of the hardest and one of the best years of my life. And my reading stats show that. I read the smallest amount of books that I have ever recorded since I started recording back in 2016. But I also read some of the best, most challenging, heart-warming books I can remember. I revisited some old favourite authors and discovered some incredible new ones. 2020 was a good reading year!
I think that I’m starting to realize that goals, while extremely helpful in terms of setting my eyes on the horizon, are in the end just that – goals. Things I hope to accomplish. Things to aim for. But not things to get worked up about. I’d rather read quality books over a certain quantity of books. I’d rather take my time and read wisely and mindfully, rather than careening through books just for the sake of a certain number or percentage.
So, in conclusion, I’m satisfied with my 77 books of 2020. They challenged me in new ways, fixed my eyes on Christ, warmed my heart with their beauty, and helped me process a myriad of emotions and connect with many people.
Before I move onto sharing my reading goals for 2021, I just wanted to give you a little snapshot of some of the authors I most enjoyed in 2020. I like to share this because a. It’s cool to look back and see which authors I spent a lot of time with in any given year, and b. Maybe this will inspire you to go pick up one of those authors yourself. 😉
I actually have two authors that tied for first place, both with 7 books that I read by them.
First we have the great William Shakespeare himself. Yes, I did read 7 Shakespeare plays in 2020. Now that in large part had to do with the fact that I took a Shakespeare Lit class one semester. 😀 However, he’s definitely worth highlighting! I learnt a lot from inhaling so many of his plays. His writing is complex and detailed, vivid and hilarious. I find it fascinating that plays written nearly 500 years ago can still be so relevant and applicable to this 21sth century audience. I guess it’s a testimony to his absolutely stellar work. If you haven’t yet read a Shakespeare play, I would highly recommend doing so. It will be challenging, but also very rewarding!
The second author tied for first place is the delightful C.S. Lewis. Over the course of my summer and winter breaks, I read the entirety of his Chronicles of Narnia series out loud with my Mother. And oh. my goodness. They are good. I had never read the entire series all the way through like that, and it was absolutely stunning. Lewis’s storytelling is astounding. His books are so rich and beautifully detailed, and oh so heart-warming. I love being able to see Jesus and his beauty in the way that Lewis tells stories. Narnia reminds me that there is hope to be found in this broken, crumbling world. And I desperately needed that reminder in 2020. I love how God uses stories to bring hope – and he uses Lewis to do that very well. Needless to say, if you haven’t read the Chronicles of Narnia, you need to. 😀
The author that came in second place with 4 books read should come as no surprise to any of you who know me. It’s L.M. Montgomery. 🙂 She has been, and I believe will always be, one of the writers dearest to my heart. Her stories are utterly delightful in every way. I haven’t met a piece of writing by LMM that I haven’t liked. I even devoted two blog posts this summer to one of her lovely standalones, Jane of Lantern Hill. LMM brings comfort and joy to my soul in a very deep level. I consistently recommend her, and I will continue to do so. Read a book by L.M. Montgomery – prepare to be delighted. 🙂
And now back to the regularly scheduled program… Aka, my reading goals for 2021. I have two, and one of them isn’t really a solid goal. More of an aspiration… 😀
Ok, so my first goal is to: Read 75 books in 2021. Fairly self-explanatory, that one. I’m keeping my numbers low, because it would be nice to actually hit a goal for once instead of always aiming high and not quite hitting it. 😀
My second goal, which is really more of an aspiration is this: Quality over Quantity. What I mean by that is this: I would far rather invest my time in reading a few solid, challenging books than many, less substantial books. This year, I want to read widely. I want to get out of my comfort zone. I want to read books that both challenge and comfort my heart. I want to read books that will prepare me for the future. I want to read classics and non-fiction and stories galore. I want to collect quotes and discuss books with friends and read books I disagree with. But above all, I want to read a lot of quality books. Only time will tell how this aspiration will play out, but I’m excited to see! 🙂
And with that my friends, I shall wrap up this 2020 Reading Recap and 2021 Reading Goals post. I do want to take a couple more weeks to highlight some of my favourite books from 2020, so you can expect to see that coming in the next few weeks. Until then, may your days be full of light and hope and good books that encourage and challenge your heart! 🙂