Hello, and welcome to the very first post of the new decade! Does the New Year feel strange to anyone else? There is such a big fuss over it, and yet it’s literally just the passing of one day into the next. It feels like a big step in one sense – not only is it a fresh year, but it’s also a fresh decade. But in another sense it’s just the continuous movement of onward time and it feels no different than a week ago… That could just be me though. 😀
One particular thing about the New Year excites me – the completion of reading goals and the setting of new ones! Tracking my reading has had a strong appeal for me for most of my teenage years. There’s something so satisfying about being able to look back and see what and how much you’ve read. With the addition of Goodreads into my life, I’ve been able to add the fun of setting a reading challenge every year. Plus the fact that they do a handy-dandy ‘Your Year in Books’ infographic means that my little bookish heart is very happy at the turn of the year! You may remember reading my 2018 Reading Recap + 2019 Reading Goals post a year ago. Today is going to be a repeat of that post – the 2019 version! So without further ado, may I present to you…. My 2019 Reading Recap!
Ok, so first things first… lets see how I did with accomplishing the goals I set waaayyy back in the first few days of January 2019. If you want a full refresher, feel free to go back to my original recap post here. But in summary, I had two goals: to read 150 books, and to read more non-fiction, specifically 45 books.
So, how did I do in accomplishing those goals?
Well, I had mixed success. 😀
I read a grand total of 100 books this year.
Of those 100 books, 69 were fiction, and 31 were non-fiction.
So it would seem that I failed in both my goals. However, there are redeeming factors. 😀 This year, I both graduated high school, and moved 5000 miles across the world to begin college. These were two huge life changes for me, both of which entailed me reading a lot less than I have in previous years. And you know what? That’s ok. I read what I could, when I could, and came out with a total of 100 books – no mean feat! Though I wish I could’ve accomplished my goal of 150 books, in the end I’m very happy with the 100 that I did read.
What about my goal to read more non-fiction? Well, I had aimed to read 45 non-fiction books, which is 30% of the total 150 books. Though my overall totals of fiction and non-fiction was lower than previous years, my combined total of both mean that I came out with an overall 31% of non-fiction books read! That’s significantly higher than 2018’s total percentage of 18%, and right on track with my 2019 goal of 30%! (Wow, so much math is happening right now. Don’t expect this to become a habit. I’m the least math-y person out there and this is not normal :D) So even though I read less overall, I’m actually really happy with the percentage of non-fiction that I read in 2019. I read some super insightful and impactful books that I’m still reaping the benefits from and I hope that will continue.
While we’re on a numbers roll, let’s have a quick look at a few more bookish stats from my reading year. 😉
Most Read Author – Well, actually it’s authors… I strangely didn’t read very many of one author in particular. I guess I was more varied and widened in my choice of books this year. So my most read author is actually a three-way tie between three authors that I each read four books from.
C.S. Lewis – I really enjoyed getting to read more of Lewis this year. I didn’t read any of his Chronicles of Narnia, but instead I was able to dig into some of his lesser known, but just as genius, works. Lewis is a fantastic author – full of wisdom and wit and has a wonderful way with words. I’m excited to read more of his books this year!
Jeanne Birdsall – This author wrote the Penderwick quintet – five absolute gems of books. I’ve raved about them before here and I will continue to recommend them to any and every child, parent, child-at-heart, elementary educator, and lover of MG fiction. Birdsall’s characters are vivid, hilarious and oh so down to earth. Reading a Penderwick book is like a little taste of home – if you haven’t read them, you need to now. 😉
Louisa May Alcott – This is one of my favourite classic authors, and I had the joy of foraying into her works again this year. Actually the last book that I read in 2019 was Little Men. This was an impulse read inspired by watching the new Little Women movie that just came out. I had forgotten how much I enjoy Alcott’s writing. It has just the right mix of sweetness and depth, with delightful characters and plotlines. This is one classic author you shouldn’t miss out on!
Favourite New Author of 2019 – That award has to go to C.G. Drews. I discovered her books this past year and fell in love with her writing style and stories. She isn’t afraid to deal with gritty subjects. But she does so with a certain grace and beauty, that mixes the sorrow with the sweet so very well. Her characters are astoundingly real and heart-wrenching and I devoured everything she has published, finishing with disappointment that there isn’t more out there.
Favourite Old Author of 2019 – This award is going to go to Elizabeth Enright. I read her Gone-Away duo of books while I was home for Christmas and was so glad I did. She writes such lovely, vintage, whimsical stories and many of her books were my childhood favourites. Returning to them at the end of the year was such a wonderful way to finish out the year.
That’s the 2019 reading recap done. So now it’s time to set some reading goals for this year! Again, I have just two that I want to aim for…
Goal #1 – Read 100 books – Yep, I’m lowering my overall total reading goal again this year. And again, I’m ok with it. I’m trying to set a realistic goal based on the fact that my life is now very different from what it was a couple years ago. I’m now a fully fledged college student, working part-time, studying full-time, and hoping to work full-time and lead a missions trip this summer. I want to be realistic about the number of books I hope to read. But at the same time I want to read a lot of books! So 100 it is… I’m aiming at quality over quantity, and I’m excited to see what this year’s reading will hold for me!
Goal #2 – Read at least 35% non-fiction – Reading more non-fiction this past year has been super rewarding for me, and I want to keep that up in the upcoming year. Reading out of my (fiction) comfort zone is super healthy after all! By aiming to read at least 35% non-fiction, that will help me surpass last year’s accomplishment of 30%. Small steps, but important all the same!
That’s just about it for this post. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little peek into my reading life! It’s been fun to look back at last year’s accomplishments and look forward to this year’s!
Actually, while looking back I’ve been inspired to highlight some of the best books (fiction and non-fiction) that I read in 2019. In addition to that, I also want to take a post to talk about the 387 day reading streak that I did with my Mum encompasing last year. So you can look forward to those posts in the weeks to come! 😉
In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you! Do you have any reading goals for 2020? Let’s chat in the comments!