My Reading Year: 2019

2019 was an odd reading year for me. For much of it, I felt an unusual reluctance to read at all. It wasn’t a complete reading block, a slump I suppose. 2019 was more a Year of Writing than a Year of Reading, to be honest. I’m thrilled that I managed to create and sustain a regular, extended daily writing time, and that as a result, I now have a full novel buffed and polished and ready to be published next month, but I can’t deny it has taken a toll on my delight in reading, and that’s a bad thing.

But I hate to miss a goal I’ve set myself, and so I made a heroic effort in December to reach my Goodreads Challenge of 85 books for the year. I did it by the skin of my teeth and by counting a few individually published short stories (which Goodreads allows, but which still feels a little like cheating).

So, if anyone besides me is interested, here’s the breakdown of what I read in 2019.

Number of works:

85

Length:

55 novels

14 full-length non-fiction books

6 anthologies/collections

6 novellas

3 stand-alone short stories

1 picture book

Genres:

Crime/Thriller/Detective: 27 (33%)

Science Fiction: 18 (21%)

Non-fiction: 14 (16%)

Fantasy: 14 (16%)

Romance/Historical Romance: 5 (6%)

Literary Fiction: 4 (5%)

Other: 3 (3%)

Average Rating:

3.77 / 5

3.77 isn’t a bad average rating, and it shows that my reluctance to read didn’t stem from the reading quality of the books.

The most interesting thing to me about these stats is how much genre fiction I read, compared to general or literary fiction. An overwhelming 91.8% of my fiction choices! I relate this back directly to my reading slump. Crime fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy are my comfort reads (not that they’re always comfortable, but I hope you know what I mean). And yet, my average rating for the few literary fiction novels I read was 4 / 5, higher than my general average. Speaking of high ratings, here are my 5-star books of 2019.

5-star reads: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

An eclectic mix, and it’s nice to see 2 books on writing in there.

LOOKING FORWARD

So, what’s ahead in 2020? Enough of reading slumps and sticking to comfort reads! 2020 is going to be a Year of Writing AND a Year of Reading!

I’ve already started making a list of general and literary fiction I am excited to get to. And in the interest of quality over quantity, I’ve set my Goodreads Challenge to only 52 books, so I won’t feel the need to rush.

I’ll still be reading Crime, Science Fiction and Fantasy, but aiming for a more equitable split between genre and other fiction. And I want to read more non-fiction writing guides.

How about you? How was 2019 reading-wise? And what are your plans for 2020?

7 thoughts on “My Reading Year: 2019

  1. Emily Wrayburn

    I think my average rating was somewhere around that as well. I definitely went through more than one slumpy period last year, and I’m hoping I’m over that now.

    I like the structure you’ve used for this. I did some yearly wrap up posts with way too many graphs and stats and it was fun but took forever. This looks like a nice mid-point.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. veronicastrachan

    Love the stats Lyn, they’re a good reflection.
    I did slide back into a few old favourites this year. Mostly epic fantasy that is so immersive you can forget about the real world for a while. I’m excited to read your book this year. It’s on my TBR list!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. veronicastrachan

        I re-read all 6 of Sara Douglass’ Battleaxe and Wayfarer series. Loved her worlds, politics, wars, races and magic. And the other related books Threshold and The Darkglass Mountain Trilogy.
        And I revisited Stephen Donaldson’s Chronicles of Thomas Covenant – the first, second and third – 10 all up I think. So much depth/torment/existential thinking and beautiful world writing.
        I’ve read some but not all of Robin Hobb. Time to check her list…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on hitting that 85-book goal, Lyn. I don’t think I’ve ever read that many books in a year 😱. I read more now than I used to, but as you know, it’s hard to strike a balance when you’re trying to write a whole book too. I’m looking forward to reading your book when it’s released 😊.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ok first off, even if it was by the skin of your teeth, that is an AMAZING amount of reading you did while not only in a slump but while writing a novel. I’m literally giving you a round of applause right now.

    Second, I love the way you broke all this down! It looks like you had a pretty great year reading and writing wise. I’m looking forward to reading your book!

    Liked by 1 person

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