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:
14 full-length non-fiction books
3 stand-alone short stories
1 picture book
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%)
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.
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?