As we start to turn our attention to the year ahead, there’s one last opportunity to look back on 2019. I’m going to take stock of how I got on with my reading goals, reflect on my reading year in general, and set some new goals for 2020 accordingly.
- My first goal for 2019 was to read 100 books. Having read 124, this one gets a tick.
- My second goal was to read more non-fiction. I read 9 non-fiction books in 2018, and upped this to 10 in 2019 (12 if you count a couple of graphic memoirs). It’s a tentative success, but a step in the right direction nonetheless.
- My third goal was to read more plays. I did not read a single one. Epic fail.
- My fourth goal was to read more Daphne du Maurier. I read one of her novels in 2019, so we’ll call this one a very soft victory.
- My final goal was to keep mood reading. This one is hard to quantify. I’d say I managed it fairly well, though committing to a book prize longlist and a month’s worth of translated lit did throw a bit of a spanner in the works in terms of avoiding TBRs and going with the flow.
That brings me on to a couple of supplementary goals I added as the year went on. Alongside an excellent group of blogging friends, I decided to read the entire longlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. It was something that had been on my bookish bucket list for a while, and though we arguably didn’t pick the best year to do it, I’m really glad to say I managed to read and review the entire selection before the shortlist/winner was announced.
August is women in translation month. At the very last minute, I decided to read only books that would fall into that category for the whole of the month. Again, I’m glad I did this, and it pushed me to pick up some excellent reads I may otherwise not have prioritised.
Taking a more general look at my reading year, I would describe it as fairly… meh? It certainly wasn’t a bad year for books; I read 124 of them, gave an average rating of 3.5 stars, and certainly uncovered some gems – the best of which I talked about here. I suppose the reason I feel somewhat underwhelmed is that, despite reading lots of great books throughout the year, I didn’t find any new all-time favourites. I know we can’t expect to do so every year, but still, we can’t help but hope.
I never do or don’t read a book based on the author’s gender, but I decided to analyse my reading based on authorship purely out of interest. It showed that I’ve been reading far more books by women than men (which I’m more than happy with), but it also highlighted an obvious lack of books by non-binary authors on my shelves (recommendations to help with this are very welcome!).
I then decided to break down my 2019 reading based on form. I wasn’t at all surprised to see that novels are my book of choice, but I am sad to see that poetry largely fell by the wayside. That’s something I’d like to address moving forward.
As for 2020 goals, I’m going to keep it pretty simple:
- Read 100 books. It’s a solid number that will help me make a dent in my TBR without feeling too daunting.
- Read more poetry. I touched on this already, but I’d definitely like to start reaching for poetry more often again.
- Do more buddy reads. I read and chatted about a few past Women’s Prize winners with the same group of aforementioned friends in 2019, and I’m hoping we’ll pick up a few more this year.
- Keep reading translated lit. English language literature dominates the market, and it’s sad to think about how many amazing books fly under the radar as a result. I read 17 translated books in 2019 (2 of which made my top 10 of the year), and I’d love if I could match or better that number in 2020.
- Pick up my ‘Spotlight’ and ‘Let’s Recommend’ series. This is about blogging more than reading, but a bookish goal nonetheless. I’ve been reviewing everything I read on Goodreads for ages, but 2019 was the first time I reviewed everything in full on this blog, rather than just in monthly wrap ups. I’m so glad I made that switch, but it did mean a few of my previous blog series fell by the wayside a little. In particular, I’d like to do a few more spotlights and themed recommendation posts in 2020.
That’s it for specifics at the moment. I may commit to reading the Women’s Prize longlist again, and I may commit to reading only women in translation in August again. But in the spirit of embracing mood reading, I’ll see how I feel about both of those tentative goals nearer the time.
I’ll end this post as I always end my reading year in review; by bringing together every book I read throughout the past 12 months. If any covers/titles catch your eye, feel free to ask about them. In the meantime, happy reading, and all the best for 2020!
There we have it! Did you have a good reading year in 2019? What are your goals for 2020?