BooksJan 2, 2021

Year in Review: Reading Statistics 2020

I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a VERY weird year and that definitely shows in my reading stats. I know that most everyone’s reading has been different in some way, and for me it was that I just didn’t have a lot of head-space for reading at all. I only read about half as much as I usually read / had read in the previous year but not just that, I managed to read a lot less short fiction and there is also quite a difference in the genres I read.

This is what I love looking at reading stats for though. You can immediately see all these differences to my usual reading of previous years and as the year felt more like five, I wouldn’t have been able to tell these difference just by remembering what books I read. I could have sworn I had read more short fiction than I did for example.

And now to the real interesting part, the actual numbers.

Stories read
83
Status
read
65
78%
reread
17
21%
dnf
1
1%

I would have thought that during a time like *this*, I would at least keep up with my many rereads, but both the overall number as well as the percentage went down in 2020, which makes me somewhat sad, especially as I missed out on rereading favorites that I usually reread every year.

Types
novel
53
64%
short fiction
30
36%

Another sad truth: not only did I read a lot less short fiction (I used to read 1 or 2 a week) but I also didn’t read a single comic or graphic novel. I don’t even know how I managed that but I definitely have some catching up to do in 2021.

 

Formats
HC
5
6%
PB
24
29%
eBook
40
48%
audiobook
14
17%
print
29
35%
digital
54
65%

One year I would like my print ratio to be higher than the digital one. 2020 is not that year (once again). Seriously though, free online short fiction will probably always ruin that one for me, haha. I should really get to all those hardcovers I bought and am apparently not reading. Only five? How even???

 

genres
scifi
52%
fantasy
45%
crime/thriller
11%
romance
2.4%
hist. fiction
1.2%
magical realism
1.2%

It comes to no one’s surprise that scifi is once again my most read genre. It’s just my favorite overall. That percentage is usually even higher though, but this year I found some comfort in urban fantasy, especially in Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series, which made the fantasy ratio go up a lot. I read a few books that also had some crime/thriller aspects but overall, fantasy and science fiction was really all I read, with 1 or 2 odd books falling out of line. I really need to mix that up a bit more next year (or do I).

(for anyone wondering: the overall percentage makes more than 100% as some books are not just one genre, but fall into multiple)

I would usually add another statistics on target audience here but this year there really isn’t a point, because I only read adult books. I really didn’t feel like reading YA at all but I’m a bit sad I didn’t manage to read any MG either.

 

series vs standalone
series
46
55%
standalone
36
45%

This is another statistic heavily influenced by all the short fiction I’ve read. I prefer series over standalones and don’t usually read a lot of standalone books but the ratio is still pretty high. Those many standalone stories are really mostly the short fiction pieces I have read. Of the 45 books that were part of a series, 20 were first books. Quite a few of those were rereads in preparation for sequels though, so I didn’t start that many new series.

 

originally released
2020
51.2%
< 2019
31.7%
2019
11%
2021
6.1%

These are stats I’m really quite happy with. I love a good mix of recent releases and backlist titles. I think it couldn’t be better than having an almost even split between the new and old releases.

Diversity

I care A LOT about queer books and most often, I’ll pick queer books over non-queer books any day. It’s not just queer books I care about though, but any type of diversity, both regarding the in-book representation, as well as picking books by minority authors.

I extensively tag all my read books to keep track of diversity in the books I read and this year, I took more care than ever to really pick the ones that I already knew feature diverse characters, so that I’m really happy with how my reading stats regarding diversity turned out.

diversity of
sexuality
65.1%
ethnicity
41%
disability
24.1%
gender
16%

All but one book I have read in 2020 featured at least one character who was either queer, not cis, had a disability or is a person of color. I’m kind of bummed out I didn’t make it to 100% LOL. While many of the newly released books I read featured trans and non-binary characters,  backlist titles are often still lacking and I hope to get that number on gender up in coming years and I’m also pretty sure the number of queer books will be a lot higer too. (and I will definitely keep track of books that have trans/non-binary side characters as well, which I didn’t this year and makes this look worse than it actually is)

 

author gender
female
58.1%
non-binary
25.8%
trans male
8.1%
male
4.9%
gender fluid
1.6%
gendequeer
1.6%

It shouldn’t be a secret that diversity in books is heavily linked to who the authors are and so I challenged myself to read as few books by white male cis authors as possible in 2020. I actually wanted to aim for about one for every month and ended up with only three for the whole year. Damn, I’m kind of impressed with myself, haha.

(Note: I hope it’s clear that I keep “male” and “trans male” separate, not because I don’t think trans men are men, but because it’s important to highlight trans authors and make an effort to read more of their books)

minority authors
queer
60%
POC
33%
disabled
21%

Something else I wanted to track, but have been less thorough with this year are stats about minority authors in general, not just their gender. As my main focus is queer books, it means that my focus regarding minority authors is also on queer ones. As I don’t believe in dismissing books just because an author might not be out yet though, I’m still “only” at 60% of all books I read being written by (out/known to me) queer authors. It does come pretty close to the number of queer books though.

Less great is the number of authors of color I managed to read. I hate to admit only a third of the authors I read are POC. Queer authors of color write just as well, so it shouldn’t be too hard to improve on that in 2021.

Overall, 80% of all the authors I read are minority authors, though I wasn’t really good with tracking as I only started mid-year, so that number could be higher once I take the time and actually go through all the authors again.

 

Overall I’m quite happy with my stats (and that I have them in the first place, always so interesting). There are some things I’ll definitely work on in 2021, but as someone also reading lots of backlist titles that aren’t talked about much to find out if they are queer at all, Im not too hard on myself.
2020 showed once again that by now I’m really good at figuring out if a book is the right one for me, almost always picking ones that I end up at least liking if not loving. That one DNFed book aside, I had an awesome average of 4.59 (4.49 without my rereads) and no I’m not just easily giving away 5 stars to just any book, I’m really good at picking books for myself 😀

(If you want to end up with as many interesting stats as me, you might want to check out my reading tracker spreadsheet!)

2 replies to “Year in Review: Reading Statistics 2020”

  • I really need to read more books with disability rep this year. You read quite a lot, so I need to go through your old posts again! (Though I only track POV characters, which maybe I shouldn’t.)

    • my stats are all based on MC/POV characters only too, I just have separate tags for side characters but they aren’t part of these stats. I’m not sure how I often I mentioned the disabilities in my posts tbh

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