2019 Reflection / Wrap-Up

Posted January 1, 2020 / Features, Wrap-Ups / 2 Comments

I usually do a few end-of-year bookish surveys to mark the end of another reading year, but I decided to swap one of those out, keep Jamie’s EOY survey, and do something different. I’ll share stats and highs/lows from both my reading year. I participated in the Statistics Survey in years past (20142015, and 2016), created and hosted by Brittany and Andi, two of my all-time favorite bloggers and friends. They didn’t move forward with hosting it for this year and I decided to make some adjustments to their questions for my own purposes. I always share stats and EOY information at this time anyways, but there are bits and pieces sprinkled in from their survey as well!


Monthly Reads and Stats, Book Buying Habits

Average book rating for 2019: 3.8 stars
Average number of pages per month: 3,757 pages
Average books acquired per month: 11.3 books

Most books/pages read in a month: March, July  – 14 books (5,568 pages, 4,422 pages)
Least books/pages read in a month: September – 7 books (2,562 pages)

I usually read the most in January because I tend to get reinvigorated by a new reading year. I like being able to get ahead of my challenge early. However, this year’s biggest reading months were March and July! Looking back at my monthly recap, it seems like I was just excited to read in March for some reason. I got into a groove, listened to a lot of audiobooks, and enjoyed my reading. July was another solid reading month where I met my goal of 10 books by the midpoint of the month. I’m definitely not surprised that September was the lowest reading month for me because my birthday and anniversary always involve a lot of activities and sometimes vacation time with Chris. The start of football season tends to interrupt reading too.

Most books acquired in a month: February – 23 books
Least books acquired in a month: December – 4 books

Again, a little surprised this isn’t January but I think February makes sense too. I requested a lot of books for review because it’s a new year and I’m pretending my expired review copies don’t count anymore (ugh) and go request-crazy. I didn’t buy myself any books in December really because I’m busy spending money on Christmas gifts and the like! I also didn’t request many books because I tend to get overwhelmed with what I still need to read instead of requesting more.

Best average rating in a month: February, October, November – 4.1 stars
Worst average rating in a month: July, August – 3.5 stars

Got some ties for best and worst ratings! February, October, and November were all the highest with just over 4 stars on average. Those months featured an average number of reads though so I’m not sure – I must have just had great books to finally read! My worst rating was 3.5 star averages for July and August. I remember reading a lot of weird, crummy books in those months, but not sure otherwise.

As discussed, March and July were my best months. September was unsurprisingly my worst month for reading. It seems like the vast majority of months were right on target, falling a book or two above or below the monthly goal of 10 books read.

4 stars is always my most popular rating! I tend to enjoy most books I read, while I reserve my top ratings for the perfect ones! Those don’t come around quite as often. I’m definitely reading more in the 3-3.5 star range lately too because I think my standards are getting higher or I’m getting pickier!

I read mostly YA books, with just over half falling in that age target. I’ve definitely noticed a slow increase of reading for adult books though. I know I’m aging out of the YA bracket and sometimes I get annoyed with the characters… that’s when you know you have to move forward a bit! I read a few MG books and very little NA in 2019.

I try to make it a point each year to read less than 50% contemporary/romance books and I never succeed. I usually hover around the 53% mark for most of the year and then December screws me with holiday reading! This definitely happened in 2019. I’m definitely working toward reading more genres though and it’s definitely a priority in 2020. Fantasy and mystery/thriller were the two categories in second and third place this year, with just around 20 books apiece.

One annoying element of my spreadsheet is that I have to simplify categories into these four, when I also read ARCs, egalleys, and mixed format (listen to some of the book in audio and some reading physically or digitally). i went with the basic breakdown here. You can see I mostly read ebooks – this is definitely because of egalleys! Then there’s an almost equal split between the other three formats. Neat!

I’ve been reading a lot of companion series lately, which is how contemporary books sneak into the series category! I still read mostly standalones though, which is not surprising. A few other stats on series if you’re curious:

  • Read books in 40 different series
  • 1st books in the series: 28.1%
  • 2nd books: 28.1%
  • 3rd books: 17.5%
  • 4th and higher: 15.8%
  • Short stories: 10.5%

I clearly tend to focus on new releases! Woof. I’m definitely planning on attacking my backlist (especially owned physical copies) in 2020, so maybe this will be slightly more balanced next year. Who knows, though, because I will probably always request too many review copies!

As usual, I loved reading books by women! I just gravitate towards those so much more often. This is because women tend to write a lot of contemporary/romance books and that’s my area of expertise as well.


These questions are from the Statistics Survey linked at the top of the post!

 

Book read furthest away from home (vacation reads?): We went to California again this year and I didn’t do a lot of reading there (we went with friends and to see Cristina get married!)… but I did aim to read some San Francisco-based books during that time period! I saved Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim for this trip (and beyond).

Book that took you the longest to read: I ended up quitting a book or two that took me forever so I can’t really think of it right now, but I did a lot of reading scheduling for the second half of the year. If I had a long ass book, I would split it into sections and aim to read one a day.

Book that you personally connected with the most: I enjoyed books in 2019 that made me reflect back on high school and my personal experience there. That’s Not What I Heard by Stephanie Kate Strohm is a good example of this. There was a huge misunderstanding and a million points of view, but I found that everything that happened was SO high school!

Book that made you love the villain: The whole Renegades series by Marissa Meyer did a good job of making me feel for the “villains.” There wasn’t a clear line between right and wrong in the series and it was easy to sympathize with everyone involved. I finished the third and final book in December but the review will be up next year.

Book you said you’d come back to but still haven’t picked up again: I managed to DNF eight books this year, which is kind of huge to me! I don’t know if I’ll come back to most of these but I think Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky is the most likely one. There was still something compelling me to read it but I was just so sick of trying to read it over the course of months! I might read it next October.

Book you read waaaay before it’s publication date: I read Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon back in September and it comes out in February 2020. I just couldn’t wait!

Book you read on your birthday: I remember that I was planning to read a certain book on my birthday but didn’t end up with a lot of reading time. The one book I was “currently reading” on September 9th was Girls Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke.

Book with a character who shares your name: I always forget to mark these on my spreadsheet! I need to find a better way to remember this. I think there may have been a side character or two…?

Book you weren’t entirely truthful about when rating (Fluff up any ratings? Rated even though you didn’t finish?): I don’t rate books when I don’t finish them usually and I think there are probably some fluffed ratings just because I loved the series? I think my biggest issue this year is that some blog tour books weren’t my favorite so I would write a decent review highlighting the good stuff and then not put a rating in my blog post.

Book you borrowed from a friend a long time ago and still have: I still have two books borrowed from Marg and Wendy. Oddly enough, they’re two separate books by Jennifer Lynn Barnes!

Book you wish you could go back and read for the first time again: Man, there are probably so many answers to this. The one that made me the fluffiest and happiest was definitely Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. I hope to reread it somewhat soon and I think I’ll love it just as much!

Most books read by one author this year: I read all of Holly Black’s fae books this year for FaerieAThon, which involved a few rereads and a couple first-time reads as well. Therefore, I read 7 books by Holly Black in 2019!


These questions sampled from the Statistics Survey linked at the top of the post!

Firsts and Lasts

First post of 2019: TTT: Favorites of 2018 // First review of 2019: ARC Review: The Similars
Last post of 2019: TTT: Favorites of 2019 // Last review of 2019: Holiday Reviews
Number of posts in 2019: 241 // Number of reviews posted this year: Somewhere around 100

Challenges

I decided to essentially stop trying for my challenges around November. I lost steam with it all and didn’t feel like forcing it anymore! I did a good job of getting close though, so here’s a quick recap of my challenges from 2019:

PopSugar Reading Challenge 🤷🏼‍♀️

Read 38 books out of goal of 40 prompts | I know I could have squeezed a few books out here but I just lost my gusto. I had planned to read two books with the same title but ended up never reading the second, so I had to eliminate one from my list. I made due with a few I wasn’t expecting so I will definitely be happy with completing my goal to 95%.

Monthly Motif Challenge 👍🏼

Read 28 books that fit all 12 monthly prompts | This was great and a lot of fun! I read at least two books, sometimes three, that met each monthly motif prompt. My goal was definitely met or exceeded in this one.

Retellings Challenge 🤷🏼‍♀️

Read 7 books out of goal of 10 bingo squares | I was hoping to get bingo and/or just fill out 10-15 squares from the bingo card, but I REALLY wan’t feeling retellings this past year. Some I had planned to read didn’t fit a category and I didn’t even read them, which wasn’t great. This challenge was completed to 70%, so oh well.

2 responses to “2019 Reflection / Wrap-Up

  1. I love looking at reading stats! I didn’t do well completing my spreadsheet in 2019 (my first year for it) so I can’t share any this year. Here’s to hoping I can do it in 2020!

    It looks like you had a pretty great reading year! Do you think that July and August being your lowest average rating might have contributed to September being your lowest read month (as well as life events)? Still 7 books in one month is great! 🙂

    Stephanie @ Once Upon a Chapter recently posted: Wednesday Weekly Wrap Up {16}
    • I never really considered that, but that’s a good point! I also find that in the months where I read a LOT quantity-wise, usually a month or two later is pretty low because I get burnt out from too much reading haha.

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