A Year in Reading: 2020

As usual, I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge for the year to 50 books. That’s about a book a week, and combined with novellas and graphic novels, I usually end up with a final tally of around 100 books. Not bad. Makes me feel like something in my life is productive, and reading will always be my first love.

Then 2020 happened.

According to Goodreads, I read 282 books (564% of my original goal). I have three main excuses for such a ridiculous number.

  • For a good chunk of this year, I experienced massive hives on my arms and legs. Reading was one of the few things to absorb enough of my focus that I didn’t feel the need to scratch myself raw.
  • I’ve been permanently working from home since March. Fewer days commuting means more reading time.
  • Um, it was 2020. I didn’t bake any bread, but I had to escape somehow.

However, even 282 books isn’t quite right. As mentioned above, some are short stories, graphic novels, collections/anthologies, and novellas. I also joined Kindle Unlimited, which means that I abandoned a lot more books than usual after starting them, but Goodreads still marks them as “read.” Let’s see how the final breakdown shakes out.

  • January: 10 (4 abandoned)
    • A solid start for the year!
  • February: 4 (1 abandoned)
    • This is the month I got back into playing World of Warcraft.
  • March: 7 (1 abandoned)
    • Still playing lots of WoW…
  • April: 24
    • I started reading Jordan L. Hawk‘s entire back catalog, which includes lots of shorter novels that are part of larger series.
  • May: 26 (1 abandoned)
    • Still reading lots of Hawk books, and the end of this month is when the hives kicked in.
  • June: 23 (4 abandoned)
    • Hey, if I’m going to be reading so much, I might as well join Kindle Unlimited!
  • July: 39 (1 abandoned)
    • This is where things start to go a little bonkers, though a good number of these were novellas. I had book reviews scheduled on the blog out through November at one point, which is when I started combining series into single posts.
  • August: 5
    • The hives got a bit better, I started writing another book, and WoW ate my brain again for a bit.
    • Let’s be real: This is when I watched The Old Guard, absolutely fell in love, and decided to read all of the fanfic.
  • September: 4
    • Still writing a book (and still reading lots of The Old Guard fanfic).
  • October: 27 (4 abandoned)
    • I’m back on my Kindle Unlimited shenanigans. So many romance novels to read! Which is good when the world doesn’t feel like it might get a happily ever after.
  • November: 41 (2 abandoned)
  • December: 48 (4 abandoned)
    • Ending the year with a bang, I suppose. If by bang you mean lots of romance novels. Aaaand we’re going to stop following that metaphor now.

So, the actual number of books read in 2020?

258

Still a bit (okay, a lot) ridiculous. Especially keeping in mind that I reviewed the majority of these on my blog as well. (Find the full list of reviews here.)

Want to track how much I’m not writing reading in 2021? Check in on my new Goodreads Challenge here.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, this Kindle Unlimited queue isn’t getting any shorter.

Published by J.L. Gribble

Author, Editor, Worldbuilder

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