My Year in Reading Stats – 2020

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Some General Stats

  • In 2020 I read a total of 170 books, manga, and novellas, 118 of which were speculative fiction which equated to 69% of my reading–for comparison in 2019 75% of my total reading was specfic and in 2018 74%. So, my specfic reading went down slightly this year!
  • 162 New Reads and 8 Re-Reads
  • Of the 170 total books/manga/web comics they were from 95 Series, 2 Collections, and 40 Stand Alone stories by 124 different authors.
  • Most read author — is a tie between Tanya Huff and Anne Bishop with 5 books each. Although interestingly enough Anne Bishop’s was one series and Tanya Huff’s was spread across two different series.
  • Next most read author — Elizabeth Hunter and C.S. Pacat both with 4 books each (series marathons once again).
  • There were 3 other instances where I read 3 books by an author, not including manga which I feel like is a bit of a cheat here.
Short Story Collections2
Graphic Novel1
Manga Volumes7
Web Comics6
Novellas10
Novels144

Reading Goal – Read More Sequels

This is always a low-key reading goal for me, I’m always playing catch up with series. It doesn’t help that I start so many new ones every year… How did I do in 2020?

  • 13 books were the FINAL book in a series (NOT my best year for close outs)
  • 31 books were the MOST RECENT book of a series (caught up for now!)
  • Out of the 31 MOST RECENT, 5 of those were FIRST in a new series , so most of the catching up I did was sequels and not starting new series. Thank goodness for that, at least!
  • I read 57 total FIRST in a series, for 34% of my reading (30% – for 2019 and 2018)
  • I read 68 sequels, for 40% of my reading (46% in 2019 vs 53% in 2018)

Well, I did slightly worse at this than previous years. However, I also marathoned quite a few series this year (The Others, Captive Prince, Elemental Mysteries, Vicki Nelson, Spellbreaker) so some of the new series I started were ones that I also read the final book of.

Reading Throughout the Year

This isn’t a huge stat or anything but I think it’s fun to see which month was a huge reading month for me and where I fell into slumps.

  • May was my most productive reading month with 21 books read
  • October was the least productive reading month with only 9 books read

As far as I can tell books by season is really random, I have no pattern, it varies every year. Just another fun thing to track! Things were fairly evenly distributed this year with Winter have just a tad of a lead on the other seasons.

Self-Published Books vs Traditionally Published Books

I never have goals centered around self-pub vs traditional books but I do think it’s another interesting thing to track to see where I end up. Last year I was at 11% Small Press, 16% Self-Pub and 73% Traditional. This year I was at 32% Self-Pub and 68% Traditional. So a bit of a change there. I think part of this comes down to some of the niche subgenres I’m interested in like Fantasy of Manners which has much more interesting stuff being self-pubbed right now than traditionally pubbed.

Library Loans, Review Copies, and Book Format

Book Format

I expected this to change a lot from last year as I know that I read a lot less audio than previously (a significant amount!).

  • I read 102 ebooks in 2020 vs 82 in 2019, 90 in 2018, and only 6 in 2017!
  • Ebooks were 60% of my reading this past year (vs 41% of 2019 and 44% 2018)
  • I read A LOT less audiobooks again — 34 in 2020 vs 63 in 2019, 69 in 2018 and 74 in 2017
  • Percent of audiobooks read went down again accordingly, it was 20% in 2020 (compare to 32% in 2019, 34% in 2018 and 72% of my total reading in 2017!)
  • Percent of physical books was 17% (vs 27% in 2019, 22% in both 2018 and 2017)

Library Loans

My library loans were a bit erratic this year as our library still hasn’t fully reopened and was shut down completely for several months due to the pandemic. Still, I wound up with 20 loans in 2020. I had a total of 42 in 2019, 22 in 2018, and a whopping 50 in 2017.

  • Library books made up 12% of my total reading for 2020 – not a bad number.

Here’s the breakdown of library books by format:

Audiobooks2
Ebooks7
Physical books11
Total20

Review Copies and ARCs

Once again I slowed down on accepting review copies and requesting ARCs. I can’t tell you what a great idea this was for me. When I accept requests or get ARCs they come with a huge sense of obligation and that weighs heavily on me as a reader. I’m going to continue to only request books that I’m SUPER excited for and also typical ‘mood’ reading for me. I still ended up with 16 books for review last year, which amounted to a little over 1 per month on average.

Here’s the breakdown of the ARC’s and review copies by format:

Review BooksARCReview CopyTotal
Ebook12012
Physical303
Audio011
15116

Genres, Subgenres, and Publication Year

Genres

Once again Fantasy was my top genre, no surprise there. I also wasn’t surprised to see Romance taking such a large chunk of my reading. Another thing to keep in mind is that I read a lot of genre mashing books so many of the fantasy books were also romances and a couple of the fantasy books were also mysteries, etc. Sometimes it’s hard to decide what genre to list something as. Ah…the great genre debate. πŸ™‚

Genre# of BooksPercent
Fantasy9656%
Science Fiction2213%
Romance4828%
Fiction32%
Thriller11%

SpecFic Subgenres

As always for speculative fiction I’ve done a breakdown by subgenre to the best of my ability. Genres and subgenres (especially) can be tricky because stuff overlaps and often things fit into multiple categories or sometimes none! I put them where they felt right to me. The ones that I couldn’t figure out a specific subgenre for I put under a general ‘fantasy’ label.

  • Urban Fantasy was my most read subgenre with 26 books
  • Fantasy Romance was my next highest read subgenre with 17 books (technically General Fantasy was next with 18 but that’s not really a subgenre so…)

YA vs Adult

For 2020 78% of my reading was Adult books and 22% were YA. Compare to 2019 where 69% of the books I read were Adult vs 30% YA. While in 2018 I read 76%  Adult and 24% YA and 2017 is 72% Adult vs 28% YA.

 # of BooksPercent
Adult13378%
YA3722%
Middle Grade00%

Publication Year

I think this is a fun one to track, just to see how many new books I’m reading vs backlist books.

  • The oldest book I read was published in 1965 — that was when I reread Dune by Frank Herbert
  • The newest book I read is going to be published in 2021 — and that would be Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews
  • I read books published in 23 different years (24 in 2019 and 30 in 2018)
  • In 2020 79% of the books I read were published in the last 5 years vs 83.5% in 2019, 71% in 2018 and 48% in 2017
  • Coming in at no surprise to me, the most read year was 2020 with 64 books!
  • The next most read year was 2019 with 32 books

Here’s a breakdown of books read by decade:

For you pedantic folks out there (you know who you are) I’m counting the year 2020 under the decade of the 2020’s even though it’s technically the last year of the 2010’s because that’s how I like to count decades and I don’t care if it’s right or wrong. πŸ˜€

Decade Published# of Books Read
1960’s1
1980’s1
1990’s7
2000’s11
2010’s84
2020’s66

Diversity of Books and Authors

Diversity of Authors

Once again I’ve broken down my diversity stats by overall books read and then by just the SFF books I’ve read. I’ve filled these out to the best of my ability but some mistakes may have occurred.

Total Books Read:

  • Out of the TOTAL 170 books/manga/web comics 18 (11%) were by men authors, while 144 (85%) were by women authors, with 3 (2%) co-authored by men and women teams. I read 4 books by non-binary authors (2%).
  • Out of the 124 unique authors, 15% identified as men, 80% identified as women, 2.5% identified as men/women co-author teams, and 2.5% identified as non-binary
  • Out of the TOTAL 170 books/manga/web comics 21% were written by BIPOC authors while 79% were written by white authors
  • Out of the 124 unique authors, 23% were BIPOC authors while 77% were white authors
  • Out of the TOTAL 170 books/manga/web comics 16% were written by LBGTQ+ authors
  • Out of the 124 unique authors 15% identify as LGBTQ+

Here I’ve included my chart so you can see any changes over the time I’ve been tracking these stats:

Stats by Total Books Read (170)

170 Total Books202020192018
Men11%11.50%19%
Women85%87%79%
Co-authored: Men & Women2%1.50%2%
Non-binary2%0.00%0%
BIPOC Authors21%26.50%17%
White Authors79%73.50%83%
LBGTQ+ Authors16%13.50%not measured

Stats by Unique Authors Read (124)

202020192018
Men15%16%17%
Women80%82%81%
Co-authored: Men & Women2.50%2%2%
Non-binary2.50%0%0%
BIPOC Authors23%20%16%
White Authors77%80%84%
LBGTQ+ Authors15%14%not measured

Speculative Fiction Books Only:

  • Out of 118 SFF books/manga/web comics 17 (14%) were by men authors, while 96 (81%) were by by women authors, with 3 (3%) co-authored by men and women teams, and 2 (2%) were by non-binary authors
  • Out of 83 unique SFF authors, 20% identified as men, 75% identified as women, 4% identified as men/women co-author teams, and 1% identified as non-binary
  • Out of 118 SFF books 25 (21%) were written by BIPOC authors while 93 (79%) were written by white authors
  • Out of 83 unique SFF authors, 23% were BIPOC authors while 77% were white authors
  • Out of 118 SFF books 15% were written by authors who identify as LGBTQ+
  • Out of 83 unique SFF authors, 14% identify as LGBTQ+

Diversity Within Books

Once again I didn’t do a great job of filling out my spreadsheet as I read books and instead filled it in a couple of times in huge chunks (why do I keep on doing this to myself???) so this may not be 100% accurate as I was going off of my memory. Still, I think it’s fairly accurate.

Total Books Read:

  • 40% women protagonists, 24% men protagonists, 36% combination of men/women/non-binary protagonists
  • There were also a lot of books (62 total) with two or more protagonists that were a combination of men, women, and non-binary genders.
  • 25% of books had BIPOC protagonists (vs 37% in 2019 and 22% in 2018)
  • 53% of books had some LBGTQ+ characters (whether protagonists or side-characters (vs 56% in 2019 and 38% in 2018)
  • 28% of books had LBGTQ+ protagonists (vs 29% in 2019)

Speculative Fiction Books Only:

  • The percentages for protagonist gender in SpecFic was 46% women, 19% men, 35% combination of protagonists that were women, men and non-binary genders
  • 42 books in total had a combination of male, female, and non-binary protagonists
  • 26% of books had BIPOC protagonists (vs 42% in 2019 and 20% in 2018)
  • 57% of books had some LBGTQ+ characters (vs 63% in 2019 and 44% in 2018)
  • 22% of books had LBGTQ+ protagonists (vs 30% in 2019)

Goodreads Ratings

I tend to rate books based on how they made me feel and how they were executed as a secondary, so my ratings tend to be a little on the higher side. Also, for my book reviews I do often break things down by a half a star and I can’t do that on goodreads, so I either rounded up or rounded down when rating there.

My average ratings were about .2 higher than they were last year, but I attribute that to the amount of mood reading I did over 2020 and also being really good at picking books I think I’ll like to read. It also helped that I marathoned some series I was enjoying.

Goodreads Rating
One Star0
Two Stars2
Three Stars12
Four Stars70
Five Stars86
Average GR Rating4.4
  • I had once again had ZERO 1-star books and only two 2 star books
  • I had the SEVENTY 4-star reads and EIGHTY-SIX 5-star reads

If you want to check out what my top reads were for 2020 you can see that post here, if you missed it.

In Summary

As always with my stats post, that was A LOT to digest. I mainly track these stats and do these posts for my own curiosity about my reading habits, but I hope that others can get something out of it too. Overall, 2020 was another great reading year with lots of fantastic books even if I did read less than the previous two years. I’m honestly surprised I still did so well all things considered as 2020 was a crazy year both for the wider world and for me personally. I’m hoping that 2021 will be nice for readers.

Do any of you have any reading stats to share? I’d love to see what others track, or interesting challenges people do. Leave a note in the comments, looking forward to hearing from you!

25 thoughts on “My Year in Reading Stats – 2020

  1. Bob/Sally says:

    Wow, I am in awe of the level of data that you’re tracking – I love it!

    I didn’t quite attain your page count (your average book count was about 100 pages longer than mine), but I’m quite happy with my diversity stats.

    Here’s to an ever stronger 2021!

    • waytoofantasy says:

      Thank you! It’s a lot to track and I was really bad and waited until near the end of the year to fill out my spreadsheet. I need to do better this year LOL.

      I’m actually surprised my average page count was so high! I read so many romances and a lot of those tended to be shorter. Must have balanced out with those fantasy chonks haha.

      I hope we all have an awesome 2021!

  2. Tammy says:

    I just downloaded a tracker spreadsheet for the first time, so hopefully I’ll have some stats to talk about next year. I’m curious about certain things like gender and ethnicity breakdown in my own reading. This was fun!

  3. Zezee says:

    Oh!! I love these staty posts! πŸ˜€ I’m amazed that you read so many books and the majority of them are novels. That’s some fast reading. And it seems like a good reading year considering how many books you highly rated.
    I rate books the same (based on how I feel and then how well executed) too. I do it that way since I mainly read to be entertained so how I feel about it is most important to me.

    • waytoofantasy says:

      Thanks! I have fun putting these together. I don’t know how I read so many to be honest. Even though I didn’t read as many as last year, I’m still amazed I read this much with everything that was going on!

      Yeah, that just makes the most sense to me as far as rating things. πŸ™‚

  4. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum says:

    Way to go! I love seeing other bloggers’ stats, and all those charts make me so happy πŸ™‚ I wish I had done a breakdown of genres too, but pretty sure it would have been SFF making the bulk of it as well, though I read a lot more thriller this year too.

    • waytoofantasy says:

      Thanks! Yeah, you did read quite a bit of thrillers last year. I’d like to read more, just have to figure out how to squeeze them in while also trying to whittle down my TBR haha. πŸ™‚

  5. celinelingg says:

    Omg you’re so detailed with your data tracking! Super admirable and definitely not like meπŸ˜‚ and I’m amazed with how many books you’ve read! Best of luck with your 2021 reading goals!

  6. Maryam (@thecurioussffreader) says:

    I love looking at stats, I don’t know why (probably because I’m a bit nosy πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚)
    I understand the pain of filling out tables at the end of the year or by huge chunks, in a perfect world, we would do it consistently but… why do that when we can do it last minute LOL
    You track a lot of things, that’s very impressive! It’s very interesting to be able to compare with other years, 2020 was the first year I did some reading stats so I can’ compare with other years and it’s a bit frustrating. I’m curious to see what my 2021 stats will look like just to be able to compare the data!
    And congrats for reading so much!!

    • waytoofantasy says:

      Yeah, I don’t know why I always wait til the last minute. I have to get better at doing it throughout the year though! Sometimes I have trouble remember details of the books haha.
      Well, the thing with stats if you do them you always have a starting point. When I first started I didn’t have anything to compare them to either but now that I’ve been doing them a few years I can look back and see if there are patterns. πŸ™‚
      Thanks!

    • waytoofantasy says:

      I didn’t either! This was quite a bit more than last year. It’s all about those niche subgenres LOL.
      I always end up with a lot of urban fantasy. Of course, I’m counting about 4 paranormal cozy mysteries as urban fantasies because, close enough haha.
      Somehow I always end up with a large majority of women authors, it’s just how I roll I guess LOL. πŸ™‚
      Thanks!

  7. @lynnsbooks says:

    Fantastic year Lisa. And very impressive stats. I’m absolutely useless with these things and everything is a bit last minute and very minimal! Lazy could be another word you might use!
    Lynn πŸ˜€

    • waytoofantasy says:

      Thanks, Lynn! Oh, believe me, I totally was lazy and didn’t fill out the bulk of my spreadsheet until the last minute and then had to spend half a day the day before the post was scheduled parsing the data hahaha. So, I am ALSO very last minute. πŸ˜‰

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