This post feels a bit late. I wasn’t even going to make it but then I got up enough motivation to work on my book spreadsheet and here we are. 2021 was a tough reading year for me but I still managed to read quite a lot! Also note that there was a lot I read that I didn’t track, specifically a ton of manga that I binge read and some webtoons. I think I probably read at least 50 manga tankoubon that I didn’t track–most of which was shoujo manga with romance themes. Because the mood wants what the mood wants, I don’t make the rules. Anywho. Let’s get started.
First thing I will note is that even though I still read a lot, I read a lot less than the previous few years. I’ve been close to or at 200 for a while now so to drop down to 108 feels like a bit of a shock. No wonder it felt like I wasn’t reading anything at times!
- In 2021 I read a total of 108 books, manga, novellas, and webtoons, 69 of which were speculative fiction which equated to 64% of my reading–for comparison in 2020 69% of what I read was spec fic, in 2019 75% and in 2018 74%. So, my spec fic reading went down again this year which is not a huge surprise because my mood reading was a lot of romance.
- 106 New Reads, 2 Re-reads
- Of the 108 total books/manga/web comics they were from 57 different series, 40 stand alone stories by 85 different authors.
- Most read author — is a tie between Richelle Mead and CLAMP with 5 books each. This is for I actually tracked but my most read author is actually probably a different manga author.
- There were 14 instances where I read 2 books by an author.
READING THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
This is actualy a pretty interesting chart this year. You can see my reading took an initial hit in March – this is when I was dealing with my cat being sick and dying. Then a bump in May which I’m pretty sure is when I read most of the manga I actually tracked which helped my numbers there a bit. Then my reading tapers off the rest of the year and nosedives in November and December–which is when my father died and I was dealing with that and about fifty billion other things. So this isn’t really a surprise to me at all but I do see how my reading totally mirrored my mood last year.
- May was my most productive reading month with 20 books read (weirdly enough it was my most productive month last year as well with 21 books read)
- December was the least productive reading month with ZERO books read.
Books Read By Month
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 32% Self-Pub and 68% Traditional. 2019 I was at 11% Small Press, 16% Self-Pub and 73% Traditional.
For 2021 I was at 23% Self-Pub and 77% Traditional. Not sure there is a pattern to this data.
LIBRARY LOANS, REVIEW COPIES, AND BOOK FORMAT
Keep in mind my total numbers were down so that messed with everything, I think the percentages here are more interesting.
- I read 61 ebooks in 2021 vs 102 in 2020, 82 in 2019, 90 in 2018, and only 6 in 2017!
- Ebooks were 56% of my reading in 2021 (vs 60% in 2020, 41% of 2019 and 44% 2018)
- I read A LOT less audiobooks again, mostly due to having a very short commute now — 10 total in 2021 vis 34 in 2020, 63 in 2019, 69 in 2018 and 74 in 2017. I actually wound up cancelling my audible subscription last year.
- Percent of audiobooks read went down again accordingly, it was only 9% (compare to 20% in 2020, 32% in 2019, 34% in 2018 and 72% of my total reading in 2017!)
- Percent of physical books was 31% (vs 17% in 2020, 27% in 2019, 22% in both 2018 and 2017) Interesting to see that go up!
I didn’t feel like I went to the library a lot last year, yet my library loans still ended up being 15 total books.
- Library books made up nearly 14% of my reading for 2021, compare that to 12% for 2020 – looks like that number is fairly steady.
Here’s the breakdown of library books by format:
REVIEW COPIES AND ARCS
In 2020 I slowed down on review copies and ARCs and 2021 was more of the same. Not even worth making a chart for this time around – I read 5 total ARCs, 4 of them were ebooks and 1 was a physical book. I do feel bad because there were a couple I accepted and/or were sent to me that I just couldn’t get to for mood reasons but I do hope to read them eventually!
GENRES, SUBGENRES, AND PUBLICATION YEAR
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.
- General / Generic Fantasy was my most read subgenre but that’s not really a subgenre–just means I found it too hard to categorize into a subgenre. So my actual most read subgenre was Urban Fantasy with 12 books–top category again this year! (Although if we look outside of speculative fiction, Contemporary Romance was ruled over all with 20 entries.)
- I had three subgenres tied for 2nd place with 6 books each – Epic Fantasy, Fairytale Fantasy / Retellings, and Fantasy Romance. Not really surprised by any of this as it’s business as usual.
|Genre||# of Books||Percent|
|Mystery / Thriller||1||1%|
YA VS ADULT
For 2021 64% of my reading was Adult books and 36% were YA. Compare to 2020 where 78% of my reading was Adult vs 22% YA. While in 2019 69% of books I read were Adult vs 30% YA. and in 2018 I read 76% Adult and 24% YA and 2017 is 72% Adult vs 28% YA. Not really sure what this tells me but I think my YA reading probably went up last year due to the manga and also just mood reading–YA can make for good mood reading.
|# of Books||Percent|
I think this is a fun one to track, just to see how many new books I’m reading vs backlist books. Surprise, surprise – once again I mostly read new books!
- The oldest book I read was published in 1981 — that was The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson which I admit I was not a fan of, unfortunately.
- I read books published in 18 different years (23 in 2020, 24 in 2019, and 30 in 2018)
- In 2021 84% of the books I read were published in the last 5 years vs 79% in 2020, 83.5% in 2019, 71% in 2018 and 48% in 2017
- Coming in at no surprise to me, the most read year was 2021 with 44 books!
- The next most read year was 2020 with 28 books and then 2019 with 12 books
- There were two ‘books’ I read that were translation of old epic poems but I counted those as the years the new translations were published
Here’s a breakdown of books read by decade:
For you pedantic folks out there (you know who you are) I’m once again 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. 😉
|Decade Published||# of Books|
For those of you new to my blog, 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 lower than they were last year (4.4). Not really meaningful since 4.2 generally tends to be right around my average every year so this is expected. Although I will say it felt like I had rated a lot of books lower than normal but I guess in the end I didn’t and ended up right about where I always am.
|Average GR Rating||4.2|
- I had once again had ZERO 1-star books (I guess I never hardly ever rate 1-star) and I had 3 2-star reads
- I had the once again had the most 4-star reads (48) and 5-star reads (44)
I didn’t really do a top reads post (maybe I should….) but I will say that hands down my favorite book I read last year was The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick. There were several really great reads but nothing brought me quite the same kind of reading experience as that book.
My stats posts are always a lot to take in so don’t feel bad if you just skimmed this and looked at the charts. 😉 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.
I didn’t share my diversity stats this year because it feels a little weird to be honest. I track that for my own purposes and I don’t want to feel like I’m trying to brag or make a statement. But I do believe in reading a variety of books by a variety of authors who may not necessarily share the same background as you. I think it makes for a richer life experience!
Overall, 2021 was a tough reading year for me, but I still somehow managed to get a lot of books read. I’m genuinely shocked at how much I read all things considered. I’m hoping things will start looking up and I’ll be back up to my 200 books in 2022 but I’m not going to push myself and we’ll see how things go.
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!