2018 Reading Stats and 2019 Goals

December 28, 2018

goal make things happen

2018 Reading Stats and 2019 Goals

Brace yourself for a nerdy post, bookaholics!

Have you ever set a reading goal or considered a reading challenge?

First, let’s look at Reading in 2018.

I’d love to hear from you if you analyze reading data at year’s end. Although I’ve always been analytical, I think my appreciation for using data to inform the future was heightened during my tenure as a teacher when I poured over student data to inform my teaching. Now, instead of looking at student achievement, I’m paying attention to my own numbers as it relates to reading achievement. I realize that while numbers are not that important in a rewarding reading life, they do reveal some trends and inform future reading choices. It’s important to me that I’m reading diversely, supporting women authors, and increasing my non fiction percentage. While this post about the numbers is mostly for me, I hope you find it interesting and possibly motivating toward considering your own reading achievement during the past year and setting some goals for 2019.

If you’ve read ONE book this year, you’re a reader and I encourage you to celebrate that read and accomplishment!

Blog Feedback

I’d also like to know (in comments) what you’d like to see more of or less of on the blog for 2019. Has the variety this year been satisfactory for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts! In fact, I may put together a survey in January.

Best of 2018

Also, start thinking about the best book you’ve read in 2018, and I’ll be back in a few days to discuss and share my list.

Let’s Talk Numbers!

Total Books Read: 107

This is the highest number of books I’ve read since starting a reading log and retiring….I averaged 25-30 books a year when I was teaching full time and the majority of those were read during the summer. For me in this season of life, 100 books is a comfortable number. I average two books per week and the weeks when I can only read one dense nonfiction are balanced out later when I can read 3 lighter, shorter books in one week.

Total Books Abandoned (DNF): 10

I’m getting better at abandoning books that aren’t working for me. There are too many great books waiting to be read to make myself finish something that isn’t right for me at the time. Are you a fearless abandoner or a committed finisher?

Women Authors: 90 

One of my goals in starting this blog is to support women authors writing about strong women and I feel like I’ve had success in this area.

Diverse Reads: 22

I’m defining diverse books as ones that take place in a culture other than my own and whose characters are ethnically different from me….. some historical fiction could fit this definition but I didn’t include them in the diversity count. The diverse titles I’ve read this year are among my most memorable reads of the year.

Fiction: (Broken Down by Sub Genre): 92

The sub genres add up to more than 92 because a few books fall into more than one category.

Historical Fiction: 38
This is obviously a favorite sub genre!

Literary Fiction: 8
This is a category which brings about debate among readers….the most agreed upon definition is that literary fiction is not genre fiction. Also, it’s known as literature written to explore the meaning of life and its issues….for example, most prestigious award recipients and national prize winners are categorized as literary fiction.

Women’s Fiction: 38
Again, a reader’s definition may vary….for me they are books in which most characters are women and the plot centers around women’s concerns and issues….some in this category are lighter reads that readers refer to as “beach reads” or “vacation reads.”

Mystery/Thriller/Suspense: 6
Clearly, I don’t read too much in this category because real life is scary enough….mainly, the books I read in this category are best sellers that I want to form my own opinion about. However, one of my favorite mystery series that I’ve deemed “just right” is the Inspector Armand Gamache Series set in Three Pines by Louise Penny.

Issue Centered: 21
The main purpose of these stories is to focus on a social or health issue. I usually enjoy these books unless they are heavily agenda driven by the author.

Middle Grade: 11
I love a great Middle Grade read! There’s some enjoyable and engaging literature in this category for adults! In fact, one of these Middle Grade reads will make it on my best of the year list.

Young Adult: 4
Usually I read more YA, so this is a surprisingly low number for me this year.

Nonfiction (broken down into sub genres): 15

This is a definite area for improvement for me in 2019!

Memoir: 9
Memoir is a clear favorite form of non fiction.

Biography: 2

Narrative Non Fiction: 2
Biographies written in story format.

Essay: 2

True Crime: 3
Two of these could also be categorized as Memoir and Narrative N F


Let’s Consider 2019 Goals

Here are my goals for 2019 (please share yours in comments):

Goal 1:

Goodreads Reading Challenge (determine how many books you’d like to read and track them through the Goodreads app). This is the easiest of the goals/challenges as it simply involves setting a number. This number can be adjusted throughout the year if you are reading above or below your goal. I recommend setting a reasonable goal and then raising it if necessary. My goal is 100 books. I met this goal in 2018 and it’s reasonable that I will meet it again. Retirement helps tremendously! The 2019 Goodreads challenge will be available at the first of the year. Are we friends on Goodreads?

Goal 2:

Modern Mrs Darcy 2019 Reading Challenge (very broad, doable categories that might provide some stretch in your reading life). With the number of books I read, this goal is fairly easy for me to achieve. It doesn’t require a sign up (unless you want to receive emails from the site).

The next two goals are blog related goals because they provide opportunities for me to link up and connect with other bloggers.

Goal 3:

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge (especially great for bloggers and reviewers who want monthly link up opportunities). Because I read a majority of historical fiction, I look forward to my first year of participation in this challenge. However, I do have other commitments to NetGalley and various authors, so I’m setting this goal at the Medieval Level of 15 books for the first year to see how it goes. This means I’ll be linking at least one review per month to meet this challenge. I’ll need to link up 3 more reviews during the year to meet my 15 book goal for the year.

Goal 4:

NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge (link up opportunities for members of NetGalley and Edelweiss). I’m new to NetGalley this year, so I’ll also set a low goal for this the first year. I’m going for Silver which is 10 books this year from NetGalley. This goal will allow me to link up once a month, but I know I can post more if I exceed my goal. For those of you who desire to know, NetGalley is a website where reviewers can request books from publishers (free books called an Advanced Reader Copy) in exchange for an honest review.

Goal 5:

Based on my 2018 reading, I know I want to increase my non fiction reading. Out of 107 books read, 15 were non fiction. I’d like to increase that to 20 books for 2019.

What reading goals do you have for 2019?

Happy New Year! I hope you’ve experienced some pleasurable and challenging reading in 2018 and are eagerly anticipating the reading year ahead!

Happy Reading Book Worms

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

Looking Ahead:

To finish out 2018, I’ll be posting a December Wrap Up and My Best Reads of 2018.


I’m linking up today with Traveling With T, Estella’s Revenge and Girlxoxo for A Month of Favorites.

A Month of Favorites TwithT

In Movie News….

Reese Witherspoon to produce “Where the Crawdads Sing” and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

And….here’s the trailer for Where’d You Go Bernadette starring Cate Blanchette.

(You might want to put these three books on your winter to read list in preparation!)

Sharing is Caring

Thank you for reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along, promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

 Let’s Discuss

Did you meet your reading goal for 2019?

What is your 2019 Reading Goal?

Do you use a method for tracking your reads during the year?

It’s time to start thinking about your best read of the year!

***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.


  1. I try to read diversely, support women authors, and I want to read nonfiction, but I just don’t. I hope to work on that in 2019.

    I never regret DNFing a book. Ever. Too many books out there.

    I’ll be using the Goodreads Challenge this year too, with my number at 50 since I’ll be turning 50 this year.

  2. I’m interested in hearing about your favorite of the issue centered books.
    I abandon books with no hesitation. N O N E.
    Congrats on meeting your goals and good luck on the goals you’ve set for next year!

    • Thanks for commenting! I’m learning the art of abandoning! I’m such a finisher by nature 😩. My fav issue centered books this year were Secret Daughter (adoption, birth parent search), Left Neglected (traumatic brain injury), A Way Out (memoir of living with social anxiety and depression), Great Alone (domestic abuse), Educated (memoir of abuse and neglect and breaking free), Crenshaw (middle grade, homelessness), Jefferson’s Sons (middle grade, slavery, prejudice), An American Marriage (racial injustice, racism, prejudice), The Boat People (refugee crisis in Canada), Just Mercy (memoir, racial injustice, social justice), Louisiana’s Way Home (middle grade, neglect, found family), Amal Unbound (indentured servitude in Pakistan). Great question! Thanks for asking!

  3. I did not have a reading goal this year, I merely kept a list of what I read. I finished 81 books so far and maybe I’ll squeeze another in. My favorite of the year was The Map of Salt and Stars. Seeing your list, I realize that I can categorize 2019 my reading better. For example, I did not keep a list of books that I abandoned. I have no qualms about ditching a book. Sometimes it’s just timing, but I have gotten to the point that I really don’t want to slog through 300+ pages for the “payoff”. So many books, so little time!

    • Congrats on 81 books! 🙌 I also loved The Map of Salt and Stars and it will show up on my favs post a a few days! I’m growing in my ability to abandon books! Thanks for stopping in and commenting Terri! Happy reading in 2019!

  4. HI there Carol– Wow! 107!!! You are an amazing intrepid reader! I stopped midway through this post and counted up my list–43. That’s a lot for me. Larry noted that if we canceled our cable tv, I’d have a longer list (No more House Hunters???!) –I’m happy with 43. But the thing you caused me to notice is that the books I valued the most were non-fiction, even though I read primarily fiction! Loved– Being Mortal (a reread book!), The Ministry of Ordinary Places, Educated, Prayer-our Deepest Longing, and I’d Rather Be Reading!! So I think my goal for 2019 is not to read more than 43 books, but to lean a little more into non-fiction. Great post– love how you spur us on to read more! xox

    • The number is not that important….. what’s important is the reading and the enjoyment. 43 is great! 🙌 More than the total number, I like to look at the genres. I definitely need to read more nonfiction (I particularly love memoirs!), and it’s also important to me to read diverse literature and support women authors. I like analyzing my reading at years end! I’m a total book nerd 🤓 I’m shooting for 20 non fiction in 2019! I’m hoping you’ll motivate me with some great suggestions!

      Thanks for your kind and prolific comments Rhonda! It means a lot to me! Happy New Year!

      • That’s why I love your blog so much Carol– I tend toward historical fiction and memoirs too. Larry is gone backpacking with our son, so I stayed in bed late this morning reading My Dear Hamilton– so good! xo

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