December 30, 2021
Happy New Year Book Worms!
2021 Reading Stats and 2022 Goals
Brace yourself for a nerdy post, bookaholics!
Have you ever set a reading goal or considered a reading challenge?
Reading in 2021
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 plan 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 nonfiction percentage. While this post about the numbers is mostly a self-reflection, I hope you find it interesting and possibly motivating toward considering your own reading achievement during the past year and setting some goals for 2022.
If you’ve read ONE book this year, you’re a reader and I encourage you to celebrate that read and accomplishment!
I’d also like to know (in comments) what you’d like to see more of or less of on the blog for 2022. 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.
2021 has been another challenging year, but I’m also so grateful for wonderful books and delightful bookish conversation! Thank you to each of my followers and visitors! Thanks for the views, comments, and shares! I appreciate EACH one!
Best of 2021
See this post for a list of my most memorable reads in 2021 and this post for my top five memorable histfic reads of 2021.
Let’s Talk Numbers!
Total Books Read: 119
Remember….it’s really not about the numbers! It’s about the enjoyment of reading.
This number is down a bit from last year’s high of 131, but as long as I’m above 100 I’m satisfied. 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 or a 500+ page fiction are balanced out later when I can read 3 lighter, shorter books in one week.
Books Abandoned (DNF): 7
I’m getting better at knowing my reading tastes and passing on books/genres that I know won’t be to my taste. I’m also not reluctant to abandon 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: 102!
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. We’ve certainly come a long way since the days when women had to publish under a man’s name!
Diverse Reads: 20
For this number, I counted the books that take place in a culture other than my own, whose characters are ethnically different from me, and whose author is an author of color. It was my focus this year to intentionally read and promote authors of color. I have read other books in a broader sense of diversity, and it’s always my goal to read more diversely.
One stat I enjoy tracking each year is the percentage of books I read that are from the library.
Library = 41 (34%)
ARC (advanced readers copy from the publisher) = 40 (34%)
Own = 38 (32%)
I didn’t realize until I counted them up that the percentage is evenly distributed! Between library books and ARCs, 68% of my books are free! Great kindle deals help me buy books to own.
Fiction: (Broken Down by Sub-Genre): 107
The sub-genres add up to a more than 107 because a few books fall into more than one category.
Historical Fiction: 29
This is obviously a favorite sub-genre! See my top five memorable histfic reads in this post.
Literary Fiction: 4
This is a category that brings about some debate among readers….the most simple definition is that literary fiction is not genre fiction. Also, it’s character driven (usually) and 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. My favorite title this year in the category is Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.
Women’s Fiction: 57
Wow! This is the first time I’ve ever read this much “women’s fiction”! There were months when these books were a balm to my pandemic brain! 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.” Two of my favorites in this category are Three Words For Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb and Yours Cheerfully by AJ Pearce.
Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Science Fiction: 8
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. Although I rarely read scifi, my favorite read in this category is the audio version of Project Hail Mary…simply fabulous!
Issue Centered: 5
The main purpose of these stories is to focus on a certain issue. I usually enjoy these books unless they are heavily agenda driven by the author. My favorite title in this category is The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom (what if God appeared to you when you called out?)
Middle Grade: 12
I love a great Middle Grade read! There’s some enjoyable and engaging literature in this category for adults! Two of my favorites are Ghost by Jason Reynolds and Other Words For Home by Jasmine Warga.
I’ve started a Newbery Project which you can find in my blog’s menu pages.
Young Adult: 6
I didn’t read in this category as much as in previous years. One of my favorites this year is Firekeeper’s Daughter.
Nonfiction (broken down into sub-genres): 12
This is a definite area for improvement for me in 2022! My goal is to have a 20% nonfiction percentage. In this second year of the pandemic, I have been more drawn to escapist reads! My favorite nonfiction in 2021 is The Day the World Came to Town (don’t miss the Broadway musical Come From Away streaming on AppleTV +).
Memoir is a favorite form of nonfiction.
Narrative Nonfiction: 1
Nonfiction written in story format.
You may have heard about Story Graph, an alternative book tracking app to Goodreads. I decided to use both Goodreads and Story Graph this year to compare them (a blog post about this coming soon). One of the delights of using Story Graph is that it provides you with neat charts and graphs to help summarize your reading. My Story Graph handle is reading_ladies_blog. Here are a few of my 2021 charts/graphs:
Let’s Consider New 2022 Goals
(please share yours in comments):
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, 2019, 2020, and 2021, and it’s reasonable that I will meet it again. Retirement and pandemic isolation help tremendously! The 2022 Goodreads challenge will be available at the first of the year. Are we friends on Goodreads?
This year I used StoryGraph concurrently with Goodreads to compare and contrast the two platforms. A blog post about that is coming soon.
I want to curate a satisfying reading life in which I read what I want, when I want! (Thus, no other challenges for me this year.) I’ve come to the conclusion that life is hard enough without adding book challenges.
My goals are simple: read at least 100 books in 2022, read widely and diversely, and increase my nonfiction percentage.
What reading goals do you have for 2022?
Happy New Year! I hope you’ve experienced some pleasurable and challenging reading in 2021 and are eagerly anticipating the reading year ahead!
Did you meet your reading goal for 2021?
What is your 2022 Reading Goal?
Do you use a method for tracking your reads during the year?
Have you considered your best read of the year? (see my most memorable reads of 2021 in this post and my top five historical fiction reads in this post.)
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
Let’s Get Social!
Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.
Find me at:
***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.
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.
Love these stats Carol! I really must give this a go sometime, as it’s fascinating!
Thanks Nicki! 🙌
Well done for reaching your reading goal. I smashed mine but that was mainly due to lockdown and not being able to go out and pursue my normal interests for nearly 4 months. I love the idea of Storygraph but feel that possibly, i’m already spending too much time on books😲
Thanks Janette! I did StoryGraph so I could decide between them, but now I’ll probably end up doing both! More time involved but I’m retired so reading is my job! Thanks for commenting!
I commented on this post on Twitter (HKVoyage). I love all your stats. I think your second goal of reading what you want when you want is a good one. Sometimes challenges can feel like work!
In 2021 I read 85 books. There were a surprising number of romance books — I think that’s because I needed some light relief during the pandemic. I also read a lot of Christmas romance novels this month, and those are usually short. Many of the books would be classified as diverse reads.
My reading goal will be 75 books: 52 to be read and 23 audiobooks. In November, I made a huge effort to listen to audiobooks using Hoopla. Best time for me is in bed before I go to sleep (too many distractions to listen during the day) So far I’ve learned that the narrator is absolutely key, and it’s better for light reads. My second reading goal is diversify into different genres. I would like to try out a fantasy series. I would also like to read more nonfiction.
I do like your book reviews because they provide enough detail for me to figure out whether it’s my sort of book or not. It is also nice that you reply to every comment. You might find a survey useful.
Happy New Year to you and your family.
Thanks for all your thoughtful comments Adrienne! It’s been a joy to connect with you this year! 85 books is wonderful! And I completely understand about being drawn to lighter books this year and last. Exploring different genres is a fun goal! Use the library in the beginning so you’re not spending money on something that might not work for you. I’m always wanting to read more nonfiction. I think my biggest obstacle is that I’m a mood reader and I’m not always as drawn to nonfiction as fiction.
Thanks for your kind words and feedback! Happy New Year! 🎈🎉🥳
I love reading stats posts! 🙂
For several years I have participated in various reading challenges. But, for 2022 I came to the same conclusion you did – I am going to cut way back on those. The two that I am participating in are really just another way of connecting with other readers, rather than causing me to choose certain books. I just want to read what I feel like reading when I feel like reading it. My Goodreads goal for 2022 will be 100 books. This year it was 104 – 2 books per week – which I met, but I just don’t want to feel any pressure in 2022.
I did a post where I analyzed some of my reading from 2021 -https://clearwaterdaybook.blogspot.com/2021/12/2021-year-end-wrap-up-chat.html
I had never done that before and found it to be informative. I think I will do that again in 2022.
My favorite way to track my reading is in my journal. I do use Goodreads, but really only to see the book covers and record what I read. My journal records things like the setting, the time period, the genre, dnf books and reasons, books that I skimmed but didn’t fully read or record as a book read.
Happy New Year!
Thanks for commenting Gretchen! I’m hopping over to read your post! I use an Excel spreadsheet like you use your journal. I like to track things like how many library books, arcs, women authors, sub genres, etc! Tracking settings (or even countries) sounds interesting! Maybe I’ll add that this year! Thanks for the idea!
I’m happy to hear you enjoy stats! Happy New Year! 🥳🎉🎈
Great post, Carol. I skimmed it now, but I’m saving it for later when I can read it in my leisure.
Absolutely wonderful! Thank you 😊
Thank you so much!
You are welcome!
Carol. I just found your site now and followed. What a fantastic post and so detailed. I have a question for you….I am a writer and the lifeblood of any writer are the reviews. Like, I don’t know about you, but I always read reviews. Sometimes they sway me and other times no. With your “reading ladies” I’d love to see you promote review writing. I’d be more than willing to help in a q and a or something if you’d like. Onwards to 2022. Thanks. I look forward to reading more.
Thanks for following and commenting Faye! Can you elaborate on what you mean by review writing? Do you mean encouraging readers to write reviews? I have published a couple of posts on writing reviews. Let me know specifically what you have in mind!
Yes about writing reviews on Goodreads or Amazon. Some people don’t know the importance and others simply don’t know how to give constructive criticism. Glad to hear that you encourage your readers to do that. It’s so important. As i read your post I was just thinking of teaching/showing/providing a template for the reader who isn’t a writer or know what to say. Just a thought.
I’m thrilled you brought this to my attention! It’s been 2 years since I’ve written a post about writing a review! Search “How I Write a Fiction Review” on my blog! I’ve always wanted to update the post and include a template! Would you like to collaborate on the post and include some thoughts/tips and/or a template? I’m thinking In January. If not, no worries!
Here’s a link to the post I wrote http://readingladies.com/2019/01/12/how-i-write-a-fiction-book-review/
Hi Carol. This an excellent post on how to review. The only thing I’d recommend is a simple version for people who aren’t necessarily writers… sometimes they don’t know the difference between plots/povs/characters… they only know whether they liked it or not. Simple is key. Would love to connect and do a collaboration. Let’s make it happen this month.
I’m thinking a simple version with some templates is a great plan! 🙌 maybe we could each come up with 3 (?) templates? My email is email@example.com (after presenting templates, we could link to our more comprehensive posts for those interested.)
excellent plan. email sent.
here’s the link to mine. I really like the idea of adding a template tho.
oops forgot the link!🤦🏻♀️https://fayeearcand.com/2020/12/11/this-year-give-the-gift-of-a-book-review/
I love it! Especially the examples!
Everyone loves a template!
Heck I LOVE a template.
Right?! 🙌 💯
Love your book stats, Carol. I’m going to look into StoryGraph. I’m only doing my Goodreads challenge this year. The rest of my goals will be up on the blog soon.
Thanks Gina! I love being able to give half stars on SG…and of course their charts. I’ll look forward to your post!
Happy New Year Carol, and like you, I aim to read more for pleasure this year. Good luck my friend. ❤📚🥂🥳💐
Happy New Year Sandy! 🎈🥳🎉📚
[…] Welcome to the last monthly wrap up of the year!My December reading consisted of mostly light, escapist reads. Out of 8 books completed, I had one 5-star read, six 4-star reads, and one 3-star read.I’ve now read 119 books towards my year end goal of 100. Do you set a year-end goal? (see my reading stats and new goals post here) […]
This is a great post! You have an excellent blog. I love the variety in your posts.
I exceeded my reading goals this year, coming in at 58/50.
For 2022, I am doubling my goal to 100.
I use Goodreads but I’m going to check out StoryGraph!
Happy New Year, Carol!
Thanks for your kind words Tralyn! 🙌 Happy reading!
I love the variety in your posts! I hope to do it with my own blog when I have more time.
Thanks Kym! Variety helps me prevent burnout! 🙌
I love analyzing my reading stats at the end of every year as well. It’s interesting to see the ways in which I’m consistent and not so much. I don’t really set blogging goals, although I do like reading challenges, including the Goodreads one. I don’t take them too seriously, though. If I don’t finish them, I don’t finish them. No biggie.
Happy New Year, Carol!
I’ve been known to adjust my goodreads goal! 😂😂😂 Happy New Year Susan!
[…] Top Five Memorable Historical Fiction Reads 2021Most Memorable Reads 20212021 Reading Stats and 2022 Goals […]
Congratulations on a fantastic year of reading!
Thanks so much! 🙌
I tried story graph and got rid of it real quick, it couldn’t even identify a fiction versus a nonfiction book. I think I was about 60/40 with backlist versus new books
I’ve had difficulty with new books since I read so many arcs…I’ve had to manually import them which I never have to do with GR. I need to write my comparison post this month but I think I’m sticking with GR for now.
Whoa! All this statistics and detailed analysis, very insightful. Well done 👍.
Wow, very detailed and insightful Carol. I am doing some challenges this year, but more general ones, like audiobook challenge, non-fiction challenge, backlist challenge with a few word specific or subject but they are only 6 to 12 prompts, so I should be okay. No year long specific ones like PopSugar or 52BookClub this year. I also want to read more of books I own to start clearing off my shelves. Happy New Year to you and your family.
Thanks Carla! Hope you’re enjoying Sunshiny Florida!
I sure am, but the sunshine and being in the pool is knocking me out. I am getting a good night’s sleep though.
I feel like I need to swap to Storygraph. I love all the charts they provide. It sounds like you’ve had an amazing reading year!
I’m still on the fence between GR and SG….they each have some good points. It was a satisfying reading year for sure!
Love your mantra “read what I want, when I want!” I’m heading more in that direction too though it’s a constant tussle between wanting to be completely free in my reading choices, and yet also want to be involved with other bloggers in reading events.
Exactly! #bookproblems 😂
I totally fell short of my reading goals of 20 books by completing only 13. Will definitely need some reading tips from you all. This year I’m aiming for 24. Anyway, thanks for this post!
The most important consideration is if you enjoyed your 13! And I image you’re a busy and productive person in addition! My only real tip is to take advantage of those small increments of time…,they really do add up! Here’s to 24! 🥂🙌 Thanks for commenting Stuart!
[…] number is up a bit from last year, but as long as I’m above 100 I’m satisfied. I averaged 25-30 books a year when I was […]