This Is What And How I Read In 2019

All this month, I’ve been joining Tanya & Kimberly at Girlxoxo and Tamara at Traveling with T for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – a fun way to recap the year that was. This coming Tuesday’s prompt, which I’m posting today also since it also help me wrap up my year in reading with The Sunday Salon group, is “This Is How We Read –  Number of books read so far, genre you read the most from, picture of favorite (or most often used) reading location, most read author, % eBooks,hardcovers, paperbacks and/or audiobooks, hint at what your favorite read of the year is (let us guess), types of books you wish you read more of, month you read the most and least).

By the numbers

  • 30 books
  • 15 nonfiction
  • 15 fiction
  • 13 parts of series
  • 10 female authors
  • 7 fiction standalone
  • 6 memoirs
  • 3 collections of poetry
  • 1 published in 2019
  • 0 young adult novels

I actually am surprised…no, not at the low number of books I read this year. As indicated in a previous post on the number of books I’ve read from 2014 to 2019, the numbers per year have been decreasing, especially the last few years: 2016, 48; 2017, 45; 2018, 33.

What I am surprised at is that exactly half of the 30 books I read were nonfiction. I started the year with The Library Book by Susan Orlean and ended the year with The Lord God Made Them All, the sixth in the series, by James Herriot. I also am surprised that out of the crime series that I started, I didn’t particularly care for any of them. I enjoyed Herriot’s nonfiction series more than I did any of the crime series.

I attribute the low numbers to a combination of things from the state of our nation and the world to distractions from social media and streaming services. But I mostly attribute it to things that I discussed back in April and then in May here on the blog:

  • I’m weird in that I like longer stretches of time in which to read. I’m not accustomed to reading in short bursts.
  • To wit, I work during the week and when I get home from work, usually at 8 p.m. since I usually work afternoons, after being on a computer much of the day, one of the last things I want to do is read fine print on a screen or even worse in a printed book. That also is the time I spend with my wife, usually before she heads off to work (she works midnight shift as a 911 dispatcher).

I doubt the lack of reading will change much in the new year, especially since my hours are increasing at the library during the week as the number of hours for full-time employees there also has increased. But I want to read more on both days of the weekend as in the past, I’ve pretty much limited myself to reading on Sundays. My wife usually works two 12-hour shifts, first on Saturday into Sunday, and then Sunday into Monday so since she’s usually sleeping during the day on both days, it is the ideal time for me to read.

I did some of that this past year, reading on both days, especially helped along by events such as Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, 24in48 Readathon, and Thankfully Reading Weekend, to name the main ones. I still hope to participate in all three again in 2020.

As for my favorite reads of the year, I already wrote about that in an early post for A Month of Faves: My Top 5 Books, TV Shows, Movies, and Albums of 2019. Since that post, I’d say my overall favorite for the year was Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen. I think it was just that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t read it yet. I had gotten it for my wife a couple of years through a book blogger gift exchange and it has been sitting on the shelf unread (by either one of us) since. Now I really hope she will read it too because she is a huge fan of the Boss.

How was your year in reading for 2019? What was your favorite read of the year?

Extra: After I finished this post and already had it scheduled, I did come across something interesting via Libby, Overdrive, and my library history. My lack of reading wasn’t for wanting to read more than I did as I borrowed and returned 41 ebooks and seven books that I never read. I also put on hold 29 other ebooks that I canceled before even borrowing. So my lack of reading wasn’t due to a lack of appetite. I just was a lot more selective in what I finally chose to read.

21 thoughts on “This Is What And How I Read In 2019

  1. I totally get that not wanting to read after a day of reading or computer time at work. That’s why audiobooks are my friend. Great reading year and wow on the number of nonfiction.


  2. This year I was definitely busier and my reading suffered, BUT that said, what I did read I did enjoy. I also like to be able to sit down and read for longer periods of time. Reading before bed doesn’t cut it with me, so I try and find a morning or afternoon that I can just sit and relax with a good book. This year I plan to make an effort to read more, just because there are a ton of books I want to read. I put down Born to Run based on your recommendation on my TBR list too. I find that as I get older I read more nonfiction for some reason. Have a great New Years and talk to you in 2020!


  3. I think the number of books we read isn’t what matters in the end, but how much we read that we enjoyed. I read some really good books this year, but none that wowed me as much as last year. I’m hoping 2020 will be a banner year for extraordinary books. I also allow streaming to distract me from reading, but it’s nice to have a variety of activities and not just reading (especially since you are surrounded by books all day).


  4. Good reading year! I can’t remember if you said or not (I may have missed it), but did you see Blinded By the Light? It’s a love letter to Springsteen.

    I always check out way more books than i read, even when I tell myself I’m not going to. The bookworm’s curse, probably.


  5. We have no books in common this year though there are several I hope to read in 2020, particularly The Library Book. I’ve tried to create end of year, and end of decade favourites lists but it was stressing me out too much so I decided to just not 🙂 I am enjoying seeing others though.

    Wishing you a great reading week and a Happy New Year

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I remember those times when it was difficult to find nice blocks of time to read. As long as I am reading some good books, I don’t care how many books I read. I haven’t checked the stats of the books I read, but I bet the vast majority (non-picture book) of my reading this year was nonfiction.

    The end of the year is such a great time for me to look at my reading data, think about what worked best for me, and make plans for the next year. I found I really enjoyed participating in group events, including the Moby Dick Readalong and the readathons and Nonfiction November. I think I will try to schedule these in as often as I am able. I also found that I did not have a lot of excellent reads last year. I want to seek out books that I love vs. reading books I simply enjoy.

    Here’s to a great new year!


  7. Every time I see Born to Run I think it’s the running book by the same title, ha. I have to reorient myself each time.

    We only have two books in common this year – Evelyn Hardcastle and Mrs Westaway (though I read that one last year). Both were good, and funny story about Hardcastle: On Friday, my friend Stephanie was supposed to be joining me for a hike with my hiking group. She was excited about going, but on the morning of, she slept through her alarm and woke up only half an hour before she was meant to be there. We decided to get together later that day for iced coffee instead, since we were exchanging gifts, and she told me she’d done herself in the night before. After dinner, she picked up a book that she wasn’t sure if she was going to read, and ended up reading it straight through until something like 1-2 am. It was Evelyn Hardcastle. She raved about how good it was, and it was fun to discuss our thoughts on it reading it almost a year apart.


  8. I haven’t evaluated my reading for the year yet but don’t keep great stats like so many people do. I love seeing other people’s stats, though. I love reading for longer periods but that just doesn’t work in my life right now unless it’s on audio on a car trip or something like that. Happy New Year – I hope 2020 is good to you!


    1. I understand that it doesn’t work for everyone to read in longer periods. It’s what works for me. 🙂 I wished I could do audiobooks. I just can’t sit and listen when I know I can read faster…although when I have been on longer trips, we have enjoyed audiobooks.


  9. Your library started being open on Sundays, right? It’s great that there are *more* hours available in your library, even though it means you work more. Usually we see it going the other way in library land (open fewer hours).


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