My 2020 reading year

My takeaways

  • I read more books last year–120 books–than I’ve read in a number of years.
  • I read 60 ebooks of which 30 were Kindle Unlimited (KU) books. I try to read at least two KU books every month.
  • I listened to 52 audiobooks this year–a big increase from 2019. Most of them were from the library.
  • A little over 50% of the books I read were mysteries.
  • About a third of the books were fantasy and science fiction.
  • My favorite genres continue to be mysteries, science fiction and fantasy (though I did read seven romance books).
  • 2020 was such a stressful year I hibernated (self-quarantined) and read. Most of the books I read were read to escape what was happening in the real world.
  • I didn’t write any reviews for my blog though I did write a few short reviews on Goodreads.
  • I didn’t participate in any reading challenges.

The three things that stood out to me in 2020

My library

My library was a huge comfort to me. Almost half the books I read in 2020 (55 books) came from my library–almost all of them either ebooks or audiobooks.

The Libby app

I use the Libby app which I love. I can search on my phone by author, subject or name of book to see if my library has electronic copies. I can use tags to put a book on my wish list so I remember to check it out when I have time to read it. (Sometimes I have six or seven books checked out to read at the same time and I don’t have time to read all the books if I only have three weeks.) I can check out a book or place a hold right in the app. I can listen to the audiobook using the app. I can even read the ebook in the app though I usually use my Kindle to read ebooks. Only five of the books I read in 2020 were paper books. Those five books all came from my library.

Library closed

My library was closed most of the year for in-person use although I’ve been able to check out books and a librarian brings the books to our car and places them in the trunk. I mostly did that with cookbooks and other nonfiction which I don’t usually read in Kindle versions. A lot of the nonfiction I skim and read just the sections that interest me so I don’t add them to the books I read.

I checked out fiction books a few times, but often returned them unread when I discovered the library had gotten the digital copy of the book. My library focused on adding more digital items to their library in 2020.

New authors

I read 39 books by new-to-me authors. I usually read about a third of my books by new authors. And that was true again this year. I read most of my new authors either as books from the library or Kindle Unlimited books. The rest of the books I purchased for under $5.00. Especially when an author is new to me I don’t buy books which cost over about $3. (Actually, I don’t buy many books over $5.00 even from authors I love.) I try to wait until their books go on sale.

Books I didn’t finish

The last group of books I want to talk about are the books I didn’t finish this year. There were 16 of those books. I read at least 15% of all the books I designate as “not finished.” I usually decide within the first chapter or two whether I want to read a book or not, but I didn’t add the book to my DNF group if I hadn’t read at least 15%. However, I read over 50% of a few of them before I decided to stop.

  • This year I was much more sensitive to the tone of the book–too sad or too depressing and I bailed.
  • A number of books that other times I might have enjoyed just didn’t hold my interest.
  • A few books that I thought would be calming were just too predictable or silly.
  • One thing didn’t change: I will stop reading a book if it’s too violent for me.
  • One book I was enjoying totally changed at about 50% and I suddenly felt like I was reading a different book.

The numbers


Reading Challenge -95

Books Read-90

Ebooks — 60

Audiobooks — 27

Hardcover & Paperback — 3

Library — 28 (audio-15; ebooks-10; hardcover-3)

Kindle Unlimited — 9*

New Authors — 34

Did Not Finish — 1

*I only started KU towards end of the year


Reading Challenge-90

Books Read-120

Ebooks — 62

Audiobooks — 53

Hardcover & Paperback — 5

Library — 55 (audio-40; ebooks-10; hardcover-5)

Kindle Unlimited — 30

New Authors — 39

Did Not Finish — 16

What about you? How was your 2020 reading year?

Author: Jan

I love to read--especially mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I also love blogging, photography, gardening, playing Mah Jonng, reading with a cat on my lap, throwing a ball for a dog, creating cards to send to family and friends, reading book blogs, using my computer.

10 thoughts on “My 2020 reading year”

  1. I’m really impressed by your numbers. And I wish I could DNF more, sometimes I feel like I suffer through a book just because I owe the publisher a review. Maybe I can do better with that this year:-)


    1. Thanks, Tammy! One reason I don’t request books is that I’m a mood reader and I’m at an age that I want to read books that I’m really liking. That’s also why almost all my books are graded B- or above! I only graded six books with a C+ (my lowest grade last year). If I had given the DNF’s grades most of them would have gotten lower grades! A few of the DNF’s were books that at another time I might read and enjoy.


  2. It sounds like a good year. I’m an aberration I don’t like Libby – I love Overdrive. I do all digital anymore. Even if I own a print copy, I often get the digital version from the library. Mysteries, particularly police procedurals, have been more satisfying this year with something that gets solved with justice.


    1. I read almost all my books digitally, too, Anne. Except when the library doesn’t have it and it’s more money than I can comfortably spend! And I agree about the police procedurals. I like the main character (the police officer) to have a moral compass. I don’t really like anti-heroes.


  3. I didn’t track what books I DNF’d this year because I was like you and was so sensitive to tone. There were a number I put down knowing that if I had picked it up in 2019 I probably would have loved it. I don’t read nonfiction or cookbooks on my Kindle either and I’ve loved that our library has curbside access and have definitely been using the apps. Hope you have another great year and a better year overall!


  4. Your post is a good idea for a positive New Year’s resolution. I like the idea of DNF books: Life is too short to keep reading a book you’re not enjoying (plus there are so many books to read & limited time to read).


  5. Thank you for sharing this post, Jan. I’m always fascinated to see how other readers approach their books – and I’m like you these days. If a book doesn’t reasonably quickly chime with me, I DNF it. Life is too short to trudge through a book I don’t like. I MUST get to grips with the library app! Our library has been closed most of the year, other than for orders for print copies, but as I prefer reading ebooks, I should buckle down and sort it out… I hope the coming year is also successful for you.


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