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

2019

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

2020

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?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our Thanksgiving gathering from several years ago

I’m at Thanksgiving with my husband’s family. The large extended family has gotten¬†together for over 50 years. This is the last year we will get together at the above house. My father-in-law died in the spring and the house is for sale. We’re doing one last Thanksgiving here. After this year one of my nieces plans to host the Thanksgiving gathering. It will be held in Indianapolis instead of Iowa which may mean a smaller gathering in the future. All things have to change at some point.

I’m grateful for . . .

  • Our large extended family that has made Thanksgiving such a wonderful tradition.
  • My husband and children. That we all love each other and can have fun together.
  • My health. After my surgery earlier in the month I realize once again what a wonderful thing it is to feel healthy.
  • My friends with whom I share stories and laughter.
  • Authors writing books. I love to read and am so grateful that so many authors are writing books I love to read.
  • My ebook reader that allows me to read at night, to set it on my lap when my hands hurt, to change the size of the font when my eyes need a bigger font, to carry hundreds of books in my purse.
  • My cats who give me so much pleasure every day.
  • My children’s dogs and cats I get to enjoy when I visit or they visit.
  • My house and yard. That we have a house and yard. And I love the serenity of my house and yard.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate Thanksgiving in November. And to everyone else I hope you’re having a wonderful day!

Audiobooks aid my card creation

Last year I listened to more audiobooks than ever before and it was all because I made a lot of cards last year. Usually I only listen to audios when I’m in my craft room. I don’t use headphones. I like to just listen using my phone as the audio plays loud and clear while I decide what kind of card I’m going to create and then get busy and create it. I guess I must use two different parts of my brain when I listen and create, because I do really get into a good book while making my cards. (I do sometimes listen outside my craft room when I’m close to the end of a really good book.)¬†I love that I can create the cards I send to family and friends while I listen to audiobooks.

Some of my favorite 2017 cards

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Audiobook numbers for 2017:

Total audiobooks: 38

Total books of all kinds read: 100

I listened to 12 new-to-me authors as I listened to audiobooks last year.

Audiobooks and cards

Audiobooks really kept me on track in 2017 to reach my reading goal of 100 books. I find it really satisfying to create something. Another reason I spent a lot of time working on cards and listening to books–I calm down when I listen and work on cards. I stopped worrying so much about the state of the world and regained calmness…lol.

Do you like listening to audiobooks? If you do, when do you listen? Did the state of the world bother you last year? If so, how did you cope?