Looking Back at 2021 | Musings and Stats!

2021 was definitely… a year. I think that’s the best description I can give of it that everyone will agree with. There were some real low points but also so great high points for me which led to an interesting reading year.

For this reflective post, I’m starting with the goal I set for myself and how things actually worked out with a look at stats. So we’ll be starting with the depressing stuff and end on pretty charts!

A Look Back on Blogging

I really felt burnt out during the first half of the year. There wasn’t a definitive reason why besides literally everything going on in the world. By May/June, I really started considering taking a break.

I took my first break. I only posted reviews for eARCs during July, August, and September. I’m back to posting regularly, but I’m still working to get to pre-hiatus numbers.

Currently, I’m trying to be easier on myself. I don’t want to force blog content or force a certain amount of posts per week. January is always high on content because I’m wrapping up 2021, but after this it’s back to being easy on myself.

A Look Back at Reading

The one thing I relatively succeeded at was the number of books I read. I started with a GoodReads goal of reading 50 books in 2021 and then I bumped it up to 75 when it became evident I would surpass 50. By the end of the year, I read 89 books for a total of 22,646 pages read. That’s definitely not a number to sneeze at, but I can’t help but compare how I managed to read over 100 books in the past two years.

I made two posts for 2021 Goals, books I wanted to read and series I wanted to read. In total it was 33 books and I read… only five from those lists. A major reason for this failure was a lot of the books I challenged myself to read were really long, over 350 pages. According to GoodReads, the average book I read in 2021 was 254 pages. I do still want to read those books and series I challenged myself to, but it just might take longer than I anticipated.

What definitely worked out was my goal of reading one adult, one young adult, one middle grade, and one nonfiction a month. I didn’t hit it every month, sometimes a nonfiction was too dense or I forgot to slip in a middle grade, but I managed it way better than the other goals!

A Look Back on Stats

Let’s start with the wrap-up GoodReads provides! As previously mentioned I read 89 books for a total of 22,646 pages and the average book I read in 2021 was 254 pages.

Screenshot of GoodReads Stats page. On the left, the cover for Wolves in the Fold by Elizabeth Wambheim with the caption "Shortest book: 47 pages." On the right, the cover for The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Indian America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer with the caption "Longest bok: 526 pages."

I’m not surprised these were my longest/shortest books of the year. In 2022, I’m hoping to maybe read even longer!

Goodreads stat page screenshot. Reads "My average rating for 2021: 3.7" There are 5 stars filled in 3.7 of the way to represent that.

My average rating always hovers in the 3.5-3.8 star range, so again, not surprising. I’m just glad my average rating wasn’t 3 stars or something.

On the left, the cover of Circe by Madeline Miller with the caption "Most popular. 1,477,449 people also shelved." On the right, the cover for Wolves in the Fold by Elizabeth Wambheim with the caption "Least popular 70 people also shelved."

Again, not too surprising. I definitely lean more toward lesser known releases/indie pub so all throughout the year, the “least popular” category changes.

All charts are from the reading spreadsheet made by the amazing Fadwa at WordWoonders. If you’re not following her, what are you doing?? Go do that! This was an amazing spreadsheet, very easy to use for my first time having a reading spreadsheet! These aren’t all the charts and stats provided on the spreadsheet, these were just the easiest to talk about in blog format.

Bar chart with pink bars that represents how many books I read each month. January - 10 books, February - 6, March - 10, April - 6, May - 7, June - 8, July - 5, August - 3, September - 5, October - 8, November - 7 , and December - 15

First up, a break down of all teh books I read in 2021 by month! Overall, my best reading was post-hiatus and my worst reading was during hiatus (which was kind of the point). My best reading month was December with a whooping 15 books and my worst reading month was August with 3 books read.

Author status and series status! I’m sharing both of these at once because they kinda go hand in hand. I mostly read from authors I had never read from before and I barely got to any debuts. In the second pie chart, you can see I really didn’t continue many series of any size! I’m definitely planning on fixing that in 2022.

Pie chart titled "Format." eARC (magenta) - 14.3%, Audiobook (orange) - 26.4%, Finished copy (lilac) - 16.5%, eBook (green) - 42.9%

Format might be the most surprising pie chart to me because if I didn’t have this on hand, I would’ve told you I mostly read audiobooks. It defeinitely didn’t feel like over half of my reading was either an eBook or eARC. I’m hoping to increase the “Finished copy” part of the pie in 2022.

Pie chart titled "Year Published." 2010 (biege) - 10.9%, 2020 (light blue) - 20.9%, 2021 (yellow) - 24.2%, 2019 (dark green) - 12.1%, 2018 (orange) - 12.1%, 2015 (teal) - 5.5%, 2016 (purple) - 5.5%, 2017 (lime green) - 6.6%, 2014 (dark blue) - 2.2%
Just a note on dates, The spreadsheet for a little messed up so 2010 really means “any book published before 2010” and 2014 means “any book published between 2010-2014”

Year published! Unsurprisingly, most of my reading was either 2021 releases or catching up with 2020 releases, but I think that’s a pretty good spread of new and old books represented!

Pie chart titled " Age range." Adult (orange) - 53.8%, Young Adult (green) - 23.1%, and Middle Grade (lilac) - 23.1%

Final chart, age range! In my head, I guess I’ve been underestimating how much adult books I read because over half is not a number to sneeze at. I will say, that of that 53.8%, about 8.8% of that was nonfiction, but still! I love Young Adult and will keep reading it, but clearly I’ve got to find the adult reads that I really care about.

And that’s my look back on 2021! How was your reading and/or blogging year? This is the first year I actually had more stats than just what GoodReads provides, so what’d you think of them?

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