It’s 2021 – thank god – so let’s take a look back at the reading goals and challenges I set myself in 2020 and see how I did!
My 2020 Reading Goals
Only buy physical books that are 2020 releases
I definitely didn’t do this, but I’m also so not mad about it. 2020 was such a bizarre year and, during lockdown, I ended up buying books from indie bookshops because I wanted to do something to support the industry—and, of course, because I wanted more books. I do think I was a bit better at actually reading the physical books I bought in 2020, though!
That’s not true for all of them, it’s probably not even true for most of them but I don’t keep a record of the books I buy in a year so I don’t have any cold hard facts, but I bought my copies of Royal Assassin and Assassin’s Quest from Book-ish and read them both in 2020, and I also read my copies of Wundersmith and Hollowpox immediately after buying them from Waterstones and Blackwell’s. I also bought and read The Year of the Witching, The Once and Future Witches and Black Sun, but they’re all 2020 releases anyway.
Use the library more
I had every intention of doing this and then, once again, 2020 happened. I still managed to read six books I borrowed from the library, though, which isn’t too shabby!
I read Venus & Aphrodite, One of Us is Next and A Gathering of Ghosts before lockdown and, after lockdown, continued to use my library for audiobooks. I didn’t get through that many audiobooks this year because I usually listen to them while driving, and I didn’t exactly have anywhere to go last year, but making myself go out for walks helped me get through a few, and I also listened to them while I was in the shower.
I listened to the first two Harry Potter books, thinking I’d do a series re-read via audiobook last year, but I just started the third book when the author once again started spouting her transphobia. This series will always be very special to me, but as of right now I can’t see myself revisiting the books again. We can separate the art from the artist, and I don’t have a problem with anyone who continues to read and re-read her work because what anyone else chooses to read is not my business, but 2020 was already rubbish and it felt like she took every opportunity to present the worst possible version of herself to the world, so I just can’t with her work right now.
Thankfully, moving out of my house share and back in with my parents in September gave me a chance to listen to an audiobook while I was clearing out my room and I ended up borrowing Monday’s Not Coming from the library and loving it. It’s harrowing but so fantastic, and Tiffany D. Jackson is my favourite YA thriller author alongside Karen M. McManus.
Hopefully I’ll be able to use the library more in 2021, but really I should be focusing on my backlist!
Read at least one self-published novel
I read and adored The Sword of Kaigen, which I can’t recommend enough. It ended up being the only self-published novel I read in 2020, which is a bit of a shame, but I bought quite a few on my kindle throughout the year that I’ll hopefully get to in 2021!
Read at least one translated novel
So I did, but I kind of didn’t? I ended up DNFing A Winter’s Promise at 44% which is a real shame, but it wasn’t for me, and unfortunately I didn’t pick up any other translated fiction in 2020. I would love to read more translated work but I do find it hard to find translated SFF that I’m interested in reading. It is out there, though, I just need to look harder for it!
Read three non-fiction books
Success! I did this, too. Venus & Aphrodite, Unmentionable and Sex and Sexuality in Victorian Britain made up my non-fiction reading for the year and, once again, I find myself hoping I’ll pick up more non-fiction in the new year. I do love non-fiction when I read it, but I love novels so much that I just don’t reach for it as often!