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2020 Bookish Goal Recap

I don't think I ever shared very much about my 2020 bookish goals on the blog, partly because I didn't to commit to too many things with a baby on the way. But I did write a few goals down for myself at the beginning of the year! After posting my 2021 bookish goals yesterday, I wanted to record how I did in 2020. I had six mini goals and feel really good about the progress I made on all of them. Following my goals, you'll find a few of my reading stats. My reading life looked a little different in 2020, and I wanted to briefly chat about those changes. 


1. Read 100 books in 2020.
Progress: Read 170 books

Thoughts: I almost always set my Goodreads Challenge number to 100 books. I prefer for it to be attainable rather than truly challenging – mostly because I don't want my goal to deter me from reading long books or cause me to pick up things that are short solely so I can get caught up. And looking back at the year I had my first baby, 100 books seemed like it might be a stretch. Thanks to audiobooks and all the extra time at home, I finished 170! 


Progress: Read three, DNFed two, culled two, and did not start three books
  1. READ: The Real Jane Austen by Paula Byrne, Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan, and A Perfect Heritage by Penny Vincenzi
  2. DNF: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness and Magic for Marigold by L.M. Montgomery
  3. CULLED: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan and All the Pretty Things by Edie Wadsworth
  4. DID NOT START: The Annotated Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton, and Jane Austen for Dummies by Joan Klingel Ray
Thoughts: Womp, womp. So, I made a list in 2019 and completed it. 2020? Not so much. The three books I did read were all in January. Y'all, I'm laughing as I type it! However, the purpose of the list is to get books off my TBR that have been there for a while, so it was semi-successful in the sense that seven are gone. That sounds good, at least.


3. Re-read one book per month (12 total).
Progress: Re-read 20 books (not all pictured above)

Thoughts: Re-reading was less of a priority for me in 2020, partly due to the fact that I re-read so much in 2019. But the other reason? I used to primarily use audiobooks for re-reads and now that's my go-to format for new reads. That's something I'm totally fine with for this season of my life, and I don't see it changing much in 2021. 


4. Read one non-fiction book per month (12 total).
Progress: Finished 40 books (not all pictured above)

A few favorites:
  1. ESSAYS: My Southern Journey by Rick Bragg, I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott, and Late Migrations by Margaret Renkl 
  2. MEMOIRS: House Lessons by Erica Bauermeister, Stir by Jessica Fechtor, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb, Know My Name by Chanel Miller, and Open Book by Jessica Simpson
  3. PARENTING: The Busy Toddler's Guide to Actual Parenting by Susie Allison, Risen Motherhood by Emily Jensen and Laura Wifler, Memory-Making Mom by Jessica Smartt, and Parenting by Paul David Tripp
  4. SELF-HELP: The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi, Don't Overthink It by Anne Bogel, and Atomic Habits by James Clear
  5. SPIRITUAL: New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp and The Holy Bible
Thoughts: This is probably the biggest surprise of my 2020 reading life! I never expected to gravitate to so much non-fiction, a genre I don't feel like I've read much in recent years. I'd set the goal of one per month and never expected to read 3x that amount. I would honestly love to see this happen again in 2021!


5. Complete the Picky Pledge Challenge.
Alexa and I have done the Picky Pledge Challenge since 2015, but we've simplified it over time. We have 12 categories based on why we buy books, and our goal was to read one book from our TBR for each category. 
  1. FOR THE COVER | An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
  2. BASED ON A REC | House Lessons by Erica Bauermeister
  3. FOR THE HOOK | Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher
  4. ON SALE | A Perfect Heritage by Penny Vincenzi
  5. NEXT IN SERIES | The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty
  6. FOR THE FORMAT | Ross Poldark by Winston Graham
  7. FOR THE AUTHOR | The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
  8. GIFTED | Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra
  9. PRE-ORDERED, HADN'T READ | What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand
  10. BOUGHT 3+ YEARS AGO | The Real Jane Austen by Paula Byrne
  11. FOR THE HYPE | The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny
  12. FOR THE TOPIC | Risen Motherhood by Emily Jensen & Laura Wifler
Of these 12 books, 11 were on my TBR prior to 2020. For whatever reason, I struggled to remember what I'd purchased based on someone's recommendation so I went with a book that I bought in 2020 after hearing Annie talk about it on the From the Front Porch podcast. All in all, I'm happy to check these off my list!


6. Blog 2x per week.
My goal was to average 2 posts per week (~104 total for the year). That felt like a stretch for me, especially after taking several months away from blogging in 2019, while still being manageable. I want to be more consistent in this space, but I never want it to feel like a chore either. Although I had a few months where I only posted 5x total, it was offset by super-productive months like December. I met my goal and finished the year at 109 posts!

• • • • •

Several years ago, Alexa and I would share very detailed posts with graphs highlighting our reading stats for the year. I wanted to make a few for 2020 because I noticed a few big changes in my reading life this year!


Tracking the source of what I read has always helped me balance review books, re-reading and my TBR. And while it may look like I took a huge chunk out of my TBR, there's a little more to the story. Of the 170 books I read, 108 were books on my TBR. Of those 108, 37 were books I already owned and 70 were books I bought in 2020. Whoops! 

One thing that isn't represented in the Source graph is how much I actually borrowed in 2020. I frequently bought a physical copy of book but then borrowed the audiobook from the library. I went through my reading log, and I there were almost 45 books that I categorized as "Bought / Borrowed" or "Owned / Borrowed." They're counted as TBR in my chart, but I heavily utilized my library's digital resources this year. 

As for the format, you'll notice that more than half of what I read in 2020 was on audio. That's a pretty significant shift in my reading habits! I used to primarily use audio for re-reads, but now I read so many new books that way. That format allowed me to get more done while still finding time to read. I could fold laundry, empty the dishwasher, get groceries, and finish a ton of books, too. I think the audio obsession is here to stay!


Finally, I've got this chart because I'm fascinated by the fact that non-fiction was my second most read genre in 2020. That's very unusual for me! I have no idea if it's because those books appealed to me more with everything going on in the world or if making non-fiction a priority reminded me of why I love the genre. I read more mysteries than normal, too, and that's a change I loved. I will be so curious to see what genres I gravitate toward in 2021.

Did you complete any bookish goals in 2020?

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