How I read in 2020

I’ve done these year-end summaries for a few years now, you can check out what I was up to in 201920182017201620152014, and 2013.

2020 total: 207

2019 total: 244

2018 total: 226
2017’s total: 216
2016’s total: 234
2015’s total: 286
2014’s total: 217
2013’s total: 223
2012’s total: 227
2011’s total: 171 

My reading has taken me to many countries:

Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the UK, Vietnam, to many made up lands, outer space, and more!

I ended up DNF-ing 8 books. No regrets there.

Last year I read about an equal number of writers who are new-to-me and writers whose books I’ve previously read.

I read fewer physical books compared to 2019 (7% only – last year it was 44%). And pretty much all of these have been borrowed from the library. The reduction in physical books read is due to the closing of the libraries because of the virus. The library has been offering no-contact pickups for a few months now but I have been using that more for kids books.

I seem to have continued to read more diversely, with a slightly larger difference than in 2019, when 46% of the books I read were by minority writers.


I used to do a genre pie-chart but realised that quite a few of the books I read don’t really fall into just one genre. So here is a more general overview of the different genres/media I read.

19 books of non-fiction,

84 comics (some of which are non-fiction actually),

4 short story collections

22 books that belong in children’s/Middle-grade/YA sections

20 works of speculative fiction

14 romance novels

5 crime/mystery novels

5 horror novels

3 classics

1 play

2 books of poems

And the rest I guess I’m just labelling as generally “fiction” but may include stuff like literary fiction, contemporary fiction and all those other xx fiction categories.

Books in Translation

I did have a mini goal last year of reading at least one book in translation a month. And I surpassed that by reading a total of 26 translated works. These books were translated into English from:

Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, Japanese, Korean, Persian, and Spanish

Publication Date

The oldest book I read (by publication date) was The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, first published in 1859. Coming in a close second was Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, first published in 1866. These were both audiobooks.

I read 5 books published in the 1900s

2000-2009: 23 books

2010-2014: 15 books

2015: 1 book

2016: 10 books

2017: 22 books

2018: 18 books

2019: 60 books

2020: 49 books

How did you read in 2020?


  1. Does anyone ever comment on how many books you read? You must read quite fast to read so many. Sometimes people are a bit dubious about how quickly I read, in that they are not sure I can enjoy something if I’m reading it that quickly.

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      1. Comics aren’t necessary quick though, the writing is small and you can’t skim in the same way as the structure is not so linear and some things you pick up from expressions and details in the pictures.


  2. You really blew past your translation goal: congrats! If our libraries had not opened for curbside pickup midway through the year, I would have definitely had to read a lot more of my own books, which would not have been a bad thing, but I’m grateful they opened anyhow. (Not least of which is that it’s kept them employed! Although a few of our public libraries in the city have started acting as foodbanks, since last March.) I’m surprised more people weren’t reading more epubs, but maybe they were and just aren’t tracking their reading!

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