My 2020 wrap up is finally here! I have to admit I procrastinated a bit on writing this post because looking back on 2020 is just so exhausting that smoke comes out of my brain when I try to look back on everything that happened. It’s no surprise that I think last year was The Worst. Anyway, I eventually powered through it all (RIP to my poor brain cells) and now I’m bringing you my recap of the year in books and stats!
WHAT KIND OF BOOKS DID I READ IN 2020?
I still can’t believe it but apparently, I read more than 200 books last year (this is thanks to all the manga volumes I read). Considering that 2020 was a lot to handle, it’s not surprising that I read more than usual to escape the stress of reality. My original goal was to read 50 books but I accomplished this halfway into the year so I increased my goal to 100. It felt good seeing that I was more than 100% ahead of my reading challenge so I didn’t increase it any further. That’s some galaxy brain thinking right there 😌
Predictably, the majority of what I read in 2020 is from the fantasy genre but I’m quite proud of myself for branching out a little bit. I got back into reading contemporary YA (thank you audiobooks) and even tried out adult romance books which I surprisingly enjoyed. This 2021, I’m planning to read more non-fantasy books and broaden my reading horizons. I am particularly interested in gothic works so I’m looking forward to reading more of them this year.
While I was gathering data for this post (which was…a pain because I never track my reading lol) I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I read so many webcomics and manga in 2020. I didn’t expect that I read them THIS MUCH although I must admit that they saved my reading year. I stopped reading manga years ago (due to reasons unknown even to me) and I finally got back to reading them in 2020. How did I even survive all those years without manga and anime? I am baffled. I also downloaded the WEBTOON app in 2020 and now it has me in chains. The whole app literally saved me from the brink of despair countless times and I can’t express how much I love the stories I discovered there. I’m hoping to share a list of my favorites soon! I hope I can get to writing that in a few days 🤞🏽
It’s also noticeable that I read so few physical books last year. With all the shipping problems because of the pandemic, this is only normal but I must admit that I feel more comfortable reading e-books now. I definitely read faster when I’m reading an e-book (maybe because I always compete with the Kindle timer) and they’re more accessible to me than physical books. I also consumed a lot of audiobooks in 2020 because I can’t be alone with my thoughts. Love this for me.
BEST BOOKS I READ IN 2020
I made a separate post for this so if you want to find out why I loved these books, click here. Anyway, here are my top picks for 2020:
BEST 2020 RELEASES
BEST FROM THE BACKLIST
MOST DISAPPOINTING READ
I have mentioned this book a few times on this blog and if you’ve read my previous posts, you would know that I absolutely hated this one. I had high expectations for this because of its premise but it ended up being bland, irritating, and just all around made me want to throw my phone across the room. If you want to know more about my thoughts on this, I will just redirect you to my Goodreads review. I really don’t have enough brain cells to relive my reading experience once again.
BOOKS I SHOULD HAVE READ IN 2020 BUT DIDN’T
In normal bookdragon fashion, there were a lot of books I should have read in 2020 but didn’t. However, I’m still planning to read them this year. Well, except The Empire of Gold. I do not plan on reading it ever. I’m sorry not sorry.
BOOKS I’M PLANNING TO READ IN 2021
Aside from all the ARCs I need to read and review, I’m planning to read more backlist books, especially from authors like Julie Kagawa and Marie Lu. Reading An Ember in the Ashes is also a priority for me. The series is now officially over so I am excited to binge it and get destroyed in the process. I have high expectations.
Here are some books I’m planning to read this year:
I was not that active with blogging last year. I was only able to publish 15 posts for the whole year. I’m really sorry for the lack of content. It’s just difficult for me to juggle blogging while struggling with university. However, I’m really thankful that y’all are still here despite my inactivity and sporadic posting. Your support really means so much. You don’t know how happy I am that you’re still sticking with me despite everything. I’m hoping to post more consistently this year but forgive me in advance if I’m not able to make that a reality. I really love blogging but I’m more comfortable now that I’m not pressuring myself to put out content all the time. Having a lot of rest from creating content is really refreshing and I think blogging is more fun this way. Enough with the sappy reflections.
Here are some blogging highlights of the year:
• I finally revamped my blog! (I think that happened in 2020??)
My rusty memory thinks that my blog has been this neat for the past three years but there are a lot of evidences that say otherwise (e.g. messy formatting of my old posts). I changed up my theme and finally used the post banner templates that the amazing Vinny @filmandfiction made for me. Also, while procrastinating on my college papers, I finally touched up my Contact page and sat down to write an About Me page (yes I have procrastinated on making this page for three years) for the blog. I left a feedback form on the Contact page so if you have a bit of time, please fill it out and send me your feedback! I would love to find out what you think about my blog.
• I finally dragged myself out of the phone hell
By this I mean that I have finally stopped drafting posts on my phone because I now have a stable internet connection to draft posts on my laptop. In case you didn’t know, ever since I started blogging, I’ve been doing everything on my phone because the internet connection in my area is wonky. You see, internet connectivity in the Philippines is bad in provincial areas so my blogging life has been particularly difficult. If you’ve tried drafting posts on your phone, you know why. So yeah, blogging is definitely better now that I can draft posts and customize my blog on my laptop. I guess this is also me saying that being a blogger from the Global South is difficult. There are so many accessibility and connectivity issues that I have no energy to discuss so I’ll leave it at that for now.
• I guess I still got decent traffic for 2020 despite my inactivity. Even my 2019 posts did relatively well. Color me surprised.
Here are my top posts of the year:
I read my 2019 recap while writing this post and I feel happy for past-Rain because she really had a lot of fun with her first year of university. Present Rain is sorry to announce that her second year of university has been nothing but hell. Online classes are HELLISH, y’all. I have twice my previous workload, I am literally learning my courses by myself, and it’s a different kind of agony to just sit in one place for the whole day while I’m trying my best to pass all my coursework on time. So far, the only good thing I can say about uni is that I was able to finish my first semester in one piece. That’s the highlight. I’m really not looking forward to the next semester. At all.
Sad uni thoughts aside, another highlight of my 2020 was my decision to stop rating books. The five-star rating system doesn’t work for my indecisive ass anymore. I didn’t even have a concrete rating system in the first place. I only rated books before based on feelings and vibes so I’m really glad that I finally made this decision. I feel lighter now that I don’t have to doubt my own ratings anymore.
Lastly, I’m happy that I got to meet a lot of new friends and got closer to a lot of people in the bookish community in 2020. My friends really made my year more bearable and I can’t thank them enough for that. You know who you are. I love you all. Cheers to more crying about books in 2021!
• Read a lot of ARCs
So far, I have downloaded quite a lot of e-ARCs from Edelweiss and I’m really aiming to read and review all of them this year. There are a lot of amazing books coming out in 2021 and I want to support authors as much as I can.
• Reread some favorites
I didn’t do a lot of rereading in 2020 and I’m hoping to correct that this year. As of now, I’m rereading The Poppy War and it has been an amazing experience so far. Looking back on all that happened in book 1 after reading The Burning God is both nostalgic and painful. Aside from TPW, I’m also planning to reread the Trials of Apollo books so I can finally read The Tower of Nero. I’m not ready to let go of the Camp Half-Blood Chronicles. Who knows maybe I’ll pick up The Lightning Thief again this year.
• Read more backlist books
Like I mentioned earlier, I’m hoping to read more backlist books, especially from Asian authors like Julie Kagawa, Marie Lu, and Sabaa Tahir. I may be a little late but I don’t care. I want to see what the hype is all about. It’s never too late to read iconic books.
• Track my reading properly
I am the most unorganized person in the world but I’m willing to change that in 2021. For the first time in my life, I will be using a spreadsheet to track my reading and I have a reading tracker on Notion as well. We’ll see which of the two I can maintain throughout the year. I hope both.
I guess that’s it! I kind of ran my mouth too much in this post so if you made it this far, thank you very much. I hope 2021 treats all of us kinder and I wish you all the wonderful reading experiences this year. Thank you for all the support you’ve shown me last year and the years before that. You made my 2020 brighter too. Here’s to better memories this 2021!