2020 in Review & 2021 Goals

(Last Updated On: February 22, 2021)

Happy New Year, friends! ๐Ÿฅ‚ While rationally I know that things won’t magically improve with the turn of the calendar to 2021, it feels really liberating to leave 2020 and its suffering behind me. But before I skip into the sunset of 2021, it’s time for a 2020 in review post known as the adventure log!

2018 in Review    2019 in Review

This post will be a little long because I decided to do a combined post with my 2020 in review and 2021 goals. (As if I’m not always overly verbose.) But I’m really excited to look at all my delicious reading statistics and share what you can expect from Reader Voracious in 2021. If you’re interested in my favorite reads, be sure to check out my Favorite Reads of 2020!

2020 in Review for Books

Let me tell you, I am so happy that I continued with my tradition of setting my Goodreads Reading Challenge at one book per week. I read a little more than half of books I read in 2019 (91), but you know… 2020.

I read 56 books in 2020

I’m pretty proud of the number of books that I read considering that I spent so many months of 2020 incapable of focusing on reading. Seriously, look at the dip once the pandemic began in the United States!

A line chart depicting the number of books I read each month.

I read a total of 18,627 pages and my average rating for books was 4.1! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ  I love that I continue to get better at choosing books I’m likely to enjoy… and am DNFing books I don’t like. (Speaking of DNFs, there were 3 in 2020.) Check out the rest of my Year in Books on Goodreads!

Reading Breakdown

We all know I like charts and data, so this wouldn’t be a wrap-up post without diving further into the numbers to see how it breaks down.

Pie Chart showing my reading by source/release.

This chart’s results for 2020 is so interesting to me! I really did throw schedule to the wind in May where I started to focus more on mood reading. I love that backlist titles have the biggest piece of the pie at 31.8% of my reads! Of course now I have a small backlog of overdue ARCs (but not too many thanks to me already being pretty careful to not over-request), but no reader’s TBR will ever be finished.

Much to no one’s surprise, my Books by Genre pie chart is heavily skewed to science fiction and fantasy.

I love reading science fiction & fantasy because it’s so immersive and works well for escapism. But the downside of reading SFF almost exclusively is a bit of genre burnout and in my case an increased number of reading slumps. SFF can be a lot to focus on, and 2020 was not the year for that. I’m excited to focus more energy to genre diversity in 2021.

Surprising no one at all, I read overwhelmingly young adult.

It’s interesting because I overwhelmingly prefer YA science fiction & fantasy, but enjoy adult mysteries & thrillers. I used to read more adult when I wasn’t ignoring literary fiction in 2018, and I’d like to really mix this up in 2021.

It’s safe to say that my owned TBR needs to be tackled…

That was my statistical look at my reading in 2020, especially the self-shame with the owned read vs. TBR pie chart at the end. I really need to stop buying books and not reading them. My favorite reads of 2020 will be released a little later in January.

๐Ÿ“Š Like these charts? You can get these & more from my 2021 Ultimate Book Blogger / Reader Spreadsheet Template!

RV-Genre-Title-Flourish

Reader Voracious in 2021

While 2020 was among the most difficult years of my life, one positive is the forced introspection. I put myself and my well-being first and that really led me to step back to evaluate what things that spark joy and determine things I can let go.

Blog Goals

I love Reader Voracious and the little community we have here, and I’m excited to focus my energy in a more mindful way in 2021 and beyond. Here’s what you can expect:

โ›ฐ๏ธ decreased post frequency: As my content’s evolved and I’ve found my blogging voice, my content has become more in-depth. (Remember when I posted five times a week for over a year? lolHOW) I’m also reading less frequently these days and don’t need to make so much space in my schedule. You can expect 1-2 posts per week in 2021; the Jazzies are extra content so you’ll get a few more posts in January to make up for my taking December off.

โ›ฐ๏ธ keep up with comments: one of my favorite things about my blog is chatting with all of you, but I’ve been so tired my comments pile up for months at a time. And then I feel guilty. But not anymore! You can expect me to look at comments at least once a week, and I’ll continue visiting & commenting back. (I miss blog hopping but I just don’t have the energy for it, so I hop from my blog comments.)

โ›ฐ๏ธ incorporating hiking/outdoors content: when I rebranded the blog & moved to self-hosted in June 2019, I wanted to be sure my branding represents my love of “adventuring in books & in nature.” I am truly my happiest when I am communing with nature and want to have an excuse to get outside and share that passion with you! The posts won’t have any set frequency, but you can expect hiking content, guides, recommended products I love, and a special thing that marries books & nature that’s in the works!

โ›ฐ๏ธ new series: books & beverages will bring themed book lists with drink recipes onto the blog occasionally! This started with 5 Books with Fall Vibes list with a recipe for pumpkin cream cold brew and this year I’ll finish the seasons (winter, spring, summer)!

โ›ฐ๏ธ revive reading around the globe guest post series: the Reading Around the Globe series ran from August 2018 until January 2020 and featured interviews with international book bloggers about their experiences as international readers. I hope to post an interview each month, let me know if you’re interested in participating!

Reading Goals

I’m not the kind of person to create resolutions, but there is something to be said about identifying goals for reading. These goals are mainly focused around me diversifying my reading, mood reading, and focusing on books that I own.

โ›ฐ๏ธ 52 books is my Goodreads goal for the year. I like to set it high enough to keep me reading but keep it attainable because I don’t enjoy getting stressed about reading.

โ›ฐ๏ธ 21 anticipated books for 2021: this is a new annual feature to Reader Voracious where I will identify the top 21 books releasing this year that I want to read. Basically, this list will be how I request ARCs to refocus myself from potentially going overboard with ARC requests. (Post coming later this month!)

โ›ฐ๏ธ focus on backlist & owned books: the best and worst thing I did in 2020 was creating an inventory of my books. I still buy books but no longer go on Book Outlet buying 30 books at a time because I can (fun fact: a lot of those books are now unhauled). Now that I’m more mindful with purchasing, I want to actually read these books as well.

โ›ฐ๏ธ mood read: I’m done with any semblance of a TBR or reading expectations because as soon as I decide to read a book it’s often the last thing I want to do. The Storygraph has been so helpful in picking books with the right pacing, moods, and vibes for my mood (read my StoryGraph guide here!). I’ll prioritize owned and ARC copies but picking my reads purely by mood.

โ›ฐ๏ธ read more nonfiction: I want to tap back into learning and growing my knowledge. My hope is to pick up nonfiction at least 4 times in 2021.

Patreon Goals

I’m excited to continue building and growing my patreon community in 2021 and beyond! I’m looking to revamp tiers and benefits and am polling patrons on what features and perks they’d like to see. I have a lot of ideas but want to be sure I’m offering things of value to them. If you have a recommendation for what you’d like to see mfrom me, please let me know!

Kinda related but not fully, but the Nerd Voraciously discord server got a facelift for New Year! I added a few bots that have really made things easier, especially on the activity and poll front. (Patrons will see polls in the Patreon corner.)

Semi-Finalists for the 2020 Bookish Jazz Awards

Don’t forget to cast your vote in the semi-finals round of the 2020 Bookish Jazz Awards! You have until 11:59pm on January 4, 2021 to cast your votes and the finals will begin on January 5!


๐Ÿ’ฌ Let’s Chat! ๐Ÿ’ฌ

How was your 2020 in reading? Did you meet your goals?
Do you have any goals for 2021 that you want to share?


49 Comments

  1. Evelyn

    January 3, 2021 at 2:39 AM

    I love seeing your stats!
    Good luck on your goals for coming year!

    (www.evelynreads.com)

    1. Kal

      January 8, 2021 at 9:14 AM

      Thank you, and I hope you have a wonderful 2021!

  2. Tasya @ The Literary Huntress

    January 3, 2021 at 2:58 AM

    2020 was my strongest reading year in a while: I read my highest number of books and also have the highest average rating in years! I want to explore more genres in 2021 and be more consistent with my reading journal ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Kal

      February 1, 2021 at 7:06 PM

      Wow Tasya, that’s AWESOME! I’m happy to see you had a great reading year and I hope that 2021 is just as productive for you!

  3. Ruby Jo

    January 3, 2021 at 3:02 AM

    I loved reading this post Kal Kal!! I am all for book and beverages pair-ups because we can always use some drinks. This year I’m keeping things light. I promised myself I wasn’t going to go crazy with setting goals and signing up to too many reading challenges, mostly because 2020 sucked and I failed at a lot of them. One thing I plan on doing this year is read more from my freebies stash, and read a lot of backlist books. I once again plan on reading books written in the 1920s, this time I am even inspired. I love the facelift the server got, and I can’t wait to attempt to beat gamer bot’s behind again. Happy reading and I hope you reach each and every goal, and even go beyond. Kisses!!

    1. Kal

      February 1, 2021 at 7:08 PM

      SCREECH, so glad you enjoyed the post Ruby! I am all for drinks, I love them because ya girl is thirsty and likes things to be tasty. I think going light on goals is smart, especially when everything is so wild. Surviving is good enough! And yes please read more of your freebies stash, that pile terrifies me. TERRIFIED. and yes we still need to read 1920s books

  4. Leo of leosthetics

    January 3, 2021 at 4:20 AM

    your stats are goals, kal! i want to try doing them this year ๐Ÿ™‚ and mood reading for 2021 as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Kal

      February 1, 2021 at 7:09 PM

      thank you, Leo! You can do it – but beware keeping track of things is ADDICTING! In case you haven’t seen it yet, I do have a spreadsheet template that does the work for you if that’s your thing. high five for mood reading!

  5. Brooke Carrington

    January 3, 2021 at 9:18 AM

    I love your charts! I used your charts from your spreadsheet in my wrap as well! Good luck with your 2021 reading goals!

    1. Kal

      February 1, 2021 at 7:11 PM

      Ahhh, I will have to check out your post because I LOVE SEEING STATS IN ACTION! Good luck with 2021, and I hope it’s being kind to you so far!

  6. Lois @ My Midnight Musing

    January 3, 2021 at 1:52 PM

    I love the idea of the books and beverages posts. It sounds like a brilliant concept. So does incorporating the hiking/outdoors content.
    My blog hopping seriously took a hit this year, but I’ve learnt not to punish myself too hard for it, but I want to get back into the flow of things.

    Good luck with your goals!!

    1. Charvi Koul

      January 4, 2021 at 1:52 AM

      Happy New Year!
      I’m happy you decided to focus more on yourself in 2020, I feel like everyone needed to do that. I’m so looking forward to your nature and drinks posts, they sound super interesting! Good luck with your 2021 goals, hopefully this year won’t be a hellfire ๐Ÿ™ˆ

      1. Kal

        February 1, 2021 at 7:38 PM

        Happy New Year to you as well, Charvi!
        2020 was definitely a reset year for a lot of us, and I think all the time alone inside has led us to reflect in meaningful ways. Hopefully we all can channel what we learned and move forward. xoxo

    2. Kal

      February 1, 2021 at 7:17 PM

      Eee, glad you are on board for my content expansion! I was so nervous about the hiking/outdoors stuff, but whatever it’s my blog lmao. I’m going to Joshua Tree this weekend and may be inspired to write the first post in that series.

      I’m happy to see you aren’t beating yourself up about not hopping as much. It’s HARD. Life is hard and we all need to be kinder to ourselves. Thanks for always popping by, it’s appreciated. And I hope you are having a wonderful 20201

  7. Nicole @ Thoughts Stained With Ink

    January 3, 2021 at 3:56 PM

    I love your “goals” for next year, Kal! I am definitely going to be focusing on trying to read more backlist books, because my ratio is pretty close to yours in terms of unread books that I own and I’d really like to make a dent in that; especially after last year, when I made the same goal, but then read less than I have in…a long time. I’m hoping that 2021 is a very joyous, healthy and beautiful year for you and I’m excited to continue to read your content here! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Kal

      February 1, 2021 at 7:19 PM

      Thank you, Nicole! I sincerely wish you the best of luck with your backlist reading goal, last year was a difficult one for reading and creativity for a lot of us and if you’re like me, your buying didn’t slow even when reading did. It’s scary. And I read like 1 book last month so I’m doing great so far lol.

      Wishing you a wonderful 2021 and I look forward to seeing what you have in store for us! <3

  8. Kristi Housman

    January 3, 2021 at 6:21 PM

    I’m looking forward to seeing your nature/hiking posts!

    1. Kal

      February 1, 2021 at 7:20 PM

      YAY, thank you! Honestly people saying they are excited has me so excited, I was nervous people would tell me to go read a book lol

  9. Shruti

    January 3, 2021 at 6:56 PM

    Ooh I canโ€™t wait to see your hiking and outdoors content! Happy New Year, Kal! โค๏ธ

    1. Kal

      February 1, 2021 at 7:21 PM

      I can’t wait to get outdoors and bring you some of that content, Shruti~! Happy New Year, love!

  10. May @ Forever and Everly

    January 3, 2021 at 11:59 PM

    love this post and these goals SO much, kal!! i definitely relate to the guilt about letting comments pile up — but i think once you get back into the rhythm of things, it’s so much easier to keep it up (speaking from experiernce!). but be gentle to yourself if you accidentally take some time <33 and i'm in awe of how much sci-fi you read haha! that's definitely a genre i need to read more of and most of the time i see other readers say the same, so it's cool to see someone who reads a lot of it ๐Ÿ˜Ž wishing you all the luck on these goals, kal!!

    1. Kal

      February 1, 2021 at 7:35 PM

      Thanks so much, May! & considering it’s been a month and I’m now replying to this comment shows how optimistic I was haha. I MEANT WELL! but at least I’m not mad at myself this time, so progress!

      If you ever want some sci-fi recs, let me know! I have a good amount of diverse sci-fi on my owned tbr that I hope to get to soon. ILY!

  11. Jawahir the Bookworm

    January 4, 2021 at 1:42 AM

    Good luck on hopefully nailing your Goodreads 2021 reading challenge! Pairing Books and Beverages is so much fun, I did something similar where I paired different teas with different books! You can check out: https://jawahirthebookworm.com/2020/12/03/pairing-books-with-tea-finding-the-perfect-cuppa/
    Great post Kal and Happy New Year!

    1. Kal

      February 1, 2021 at 7:36 PM

      I love you and your tea content, and the fact we have similar ideas! I’ll have to check out your tea post, and good luck with your 2021 goals!

  12. Lena

    January 4, 2021 at 9:57 AM

    I love this data charts. I’m taking part of a one book per week challenge, so I should also be reading 52 books this year, but I’ve set my GR challenge at 25 for now to not put a lot of pressure on myself. After last year, we should all take it easy.

    1. Kal

      February 1, 2021 at 7:40 PM

      I agree 100% that we all should take it easy, and I love your idea to set your goodreads goal to 25 to start. Had I done that, I wouldn’t be behind right now lol (not like I care). Happy New Year, Lena~

  13. Sam || Fictionally Sam

    January 4, 2021 at 2:28 PM

    The data in this post has me drooling! I’m so proud of you for making your MH a priority and practicing that self care (self care is the best care), you are truly a queen and I stan. ALSO HELLO GOALS!! WE LOVE A GOOD GOAL ASPIRATION MOMENT!!!!! Honestly the entire time I read your goals/resolution section, I literally was just nodding and calling out “sammmeeee”. The Entire time. So essentially this whole post is a mood and I am here for it!

    10/10 would recommend.

    Happy New years Kal and heres to 2021 being everything you need it to be and more! Love you!

    1. Kal

      February 1, 2021 at 7:44 PM

      Aww, thanks so much Sam! I am proud of myself too, even though I feel like nothing has changed I know that me knowing when I need to step back before spirals begin is such a huge improvement. And let me tell you: I recently bought some yummy smelling body exfoliating gel and got a haircut… so the next phase of Self Care Kal is ready when the energy arrives for it. HUZZAH!

      I hope you are able to channel your “SAME” into some self-love as well, darling. I’m sorry that I’ve been a not so great friend the past year but I am so thankful for the Alliance and resumption of our collective awesomeness!

      15/10 everyone should get them a Sam as Hype Woman.

  14. What I’ve been up to in December ๐ŸŽ„ Stress, Christmas & the end of the year – The Bookcheshire Cat

    January 5, 2021 at 7:31 AM

    […] 2020 in Review & 2021 Goals & The End of the Year Book Tag: 2020 Edition &ย 2021 Ultimate Book Blogger / Reader Spreadsheet Template (Kal @ readervoracious) […]

  15. Caro @ bookcheshirecat

    January 5, 2021 at 8:34 AM

    I loved seeing your stats for 2021!! ๐Ÿฅฐ This year I read more different genres, though Fantasy is still the biggest chunk of the pie chart ๐Ÿ˜„ I was also so bad with reading my owned books! I loved using my library, but my TBR stack isn’t getting smaller ๐Ÿ˜…
    I hope 2021 is a lot better for you! I’m also looking forward to your new content โค And I’d love to participate in Reading Around the Globe! Though that would be best after my exams in March ๐Ÿ˜Š

    1. Kal

      February 1, 2021 at 7:50 PM

      Yay for reading more genres in 2020, and a majority of fantasy makes sense… we all needed to escape reality a bit last year. Using your library is a good thing though, I am getting better with that as well and not buying as many books because my reading has slowed so much.

      I’d love to have you for Reading Around the Globe! Poke me after your exams, Caro!

  16. Lisa @ waytoofantasy

    January 5, 2021 at 4:03 PM

    Glad to see you posting again, Kal! You were missed. Hope you’re doing well. <3

    1. Kal

      February 1, 2021 at 7:51 PM

      <3 Lisa, thanks so much & I missed you too! I've been doing as well as one can be with all of this. Hope you're doing ok

  17. Jayati

    January 5, 2021 at 10:32 PM

    Happy new year Kal! I loved looking at your reading stats! I really want to diversify the genres I read as well since I ended up burrowing into romance as a comfort in 2020.
    I also loved your resolutions! They are so positive and yes, mental health is important and self care should; definitely be your priority! I am hoping to post twice a week this year instead of trying for three times which usually ended up exhausting me.
    I also need to get my Arcs and unread books on my shelves under control. To show how bad it is: My friend has given me three months to read half of them (is only including the physical books because my kindle is well, another whole mess) and will in exchange buy me books worth Rs. 3000 (I can probably get 7 books from that) and thinks I have no chance of winning ๐Ÿ™
    I should probably get onto unhauling books too!
    Hope you have a great year ahead!

    1. Kal

      February 1, 2021 at 7:54 PM

      Let’s not talk about the number of unreads on my Kindle, Jayati. THEY DO NOT COUNT! lol. I think your friend’s challenge is super awesome though and wish you luck. You show her!

  18. Kate @ Your Tita Kate

    January 7, 2021 at 8:54 AM

    you can expect hiking content, guides, recommended products I love, and a special thing that marries books & nature thatโ€™s in the works

    THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!

    1. Kal

      February 1, 2021 at 7:57 PM

      *yodels* I am so excited that you’re excited!!! I’m going to Joshua Tree this weekend and there’s a chance I may be inspired to write about it. Maybe. LOL

  19. Meeghan

    January 7, 2021 at 5:21 PM

    Kal, I LOVE your wrap-ups and goals post. They’re always so thoughtful and introspective. I have also been “not so great” at blog-hopping and catching up in general. I kind of just stopped making time for it in 2020 because I felt anxious and tired all the time. But I promise that I will try to be around here (and on the discord) a bit more in 2021!! xx

    1. Kal

      February 2, 2021 at 9:57 AM

      Ahhh, thanks so much Meeghan! I’m cursed with constant introspection, so it’s nice to hear people like to read it haha. And yea, anxious and tired all the time is a 2020 mood. You’re doing your best and that’s okay! I appreciate you making time for me and I hope to be better this year with checking in on you more often. xox

  20. Clo @ Cuppa Clo

    January 8, 2021 at 3:08 AM

    Ah I loved this post kalkal and I’m so excited for all the new content you’re planning, the outdoors content the books and beverages eeeep! I feel you on the blog hopping and replying to comments, December ended up being a hermit month and this is the first time I’ve blog hopping in months in an attempt to start catching up on posts. My reading last year was ok, I mean I read 41 books which I’m happy about even if I didn’t get through all the books I’d hoped to. It’s ok since I’ve not felt that same drive to consume book after book if you know what I mean. Oooooo ok I’m gonna share two of my goals for 2021, one is Korean which I don’t know if you know about but I’m learning Korean. I’d like to by the end of next year know the sounds and letters of Hangul, be able to create simple sentences & understand them as well as read them aloud. Another goal is aligning with the seasons hehe, like you nature is where I feel happiest. So for aligning with the seasons my actionable goals are research into seasonally eating and make a bujo spread on it, wake up at least once before/at sunrise and spend time in nature and take photos hehe. I’m sending you so much love and good vibes kalkal <3

    1. Kal

      February 2, 2021 at 10:07 AM

      I think December was a hermit month for so many people, so don’t stress yourself out about taking time for yourself cloclo! 41 books when the world is on fire is amazing, good job!!! I love your goals as well, I remember you mentioning that you’re learning Korean (kudos!) and I think your goal is such a realistic one to achieve. OMG I miss eating seasonally SO MUCH. It was a lot easier when I lived in NorCal because there was a weekly farmer’s market a mile from my house and the university farm did a weekly subscription box, so I got seasonal and locally grown fruit and veg so easily. Like, didn’t have to think about it. Because here in California we have most things all year-round in the grocery stores, but they only taste delicious in season, so it requires knowing what is in season lol.

      I love you so much and thanks so much for your friendship & thoughtful comment! I’m pleased you’re excited for my planned content as well, yay!

  21. Mel

    January 8, 2021 at 8:25 AM

    Best of luck with your goals! I also have a goal of posting less frequently this year because I want to focus more on the quality of writing and content of my posts. I’m hoping making the goal will in itself take off the pressure I feel to post every day and enable me to work on this goal.

    1. Kal

      February 2, 2021 at 10:24 AM

      I hope posting less frequency will work better for you, Mel! I feel you so hard on the pressure we put on ourselves, and I swear… the longer that I blog, the longer it takes for me to work on a single post. I like the higher quality so don’t want to do “filler” in between, but I am really hoping to find a better balance between the “write 3 posts on a weekend and then take 3 weeks off” cycle that I am in right now lol

  22. Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts

    January 9, 2021 at 5:28 PM

    56 books! I’m proud of you either way, you’re doing amazing (as always) and I’m sure you’ll do amazing this year as well. Good luck with all your goals – I can’t wait to see what you come up with over the year. ๐Ÿฅฐ

    1. Kal

      February 2, 2021 at 10:42 AM

      Everyone should get them a Soph! Thank you so much for being such an amazing friend and hype woman. You are a big reason that I’ve slowly been able to give myself time and patience.

  23. Jenna @ Falling Letters

    January 10, 2021 at 2:09 PM

    Happy New Year! Best of luck with your goals in 2021. I’ll keep an eye for some of the new post series you’ll be trying ๐Ÿ™‚ I am trying 2021 without any reading goals, apart from 100 books read. I have been enjoying a lot of non-fiction in recent weeks. I think I will read more of it in 2021 as well.

    1. Kal

      February 2, 2021 at 10:45 AM

      Happy New Year to you as well, Jenna (and February)! I think after 2020, no reading goals is a good way to go and I hope it serves you well & all those 100 books are 5 stars! Thanks for stopping by xox

  24. Marie @ drizzle & hurricane books

    January 15, 2021 at 4:34 AM

    Ah best of luck with all of your goals, Kal, they all look so wonderful. I also find myself decreasing my posts’ frequency as I go and as every post takes me a bit longer to draft each time, too. I’m looking forward to your new content and series on the blog! <3

    1. Kal

      February 2, 2021 at 10:54 AM

      Whew I’m glad to not be the only one whose posts take longer the more that they blog lol. I swear, these days it’s several hours spread over multiple days. Thanks so much for your comment and happy reading to you Marie xoxoxo

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