2019 was a challenging year for me in so many ways, and I think my reading and enjoyment of reading definitely suffered because of what I was going through. I still read, but not nearly as much as I have been able to in the past, and getting through each book was a struggle. There were a lot of highlights, especially my rereads, and I did find a couple of new favorites, so that’s positive. In this post, I wanted to sum up some of my general observations about my reading in 2019…
29/55 books were outside of my comfort zone
The biggest change in my reading habits this year was definitely that I read so many books that were not YA. If you looked at my books read lists from previous years, at MOST you’d see 2-3 books that weren’t YA. This year, I really branched out and tried adult books, poetry, graphic novels, and nonfiction. I think a lot of it was me trying to find books that I liked because I wasn’t enjoying what I was reading. I also just…wanted to branch out from YA. I found myself wanting to read about other experiences, and ended up really enjoying books about characters who were closer to my own age. I still love YA the most, but I’m no longer scared of trying an adult book.
i read 2 books that made my all-time favorites list
Even though 2019 didn’t feel like an amazing reading year, I did read two amazing books that became all-time favorites. In previous years, I’ve read a lot more books that I’ve rated 4 stars, but I don’t always get that “this book will stay with me forever” feeling from them. The books that made it to all-time favorites were DAISY JONES & THE SIX and THE RAVEN BOYS.
i read 31 diverse books
The majority of my books were about diverse protagonists or written by diverse people, so I do feel good about that, I guess. I tried doing the YARC challenge, but only read 6 books for it even though I had a ton more on my TBR list that would’ve fit. I also realized that honestly, I’m just not as interested in a story if it isn’t diverse in some way. I’m just bored of getting the same perspectives on the same types of stories, and I’m a lot less likely to add a contemporary about white people to my TBR list now.
i reread 9 books
I never used to reread books, but this year I found I enjoyed revisiting old favorites. I reread a lot of the poetry I read in 2018 because I was searching for that feeling of being inspired by someone else’s writing to write my own stuff, and to prep for other collections coming out by those authors. I actually ended up liking TO MAKE MONSTERS OUT OF GIRLS by Amanda Lovelace more the second time around because I wasn’t as hypercritical of it as I was the first time.
i found it really hard to enjoy reading at all, to be honest
And really, I’m still struggling a little bit to enjoy reading as much as I used to even though I’m feeling better. I’ve been severely depressed the majority of the year, and that definitely affected how much I could enjoy a book. Sometimes, I’d read a book and know in my head it was good and that I would enjoy it if I was feeling okay, but I couldn’t feel that enjoyment in my heart as I read. I’m very slowly getting back interest in things I liked before my depression got really bad the past few years, so here’s to hoping that my love of reading comes back full force SOON.
i read practically no gay books
This is the biggest shocker for me in 2019. Usually, I make a big effort to read all the gay books, but this year, I only read a couple. I definitely want to change this in 2020 and maybe even go back and read some backlist gay stuff that I’ve missed. I always start the year excited about all the queer stuff I’m going to read, but this year I feel like I really dropped the ball and did not queer my reading list enough.
I think the thing about my reading in 2019 that I’m most proud of is that I really went for books outside of my comfort zone. This year’s books read list is my most eclectic ever, and I did manage to get some new favorite authors out of it, so I’m very proud of myself for branching out. I’m really hoping that I’ll enjoy reading more in 2020, but also be able put less pressure on myself about reading as a whole if my love of it doesn’t come back so quickly. In 2020, I want to be kinder to myself about many things, and reading is on that list, so here’s to hoping I can do that.