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2019 in Books

January 03, 2020 by Benjamin Hollon
3 minute read

I just got my Year in Books 2019 back from Goodreads! Here are the essential bits:

Year in Books 2019

To see my full year in books, visit my Goodreads page.


This year I read 38,670 pages from 155 books. Last year I read 38,499 pages across 157 books. It looks like I ended up reading just about the same amount, but I read a higher volume for the time I had this year because I was far busier this year than last year.

For example, this year was my first year as an actor. I acted as Linus from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown in the Spring and as Robin Hood from Robin Hood and the mayor from The Pied Piper of Hamelin in a double feature of the two plays in the Fall.

As an actor, I had six hours of rehearsal a week for months leading up to production week, when I had four-hour rehearsals almost every day, followed by three performances, taking about four hours of my time each.

That's a lot of potential reading time lost. Now, I really enjoyed acting, and I'm glad I decided to try something new this year, but it did drain reading time. I'm honestly astonished that I managed to read the same amount this year that I did last year.

Shortest and Longest Books

This year I read an extensive range of book sizes. Now, I admit that A Modest Proposal does not fit the definition of a book. Even so, you can see the vast range in size from A Modest Proposal up to Les Miserables. As you can see, the average length of my books this year was 249 pages, up 4 from last year. It's not much, but I think my average rose as I went through the year, so 2020 may be different.

I also read books with varying popularity. I don't know that this says much about me as a reader, however, since my Least Popular book is usually written by a friend of the family or someone I have met personally, as is the case this year.

Average Rating

My average rating this year was 4.4 stars, up from last year's 4.1.

I do not think that this signifies that I am becoming more lenient with my ratings. While my tastes have changed since last year, that does not significantly affect how much I enjoy books in general.

Instead, I believe that this rise shows that the books I chose to read this year were of higher quality. This year, I found a few authors I liked and then read extensively from their works, raising my average rating significantly. I would like to venture a guess that if you remove books by my favorite authors, that rating will be lower.

Next Year?

Who can tell what 2020 will bring? I have a few guesses, but nothing definite.

My goal this year is to read 183 books, or one book every two days. This is a stretch since I will still be doing drama and have now added a Forensics (Speech and Debate) competition into the mix, as well as my usual trombone concerts and practice. I hope, however, to be successful.

I also wish to broaden my horizons this year. Last year, I began to read more and more books that I had never read before. In 2018, most of my books had been rereads. I hope to read far more new books this coming year.

To help myself resolve to that, I have already started off the year with two books by Isaac Asimov (finished on his birthday), an author that I had (somehow) never read before. They have both been immensely enjoyable, and I hope that to be a sign of how the rest of the year will run.

Whatever happens to my reading, I know that I will keep enjoying what I do, both inside and outside the world of literature.

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