Having more time to read was one of my silver linings of the 2020 lockdowns. I read 66 books which is a record for me, according to Goodreads that is a total of about 20600 pages! I really enjoyed carefully choosing some books, being recommended and lent books by friends, and serendipitously coming across some in the little free libraries. Hereunder is this year of wonderful books in numbers and my intentions for 2021 (I will share some of my favourite reads from last year in another post soon).
As in the past few years I made a conscious effort to make my reading more diverse. In 2020, 79% of the books I read were written by women and 42% by Black, Indigenous People and People of Colour. I was able to travel vicariously and learn more about the cultures of countries such as Cameroon, China, Dominican Republic, Greenland, India, Italy, Japan, Nigeria, Poland, South Korea, Togo and Uganda. I am grateful for how all these voices help to broaden my horizons and get glimpses of worlds I would otherwise know little or nothing about.
I read a very mixed bag of books, though the majority was fiction (77%). I feel like I swung between extremes: I read books on topics such as feminism, racism and social injustice to keep deepening my understanding of these complex issues, and next to that I read a bunch of light romantic novels just to get out of the pandemic mood and into some parallel worlds with predictable happy endings.
I was surprised to see that I actually hadn’t purchased many books. The majority of books I borrowed from the public library (35%), from family and friends (24%) or from the little free libraries in my neighbourhood (21%). The rest I got as gifts or bought either new or second hand.
What about my intentions related to reading for 2021? To support my local book stores more (they need it now more than ever), to continue reading books from different countries, discovering authors of I have never read anything by and to keep actively educating myself about white supremacy, capitalism and inequality so I can get be better informed on how they intersect and do my best to be an ally where I can.
What are your reading plans for 2021? Feel free to share in the comments, I’d love to be inspired by them!