I Read 105 Books in 2019

Somewhere in the middle of my stupidly long bucket list, it says:

Read 100 books in 1 year.

Completely arbitrary number, and it probably came about from me mentioning one time that I need to read more. I only used to maybe read like 2-3 books a year, when there was something in particular that caught my attention.

Nevertheless, 2019 just happened to be my year of reading.

I'd just moved to New Zealand, and was starting to become a library regular anyway. But then, in a cruel twist of fate, Wellington Central Library was shut down for being "earthquake-prone" (which is a whole other drama). So I weighed up my options, and decided that maybe it was time to try an ebook reader.

I went with the Kobo Clara HD. Why not the Kindle? It would've been slightly cheaper, but the Kobo to me was worth the extra few bucks. I could sync it to my library account and bypass that whole BUY BUY BUY thing that Amazon does... I use the Libby app on my phone to browse and borrow books from my local library, and then they just automatically download into my Kobo ebook reader. Like magic.

Kobo in my pocket

AND it fits perfectly into the inner pocket of my coat! 😍

Why did no one tell me about ebook readers sooner?!!

Like most, I was skeptical at first. Screens tend to offer little windows of distraction, that steal a minute here and there, and that didn't sound like an ideal reading experience. I've read books on my phone and on my computer before, and it's fine. But I was always very aware of the fact that I am staring at a screen, and Twitter/Reddit/Whatsapp was only a tap or a click away.

"Electronic ink" (AKA "epaper") is a game-changer. For me, it completely eliminates even the association of "screens = multi-tasking".

The problem I found with prioritising quantity over quality when it comes to reading is that they all start merging into a singular experience. Just one long bus ride, going backwards and forwards between home and the office.

While some books certainly stood out amongst the parade of them, I've already forgotten far too many. I'd much rather have read fewer books throughout the year, but really had the opportunity to savour the plot of each one before feeling obligated to just jump straight into the next.

I keep track of all my reading on my Goodreads profile (feel free to add me!):

2019 Year in Books

What books did I read in 2019?

In chronological order, from January to December....

  1. The Power by Naomi Alderman
  2. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  3. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
  4. In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
  5. Suicide Club by Rachel Heng
  6. Literary Yarns: Crochet Projects Inspired by Classic Books by Cindy Wang
  7. China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
  8. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
  9. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
  10. Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
  11. Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
  12. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
  13. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
  14. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  15. The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
  16. My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf
  17. Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
  18. Mort by Terry Pratchett
  19. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  20. Sourcery by Terry Pratchett
  21. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  22. Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett
  23. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
  24. V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
  25. Nietzsche: Philosophy in an Hour by Paul Strathern
  26. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  27. Pyramids by Terry Pratchett
  28. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  29. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  30. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
  31. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  32. Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
  33. Messenger by Lois Lowry
  34. Son by Lois Lowry
  35. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
  36. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
  37. The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell
  38. Gossamer by Lois Lowry
  39. Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
  40. Bird Box by Josh Malerman
  41. The Farm by Joanne Ramos
  42. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
  43. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett
  44. The Wall by John Lancaster
  45. Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews
  46. White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
  47. The Darkest Web by Eileen Ormsby
  48. Melmoth by Sarah Perry
  49. Everything Under by Daisy Johnson
  50. Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez
  51. Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
  52. Once Were Warriors by Alan Duff
  53. What I was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman
  54. A Map of Days by Ransom Riggs
  55. Rich Enough? A Laid-Back Guide for Every Kiwi by Mary Holm
  56. What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? by Alan Duff
  57. The Test by Sylvain Neuvel
  58. Kill All Normies by Angelia Nagle
  59. Translating Anarchy: The Anarchism of Occupy Wall Street by Mark Bray
  60. Alice in Zombieland by Nickolas Cook
  61. Python: Programming For Beginners by Michael Knapp
  62. Eric by Terry Pratchett
  63. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
  64. The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket
  65. The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket
  66. The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket
  67. The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket
  68. The Ersatz Elevator by Lemony Snicket
  69. Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan
  70. Identity Crisis by Ben Elton
  71. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  72. The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket
  73. Moving Pictures by Lemony Snicket
  74. The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket
  75. John Dies at the End by David Wong
  76. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  77. Mind Hunter by John Douglas
  78. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
  79. Permanent Record by Edward Snowden
  80. The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket
  81. Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard
  82. The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket
  83. The Grim Grotto by Lemony Snicket
  84. The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket
  85. The End by Lemony Snicket
  86. Ultralearning by Scott H. Young
  87. People of New Zealand by Sam Moore
  88. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
  89. Dante's Divine Comedy: A Graphic Adapation by Seymour Chwast
  90. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  91. 101 UX Principles: A Definitive Design Guide by Will Grant
  92. Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett
  93. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
  94. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  95. Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport
  96. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  97. I'm Not Dying with You Tonight by Kimberley Jones
  98. My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
  99. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
  100. Autism in Heels by Jennifer O'Toole
  101. Lost and Founder by Rand Fishkin
  102. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  103. Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope by Mark Manson
  104. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
  105. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

My Kobo's a little beaten up from having been everywhere with me, from camping to beaching and everything else (mostly bus rides), but my Kobo was for sure the best purchase I made in 2019. For better or worse, I don't think I would be reading as many books without it.

My goal at some point is to track things like "hours read" and "pages flipped", as well as genre, etc, into a dashboard view. So that I can see at a glance, preferably in a web application, my reading patterns on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Maybe I prefer reading inspirational books in January? Maybe by August, things get a little nihilist? I'd love to dig deeper into my data.

But that's a project for another time...

Here are some photos of my baby:

What else is new?