Friday, 1 January 2021

2020 Year in Review


CW: this post will briefly mention the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as anxiety and OCD

2020 was a rough year. And honestly, I don't really want to waste much time going into why. I think you can pretty much guess why most people are saying that 2020 sucked. For me it was a culmination of health anxiety, and being newly diagnosed with OCD amidst a pandemic. But, I'm personally done with discussing why 2020 was a bad year. We can't change anything, we can only look forward to the future. And this is not to bash anyone who is venting about 2020. If you need to let out your frustrations, by all means, let it out. But I personally want to discuss more of the positive aspects of 2020. I feel like I need that. Because, this year did have some good aspects, especially reading-wise. So, here is my 2020 wrap-up. It wasn't all bad. 

What I Read: 

I read 157 books this year! That is the most books I have ever read in a year, and I am very proud of myself. I started off my Goodreads challenge at 50 books, but I raised it to 150 once I realized that I was reading a lot. Overall, I feel very accomplished, and I think the extra time staying indoors played a massive role in this feat. 

Some Overall Reading Stats: 

I read 48, 905 pages this year. The longest book I read was The Iliad, at 1248 pages. The shortest book I read was The One: Epilogue by: Kiera Cass, at 11 pages. My average length for books was 315 pages. 

I think I read from a good variety of genres this year. My genre stats are as follows: 

22 Classics 

41 Contemporary/Romance 

63 Fantasy/Mythology 

11 Nonfiction/Poetry/Plays

5 Historical Fiction 

5 Children's Books 

10 Thriller/Mystery 

I think these genre stats do represent my general interests. I did a huge reread of Rick Riordan books this year, so that accounts for the high number of fantasy books. I think overall in 2021, I would like to work on reading more historical fiction. It's a genre I typically shy away from, but I am interested in history, so I don't see why I shouldn't read more historical fiction. I am also looking forward to reading more nonfiction in 2021, as the nonfiction books I did read were fantastic. 

My Favourite Books of the Year: 

This was a hard decision, as I read so many amazing books this year. But, I have narrowed down my books. Since I reread a lot this year, I am also offering a reward for favourite reread. 

Favourite Reread: 

The Last Olympian by: Rick Riordan 

I was so happy to get a Percy Jackson reread in this year. This reread offered me the serotonin boost I needed, and it reignited my love for all that Rick Riordan creates. This book is triumphant and holds a special place in my heart. It's just fabulous. 

Favourite Overall Book: 

Drum roll please..... 

My favourite overall book is: 

The House in the Cerulean Sea by: T.J. Klune 

This book man.... ugh this book. It was special, heartwarming, adorable, diverse, and every other positive adjective I can think of. This book has such a warm message to it, and intertwined is an adorable story about a man who finds peace in a house in the cerulean sea. You have to read this book. I am a better person by reading it. I found hope in this book. If you had a bad year, this book will give you some happiness. I promise you. 

I do have to say, an honourable mention has to go to Cemetery Boys by: Aiden Thomas. This was by-far the best YA book I read this year, and even though I borrowed it from the library, I am willing to purchase the book on my own because I can see myself rereading it for years to come. It's a beautiful Latinx story, and the author seems like such a lovely person. 

How Diversely Did I Read This Year? 

I am happy that most of my diverse reads this year came from Own Voices authors. I think it is super important to read Own Voices, because then authentic stories can be told. I loved the Own Voices novel Felix Ever After by: Kacen Callender. It was a contemporary novel about a trans teenager named Felix who is struggling with how to label himself. It was fabulous. 

I think I did well in reading novels with Black and South Asian representation this year. South Asian representation is really important to me, as I am half-Pakistani and I want to see some stories that I can relate to in novels. I found that in novels such as An Ember in the Ashes by: Sabaa Tahir, which is a fabulous fantasy that I was happy to reread this year. This series ended this year, and it was bittersweet to leave it behind. But Sabaa created and concluded a fabulous story. 

I would like to work on reading more Own Voices Indigenous novels in 2021. I hope to do so because I plan on doing a master's project on Indigenous young adult literature. I am looking forward to exploring the wonderful world of Canadian Indigenous literature, and I hope to find some great inspiration there. 

What I Blogged: 

I was really happy with the content I put out this year. I think I pushed myself to talk about topics more unique in the bookish and non-bookish world. However, there was one post that was my most special of the year. That would be my post on My Experiences with Pure-OCD. I finally shared my disorder with the world, and this was not easy to do. But, I got so many lovely messages from blogging friends and family members, showing their support. I felt amazing after posting it, and I feel free from hiding now. 

I also surpassed 500 blog posts this year! This was a fabulous feat for me that I was so proud of. I hope to keep blogging for even 500 more posts, as this hobby is truly my passion. 

2020 Shoutouts: 

This year I connected with old blogging friends who put out some really unique content. But, I also met new friends as well. Here are shoutouts to some of my favourite book content creators of 2020: 

Cee @ Dora Reads for her informative and inspiring posts

Veronika and Sabrina @ Wordy and Whimsical for their fun discussions and great recommendations 

Erin @ The Book Archive for sharing my love for Achilles and Patroclus 

Joey, Riv, Claire, Tess and Sofia for being the best book club buddies ever

Roberta @ Offbeat YA for her constant support 

Olivia and Jesse for being awesome booktubers 

2020 was a great year for bookish content! I discovered booktube, booktok, and bookstagram. But of course, I also loved reading blog posts as well. Please check out these creators and the great work that they do. 

2021 Goals: 

Now comes the time to look forward. Reading-wise, I don't want to put pressure on myself to surpass 157 books in 2021, because who knows what the future will hold. I will set my Goodreads challenge to 50 books, and see where that takes me. 

Like I mentioned before, I would like to expand my genre reading by reading more historical fiction, and I would love to read more Indigenous Canadian literature this year. I also hope to tackle more "scary" reads for me, which would be classics. I am determined to find a classic that I can speak passionately about. I don't want to be scared of the genre. 

I am also looking forward to posting more on my bookstagram page! You can follow me at paperbackp Bookstagram is a bit of a different world than blogging, because it's enjoyable nonetheless. I hope to get better at my picture-taking abilities, and just have fun with it. 

I also would like to tweet more. This sounds silly, but I don't think I tweet enough bookish-related things, and I love the positive sides of book twitter a lot. I would love to fangirl more with book twitter, and share bookish opinions with others. Twitter can be intimidating, but it can also be a fun way to meet new friends. 

Life-wise, I would like to stop seeking reassurance from people. My OCD thrives off of reassurance. I constantly need to be reassured that I am not a bad person, or that I don't need to wash my hands, or that I won't get COVID. But I need to tackle this. I need to be sure of myself before I seek reassurance from other people. I hope to keep OCD in the backseat of the car, as opposed to the front seat, like my therapist says. 

Overall, I would like to find some more positivity in 2021. The world is a hard place, this I know. But there is also good, I am sure of it. I want to find that good more often. I hope other's will be able to do the same. 

So, this was my year. If you made it this far, I hope you have a Happy New Year and a fabulous 2021. We will all get through these hardships together. I hope you find some hope and peace in this upcoming year. You got this. 

Emily @ Paperback Princess


  1. That's a lot of books! My reading was down this year but I'm hoping for a rebound in 2021. :)

    And this "This reread offered me the serotonin boost " haha I need to read Riordan at some point. And I've heard so many good things about Cerulean Sea

    Happy New Year!!!

    1. Happy new year to you as well! I hope you have an excellent reading year in 2021!! I would highly recommend anything by Rick Riordan.

  2. Oh Em you are so sweet, thank you so much for the shoutout!

    I'm glad that you found some good things - and read so many awesome books! - in 2020, and I hope everything goes awesome for you in 2021! <3

    1. Thank you so much, Cee! I wish the same for you as well :)

  3. "I am half-Pakistani"
    I've known you year? and I didn't know!

    "I plan on doing a master's project on Indigenous young adult literature"
    That sounds awesome!

    "I think I pushed myself to talk about topics more unique in the bookish and non-bookish world."
    You did! Your discussions were always unexpected and well-thought-out.

    "Roberta @ Offbeat YA for her constant support"
    😭 😘 It's easy to support people like you though 😉.

    "Life-wise, I would like to stop seeking reassurance from people."
    I understand it can be difficult for you, but I'm also sure that you have the mindset and determination to succeed! And we will cheer you on the way of course 👍.

    "I hope you find some hope and peace in this upcoming year. You got this."
    You too!

    1. Thank you for the lovely comment, Roberta! I'm glad you learnt something new about me, haha! I'm half Pakistani and half Italian :)

      Thank you for being an awesome bookish friend! I appreciate everything you do for this community. Happy New Year :)

  4. Also, 500 posts in 7 years?!? 👏👏👏

    1. Yes!! This is the longest hobby I've kept up with. And there's no stopping me now :)

  5. Woah that's amazing!! Congrats on all the reading and 500 posts girl!! <3

  6. Let’s hope 2021 is leagues better than 2020! I’m finally getting to reading everyone’s 2020 wrap ups, and it’s been great to see some of the good that has come out of the year.
    157 books is incredible! Congratulations!
    I’m also hoping to read more nonfiction and historical fiction (particularly historical mysteries!) in the new year! Let’s hope we both succeed and read some great books :D
    I read The House in the Cerulean Sea near the end of the year, and I totally understand why it’s your favourite overall. It is so special and heartwarming and all the other things you listed.
    I’m still waiting for Cemetery Boys from my library, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to join the fan club soon aha.
    Wishing you a very happy and peaceful 2021, Emily!! <3

    1. Thank you Sabrina, and happy new year to you as well :)

      Historical mysteries sound really interesting! Maybe I'll give those a go as well.

      Yay for Cemetery Boys! I hope you love it.