analysing my past goodreads challenges + seeing how my reading has changed. | 🤔💭 have i figured out my reading tastes???

Hey friends, welcome or welcome back to my blog. In my effort to blog more in 2022 and to change up my content from just wrap ups and reading updates, I’m here to talk about how my reading has changed over the years! Today I’m going through my reading challenges on Goodreads to analyse what about my reading is different and let me tell you, this post is a chonker so grab a snack and a big mug of tea (or an iced beverage because, hey why not?) and settle down. I got the idea for this post recently when I was browsing booktube and saw a newer video by Stories For Coffee where she analysed her reading tastes on Goodreads and it really inspired me to do the same. I’ve meant to do this for years but never got around to it so clearly this was a sign!

Let me know how your reading has changed in the comments because now that I’m going through mine, I’m really curious to see if other people have gone through big changes with what they read or choose for their tbrs or if they mostly read the same!

the numbers ⬇️

As you can see the amount of books I read per year has vastly changed per year. I generally will read over 100 books (or comics, graphic novels etc,) every year.

I think it’s pretty clear that the amount of books I’ll read will depend on what year I had. For example, I was in my senior year of high school in 2017 so I read the least that year and then as I had more time to read on public transport to and from uni or work in the coming years I started reading more and more. These years are also where I started transferring my reading from physical to audiobooks. I think 2020 was the big change though. Obviously, we have Covid lockdowns and me pretty much losing any work for an entire year to thank for me reading 48 more books than I did the year before. And then we have 2021 where I think I was just losing my mind a little bit and so I read 111 more books than I did in 2020. This was mostly due to me running a few round of Graphicsathon, binge-reading 30+ books for multiple months in the year and not really having any hobbies outside of reading because… Covid.

So, we know the numbers have changed over the years. How has my reading preferences changed? Have I found my reading niche?

2015 – 2022 ⬇️

Ahh 2015. The year where I read whatever Booktube recommended and whatever I could get my hands on. I think when we all discover new online bookish content we get easily overwhelmed and go a bit crazy with it. I was also in year 10 in high school and slowly starting to read adult stories but not quite knowing what I wanted to read at all. I read all kinds of genres and all age groups.

In 2015 I was also discovering comics for what was probably the first time so I was picking up anything I could find on the library shelves that looked even remotely interesting. Anything from Scifi with Doctor Who to horror with Locke and Key and it was very much a hit and miss trial, but by the next year I had really hit my stride with superhero stories and was mostly reading those, interestingly I don’t read a lo to those now.

2016! The year where I started getting into adult fantasy stories and I discovered queer narratives! Oh, thank God for 2016! This was also the year I signed up for NetGalley so there are a few comics I reviewed this year too. I think 2016 was mostly the year I started to look for what I did and didn’t like in fantasy and also tried to read more series. So, you’ll see I started the Game of Thrones series which is wild to me now because I read the first two books with my EYEBALLS, something I can’t imagine doing today.

Going through my 2016 GoodReads challenge, it honestly looks like a mess but I’m actually really proud of it. I was clearly exploring my reading likes and dislikes and discovering new things. I was reading Jane Austen and getting into different genres in adult fiction, I was letting myself read interesting middle grade/ ya stories and reading some truly brilliant comics that I still love to this day. It looks messy and chaotic but I love 2016 a lot!

Ahh yes okay, so here we have 2017. I was graduating high school and I didn’t know what I wanted in life and I didn’t know what I wanted in books. I got into Brandon Sanderson (yay!) and I read the Fifty Shades trilogy because the second film must have been coming out (noo!) and I got into non-fiction when I read Eating Animals and So You’ve Been Publically Shamed. I read The Raven Boys and Young Avengers discovered my love for The Martian and Lost Boys. I read some real winners but mostly had misses in 2017. I honestly think I was just too busy to think about the books I was picking to take to school with me that year.

Ahh yes okay, 2018! The year of the great break between high school and uni! I took a trimester off because I honestly wasn’t ready to go to uni. This time could also be called ‘the great confusion’ of ‘the great guilt from my family’. I finally had some time to think and what really did me some good, was that I had time to sleep! I was more selective in what I read and interestingly, picked books with bright covers! I Wild Beauty for the first time and LOVED it and I buddy read my first ever book with Rebecca who is now a life-long friend. I participated in readathons and worked on diversifying my reading. I read books with queer characters and poc characters and I read about feminists. I discovered that I really like hard-hitting books like Bad Romance and oh my god, 2018 was the year I read Sourdough by Robin Sloan! 2018 was a brilliant year for reading and I’m so thankful I gave myself that chance to breathe because I truly didn’t know how hard that year was going to be for me and how much harder the years after were going to be. Yay for 2018!

2019 wow yeah okay. A full year of uni while also working part-time. It was a big change for me and I’m glad it happened, though I’m sure I was probably very tired at the time 😂. I read A LOT of comics in 2019 because I discovered my love of the Giant Days series! I was also (very) slowly starting to explore the romance genre and finding that I really wasn’t a fan in the beginning because I was reading all the wrong books with all the wrong tropes. I later found total bangers like The Kiss Quotient and Let’s Talk About Love – two books I would still highly recommend today!

Outside of these things, this wasn’t a totally memorable reading year, but I think the fact that I didn’t really read anything that I totally despised (apart from Heart of Darkness, but that was for school) is very telling.

2020. An overall very overwhelming year that none of us were prepared for. Uni got postponed and then moved online, we had lockdowns, there were too many people in the house and everyone and everything was generally too stressful. 0/10 do not recommend. I did read 164 books though.

I was very much in the mood for some comfort reads and books to take my mind off everything so I went nuts and read anything and everything I felt like reading. I started re-reading the Alex Rider series because it always makes me smile and I started the Assassination Classroom series because 2020 turned out to be the year I ended up getting really into reading manga (thank you 2020). I also read The One by John Marrs and completely fell in love with how brilliant it is! I being read the Captive Prince trilogy and the Foxhole Court trilogy and I read Jurassic Park for the first time and discovered it’s somehow better than the movie. In February I ran the first round of the Graphicsathon with Destiny and it turned out to be one of the best things I could’ve done for myself that year (I still run it now and I love it more and more every round!)

I read some YA classics and roasted the hell out of them and I house sat for the first time and discovered The House in The Cerulean Sea which introduced me to wholesome reading and I read A little Life which was the total opposite of wholesome reading and genuinely put me into a depression for an entire week after I finished the book. 2020 was a wild time and I finished it out by binge-reading most of the Bridgerton series which was possibly the most shocking reading-related thing that could have possibly happened.

2021. Aka. the year Uni went back on campus and I stopped caring. 2021 started off with me reading A LOT of historical romances and then rating most of them 3 stars. I read Annihilation and it blew my mind. I read some new favourite mangas like I Hear The Sunspot and Sweat and Soap. I discovered a love for translated Japanese fiction and I discovered that not all Peter Pan retellings will be good. I also discovered again, that I love wholesome reads like Act Your Age, Eve Brown, so I read it twice. I did a lot of things in 2020. I volunteered for the Special Olympics National Games and started a romance book club called The Hoemance Book Club with Rebecca. I truly read whatever, whenever. I read so much romance I think I overwhelmed myself with it and I fell in love with Spy x Family and I discovered my love for Matthew Reilly’s books and found out that while I do actually love trains (thank you One Last Stop), I do not like spending 5 hours a day on them.

I had another brilliant reading year and discovered some new faves, but I will say that while 275 is a truly amazing number to read in one year. It’s also very scary because as you can probably tell, I really didn’t do anything else. For obvious reasons I didn’t really go out so if I wasn’t working one of my three jobs I was reading or sleeping and I really do think that shows here. Remember that yeah, big numbers are impressive but they don’t permit for much outside of just reading. 2021 really was the year of exhaustion and mental health drops, I would not go through it again if you paid me.

2022 so far…

So now it’s 2022 and the year is going a bit more slowly for me and I’m actually loving that. I’m about to start Uni again for the year so I will suddenly become a much more stressed out and relatively unhappy person, but this is my last year (hopefully).

So far 2022 has been a year of more discovery! I love that I keep finding out new things about my reading tastes! Apparently, I love ridiculous action-adventure stories, especially if they’re written by Matthew Reilly, who is possibly my favourite Australian author! I’ve worked out that I love the whimsy of TJ Klune but not always the execution, that I need to do more research into translated works because I’ve read some absolute bangers and that I really should read more middle grade because The Keeper of the Lost Cities is absolutely so much fun!

overall thoughts… ⬇️

Just looking back on this post I think it’s amazing and pretty clear that my reading tastes have changed. I rarely read anything YA anymore and interestingly, I don’t pick up much fantasy anymore either. If I pick up anything fantastical these days, it’s more likely to just be a bit weird or metaphorical like The House in The Cerulean Sea, The Pisces or Middlegame . I also will rarely read anything physically with my eyeballs. I am very much an audiobook reader and over the last year I have become an ebook reader as well, so if I’m reading a graphic novel it’s probably on my Ipad, not a physical copy. Very interesting and not something I would have ever seen coming back in primary or high school.

I did notice one recurring thing with all the years I looked at through high school and uni to now, though. If I like a series, I really like it. I was reading series like Artemis Fowl, Alex Rider and The Golden Door trilogy when I was younger and I still re-read them now. In fact, you’ll probably see them pop up in my 2022 challenge at some point because they really are my go-to comfort reads at this point!
And on that note, I have retained my love for binge-reading series in big chunks. You will see me read 4+ books in a series all in one go and be having a hoot of a time. In fact, this is something I’ve already done so far in 2022 and something I plan on keeping doing. It’s so much fun to get completely invested in a story that it’s all you read for a week and I highly recommend it!

My last note that I wanted to make is just that you can clearly see that not just my reading tastes have changed. I’m reading more diverse reads and more manga and other translated works because they’re being published in a higher quantity now, or at all. Some of these books never would have been available to me when I was younger because either they wouldn’t have been published at all or they would have been deemed inappropriate to have in a school library, so clearly, it’s not just my tastes that are changing, but everyone else’s too! 😊

Do you go through your Goodreads challenges often?
How has your reading changed?

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5 thoughts on “analysing my past goodreads challenges + seeing how my reading has changed. | 🤔💭 have i figured out my reading tastes???

  1. I love this idea! That was such a fun post to read. It’s so cool to see how we’ve changed like that.

    I haven’t gone through my Goodreads challenges recently. (I think I started it back in since 2015 as well.) I’d be cool to go through and see though. I think my genres have stayed the same, but I read more diverse books.

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  2. This is a very interesting post to read, Ellyn! Due to blogging, I do notice I read a lot more especially in the beginning. I also notice the trend of “reading whatever hyped/recommended” in 2013-2015 (proven with the amount of dystopian books I read even tho I disliked them lol). I also signed up for Netgalley in 2016 so my reading that year is a bit more diverse in terms of genre and age group. I started to diversify my reading even more in 2017, I think that’s the year where I started to become more picky on what I read. 2020 was the year I read the most in a while and I also discovered more genre I like (mainly horror and thriller). It’s really fun to actually look through the stats!

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