Well, friends, lemme tell ya: we are six months into 2021 and for me it has already been a year! The major theme of my 2021 so far seems to be burnout. I’ll be real with y’all: I loathe remote learning with a burning passion. Beyond just being a poor match for my learning style (I’m a mixture of a social and a kinesthetic learner), but it also aggravates the normal difficulties I experience due to my ADHD and my physical disabilities. And after a year and a half of remote learning, I’m so physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted that it’s drastically affected my life beyond academics. Which brings me to my 2021 reading year thus far…
general bookish stats
number of books read per month
So, I’m not gonna lie: as you can see from my stats, my 2021 reading has fallen pretty flat. More so than in past years, it’s just really felt like in 2021 I’ve lacked the motivation, focus, and clarity to read. This has been made worse by the fact that I’m totally burnt out from two and a half semesters of online remote college courses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the past four to five months, it’s felt like even when I want to read, I’ve just completely lacked the mental, physical, and emotional energy to actually pick up a book for more than a brief and fleeting period of time. I guess you could say I’m in more of a “reading funk” than a reading slump. 😭
The good news? I’ve still managed to read seven whole books, which, given my complete and total state of burnout, is quite an accomplishment in my humble opinion! The bad news? Sadly, most of those books were ones I found to be mediocre or below average. Out of seven books, I only rated two books above a three star rating! This is wild to me because I had been on a glorious streak of reading mainly four and five star books for the past two to three years! But I suppose all things must eventually come to an end, including my high ratings streak. That being said, it could definitely be worse and I count myself as lucky that I’ve only been reading largely boring books this year, as opposed to books I all-out hate. Sooo…ummm…thank god for small favors??? Lissen, I’m tryna make the best out of a dismal situation, okay?!
diverse reading stats
representation on the page
I’m really pleased to see that the majority of my reading this year involved reading books with POC and/or queer main characters! I’ve never tracked diversity stats before, but I had a general feeling that, when it comes to race/ethnicity and sexual orientation, my reading has been getting progressively more diverse—and these stats pretty much confirmed my hunch! To pivot slightly—While they’re definitely not at the levels I want them to be, I’m also not super surprised about the lack of religious diversity and gender diversity in my 2021 readings. I primarily read fantasy and often authors take the liberty of either omitting religion entirely from their stories or just making up a totally new religion for their fictional worlds. And when it comes to gender, I absolutely need and want to improve. I tend to (often subconsciously) be drawn to books about characters who, like me, identify as female, but I think it’s time to acknowledge that habit and branch out where I can.
I think of all these statistics, the one that frustrates me the most here is the total lack of physically disabled and/or neurodiverse characters in the books I’ve read so far this year. While I feel like these two stats are more reflective of the fact that I haven’t read a lot this year, it also goes to show just how little the bookish community values and prioritizes physically disabled and/or neurodiverse authors and on-page representation. My favorite genre is fantasy and I can only think of one book with a physically disabled main character, and I don’t think the author is even physically disabled. Same goes for neurodiversity. Not only that, but ableist tropes are also still rampant in the fantasy and sci fi genre and are rarely—if ever—called out. It’s sad because those of us who are disabled and/or neurodiverse deserve to go on wild adventures too without being seen as “held back” by our disabilities and/or neurodiversity.
* NOTE: All of the books I’ve read so far in 2021 have been cis women, but the graph glitched 😭
I’m not gonna hide the fact that these particular stats are absolutely abysmal! I realize part of the reason that is is that I’ve only read seven books, but I still feel like that’s not the best excuse. That being said, I definitely plan on diversifying this area given what I have access to working with.
So, that’s all for today, friends. I feel like this was quite a dismal post, but the silver lining is that there’s still another six months in 2021 in which I might be able to reset my mindset and start reading more. But, you know what? Even if I don’t read more in the coming half year, it’s okay. I read solely for fun and that means that some years I’ll read more than others and that’s not a bad thing!
Anyhoo, dear friends, I’ve got a cup of tea and a good book waiting for me, so I’d better get back to it! Until next time, friends…
spill the beans, friends!
- How has your reading year been so far?
- Do you have any reading goals for the rest of the year?