It’s been a bizarre two years. The 2020 pandemic turned all our lives upside down and changed everything. This year has been hard in different ways, and it’s also brought a lot more changes to my reading habits.
One of my biggest changes has been simply returning to normal. Last year, I was definitely drawn to lighter books—during a really difficult year, I needed something light and fun. This year has marked a return to heavier books, weightier subjects, and more of my normal routines. There were other changes, too. Here are a few:
What I’ve read less of
There’s been a noticeable difference in my reading habits from last year to this year.
- I’ve read much less YA this year.
- I haven’t reread any books this year—last year I reread a lot of old favorites.
- I’ve read a lot more physical books. It’s funny, because I love my Kindle app and normally read a lot on it. I think part of the reason for the shift is launch teams and bookstagram. I read a lot of books for review, and those are usually physical copies. I’m also using our library a lot, and many times the only copy I can get is a physical copy. I’m not complaining, because while I’m thankful for my Kindle app, I also still love the feeling of a book in my hands.
What I’ve read more of
I discovered some great new authors this year and a new-to-me genre that I love: historical mysteries. New authors I’ve discovered include Regency authors Abigail Wilson and Erica Vetsch. The runaway favorite discovery of this category, however, has to be Anna Lee Huber’s Lady Darby Mysteries. I started listening to the audiobooks from our local library’s Hoopla app in September. I’m currently on book seven. I can’t get enough of these!
This is another genre I’ve really gotten into this year. I love Jane Austen and wanted more books from a similar time period. I mentioned a couple of Regency mystery authors above. In addition, I absolutely love Julie Klassen’s books! I’m reading through them in publication order. So far, my favorite is The Girl in the Gatehouse, but I’ve loved every book of hers that I’ve read.
I know that’s oddly specific, but Gothic classics have always been my favorites classics. This year, I read We Have Always Lived in the Castle and I’m currently rereading Frankenstein for the first time in more than twenty years. It was one of my favorite books from high school. If you’ve never read it, let me say it’s probably nothing like what you’re expecting—Hollywood has ruined this story. It’s a really deep, thought provoking book. I had hoped to read some of the Bronte sisters but just didn’t get to them this year.
World War II
They truly were the Greatest Generation. I’ve always been fascinated by this time period, but this year I’ve been seeking out WWII books from a fresh perspective. This year’s reading included the middle grade novels The War That Saved My Life and The War I Finally Won, the novel When We Were Young and Brave about an event I’d never heard of, and the non-fiction When Books Went to War.
Did your reading life change in 2021? What trends have you noticed in your reading this year?