Tuesday 1 September 2020

The End...

of 20 Books of Summer Winter.

Another calendar season has been and gone, and what do I have to show for it?

I certainly didn't even go close to completing this year's 20 books challenge for starters. Although, if I had included picture books for children, I would have romped it in! 

Last year I easily read and reviewed 20 books, but this year I only read and reviewed 13. I read another 2 (graphic novels) but they are yet to be reviewed. And I have several more books half read - but anyway you look at it, I'm about a month behind in my pre-Covid reading schedule.
  • The Dictionary of Lost Words (67%), my next book club book.
  • The Golden Maze (7%), non-fiction about Prague by an Australian writer.
  • The Cloud Spotters Guide (58%), non-fiction about, um, clouds!
  • The Fire This Time (74%), an anthology of black American essays, poems and articles.
  • Fracture (38%), an Argentinian writing a story set in Japan.
  • plus my chapter-a-day of War and Peace (62%). 
Only 8 of these books were on my original list. The rest are ring-ins. This happens every year though, so nothing surprising there! 

I thought I was reading more during these Covid times, but 20 Books of Winter would seem to indicate that I'm actually reading a lot less. Now I'm curious to work out why? 

I'm having way more time at home thanks to our severely curtailed social life. I have some new responsibilities at work, but the hours have stayed the same. I'm not watching a significant amount of TV instead as I'd be lucky to watch an hour of TV a day. I am walking a lot more than of old, sometimes twice a day if I can drag Mr Books away from his work desk! Blogging has taken a big hit, so that's not taking up my time either. Time just seems to be disappearing. 

Some of it is thanks to my smart phone. Actually, on reflection, that's probably the main suck of my time. 

During these Covid times, I’m spending way more time trawling news, covid facts & figures and when I can’t stand the real world any longer, I play games. 

I go through phases of realising how un-smart it is making me and how much time it is sucking away from my life and I will curtail my time using it. But then it gradually increases again until I reach another crisis point of wondering where on earth all my time is disappearing to! 

Since that point has obviously been reached once again, I vow to curtail my use of my not-so-smart phone for the ENTIRE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER! It's time for a technology spring clean.

Last week I was on my phone for an average of 4 hrs and 3 mins each day!! 
How did THAT happen?

My days off work have the biggest usage spikes, but every day could do with less phone time and more reading time. If you see me on loitering on twitter for too long, tell me to get off and read a book instead!

Which, finally brings me to the books I did actually read during 20 Books of Summer Winter. 

All but one were wonderful, interesting reads, so I cannot complain. Reading goals are good to have, even if they don't get achieved every year. And the company at 20 Books is always very fine indeed.

How did you fare this year?
3/20 - 12th July 2020

10/20 - 24th August 2020

7/20 - 13th August 2020

2/20 - 19 June 2020

1/20  - 11 June 2020

4/20 - 14 July 2020

5/20 - 20 July 2020

8/20 - 19th Aug 2020

9/20 - 22nd Aug 2020

13/20 - 30 August 2020 

Heartstopper Vol 2 | Alice Oseman

Heartstopper Vol 3 | Alice Oseman

Check in with Cathy @746 Books to see how everyone else went this year.


  1. Time...
    I'm not on smart phone but follow TV news/read magazines with news/literature content. The MONTHS whizz by in the blink of an eye! Time is fluid until smth stops it. We are on coronatime, not measured in days but in confirmed cases. Bike rides in NL...soothe the mind.
    PS: #ccspin I read 15/20. I'm satisfied despite problems with keeping focused on a book during lockdown.

    1. It certainly is a weird time for us all! Most of the time I potter along fine, but every now and again, it catches up with me. Thanks for listening :-)

  2. I had no possible chance of completing 20 books this summer so, though tempted, I looked away & whistled. :P :)

    I've been doing a lot of scrolling online as well. Never healthy for the brain. Sending you every good thought, Brona.

    1. Thanks Jillian!
      I've now come down with an end of winter cold - even less reading happening now.

  3. It's the obsession with Covid news that has made my reading slump the last few months too. Somehow I not only need to know what's happening in the UK, but I need to compare our stats with every other country in the world and then make excuses for why we're the worst! It eats a lot of time! Glad you enjoyed most of the books you did manage to read over the winter - that's the main thing, after all.

    1. I was like that at the beginning too, hence my Covid Chronicles, but I've eased off the past couple of months. The recent Victorian spike reignited my stats and facts searching, but I've eased back from that again.
      One good thing about this time, is that I absolutely refuse to read a book that isn't for my enjoyment! So what I do read is something I'm keen to get into...I just seem to be doing it slower than normal.

  4. I hear you on the time suck that is stupid games, but that is mind numbing so maybe that's not a bad thing!

    1. Yeah, I find I almost unconsciously pull out my phone and open up the games as soon as we sit down down to watch the news!

  5. I got reeeeal close, and finished the 19th book yesterday. (Golden Bough is book #20, and I think 500+ pages counts.)

    1. You are a legend Jean! Not only for completing the challenge - but for continuing with The Golden Bough!! I think it definitely counts as book 20 - so well done :-)

  6. You read some super books there. And well done for identifying what stopped you reading in lockdown. I should have had about the same amount of time as usual as I don't work outside the home and most of my social life is a regular coffee that turned into a video call and running, which I did slightly more but more alone. But I was doom scrolling, too, and also unable to concentrate well due to using all my mental energies on problem solving and anxiety. I cut phone and facebook on PC use, got myself more organised at work and have been going up to bed for a read earlier and got back on track. I did finish my 20 Books this year but don't always!


This blog has now moved to Wordpress.
Please visit This Reading Life to comment.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.