Analyzing how many books I read & drama I got thrown in (my 2019 year in review & reflections)


I guess the lesson is everybody needs to get laid, not just me. 🎶 Music Intro 🎶 Today I’m going to be talking about my Year in Review when it comes to reading and also my YouTube channel. I did a similar type of video last year. I know some people were asking on whether I would do it this year and I am. First, we’re gonna look at my Year in Books according to Goodreads. In the year 2019, I read 24,429 pages across 78 books. What a fuckin’ nerd. In the previous year, I read 59 books, so I actually read a lot more this year. A crazy thing is, I know in the year of 2020, I’m gonna read way more. Because with my new job, my commute is about an hour long on the train to get there and then get back. So I wanna get so much reading done and just be a giant, colossal nerd. Honestly, I’m looking forward to it. Like, I’ve been telling my co-workers and my friends, “Oh my god. I can’t wait for all the new books I’m gonna read in the new year.” And that’s how you know I need to get laid. My shortest book was Little Pea, which was 36 pages. My longest book was A Court of Wings and Ruin, which was 699 pages. *Gasp of realization* Did Sarah J. Maas make it 6 9 9 on purpose? Oh my god. She’s. . .more of a genius than I realized. The average length of the books that I read were 313 pages. The most popular book that I read this year was Educated by Tara Westover. And I loved that book. I highly recommend it if you are really interested in memoirs or you come from a toxic family or have a rough upbringing. It’s very inspiring to read her story about how she was able to break free from a very toxic family that didn’t believe in education. And got her own education and went to motherfuckin’ Harvard in Cambridge. ✨ Amazing.✨ The least popular book that I read was Book of Ideas by Radim Malinic. I do try to read design books pretty regularly and those are often the least popular books on Goodreads. My average rating for 2019 is 3.2 stars, which I think is pretty damn good. Last year, my average rating was 3.1. So we are making progress. The highest-rated book that I read was A Court of Mist and Fury. The average rating was 4.66 stars. *Astounded silence* W h y ? This is how you know Goodreads is such an arbitrary system because A Court of Mist and Fury is like, one of the worst books I’ve read in the year. Whenever I look up a book and I see the rating, I’m like, “I don’t trust any of you bitches.” My first book of the year was Circe by Madeline Miller. I picked it up because I heard universal praise over it but honestly, I thought it was just okay. I ended up rating it 3 stars. People kinda hyped it up as like, this feminist retelling and. . . I’m like, “Bitch, where?!” I just thought the plot was really slow and she spent a majority of the time chillin’ on an island and going through several sexual conquests. There were barely any relationships with other women, even though there were lots of opportunities because the island started being populated with women who have been exiled by gods. And that would have been such a cool opportunity to have an amazing story, as well as show her resistance from her family because she’s essentially an outsider. But instead, a majority of the book was really just her banging a bunch of dudes. Loved that journey for her but, hmm. . .I don’t know if that’s really a feminist read. I’m aware that this is how it operated in the original tales but I wish that the author took more creative liberties. And so, throughout 2019, I read a couple of good books, I read a couple of bad books. I filmed videos about my best books and worst books of 2019 which you can watch because I will link it in my description. The last book that I read for the year was A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas. Yeah, really ending the year with a bang (😏). This became my last book of the year because I really, really did not want it to be my first book of the new year. Like, I really don’t want to start the new decade with a Sarah J. Maas book. So, I was trying to finish it as quickly as I could. I rated it 1 star, the book was pretty pointless. But, you know, it was okay. I liked that it was short. And. . . ⚠️ Intrusive fairy flashbacks ⚠️ Those were my Goodreads stats. To go a bit more in depth, I also started a spreadsheet to track the books I read throughout the year. I know I really, really need to get laid. I’m aware of this. I started this last year. We’re doing it again this year. Except, I am trying to be a bit more detail-oriented when it comes to showing how much money I saved. I primarily read books from the library. I don’t buy any books at all. For some reason, I’ve seen comments where people think that I believe that I’m better than other people just because I don’t buy books. Which — It’s really funny — Like, imagine if I base my self-esteem on the fact that I am too frugal and cheap and traumatized to spend money on anything thanks to how I grew up from my gambling-addicted family. That would honestly make my life and self-esteem so much easier but unfortunately, you know, this is just how I be. It’s just a personal preference. I don’t really give a shit whether you buy or borrow books at all. The way that I broke it down in my spreadsheet — which I will link in the description — Instead of having one column for price, I broke down into separate columns for the price of these books if I bought them as: A [new] hardback, or if I bought them as a [used] hardback, or a [new] paperback, or a [used] paperback, or an e-book — Just to see. I based these prices off of Amazon. Amazon is kind of weird because I think the prices fluctuate. Really, the prices are just based on the number that I saw when I looked up the book. And another weird thing is that sometimes, used copies are more expensive than new copies. Or paperbacks are more expensive than hardbacks. I don’t know why, but I went ahead and just plugged in the actual numbers instead. One thing worth noting is that not every book has a hardback version or a paperback version. In the cases where maybe that version isn’t available, I just default to the alternative version instead. So, if I had bought every book that I read this year as a new hardback, I saved: $1430.18. If I had bought the books as used hardbacks, they would be: $615.66. If I had bought the books as new paperbacks, I would have spent: $998.80. And if I had bought them as used paperbacks, I would have spent: $646.63. Lastly, if I had bought them as e-books, I would have spent: $830.69. Nice. 👌 I did not account shipping into these prices. However much it costs to ship a book to you, just multiply that by 78. And that’s gonna be a lot more. I guess it would probably be over, like, a thousand dollars, but we’re not gonna get into that — that gets way too complicated. I failed calculus. So, I fail as an Asian all around. This is my attempt at like, being closer to my people. Basically, I saved a lot of money. Yay! Now, my traumatized brain can be appeased. I think it is interesting to break it down between hardbacks vs. paperbacks and new books vs. used books because I do think that there is a common misconception that hardbacks are more expensive than paperbacks. But if you buy a used hardback, it’s actually cheaper than buying a new paperback. I hope these stats are useful for anyone considering on utilizing the library more. Or at the very least, considering what is the financial difference between buying a book new vs. buying a book used. Out of the 78 books, I actually borrowed 58 library books. So, that rounds up to 74%. The rest of them were either gifted or obtained elsewhere. There were some books that I borrowed from a friend. There was 1 book that I got my workplace to buy for me. There were 3 books that I got gifted from Simon Teen or Penguin Teen. There were 2 books that I read in a bookstore but they were picture books. So, hopefully I don’t look that much of an asshole over doing that. I actually did 𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘯𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 buy 2 books this year. The first book was Make Time, which is a non-fiction book. Even though I originally borrowed it from the library, I ended up having to pay a fine to replace the book because I had put that book next to my windowsill and then there was a rainstorm that happened and the book ended up being damaged. And I owed $25 to the library, which is actually more expensive than how much Amazon has listed the book. I logged on to my library website one day and I tried to reserve a book and then I found out that they BLOCKED me. 💀 I was honestly more hurt by this than if anybody on Twitter had blocked me. I mainly had to pay the $25 that I owed in order to be granted access back to the library. What was interesting is that I tweeted about what happened — There was this whole discourse that happened where people were like, “How could she owe so much money to a library?!” “How could she rack up all these fines and be so irresponsible?” “It’s so hypocritical because she’s promoting these libraries.” People were calculating about how many days I could have been late to return a book in order to rack up so many fines like this and be blocked from the library. Other people were saying that I just made up that tweet so that I could get a bunch of retweets and likes. I just damaged one book because there was a rainstorm and then I had to pay for it. That shit be expensive! I just thought it was weird that so many people were annoyed by my hypothetical “library habits” and just running off of assumptions for that. I guess the lesson is everybody needs to get laid, not just me. That’s really the thing that I learned about BookTube and the book community this year. People get so fucking pressed about other people’s bookish habits. Whether they like a book or whether they spend money on a book, who gives a shit. Just get laid. This other book that I had spent money on was Calypso by David Sedaris. I only say this on a technical level because yes, I did purchase the book. But I was reimbursed for it because I got a voucher. There’s actually a whole story about how this situation even happened. I will talk about that in a future video. I also decided to break down the ratio of 5 stars, the author’s gender, the author’s race because I thought it might be interesting to show how sexist and racist I am. Out of the 78 books, I rated 5 stars to 8 books, which is 10%. And 1 star to 6 books, which is 8%. This is pretty much a similar ratio to the books that I read last year. I also read 64 female authors, which is 82%, and 19 male authors, which is 24%. The reason why it doesn’t add up to 100 is because there are some books where it had more than one author. I read a few anthologies so they usually have like, a mixture of different genders. I also read 47 adult books, which is 60%, and 31 young adult books, which is 40%. I also read 25 non-fiction books, which is 32%, and 53 fiction books, which is 68%. I read 56 white authors, which is 72%. We already knew that I’ve been racist. Something that I’ve noticed this year is that every time I mentioned that a character or an author is white in a video, somebody gets really fucking upset. They’re like, “Why do you have to bring race into this?” “How would you feel if a white person made fun of people of color?” Bitch, they’ve been saying that. Like, where have you been? It’s weird. Saying the wₕᵢₜₑ wₒᵣd 🙊 makes people feel some type of way. I don’t hate white people, okay? I read 56 white authors. If anything, I have the opposite problem where I need to read more diversely. I also thought it might be fun to take a look at my YouTube channel as a whole and see what videos did the best this year. At the end of December last year, I think I had 18,000 subscribers. The last day of December of 2019, I had 90,900 subscribers, which is crazy. My channel grew a lot. I feel like when your channel grows rapidly, a lot of people feel some type of way or have some assumptions. “She grew it quickly because she just reads books that she hates and makes videos about them.” Or they assume that I think I’m better than everybody else just because my channel grew very rapidly. Again, imagine basing my self-esteem on that. But no, I’m aware that my growth on this channel has been an anomaly. I just got lucky. Some people just get good things and they don’t deserve it. I think we should see the videos that I posted this year and see which ones were the top 5 videos. My guess is that they’re probably gonna be the rant videos because the ones where I talk badly about a book, those are the ones that are most popular. Even though I do talk positively about other books, they don’t get as many views. But again, that’s not on me, that’s on you. Let’s see if my theory is correct. My top video of this year is my video review about A Court of Wings and Ruin. This got 276,000 views. I really enjoyed making this video. I remember when I read the book, there were just so many times where I had to stop it and then get a post-it tab and then mark specific scenes or dialogue where it was just so ridiculous or funny to me that I knew I wanted to comment about it in a video. Before I did the video, I literally had a whole document of notes about specific scenes that I wanted to call out and thoughts that I had while reading the book. So it was fun for me to film and make all the stupid fairy dick jokes. Clearly, a lot of people had fun with it, too. The comments section is like the funniest comment section I’ve seen. The second video was my video review about Exes and Ohs. This one got 259,000 views. This one really surprised me because I actually put off editing it for a long time because it just didn’t seem like it was my priority. And then I finally edited and I posted it and I didn’t think anything would come out of it. Somehow, the video kind of became “viral” and a lot of people who weren’t on BookTube found out about it. They really liked it and they thought it was really funny. It’s just weird how you make a video and then you just don’t think much of it. And then it receives, like, a strong reaction that you didn’t expect — From both sides, too. A lot of people thought it was funny. Also, a lot of people took offense to it because they thought that I was insulting the entire romance genre. And there’s this whole debacle about it on Book Twitter. It is strange how people can feel so strongly about someone’s opinions on a book. People started subtweeting me about how I only read books that I know I will hate in order to get views. When really, the only reason why I had read that book was because I was on a plane ride and I didn’t have anything else to read and I asked my neighbor if I could borrow her book. So it was really just, you know, circumstances that led me to picking up that book. The fact that these two videos are the most viewed ones really goes to show that Rant reviews do get views. But not only that, when they do get views, people get mad about it. And people assume that is all that I do. The third video that got the most views was a Monthly Wrap-up video that I posted in December. The first book that I talked about in the Monthly Wrap-up was You by Caroline Kepnes. Even though it was a Monthly Wrap-up and I read a lot of books that I actually liked, Most people clicked on it or commented on it related to my opinions on You. This goes along with the trend of people really liking negative content. And, predictably, the fourth top video that I had is my video review on A Court of Thorns and Roses. But I think a lot of the people that found me from ACOWAR trickled down over to that other video review. Lastly, the top fifth video that I had is actually not negative. It was the video where I explain how I paid off $145,000 in student loans in three years. The reception for that video was mostly positive. But I did get a few comments every now and then criticizing about how this was super unrealistic. In the beginning of the video, I made it pretty clear that I had very specific, unique circumstances I also went on this whole tirade about privilege because a lot of my life is very privileged. And that’s how I’ve been able to pay off my loans in such a short amount of time. I wasn’t giving advice, I was really just explaining how it happened. If you’re able to apply any of that to your own life, that’s great. But I don’t expect you to because my life is just a very weird set of circumstances. But a lot of people misinterpreted that and assumed that I was just bragging. I guess it makes sense because people tend to be kind of sensitive when it comes to money. When you see another person be much more financially well-off than you and be much luckier than you, It’s easy to be resentful of that because it’s not fair like, it honestly is not fair. And I totally understand why people, you know, would be upset by that video. There were some comments where people assumed that I had a sugar daddy or that I was getting paid six-figures. None of that is true. First of all, I’m too lazy to pretend that I like somebody in order to get money from them. And second of all, when I was paying off my loans, my salary was like, $50,000. I really just was able to pay off the loans because I saved a lot of money when I was a young child. Because I was traumatized as a young child. So, basically, the secret is Trauma™. A criticism that I got — which I think is super valid — is people thought that it was sketchy that: One of the things that I would do to save money is whenever I would go on a trip, I would buy clothes from H&M and then I would return them. My justification for this was that H&M is an evil corporation anyway. So, I didn’t care about making them lose money. And when you return clothes, they actually mark down the prices for people and put it in the “Used” section. I thought it wasn’t hurting anybody. But I do think that the criticisms are valid, especially now that I paid off my loans. I agree, that’s sketch. I was trying to think about like, why I do that. If you’ve watched some of my more personal videos, you might know about how I grew up. So, I associate spending money with a lot of stress. As a result of my extreme frugality, I did sketchy things like that. Now that I’ve paid off my loans, I’m trying to get better at this where I don’t have such an unhealthy attitude towards money. What made me realize that I now have the luxury of spending money to help others, One of my friends was going through a family emergency. They needed a lot of money to pay off for something. And I told her, “Hey, don’t worry about it ’cause I’ll cover for you.” The relief that she had made it feel so much more rewarding for me to be able to do that for, like, another person. Now that I am in a good place in my life where I can live comfortably, I can help others who are not able to have the same privileges as me. That’s my whole spiel. Basically, I just want to say that I’m aware that the video was not relatable to other people. I didn’t intend it to be. I don’t expect or advocate for anybody to follow the same methods that I did. Because I think it’s also important for you to enjoy your life. But, yeah, those are my top five videos. It’s clear to see that even though most of the reactions were positive, when a video gets bigger, there’s always negative reactions to it and people will kind of get nitpicky about certain things that you say or do. That’s just something that, this year, I am learning to accept. When you show a little bit of yourself on the Internet, people will put a microscope on that little thing that you show and assume whatever they want to assume — and that’s okay. Thank you for sticking around with me throughout the year. And thank you for leaving all these really funny or sweet comments. Even if you leave hate comments, I feel like that encourages me to be more self-reflective as well. So, I appreciate all the engagement that I’ve had throughout the year. Before I end this video, I do have to say that this video has been sponsored by Skillshare. Skillshare is an online learning community that offers membership with meaning. Make 2020 a year where you explore new skills, deepen existing passions, and get lost in creativity with Skillshare’s online classes. Skillshare offers classes designed for real-life so you can move your creative journey forward without putting life on hold. You can learn and grow with short classes that fit your busy routine. Skillshare is also incredibly affordable, especially when compared to pricey, in-person classes and workshops. An annual subscription is less than $10 a month. What’s fun about having a new year is that you can give yourself new goals or projects. And so, a relevant class I have for that is The Perfect 100 Day Project. And what’s cool about this class is that it knows that everyone has different methods of creativity and is helping you find the one that’s perfect for you. I also have a link in my description where you can join Skillshare for 2 months — F R E E. Make your 2020 better by unsubscribing from my channel. Good-bye! 🎶 Music Outro 🎶

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