#ReadIntl2020 Books International Reading Life Reading Ruminations Reading Themes

My #ReadIntl2020 Stats

A Round-Up of My Year Of International Literature

Myra here.

One of the things I love about December is that it gives me the space to reflect on my reading life over the past year, and whether I did passably well on some of the reading challenges I imposed on myself. Increasingly, I feel this urge to really broaden my “reading horizons” and to diversify my reading list. Over the past years, I have fallen deeply in love with international/translated literature, so much so that I devoted 2020 to featuring said titles here at GatheringBooks.

I have a #ReadIntl2020 page where I keep track of and document the books that I have been sharing here throughout our quarterly reading themes this year. Take note, though, that this does not include all the books I read this year – I will reserve that for My Year in Reading post. Here are the numbers for my Year of International Literature (2020):

And since I love tables, here is a further breakdown of the top five countries (based on author/illustrator’s country) I visited this year through books:

Top 6 Countries Visited Number of Books Read
1. United States 52
2. Canada 8
3. Spain 5
4. Japan 4
4. Germany 4
5. Australia 3
5. France 3
5. Peru 3

What the figures reveal to me is that despite my concerted attempts to read internationally, 60 out of the 109 books I featured this year still come from the United States and Canada. To be fair, though, the books are mostly written/illustrated by people of color, which still fits into my overall goal of reading diversely.

This actually makes me wonder: What would my reading life be like if I do not impose this kind of reading challenge for myself?

If I were to examine further across translated languages, here are the figures:

Languages Read Number of Books Read
1. English (neither translated not bilingual) 71
2. Arabic (bilingual and translated) 7
3. Spanish (bilingual and translated) 6
4. French 4
5. German 3
6. Japanese 2

As can be seen in the table above, majority of the books featured this year are still in English (neither translated nor bilingual) – but as I pointed above, most are written/illustrated by people of color. I am glad to see that Arabic and Spanish languages are in the top 2 and 3 spot respectively. It is also interesting to see that I’ve featured quite a few translated European titles (French/German).

More than ever, I am committed to reading more international titles, more women authors/illustrators, more people of colour. Hopefully, our upcoming 2021 reading challenge would push me towards that direction more purposefully and strategically.

How about you? How many countries have you visited through books this year?

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

2 comments on “My #ReadIntl2020 Stats

  1. Wow – I love this challenge. Do you read internationally every year?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Britt! Yes, we try to read as diversely as we can. We do have a different reading theme for 2021, but I have a feeling you’d be interested in it as well. We will be posting details in a few days’ time. 🙂 Do feel free to join us!


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