2021 content consumption, and some reflections
4 min read

2021 content consumption, and some reflections

For years, I've used all sorts of quantified self + tracking apps: Swarm [0], Trakt, last.fm, etc. I've never really done anything with these data besides the occasional revisit, but when thinking about ways to reflect on 2021 I thought it might be fun to think about my year in content consumption.

So – let's get to it!


  • I read 9 books this year; well short of my usual goal of 24.
  • I highlighted ~20 web articles, and read many more that didn't make it into Readwise.
  • Speaking of Readwise, my collection has grown to include 38 books, 40 articles, and 59 tweet threads. Most of those are things I enjoy revisiting as part of regular reviews which to me is good signal that I'm saving and reading good content.
  • This was a big year for me in TV + movies – I watched 126 hours of movies, and 277 hours of TV.
  • I played a bunch of video games this year; I don't keep dedicated stats on gaming but sharing some reflections below.
  • I listened to a ton of music: 45,881 minutes (= 764 hours = 31 days) across 2,852 different artists according to my Spotify Wrapped + last.fm data [1] .
  • While not content, I managed to take 5 flight-enabled trips this year, and added Costa Rica + Dominican Republic to my list of visited countries.



Fiction: Brandon Sanderson continues to be one of my favorite authors – Rhythm of War was my favorite book of 2021, with Project Hail Mary coming in at a close second.

Non-Fiction: I really enjoyed A Promised Land and Die With Zero. I found myself repeatedly sharing concepts from the latter with friends this year.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, a lot of the content I read + highlighted this year was about crypto. I noticed myself spending more time on Twitter than in the past, and some of that included saving some great threads

I'll come back and update this post with some favorite highlights from the year, but also thinking about a way to continuously share my top highlights from Readwise. More coming soon!

Movies and TV

Movies: Baby Driver, Layer Cake, The Little Things, and Spider-Man: No Way Home were all highlights. I also rewatched a bunch of the Daniel Craig Bond movies, Edge of Tomorrow, the Bourne series, and new Star Trek movies.

I watched less Bollywood than usual, but rewatched Befikre, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and they all held up.

Interestingly, I only watched two movies more than once this year: Befikre, and The Matrix Resurrections.

Shows: I rewatched all of New Girl around the middle of the year and loved it – still one of my favorite sitcoms. I discovered Party Down this year and loved that too. Clarkson's Farm was more fun than I expected it to be, as were Loki, and Invincible. I also liked the latest seasons of You, Mythic Quest, See, and Ted Lasso.

I started but didn't finish the new Cowboy Bebop (meh), Shadow and Bone (meh), Atlanta (want to come back to this one), and Stumptown.


At first I thought I ended the year without playing many games, but in retrospect the list ends up being a nicely long one:

  • I kicked off the year with Cyberpunk 2077. Bugs notwithstanding the game played really smoothly on Stadia and the story + world were great.
  • Despite my best attempts I can't get enough of Factorio, and revisited this off and on over the year.
  • I spent a decent amount of time playing Valheim with some friends when it at the peak of its popularity. While fun, we lost steam after the first few bosses.
  • Played a small amount of The Ascent with a friend and hoping to revisit soon.
  • A friend introduced me to Deep Rock Galactic and it's been a fun co-operative game.
  • I dabbled (<20h) with Crusader Kings 3 and Assassin's Creed Valhalla, but haven't felt the urge to spend more time on either.
  • Started playing It Takes Two over the winter holiday break; it's very good.

I also continued playing tabletop RPGs with a group of friends that's met mostly-weekly for a few years now (we're lucky!). This year we switched from a long stretch of D&D 5E to Blades in the Dark.


The Spotify screenshot in [1] tells a good story of my music experiences this year, but a few notes:

Western: I listened to a lot of The Midnight, Clean Bandit, Childish Gambino, and The Weeknd.

Eastern: I continue to love the amount and quality of indie (non-soundtrack) music coming out of South Asia. Over 2021 my daily listening swung strongly toward Desi music; just guessing, I probably average 70% Desi : 30% Western these days. That said, Bollywood soundtracks generally disappointed me this year, but I spent less time going through new releases than usual. Shershaah was a notable exception.  


My travel highlights this year included attending several friends' weddings, spending a week in Costa Rica, and otherwise staying close to home.


Thinking a bit about major trends and things to tweak in 2022:

  • I noticed myself substituting watched content for read content; creating a more consistent reading habit is important to me and hoping to get closer to my 24-book goal this year by watching fewer things.
  • I developed a bit more comfort abandoning books that didn't hold my attention – I hope to continue doing that; there are so many good books out there that I'll never read them all.
  • I've realized the type of gaming I enjoy the most is with friends. I usually leave long single-player gaming sessions feeling like I could have done something "better" with the time, even if I enjoy playing in the moment. It might make sense to track hours of games played as a stat in 2022.

[0] I can count on one hand the number of people I know who still use Foursquare / Swarm....

[1] My last.fm year in review: https://www.last.fm/user/blattus/listening-report/year; and here's my Spotify Wrapped screenshot

[2] This tweet from 2019 still holds true: