A mishmash of topics in this post, which is why it took forever to make up a title for it!
On Reading Resolutions & Reading Challenges
At the beginning of the year, Goodreads lets you set a reading challenge — a number of books you plan to read for the year. Last year, I set it to 25, with the idea that roughly two books a month should be manageable and achievable while working full-time. I’m glad to have managed to read 52 books, which is kind of like a book for every week! Obviously, I did not read a book every week, especially when I had that long reading slump spell. But I’m getting an idea of what it’s like to actively read, so I’ve slightly upped 2017’s number to 30 books.
I reckon I’ll read more than that, but I prefer aiming low so that I don’t have to force myself just to meet a number and possibly take out the joy of reading in the process. I’m pretty sure the optimists have a saying about aiming really high so you don’t fall back to ground zero, but I’m a cynic-slash-realist. Life (and social media) can be demanding!
I’m also going to try and plan the books I’ll be reading for a month and make a list of it. I don’t like making TBR lists because — as mentioned above — I find the pressure to finish the list before the month ends can take the fun from reading. But not having a list also wastes a lot of time that can be spent on reading, while I look at my books and see which ones I feel like delving in. I’m still trying to strike a balance, but I’m hoping it will decrease my TBR pile considerably. Or one can hope it does.
My major reading resolution this year is to read a poem each day. I’ve been trying to love poetry since I got on bookstagram, but I get distracted easily and there’s just so many poems and poets out there that I don’t know how to start! So I bought A Poem For Every Night of the Year (apologies for a lack of photo; London winter weather is not great for lighting) and so far, I’m loving it!
On Book-Buying Resolutions
I was away on holiday when I saw Arpita (from Bag Full of Books) post on Instagram about reading from her shelf and buying only 24 books for the whole year. Exempted from the count are presents or books given by publishers. I thought it was such a brilliant idea! Living in London means limited living space (not unless you’re a millionaire), and I’m running out of stacking space for books. Yes, I can’t even fit a bigger shelf! Most of the books I own are on the TBR list, and some have been there for more than a year. So I’ve taken on this resolution on board as well: I’m going to try and buy just 2 physical books a month. Ebooks are fair game (they’re not very good for bookstagramming though), as well as presents from friends or ARCs from publishers. My husband should be happy, and hopefully, I get to save more too! Let’s see how long I last though.
On Book Blogging
I keep dropping in and out of blogging, and I’m still trying to find the balance between generating content for bookstagram and this blog. On top of that, there’s also connecting with fellow book lovers! I’ve somewhat got a system for Instagram now, but still floundering on blogging. I’m lucky to have been directed to this Winter 2017 Comment Challenge, where you can get partnered up with another book blogger, and you agree to leave comments on their posts for the duration of winter.
Click on the image above for the sign-up post for the month of February. The challenge is hosted by Lonna and Alicia, and is meant to go until March (so watch out for the March sign-up post as well if you want to continue). I’m planning to comment on at least 5+ posts because I have no idea people can make ten posts in a month? How do you all live? Heh.
Speaking of posts, I’ve also decided to limit my book reviewing to two book reviews per month. I reckon one of the reasons I am so infrequent with posting is that the pressure of writing a balanced review of most books I’ve read sucks the joy out of blogging (can you see a trend with me here), and two sounds more doable. I’m thinking I’ll still do micro reviews, which is easier to put together. I’m hoping this helps me balance my time with content generation between Instagram and this blog, as well as actually having time to read!
We’ll see how long I last with these “resolutions”. I intend to keep at least the first two, although the book buying one is going to be very hard. I just keep thinking of the financial benefits and it makes me feel a bit better, but it’s only two weeks into January; who knows what special editions of beloved books may come out during the year!