This year, instead of having bookish goals and/or resolutions, I’m going to do more of a free for all and just talk about a bunch of things I want to do in 2020. They’re not even necessarily resolutions (or at least, not all of them are), and many are definitely more about having fun than anything else, but I think this is still a great way of looking ahead! Continue reading “20 Things to Do in 2020”
2019 has been a year of many firsts. To that end, it’s been a rather successful year for me. More than that, I feel like it’s been a very busy year; I think I’ve had something to look forward to nearly every month, which is novel but welcome! I didn’t do this type of reflective post for 2018, but I think this year it’s much needed, as so much happened that I definitely need to process it somewhere.
So, in chronological order: Continue reading “2019 Accomplishments & Reflections”
Before I post any goals or bookish resolutions for 2020, I should probably revisit my 2019 bookish goals and see how I did. Continue reading “2019 Reading Resolutions Update!”
I have some very specific goals for this year, so let’s get to it! Here are my 2019 reading goals/bookish resolutions!
Read at least 70 books. I read 90+ books this year and I even reset my Goodreads challenge from 75 to 90, but for some reason I feel like my reading is going to slow down next year? I don’t know why I’m getting this vibe, but in any case, I don’t want to stress out about my Goodreads challenge. I want to spend more time savoring books rather than speeding through them.
Read more adult high fantasy. This might seem like an odd goal for someone who is an avowed fantasy lover, but in looking over my books this year I noticed I only read two adult fantasy books, and they were both in the same series! I did this because one of my 2018 goals was to read outside my usual genres, which I did, but now I want to go back to my roots. I miss fantasy, and I think I’ve dipped my toe in other genres enough that I can settle back into my niches for a while.
Read series in order. Something I’ve been doing for the past couple of years is reading the first book in a fantasy series to get a broad sense of varied worlds and different writing styles. I did this specifically because I was trying to improve my writing. Unfortunately, my memory is crap, which means that I never finish series because I forget what happened in the first book and end up having to reread it. Therefore, for 2019, if a series is complete and I know I want to finish it, I’m going to commit to reading the books one after the other, or at least not leaving too large of a gap between the books.
Read at least one nonfiction book per month (and be less snobby about it). I really dropped the ball with nonfiction this year, and I’d like to fix that in 2019. I’ve already downloaded a bunch of nonfiction books from my library and have been adding a bunch to my TBR. As for the second bit of this goal, what I mean is I usually lean towards nonfiction published by a university press because I’m a snob about research and citations. But I’m going to try to read more commercial nonfiction in 2019.
Do NOT read more than one fiction book at once. I don’t know when I got into this habit of reading three or four books at a time, but I don’t think it does me any good. Instead what I’m going to try and do is read one fiction and one nonfiction book side by side, but never any more than that.
Read more classics. I’m making this goal very general and not committing to a particular number because I don’t know how successful I’ll be at this. I failed at this in 2018 because Jane Eyre took up nearly three-quarters of my year. I’m hoping I’ll fare a bit better at this in 2019 and knock some classic classics off my list. Of course I want to continue reading Victorian literature but I’d also like to dip my toes in to a Russian classic again.
Read three hard science-fiction books. I have a weird relationship with hard sci-fi. I almost never, ever reach for it, but when I do read it, I am absolutely obsessed with it. I think it intimidates me because the books tend to be really long and hard to get into, but they’re usually worth the effort. I don’t have anything specific in mind except for The Expanse series, but I’m open to recommendations!
Read for joy. This is kind of vague, so let me explain. Since I’ve started blogging, it’s hard not to sometimes read performatively. That is, I lean towards new releases or popular books that I know will get a lot of attention. I also shy away from rereading because I feel like that’s a waste of time. I don’t want to be like this next year. I want to read what I want to read, even if that’s weird, obscure 90s fantasy. I want to reread my faves. I want to read books because I’m savoring them, not because I feel like I have a responsibility to be reading them.
Hopefully I can accomplish all this. Next semester I’m going to be producing my Master’s thesis, which will probably take up a chunk of my time, so we’ll see how this goes. On the bright side, I’m going to be graduating in May, so I’ll have the WHOLE SUMMER to read a ton of books.
Before I post my 2019 bookish resolutions, let’s check on how I did on my resolutions for 2018.
1. Read at least 70 books. Success! This year I have read 90 books. I’ll probably finish a couple more before the year is out.
2. Read more outside my preferred genre. Success! Major success! To the point where I think for next year I want to read more fantasy than anything else because I really miss it. But I’ve explored almost every genre/category outside fantasy: literary, historical , romance, erotica, women’s fiction, contemporary, and classics! It’s been an interesting year; I’ve definitely read a ton of books that I normally wouldn’t have touched with a ten-foot pole. But I got some of my favorite reads of the year out them, so there you go.
3. Read more non-fiction! Fail. Major fail. I think I read 4? Ever since I started blogging I just don’t read as much non-fiction as I used to. I don’t know why, but I really, really want to change this; I very much enjoy reading non-fiction! So this goal will be one I carry with me into the new year.
4. Read one book in Arabic. Fail. I mean, I certainly purchased Arabic books, but…I did not manage to read one. I think I will be putting this particular goal on the back burner just because I don’t know if I will ind the time and effort to struggle through an Arabic-language book.
5. Don’t be afraid to re-read! Fail. Major fail! I didn’t reread at all this year. I think I’ll do better at this in 2019, though it probably won’t be an explicit resolution.
So, ultimately, that’s two goals out of five, which is fine, though hopefully I shall do better next year!
January 3rd: 2018 Reading Resolutions: Self explanatory. Let us know 5 of your reading goals for the year.
1. Read at least 70 books. This year I read 75, which is more than I’ve ever read in my adult life (in a single year, obviously). I know perfectly well I can achieve this if I devote enough time to it. I already read on my long commute but I also want to dedicate extra time at home to read, like on the weekends, which I normally spend lounging around doing absolutely nothing.
2. Read more outside my preferred genre. I started doing this a bit this year, but the majority of my reads still fall within YA fantasy. It’s my comfort genre and of course there’s nothing wrong with it, but I think I really need to expand my tastes a bit. Of course I want to branch out more into literary fiction and classics, but I also want to read more adult fantasy, women’s fiction, historical fiction, and mystery.
3. Read more non-fiction! I used to read non-fiction all the time but for some reason halfway through this year I kind of just…stopped? I have a bunch of non-fiction books on my shelves and on my Kindle that I’ve been meaning to read , so I definitely want to incorporate a few of those into my reading schedule. I still want to prioritize fiction because of course fiction is what I write, but I also like to learn!
4. Read one book in Arabic. I say one, because I know even reading just one will be a slog. I have a bunch of Arabic books, including one of short stories, and Prisoner of Azkaban. I’m technically bilingual and I can read Arabic but it takes a loooooot of concentration and asking my mom what various words mean, so it’s less of a “curl up under the covers with a book” situation and more like a “sit at a desk with a pen and notebook” situation. Still, I really want to keep my language skills strong.
5. Don’t be afraid to re-read! This year I kind of implicitly forbade myself from re-reading because I wanted to spend my time learning a new writing style, a new kind of worldbuilding, etc. I guess I thought of re-reading as a waste of time? But I also don’t want to forget the absolute joy of reading something I’m in love with. I haven’t re-read Harry Potter or Sweep in years, so this just might be the year I do that, especially since Goodreads has that fancy new re-read feature now.
Not to be a #cliche, but 2017 brought a lot of changes for me, both in my personal life and my online life. It was, in many ways, a year where things settled down for me, and I felt like my life really got itself on track to where I want it to go. I feel like I have personally reached a kind of inner zen I hadn’t thought possible for myself.
Since I used to make several end-of-year type posts back when I used to blog on Livejournal, I felt it might be appropriate to migrate the tradition over here. I got quite a bit wordy, so I put everything under the “read more” (which I just discovered was a thing this week). I’m going to talk quite a bit about various changes and accomplishments that happened in 2017, as well as hopes for 2018. Let’s get to it!