Another year, another Goodreads challenge I’ve failed. Okay, that’s a little harsh. The past two years, I’ve been reading the final book in my challenge when the clock struck midnight. Until I looked back at last year’s post, I thought I had set the same goal this year of 25, but it turns out I bumped my goal up by one: In 2017 I read 23 out of 24 books. In 2018 I read 24 out of 25. I’m pretty proud of that improvement, especially in a year when there was a lot of good TV out, and even more good video games.
I wish I could be one of those people who reads 50 books a year, but I have too many other interests to spend all my free time reading. Again, TV and video games play a major factor. But so does working out and hanging out with friends. And, this may be blasphemy… but sometimes I just don’t want to sit and read. I already have to force myself to sit and write – I’ve procrastinated writing this blog post for two days already – I don’t want to take any joy out of reading by forcing it either.
Though I did cut some corners to get as far as I did this year. I read not one but two collections of poetry, a photography book, and finally finished two non-fiction books I started in 2016 and 2017. But hey, would I have finished those without pushing myself to hit my goal? Probably not.
I’ve set another goal of 25 books for 2019. That seems to be the perfect balance of reaching, but attainable. I was just one book short this year, but if I had made my goal smaller, I wouldn’t have put half a dozen books on hold at the library in November. And I read some good books:
You can see all the books I read, and their ratings, over on my Goodreads. I already have a stack of four books sitting under my coffee table I need to dive into, and three more holds at the library. Guess it’s time to get the 2019 challenge underway.
Hello, old friend. I’ve missed filling your pixels with my rambling thoughts about books and video games. Well, it’s a new year, and like I end up doing every year, I’m committed to writing on you more. Three times a month feels reasonable. We’ll see how that sounds come August.
To kick off the New Year, I’m going to look back for a moment at last year’s reading challenge. I’ve never hit my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal, but this year… this year I came so close.
Out of my goal to read 24 books – two per month – I read 23 and a half. I’m almost done with Libba Bray’s Before the Devil Breaks You, but I couldn’t quite get through all 550 pages between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Especially considering we got a PS4 for Christmas.
What I’m most proud of about nearly completing my 2017 Reading Challenge is that I read far more books by authors of color in one year than I ever have before (which is really sad to admit. This is why we need diverse books). I also read several varieties of books that I don’t normally dive into, including memoirs, contemporary fiction, and poetry.
Looking forward to 2018, I set a goal to read 25 books instead of 24. This is primarily because I’m in not one, but two book clubs: one at work and one for my sorority. The January books for those book clubs are some of 2017’s finest: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I have a feeling most books won’t overlap, so there’s the potential for two books per month right there. Though, knowing me, the non-in-person book club will take a backseat to my work book club, the YA fantasy novels I’ll make time for, and video games.
Favorite book(s) from 2017: An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
Book I’m most looking forward to in 2018: The Power by Naomi Alderman
Cheers to 2018!
You know when the new year starts and you’re making all kinds of resolutions to get in shape and eat better and read more and spend more quality time with family and friends? Yeah, I made all those resolutions this year. And you know how they slowly start to fade away because unless you joined a fitness group or paid money for one of those healthy meal solution plans, no one’s really holding you accountable? Yeah, they’ve been fading for me, but no one noticed so I didn’t worry about it.
Until Goodreads said something to me with this email:
Yeah… I knew I had challenged myself to read 50 books in 2015 at the beginning of January, and I knew it took me a little longer to get through All the Light We Cannot See than I had planned, but no big deal, right? No one’s actually keeping track of how many books you’re reading. Well, turns out Goodreads is keeping their members on track, and sending them emails to
guilt encourage them to get back on track. It’s like a virtual fitness group for bibliophiles, and I’m actually totally okay with that.
So while my guilt-tinged heart is embarrassed that we’re a quarter of the way through the year and I’ve finished a grand total of three books, I’m happy for the reminder that someone/something is holding me accountable to the goals I’ve set for myself, and that I get handy email reminders in the process. And hey, I’m devouring a great book right now and have several more in reserve to read once I finish. So, FYI Goodreads, you’ll be seeing some updates from me soon.
And, bonus, for every book I read, it’s a new book review blog post for you! Killing two birds with one book-shaped stone.