2017 Bookish Resolutions – A Mid-Year Check-In

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Can you believe that this year is already half-way over? Time really does fly when you’re having fun, folks! And by having fun, I mean reading books, of course!! Way back in January I outlined for myself five bookish resolutions for 2017. Today we’re going to take a look at each one of those goals and see how much (or how little) I’ve accomplished so far this year.

1. Read a minimum of 175 books in 2017.

In January I joined the Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge, setting a goal of reading 175 books by the end of the year. How have I fared so far? Well, folks, as of today I have read 123 books in 2017. I am over two-thirds of the way toward meeting my Challenge goal. I fully believe I will surpass it and am (unofficially) hoping to hit a mark somewhere near or above 200.

2. Read the books I own.

I borrow most of my books from the library, however, I am a sucker for a good Kindle deal. Thus, I have built up somewhat of a library on my Kindle Paperwhite. One of my 2017 reading goals was to whittle away at those virtual shelves. How have I fared, you ask? Out of 123 books read, 26 of those were books I personally own. Additionally, I have actually added to that library this year by 40 books so far, which averages out to about 5-6 books a month. Soooo… maybe I’m not doing quite so well with this one. I just might need to step up my game a bit with this goal – what do you think?

3. Create a private reading log.

I originally made it a goal to create a private reading log in Excel back in 2016, but that never happened. I’m happy to say that in 2017, said reading log now exists and is updated on a daily basis! I’m very proud of myself and pat myself on the back often, thank you very much. I cannot wait until my end-of-year wrap-up, when I can use Excel to create my favorite thing ever – PIE CHARTS – to relay my reading statistics to you all. Yippee!!

4. Read *more* more diverse books.

In 2016, I made it a goal to read more diverse books. And I did, but not enough to satisfy  myself. Thus, in 2017, I made a resolution to read *more* more diverse books. How am I doing? Well, in the last 6 1/2 months, I have read 30 books by or about People of Color; that averages out to approximately 5 books per month. This statistic does not include, obviously, books that involve other diverse populations, the data of which I have not yet recorded/tallied. Needless to say, once again, I feel it is necessary to step up my game in this category as well.

5. Pay more attention to Pathologically Literate

In 2016, I barely spent any time on PathologicallyLiterate.com at all. I made it a goal for 2017 to spend more time writing about books and reading to share with my readers. While I haven’t done the job I had hoped to, I have been at the very least sharing monthly posts (and very occasionally a little something extra). You gotta start somewhere, right, friends? In the mean time, keep an eye out for future posts or giveaways – you never know when something wonderful just might come your way!!

Well, friends, while I’m not hitting all of my goals at the desired levels, I am having a great time trying! I’ve read so many great books so far in 2017, and have had so much fun exploring a genre that is completely new to me: YA Fantasy. I love expanding my reading reach and knowing that I now have *that* many more books to choose from! I will continue to work hard to meet my Bookish Resolutions of 2017, and will check in again at the end of the year to keep you in the loop as to how I’ve fared. Happy Reading, all!!

How has your reading life been going in 2017?

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My Bookish Resolutions for 2017

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It’s a new year, y’all, and time for a fresh start. Last year I set a precedent for myself when I shared My Bookish Resolutions for 2016 in the hope that it would make them more real to me, and thus more attainable – also, to create a little accountability for myself, thereby creating some motivation to actually reach those goals I was setting. How did that work out for me? Well, I wrote all about that last week in Reflections on My 2016 Bookish Resolutions – feel free to check out the post to see how things went.

In 2017 I plan to revisit some of last year’s goals as well as set some new ones for myself. I’ve chosen five main areas I want to work on. Let’s take a look at where I’m headed with this:

1.  Read a minimum of 175 books in 2017

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I originally set a goal of reading 150 books in 2016. Surprising myself, I far surpassed that goal, reading a total of 192 books! I’m upping the ante a bit this year and going for 175 books in the 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge. We are homeschooling high school this year so I didn’t want to aim much higher than that as I know we’re going to be busier than ever before. That said, I do plan to re-evaluate things in October to see where I am at with my reading totals and perhaps adjust my challenge goal at that time.

2. Read the Books I Own

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Based on the large number of books I’ve amassed on my Kindle Paperwhite (my preferred reading medium), one would imagine I would have no need to purchase any new books nor have any use for the public library. Not so, y’all. Not so at all. Despite my plans to the contrary, out of the 192 books I read in 2016, only a measly 29 of them were books that I personally owned. Pathetic, right? With renewed vigor, I am pledging to #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks in 2017!! Now, this is more of a “you do you” reading “effort” versus a reading challenge hosted over at Estella’s Revenge. Once again, I’m not yet sure exactly how I’m going to approach this goal, but I am going to tackle and at the least significantly reduce this collection of books on my Kindle. I’m off to a decent start already, too – we’re only 1 1/2 weeks into January and out of the six books I’ve read so far, two of them have been books that belong to me. I’ll be totally pleased if that ratio were to continue throughout the year. Yay, me!

3. Create a Private Reading Log

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Now, as we all know, I track my reading on Goodreads; I also keep track of the books I read each year on Pinterest. What my bookish little heart really desires, however, is cold, hard data. The kind, my friend, that you can track and collect and evaluate and transform into… yes… that’s right… PIE CHARTS!! I found an excellent template for a private reading log right here that I’m going to be using. I did find another great one here, but decided the original template I’d found fit my uses better. Each template is editable once downloaded, of course, so should you, too, choose to do so there’s nothing stopping your data collecting little souls from customizing it to your heart’s content. This was a goal of mine for 2016 as well, which bombed spectacularly. It bombed so spectacularly, in fact, that I never even downloaded the template. OMG. So sad, amiright? 2017 is a different story, my friends. Not only did I download the template already, but I have customized it to my needs and have been keeping it updated with the books I have read so far (granted, that is only six books, but still…). I would say we are off to a great start, wouldn’t you? It’s only onward and upward from here, people. All I have to say is be prepared for some major pie chartage in January, 2018.

 

4. Read *More* More Diverse Books

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I’ve made it a goal of mine since the beginning of 2015 to read more books written by or about people of all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. The problem I came across in the previous two years is that I was simply not mindful enough about this. I thought about it, yes. I added plenty of books to my TBR list, yes. But when choosing the books I actually read, I just picked up whatever sounded good at the moment or whatever was available, and didn’t pay that much attention at the time as to whether or not the book I had just chosen was meeting the standards I had set for myself. I want the books I read to reflect the person I am and the values and beliefs I hold, and if that is the case then I must be more mindful when I’m in the moment of actually picking up my next book. In 2016, I read 37 books that fell under the category of diverse literature as defined above. In 2017, I would like to at least double that amount.

5. Pay More Attention to Pathologically Literate

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Once upon a time, I posted daily on this blog. Then, it was three times a week. Then, a few times a month. In 2016, it was more like a few times that year. That is not the vision I had for Pathologically Literate when I created it. I wanted a forum where I could gloat and enthuse about my love and passion for all things books and reading, where others could read and relate to those words and perhaps share some of their own thoughts on those subjects. I would like to get back to that. Now that we’re homeschooling high school, there is no way I have time to review every book I read the way I did once upon a time, but I do intend to do so more often. I also plan to write more about other bookish delights, as well homeschool life and other events in the Pathologically Literate household. Saddle up, y’all. Momma’s comin’ home!

2017 is going to be a year full of good reads, good writing, and good times. I can’t wait to get started, and I hope you will be here with me for the journey. Happy Reading in 2017, y’all!!

What are your reading goals for 2017?

Library Love: March 17, 2015

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Library Love is a recurring post in which I share the weekly bounty from my public libraries.

 

 

 

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, y’all! As you can see, we’ve got our green goin’ on today – how about you? I had to run out last night to buy The Boy & I Shamrock shirts for today so we would be pinch-proof. Other than that we don’t actually do much around here to celebrate the holiday (although you should check out my Pinterest Board for some fun ideas) but it’s always nice to at least dress the part. Not that anyone actually sees us since we homeschool, but at least we know we’re complying with the Irish Holiday bylaws! I found some awesome reads last week at the libraries, y’all – I’ve already cracked open a couple of them and cannot wait to get to the rest. Let’s take a look:

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I will say that I’ve already read Kindred and Speak, and they were both great novels, particularly Speak. Very powerful stuff, y’all. God Don’t Like Ugly is a novel I tried to read about ten years ago but never finished (for some unknown reason) so now it’s time for Round #2! I’ve had The Paying Guests on hold for a long, long time and it’s finally my turn – woo-hoo! A Goodreads friend rated Finding Jake very highly, so I have high hopes for it. I’ve also heard great things about T. Geronimo Johnson, so Hold It ‘Til It Hurts will hopefully be a winner, as well. It looks like I’m up to my eyeballs with books this week so I’d better get crackin’. Happy Reading, y’all!

Do you do anything to celebrate good ‘ol Saint Patrick’s Day? Share below!

Library Love: December 19, 2014

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Library Love is a recurring post in which I share my weekly bounty from my public libraries.

 

 

Surprise, surprise, y’all – I made it to the local library this week! Granted, it was only to run in and out to pick up some books I’d had on hold, but I’m going to go ahead and say it counts! Next week I’m taking The Boy there to pick out some more books of his own, so I’ll actually be spending some time within the four walls for once. Funnily enough, the two books I picked up at the local library are the two I’m the most excited to read! Let’s take a look at this week’s haul:

In a nod to Kent Haruf’s recent passing, I will be reading Plainsong. I’ve checked out Evergreen in the past, but this time plan to actually read it. The Kept – y’all, I’m already reading this one, and it is something to behold. So many of my Goodreads friends have read or are planning to read A Spy Among Friends, so I feel beholden to do so as well… I’ve been looking forward to reading The Book of Unknown Americans for quite a while, and I also just found out it is the book for January’s discussion in my Literary Fiction by People of Color book group on Goodreads, so – win/win, right? And, drum roll, please… the new Ron Rash is here!! I just discovered Ron Rash a couple of years ago, but really got into him in 2014 – his new collection of short stories (and I believe some poetry) – Something Rich and Strange – was released not long ago and now it’s my turn to read it. As Flavia de Luce would say, “Yaroo!” And, of course, Happy Reading, y’all!

Is there a particular book you’ve been wanting to read this holiday season? Share in the comments!

 

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Amazon Brings Goodreads to First-Generation Kindle Paperwhite

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When Amazon released the 2nd-generation Kindle Paperwhite last Winter, one of the features I was most envious of was the direct link to Goodreads located on the main menu of the device. I have lamented the fact that my 1st-generation Paperwhite does not have this feature on a daily basis since then. If you are in the same boat as me, well then I have got some awesome, awesome news, my friends! Amazon has announced that it is bringing Goodreads to the 1st-generation Paperwhite! This free upgrade will be available via an automatic, wireless download or as a manual download via USB, and will include several other groovy enhancements including inline footnotes, the ability to skim pages and chapters without losing your place, improvements to bookmarks, highlights, and notes, as well as the option to coordinate stored content via Cloud Collections.

With Goodreads now on your Kindle Paperwhite, you will be able to:

  • Rate books
  • View your shelves (read, currently reading, & to-read)
  • View Goodreads friends’ activities
  • Share your favorite passages from within the book you’re currently reading
  • Add your Amazon book purchases to your Goodreads shelves

But wait, you say. How will we know when we finally have Goodreads? I’m so glad you asked! Take a gander at the photo below:

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You’ll know your 1st-generation Paperwhite has Goodreads when you see the Goodreads “g” on the top right-hand side of your navigation bar.

If you just cannot wait for the automatic update, here are directions for How to Get Goodreads on Your Kindle Paperwhite Right Now. Please keep in mind that the post I just referred you to will direct you to download Update 5.4.2 – that was the update for the 2nd-generation Paperwhite. You will want to download Update 5.4.4. It really is very self-explanatory if you read the post I indicated and then visit the 1st-Generation Paperwhite update page.

If you’ve decided to wait around for the automatic upgrade but want to learn more, Engadget has published a post in which the author goes Hands-on with Goodreads for Kindle Paperwhite.

What do you think about Goodreads on the Kindle?

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My Favorite Bookish iPhone Apps

Last Fall, my little brother bought me an iPhone 4. Well, technically, it was a free phone offer so he didn’t pay for it, but it’s the thought that counts. I’d previously been a BlackBerry girl down to the core but when I was introduced to the bright and shiny world of iPhone Apps, that all fell by the wayside. There are so many apps to make my life easier! Over the last few months, I’ve discovered several that are designed specifically for book lovers such as myself. Here are a few of my favorites:

goodreads 1. Goodreads: I use Goodreads online, and the Goodreads App for iPhone is pretty useful. I can view updates, update my own status, view and edit my bookshelves, view friends’ bookshelves, and search for and request friends. A really great feature is the ability to scan books, via my iPhone camera, onto my Goodreads bookshelves. If you have a ton of books you want to add for insurance purposes, or even just one library book you don’t feel like typing in, all you have to do is scan the ISBN and BAM! There it is, in your Goodreads account. Fabulous! This app also has the ability to locate any literary events that are taking place based on your GPS location. Nice! Thanks, Goodreads… – The Goodreads App for iPhone is FREE in the iPhone App Store

kindle 2. Kindle: I have my beloved Kindle Paperwhite, but sometimes I just have to put it aside to charge it or – gasp! – I forget it at home. It’s all good, though, because I have the Kindle App for iPhone on my side. From the cloud, I can download any Kindle book I’ve ever purchased or any library books I’m currently borrowing. As long as the wi-fi on my actual Kindle is activated, the two devices will sync to the last page that I read. Love that feature! The Kindle App for iPhone ensures that no matter where I go, I always have ALL THE BOOKS with me. This would be the equivalent of what The Boy calls his blankies (yes, he has more than one blankey – we’re all about the OCD in the Pathologically Literate Household). – The Kindle App for iPhone is FREE in the iPhone App Store

bluefire 3. Bluefire: The Bluefire Reader for iPhone is an app I just discovered over the last week or so, and I’m so excited about it! Bluefire supports ePUB and PDF content and, most notably, it also supports Adobe Digital Editions encrypted ePUB DRM content. What this means to me is that I can now download my NetGalley ARC ePUBs to my iPhone to read via Bluefire instead of having to sit at my laptop for hours to read them. So awesome! Additionally, Bluefire will support ADE content for Google, Sony Reader, Diesel, ARE, and Kobo. You can also download and read library books via Bluefire (although the “official” library book app is Overdrive). Again, yay! There are certain ebooks at the library that are only in ePUB form so they’ve been unavailable to me (can you say, The Aviator’s Wife?) but now – victory is mine! Bluefire, will you be my BFF? – The Bluefire App for iPhone is FREE in the iPhone App Store

LibraryBooksIcon3 4. LibraryBooks: LibraryBooks is a great app, with the potential to be even greater. Basically, it connects to your particular public library – you can connect to multiple libraries/accounts – and it will track what books, movies, CD’s and other media you have checked out and when they are due. You can set notifications to alert you ahead of time when your books are due. The app will also track what books you have reserved and where you are on the waiting list, and will alert you when they are available to you. All of this is fabulous and wonderful, right? Yes, indeed. My one complaint: LibraryBooks does not encompass the digital library side of things. It does not track your ebooks – neither those that you’ve checked out nor those that you have reserved. So disappointing! Isn’t this supposed to be the digital age? C’mon, now, LibraryBooks – get with the program!! — The LibraryBooks App for iPhone is $2.99 in the iPhone App Store

audible 5. Audible: I am not myself a fan of audiobooks (you can read about this in an upcoming post). I did, however, recently purchase the audiobook version of The Hunger Games for The Boy to listen to, in the hopes that it will spur him on to read the actual book along with the rest of the trilogy. Our family computer is in the Family Room which means I would have to listen to it (annoying!) and I don’t like the idea of sharing my laptop, so he’ll be using the Audible App on my iPhone – far, far away in another room. Some of the features this app offers include the ability to transfer your books to your device via wi-fi, chapter navigation/bookmarking, and the ability to track your listening habits. – The Audible App for iPhone is FREE in the iPhone App Store

These are the five iPhone Apps that I either use the most, or love the most. I’m all about making life easier and these help me to do that. You should definitely check them out to see if they would be a good fit for you! But if they’re not, don’t worry – there are so many more bookish apps in the App Store to suit anyone’s fancy. In the end, it all comes down to what helps you do what you need to do in the easiest way possible. Head over to the iPhone App Store today!

Do you have an iDevice? What are your favorite bookish apps?

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge Update

It should come as no surprise that one of my favorite sites is Goodreads.com. Goodreads is a free website for book lovers to record their reading history; it is also a social networking site in which you make friends and can view others’ bookshelves, book reviews, etc. There’s much more to it than that, but that’s another post altogether…

This year I signed on for the Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge. I set a goal to read 150 books in 2013. I just logged on to check where I was at for the year, and it looks like things are moving right along. Check out the screenshot below. While you’re at it, why don’t you take a minute to subscribe to Pathologically Literate so you can keep an eye out for further updates throughout the year…

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Do you set personal reading goals for yourself each year? Do you participate in any yearly reading challenges?