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?

Reflections on my 2016 Bookish Resolutions

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In early January of 2016, I did something I don’t usually do. I spoke up. I went out on a limb here and shared with you my Bookish Resolutions for 2016 in the hope that seeing those words in black and white would make them more real to me, and thus more attainable – as well as to put the fear of God into myself to meet said goals so I didn’t look like a loser in front of my millions of followers and fans.

Um. Yeah. So… that didn’t necessarily work out the way I had hoped. As you’ll clearly see below.

I originally set five main bookish goals for the year of 2016. I was ready. I was motivated. I was not going to fail. Hmmmm… Let’s take a look at how things ended up, shall we?

1.  Read a minimum of 150 books in 2016:

Now, this particular goal was a not a problem for me. In fact, I surpassed my original goal by a long shot. Instead of the proposed 150 books, I finished the year off by reading a whopping 192 books! Not quite as many books as I finished in 2013 and 2014, but I beat my numbers from 2015 by 21 books!

2.  Keep a private reading log (separate from Goodreads and Pinterest):

Nope. Nothing. Nada. Did not happen. Maybe next time, folks. This was a disappointment for me, as I had been hoping to be able to keep track of certain statistics regarding my reading habits via this visionary reading log I was going to keep in Microsoft Excel, allowing me to create an end-of-year post with one of my favorite things ever, pie charts. Well, so much for that one.

3.  Read the books I own:

I have amassed a huge collection of novels on my Kindle Paperwhite (my preferred reading medium), and some in print as well. In January of last year, I pledged to #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks instead of completely ignoring them while continuing to purchase new ones and checking out new releases from my libraries. Well. First of all, while the acquisition of new books did not stop, it did at least slow down a bit – so I suppose there was a small amount of success there. As far as reading my own damn books, however… Out of the 192 books I read in 2016, only a measly 29 of them were books that I personally owned. An equal number of books (again, 29) were galleys/ARCs gifted to me from publishers for review. That means that the remaining 154 books were acquired from my beloved libraries – NOT quite what I’d originally had planned.

4.  Continue to read more diverse books:

I am a big-time supporter of We Need Diverse Books (a grassroots organization created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature). Reading about and supporting its activities really shed a light on the lack of diversity in my own reading habits. Thus, I pledged to read a minimum of fifty diverse books in 2016 (although ideally I would have liked to have read even more than that) – that would mean, if I were to have reached my original goal of 150, that 1/3 of those books would be 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. As we know, I exceeded my goal of 150 books in total. But how did I do with my 50 books from diverse origins? Well. Out of a total of 192 books, only 37 of them fell under the definition of “diverse” that I mentioned above. That is so not OK with me. I expected better from myself. I was simply not nearly as mindful about it as I planned to be – as I needed to be – and I’m disappointed in myself. But we’ll address this more in my resolutions for 2017…

5.  Join a book club:

For years and years, I wanted to be a part of an honest-to-goodness, real-life book club. Well, in 2016 that wish finally came true! I joined the online MomAdvice Book Club, created by the fabulous Amy Allen Clark, in January of last year and it was so fulfilling and so, so much fun. I even hosted our October discussion about Lily and the Octopus by Stephen Rowley. Me! Can you imagine? I promise you that those who know me well, can NOT imagine. In addition to the awesomeness of the MomAdvice Book Club, I also joined an IRL book club here in good ol’ Lincoln, Nebraska. It’s The Best Ever Book Club! Seriously. That’s the name of the book club. Fun, right? So, I joined it – kind of. Theoretically, anyway. I belong to the Facebook page, at least, and am friends with one of the members. I truly do intend to attend a meeting… at some point. I won’t go into the myriad reasons why it’s difficult for me to go out in public with groups of people, whether it be for small gatherings or large events – it’s a long story and it would bore you beyond belief. However, up to this point I have been unable to actually attend a meeting. I have, however, read most of the assigned books – and that counts for something, right?

All right, y’all. That there was my year in books. While I did meet (and in one case surpass) some of my goals, and while I am pleased about that, I didn’t meet enough of them to my satisfaction. Will I do better in 2017? Time will only tell. Keep your eyes peeled for My Bookish Resolutions for 2017, coming up next week.

Did you have any bookish goals for 2016? How did that work out for you?

My Bookish Resolutions for 2016

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At the end/beginning of each year, I sit and think on any goals or ambitions I might have for my reading in the coming new year. I generally keep these filed away in a random part of my mind, thinking about them only rarely, when it is convenient for me or when I am reminded of them. Thus, it is often that I do not reach said goals or lofty ambitions that I set for myself – surprise, surprise. I’m going out on a limb here and sharing with you my Bookish Resolutions for 2016 in the hope that seeing these words in black and white will make them more real to me, and thus more attainable – and also, because a little accountability and fear of public failure/humiliation is always good for motivation from time to time…

1. read a minimum of 150 books in 2016.

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As part of the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge, I have pledged to read 150 books by December 31, 2016. In past years I have read: 171 in 2015, 225 in 2014, and 213 in 2013. We had a few bumps in the road in 2015 that ate into my reading time, bringing my total down quite a bit from past years. As certain issues are yet to be resolved, I’m going to play it safe and keep my challenge goal down to a manageable number since I  just don’t seem to be able to keep up with my former pace as of late.

2. keep a private reading log (separate from Goodreads and Pinterest).

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Two words, y’all: PIE CHARTS. I’m so jealous of the book bloggers that keep such meticulous records that they are able to produce pie charts outlining their reading habits at the end of each year, and have been telling myself for ages that I am going to do the same: This. Is. The. Year! Amanda Nelson at Book Riot tracks her reading via The Ultimate Reading Spreadsheet in Google Docs. She shares the template for her spreadsheet here. I have downloaded it to Excel and, after making various personalizations, will be recording the hell out of my reading in 2016 so I can get my pie chart groove on next January…

3. read the books I own.

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I continue to amass a collection of novels (mainly on my Kindle) that then remain unread as I continue to aggressively read library checkouts and NetGalley selections. While my situation is not as dire as my friend Cathy’s over at 746 Books, if I don’t take action now it could certainly grow to such an outlandish situation. How am I going to achieve this? I’m not yet sure. So many new releases are tempting me, as well as all of those goodies on my TBR list – I must be strong, y’all. I’m thinking… Maybe one book I own for every one or two library/NetGalley books, perhaps? I’ll have to fine-tune my process over the next month or two and will return here for an update. Andi over at Estella’s Revenge has started up a “read whatcha got” reading effort for 2016 called #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks. As she says, it’s totally a choose-your-own-adventure, no rules type of thang – if you’re interested and would like to join in, you can link up here.

4. Continue to read more diverse books.

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I thought I was making a conscious effort to do this in 2015, but apparently not, for I failed miserably. Out of 171 books, only 28 of them could truly be classified as diverse literature. However, it is a new year and time for a fresh start! I’ve read nine books so far in 2016, and three of them can be classified as diverse literature. Over at the website for We Need Diverse Books, I have pledged to read a minimum of fifty diverse books this year – that would mean, if I were to reach my goal of 150, that 1/3 of those books would be 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. This is equal to about four to five “diverse” books each month. Personally, I think it should be more than that and plan to be a bit more intentional about the books I read in order to try to increase that amount, but I will ultimately be satisfied if I reach my original goal of fifty, because I can always improve upon that in 2017!

5. Join a book club.

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I’ve always wanted to be in a book club. Always. Alas, no one I know (IRL) likes to read the way I do or would ever consider forming a book club with me. Boo-hoo. Rushing in to save the day, however, is Amy Allen Clark over at MomAdvice.com! Amy recently created the MomAdvice Hangout (join us!) over on Facebook, a group of which I am a part, and which I adore! We chat about all kinds of things, of course, but an oft-discussed topic is books, books, and more books. The best part is that Amy has created the MomAdvice Book Club, which began in January, 2016. Our first book, chosen by Amy herself, is The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende – it was a great read, and I can’t wait for the discussion to start!

These are my top five resolutions for 2016 – as they relate to reading, that is. It’s going to be a great year full of great reads, I can just sense it (my TBR list is telling me so, as well)!

Have you made any bookish resolutions for 2016? Please share in the comments below!