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I originally made it a goal to create a private reading log in Excel back in 2016, but that never happened.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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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!