Monday, December 31, 2018

Look Back at 2018 Reading Resolutions

So I set some pretty basic goals for myself back at the beginning of 2018 but I felt that they were pretty achievable and great goals to work towards.  Now that we are at the end of the year I wanted to take a look back at those goals and see how I did before planning my goals and resolutions for next year.

1. Read Less Books: So my first goal for 2018 was to read less books, more so because I always consume so many that I often forget the details of many of them.  In 2016 I read 398 books, in 2017 I read 340 books and this year I read 324 books.  I definitely made progress, thanks to DNFing over 10 books that I was not enjoying. I do want to continue working on this goal as I still find myself reading multiple books at once (which will probably never stop) and flying through the books and not fully immersing myself into them. 

2. Be More Aware While Reading: This goal of course ties into #1 part of the reason I wanted to read less books was so that I could be more aware of what I was reading. While I didn't do this with every book I read, I was much better about focusing on the details of each book, I made notes on favorite quotes and characters and I also flagged some of my favorite books. One of the quotes that really resonated with me this year came from A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir "Curse this world for what it does to mothers, for what it does to daughters. Curse it for making us strong through loss and pain, our hearts torn from our chests again and again.  Curse it for forcing us to endure."

3. Read More Chunky Books: I had set out this year to read 12 books over 450 pages since I have so many large books on my shelves that I keep putting off in favor of the quick fast reads. I ended up reading a total of 15 books over 450 pages this year, with the longest one being 624 pages! I also had several more that were over 400 pages but not quite 450.  I think I did really great with this goal and want to keep pushing myself in the next year.  I did find that I read most of my larger books early in the year as the second half of the year is always super busy. I will be expanding on this goal in 2019.

4. Use My Library/Overdrive More: I was a lot better about this in 2018, usually I had simply used Overdrive as a tool to allow me to read the same book in multiple formats as opposed to strictly borrowing the book and not purchasing it first.  I did manage to borrow 23 books from the library/overdrive that I did not already own (a couple of those I loved so much that I did go out and purchase one for my shelves but I am not counting that).  I am really happy with that progress, but I would like to make more in the next year, I have found the hardest part for me is the wait times, when I want to read a book I want to read it now before I am not in the mood, I also binge read series so I want to be able to pick them up back to back to back.  The wait times at the library drive me up a wall, in fact I placed a hold on Spinning Silver and Uprooted back in the beginning of October and I am still on the wait list! It really drives me crazy to have to wait for others to read them and return them, when I have the ability to read and return multiple large books in less than 2 weeks. Still I have made progress and hope to continue to do so. 

5. Purge and Re-Organize My Shelves: I made huge progress on this goal, I have purged more than 250 books from my shelves, not including all the Children's books Munchkin and I have purged from his shelves. It has been refreshing removing books I did not enjoy as well as ones I probably will never get to reading. The Try a Chapter Challenge has been a great tool for me in selecting books that remain on my TBR, I am sure some would find it unfair, like judging a book by the cover by only judging the readability of a book on one chapter but for someone who still has over 300 books on my physical TBR shelf, it seems pretty practical.  I have also started unhauling books as I finish them, I keep them in a pile for my monthly wrap up and then once that is complete the ones I don't want are placed in a box for sale or donation before even being put on my shelves. This system has been great for not overcrowding my shelves with books I don't want to re-read or add to my collection. 

So there we have my goals from 2018, I am super proud of my progress throughout this year. Instead of setting really specific goals for the year I chose to set general goals.  These are like habits both good and bad, it is a change in mentality and routines, they are a work in progress but the progress I made this year I am super proud of and hope to continue in the new year. I have learned a few things about myself on this journey this year and hope to tailor my plans for 2019 to work with those things I have learned.

 How did you do on your 2018 goals?  Are you happy with your progress? Are you going to change anything in the new year?

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