Thursday, January 6, 2022

2021 Reading Resolution Review & 2022 Reading Resolutions

Each year I really like to take my time looking back at the previous years goals and challenges before deciding what I am going plan for the year. I have done this for several years in a row now (you can find last years HERE). I have come to prefer setting a bit of looser goals and resolutions over the hard fast number driven challenges I set for myself in years past. But before we get into things too far, why don't we take a look back at how last years resolutions worked out for me in another chaotic year.


 1. Read that TBR: I have been using this as a resolution for the past few years because as we all know in the book world, all the pretty covers draw us in and we collect books faster than we can read them. I have been very guilty of this and at one point had nearly 400 books on my TBR. Last year I had set a goal of reading 70 books off my TBR, I ended up focusing mostly on my physical TBR because I no longer had access to reading ebooks at work. While only ended up reading 50 books off my TBR this year, I did also in my end of year/new year shelf freshen end up unhauling many more (I haven't counted yet but it was definitely more than 20). So I did in a way  meet my goal, by yet again not quite how I planned on it, by reading all the books.


2. Re-Read More: This was probably the best goal/resolution I ever set for myself. I had originally set a goal of re-reading 15 books with a stretch goal of 25. Well I met that stretch goal and absolutely loved every moment of it.  I have absolutely loved re-visiting some of my favorite series, it has been so comforting and also kept me reading in times when I might have fallen into a slump.


3. Purchase Less Books & Read More of Them: I have been using this as a resolution every year with different parameters every time in hopes of cutting back on my insane book buying habit. This year I tried to limit myself to only 4 pre-orders a month and limited myself to only one shelf available to fill with new purchases to encourage reading them as they came in. While I wasn't great about the 4 pre-orders a month, I did manage to become a bit more conscientious about my book buying. There were a lot less bulk orders, less picking up random books just to fill the cart. And while I didn't read all the books as they came in, I think I still ended up with only about 30 new books that I hadn't read yet. I also managed to keep my purchases under 100 books this year. This was a huge win for me!


4. Explore New Genres More: This was quite an adventure for me, while I didn't set any clear guidelines other than exploring new genres I am so glad I had this as a constant reminder to step out of those comfort zones. It has been so fun trying books that I wouldn't normally pick up. While I got pretty lucky most of the time, I did run into a few misses, but with the confidence I built up over previous years of resolutions, I was able to just DNF and set something down that I wasn't enjoying.  I have to say that if it hadn't been for this goal, I might not have had some of my most surprising best books of the year this year (more on this to come later).


Well that was rather surprising, while I may not have met all my goals and resolutions exactly as I had planned, I did in the end accomplish all I set out to do this year! I am so happy with how I have grown as a reader, not only this year but over the past several years. Taking a step back and getting back to looking at reading as a pleasurable hobby as opposed to the challenge to tackle each year has been amazing. It is a journey I am still working on but I am so happy with the progress I have made!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


So now that I have looked back at the past year and all I have accomplished, I feel so much more confident in setting my goals and resolutions for this year. So how about we get into it.


1. Find a Reading Balance: In years past I have been setting goals to read particular books, read the books I own, read the books I buy, read the books at the library, read the review books, etc. etc. But once things kind of got turned upside down last year when I quit my job and started something totally new, I wasn't able to track it quite as carefully as I used to. You know what I found? I ended up naturally finding a bit of a balance in my reading, I started reaching for roughly the same number of new and old books, review books and re-read books. It really allowed me to enjoy all the aspects of reading and I want to keep that feeling going. So I just want to find a balance that keeps me happy and satisfied, and you know what, it might change month to month and that is going to be okay too.


2. Purchase Less Books: Yes we are still stuck on this goal, and it will probably always be a bit of a challenge for me. But I am hoping that the past few years of learning will really pay off this year. Not to get into things too deep but we are looking at a tough year financially and I don't want the lack of book funds to feel like a failure but to look at it as an accomplishment. That I can be much more selective in the books I want to purchase, that I can wait for one to go on sale to pick it up, that I have books at home to read and I don't need that cover buy right now. I already have 30 books on my anticipated releases for this year, so I am going to have to be extremely picky with the ones I decide to purchase as I am hoping to keep purchases down to just 75 books total, that still averages about 6-7 books a month, more than I should need and I hope I can cut back even more.  The one thing that really helped me was having a dedicated shelf to new purchases, it really made me think about what books I want to see there and what books I will want to read sooner rather than later. So I will still be keeping that one shelf rule as well. 


3. Less Pressure and More Pleasure: I have pushed myself hard in the last 11 years of blogging to really put out consistent content for my followers. With the change in jobs it really became a challenge, I have only been able to blog late at night, when I would rather be reading. I have struggled a lot lately as to whether to keep blogging, and I will be doing that, but it is going to be on different terms.  I am not always going to post a review for every single book I read anymore, I am not going to be keeping a strict posting schedule, I am not going to be keeping constant features on my blog. What I am going to do is share what in the book world is making me happy at the time. If it is a particular book, I will post a review, if it is a beautiful cover, I will feature it, if it is a fun meme, I will participated. I want to share my love of books with you, not because books are what this blog is about but because that is what I enjoy. 


So that is it, my reading resolutions and goals for this year. I am hoping to continue my journey back to finding the real love reading and books has brought me and I think these are great goals to keep me on that path. I hope that you will continue to join me, even though things may not be as consistent around here as it used to be but I hope it will be a lot more enjoyable for all of us!


Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Bout of Books 33

Yes! It is time to kick off the year the right way! I love starting the new year with a fresh TBR and Bout of Books readathon to help me dive into all the great books! 

Here is the information you need in case you want to sign up too!

The Bout of Books readathon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It’s a weeklong readathon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 3th and runs through Sunday, January 9th in YOUR time zone. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are reading sprints, Twitter chats, and exclusive Instagram challenges, but they’re all completely optional. For all Bout of Books 33 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

  


So this post is going to be my base for the week, I will continue to come back and update it each day with my progress.  I will also be updating on Instagram @EasternSunset9


Time Devoted to Reading
I am hoping to start the year off right with a lot of reading this week. I hope to spend 2-3 hours per day reading, some at work, some on the go and some at home.

  
My Goals
Read at least 2 hours each day
Read/Finish 4 Books


Books to Read


Other Possible Books

Updates:


Monday
Number of Pages I've Read Today: 419 pages
Total Number of Pages:  419 pages
Time Spent Reading Today: 9.5 hours
Total Number of Books I've Read: 1
Books Completed: 1 (The Rogue Not Taken)
Thoughts: It has been ages since I last picked up a historical romance but I Sarah MacLean is a local author that I have been meaning to pick up for quite some time. Boy was I surprised when the book had me completely engrossed all day at work and up all night to finish it! 


Tuesday
Number of Pages I've Read Today: 193 pages
Total Number of Pages: 612 pages
Time Spent Reading Today: 3.75 hours
Total Number of Books I've Read: 3 (The Rogue Not Taken, Fire Study, A Scot in the Dark)
Books Completed:  1 (The Rogue Not Taken
Thoughts: Instead of picking up the other books I had planned to switch to between the romance but I couldn't wait to dive right into the next book in the series.  I did take a little break from the audio books and read some of Fire Study. 


Wednesday
Number of Pages I've Read Today: 178 pages
Total Number of Pages: 790 pages
Time Spent Reading Today: 3.5 hours
Total Number of Books I've Read: 4 (Today: A Scot in the Dark, A Conspiracy of Truths & Fire Study)
Books Completed: 2 (The Rogue Not Taken & A Scot in the Dark)
Thoughts: So I have definitely been really enjoying the romance books and flew through the first two books.  With that said I have tried to pick up A Conspiracy of Truths and I am really struggling, it is a very slow paced, character driven story where not much happens and there are no chapter breaks. I think I am unfortunately going to have to DNF it even though I love the cover and thought I would really enjoy it. I am also feeling a bit run down today, I think the past month of stress and chaos have finally caught up to me. So I am going to stick with my tried and true Study Series for now and maybe try the Doggone Deadly audio book tomorrow.



Thursday
Number of Pages I've Read Today: 
Total Number of Pages: 
Time Spent Reading Today: 
Total Number of Books I've Read: 
Books Completed: 
Thoughts: 


Friday
Number of Pages I've Read Today:
Total Number of Pages:
Time Spent Reading Today:
Total Number of Books I've Read:
Books Completed:
Thoughts:


Saturday & Sunday
Number of Pages I've Read Today: 
Total Number of Pages: 
Time Spent Reading Today:
Total Number of Books I've Read: 
Books Completed:
Thoughts: 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Challenges:

I don't often participate in the challenges but if I do they will be posted here.








Saturday, January 1, 2022

December 2021 Wrap Up

I didn't think I would make it to here many times throughout this month! I have been at home with a quarantined kid since December 8th working from home, then he tested positive and got pretty sick for a few days there. The debate about hosting Christmas or not, ending up hosting, trying to keep it as low key and stress free as possible but demanding family not allowing for it. All that and I still managed to work every day and post my advent reads posts every day! That was exhausting and miserable and something I don't care to repeat, though I did love sharing all the fun holiday books I came across this last year.

We will start with my main challenge this year . . .

TBR Books Read:
I definitely did not do a great job on this challenge this month focusing more on new books than these older TBR books. 
 


I am going to spend today sorting through my shelves and taking a really hard look at the books on my TBR list and which ones aren't as appealing to me anymore. Lets see if I can get that TBR just a bit more before setting my reading goals for 2022.







2021 Books added to TBR & Read:
Again, I didn't get quite as many new books read as I wanted to but looking back at the month, I feel like I did a good job of still getting 4 of them read.

 
 




Other Recent Additions:
I definitely added far more books this month than I intended but when you add together the annual local author event, Christmas gifts/gift cards and the Barnes & Noble 50% off sale, I don't think I did too bad.  Looking back, I am pretty sure I kept under the number of books that I wanted to add this year and I managed to keep all the unread ones on one shelf, meeting all my goals!
 
 
 
 
 
  




In other reading I am tracking this year, I read . . .

Re-Reads: - COMPETE-
Goal: Re-read 15 books
I have continued really enjoying re-reading old favorites and diving back into worlds I loved years ago. I will definitely be continuing to re-read more often!
None this month


Borrowed Books: - COMPLETE-
Goal: Borrow 30 books


Books Over 500 Pages: - COMPLETE-
Goal: 10 books
None this month but sitting at 15 total for the year so I am really happy but hoping to squeeze in one or two more before the end of the year.



Requested Reviews: 
 Reading Stats:
I read a total of 12books this last month satisfying all things considered.


Resolutions Check in:
1. Read that TBR: I didn't managed to read the amount of books that I hoped for this month but by the end of today I will have removed enough from my TBR so I am calling it a win. - CHECK
2. Re-Read More: I didn't manage to re-read any books this month despite my best plans but I am definitely thrilled with how this year has gone and I can't wait to add more re-reading in the next year. - :/
3. Purchase Less & Read More: Not quite reaching my goals for this one but I guess it will have to do for now, and as expected for the crazy December month. - CHECK
4. Keep Trying New Genres/Authors: I definitely tried a lot more unique books this month, different genres than usual. - CHECK

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~