Bookish Discussions / On a personal note...

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

the DD journal 2

Another year is just about over and of course I have to look back and recap some stats and events:


*Read 70 books (30 less than last year).  I’m actually good with what happened as far as my reading this year. I had some major life events that took over my reading for long stretches of time. I also had many slumps along the way but then seemed to pick up steam with two or three “unputdownables”, so it all balanced out. Something different for me this year was the number of books I DNF. Refusing to slog through books that weren’t holding my attention was very liberating as a reader.

*Reviewed 45 books on the blog (30 less than last year).  I was also more choosy with the reviews I wrote. The first year and a half of blogging, I felt I had to review everything I read. This year some books were paired up in one post or found their way with a shorter review with other books. Some I just forgot to write about.

*Requested far less ARCs. Why didn’t I request more ARCs? To be brutally honest, I’m small potatoes when it comes to blogging and the rejections were getting to be evident, so I backed away. I also started using my library more and just got my name on the holds list right away for a new release. Having some of the inside scoop paid off when I was first in line at the library!

*Participated in 1 book challenge, Nonfiction November. Nonfiction November was a great month for me and look forward to doing that one again next year. I know there are others that are doable but all the rules bog me down a bit. The other event that worked for me was Armchair BEA since I couldn’t attend the one in NY.



*Read more books from my personal bookshelf.  I like Andi’s #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks from Estella’s Revenge and with her mindset, will follow my “own damn rules” for it. I have more than enough to choose from and not sure which ones I’ll finally pick up, but I want to make a dent. I’m not setting a goal just yet with number of books I want to read in 2016 (although I probably will on GR). The first few months of the year, I’m doubling up with college classes so who knows when I’ll surface for recreational air.

*Classics, Middle Grade and Nonfiction, oh my! This year I really slacked with reading classics, Middle Grade and Nonfiction on a more regular basis. In 2016, I hope to vary my reading a bit more.

*Request less at the library. They always seem to come in at the same time and I end up returning more than half. I need to find a better way.

*Blog Logo. BLOG LOGO!!! Still not quite sure what I am aiming for but I know it will come to me eventually.

TBR list  red-vintage-old-chair 1  

*Regular blog posts and stick with my themed ones. I’d like to aim for three posts a week and try to stick with some of the themes I’ve already started. “Get Your TBR List Ready” will be back in January 2016. I took November and December off because there weren’t many I was super excited for. Yes, I have more than enough backlist to read but I enjoy highlighting debut authors or books that are not hyped up enough. “Literary Landscapes” is fun combining photos and literary quotes I love, but it fell away later in the year. Also, I enjoy writing “Adapting the Page” where I read a book and then watch the television show or movie and compare notes.

There are also a few blog memes that I was sporadic with and hope to participate more regularly, maybe once or twice a month. I was a regular with “Top Ten Tuesday” for most of the year and then some of the topics didn’t work for me. I really enjoy “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading” even though it stresses me out on Sunday night when I haven’t picked up anything new. Also new to me is “Bookish and Not So Bookish Thoughts” where I have been able to ramble about things other than books once or twice a month.

steinemgay collage

As far as events, I hope to attend more book readings and literary events. This year a highlight was attending the Gloria Steinem and Roxane Gay night in Chicago. Also in Chicago this Spring is BEA. Being only an hour away, I hope to get into the city for a few days of the expo. A favorite event of mine that I missed this year is Printer’s Row Lit Fest also in Chicago. I really hope to get to that one as well!

All in all it’s been a good year and even when I feel like I don’t know if this blog should continue I remember all the friends I’ve made and the reason I started this in the first place…to highlight literature. Because even though I have so many other interests and a busy life (like everyone else) the one constant in my life has been literature. Without it, I wouldn’t be me and I’m so glad that I found this group of other bookish people to geek out with when it comes to all things books.

Happy New Year!

12 thoughts on “Looking Back, Looking Ahead

  1. I’m with you on a ton of these this year – I really found a sweet spot in using what I know to be coming up and requesting ahead of time at the library. It made a huge difference for me. I wish I had been able to hold through in DNFing as much as I did at the beginning of the year – you did awesome with that!

  2. Good for you for requesting less ARCs…and using the library. I read entirely electronically, so haven’t used my library as much as I should. But, I hear they just got an e-lending system, so I’m hoping to check that out this year.

  3. I think publishers in general are giving far fewer ARCs to small potatoes like us. And I’m ok with that. It lets me guide my reading more by whim than a grand plan. Like Shannon, I’m doing more requesting at the library. And hurray to Andi and reading our own damn books!

    • I truly don’t mind not having to find shelf space for paper ARCs. I’m still going to request a few each month via Edelweiss in digital format. Also getting new release books at the library is turning out to be a fun challenge!

  4. I definitely need to read some of the books on my own shelf and am starting out the year failing (although, in all fairness, I had some credits on Audible expiring so I feel like I had to do it….). As for reviewing less, don’t you find it so refreshing when you don’t review everything? Sometimes I read a book and I just don’t have a lot to say, good or bad, and it’s nice not to feel pressured to come up with something.

  5. Like you, I read fewer books and reviewed fewer of the books I read compared to last year, but it’s been such a busy year for grad school, I think that’s probably for the best. This year, reading more of my own books and getting more consistent with my posting are some of my goals too 🙂

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