As of this week, the Top Ten Tuesday meme has moved to a new host blog — That Artsy Reader Girl!
Same great concept started by The Broke and the Bookish, just a new host!
Top Ten Tuesday focuses on a different top 10 theme each week — check out the host blog for a list of upcoming TTT topics.
This week’s topic is… Bookish Resolutions/Goals
I don’t usually do the whole “New Year, new me” thing, and I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but here are some loosely-defined goals I have for myself this year.
1. Finish more
Laugh all you want, but I had a major problem finishing books last year. I could blame anything from work to travel to personal stress to migraines, but at the end of the day, I just lacked motivation.
That said, I started 2018 with a clearer head than I’ve had in years, and I’m already halfway to finishing my second book of the year.
2. Read one book at a time
How do I plan to accomplish my goal of finishing more books, you ask? Well, I’m going to start by reading ONE book at a time. There’s a whole world of literature out there, and as tempting as it is to try to read it all at once, I’ve found that I’m not a good multitasker when it comes to reading.
Sometimes it’s because I mix up the worlds I’m in, but mostly it’s that I end up putting down one book and continuing with whichever one is more interesting to me.
Disclaimer: My Goodreads page says I’m reading three books right now, but I’ve been working on A Song of Fire and Ice for like four years at this point — not because I don’t like them. It’s more because I have to have more than 10 minutes at a time dedicated to reading it. The other book I’m “currently reading” besides The City of Brass is a reread of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, so I’m not counting that.
3. Read at least 50 books
This goal is very closely related to the ones above. I participate in the Goodreads challenge every year, and last year I crashed hard and burned harder.
But I’ve done it before, and I can do it again. (Hell, one year I read more than 100 books!) 50 should be a breeze.
I already finished reading Fahrenheit 451 this month, which I hadn’t read since high school. I’m already halfway done with The City of Brass (which is phenomenal so far — go read it).
I think I’m well on my way to accomplishing this one.
4. Expand my horizons
In the past few years, I’ve sort of pigeonholed myself into very niched genres of reading.
But there’s a funny thing that happens with time. Life just keeps happening, whether you want it to or not. Since I launched this blog in 2014, I’ve had a lot of life experiences:
☑️ Nick and I got engaged
☑️ I started a new job — a new career path, really
☑️ I had knee surgery
☑️ We bought our first house
☑️ We got married
☑️ I bought my first car (that wasn’t the one my parents helped me buy in high school)
☑️ Nick got a new job (since our wagons are hitched, I feel like I can add this to the tally)
☑️ I traveled to Aruba
☑️ I experienced a LOT of personal growth from 2016 to 2017
☑️ I lost my ferret, Archer, to cancer (he was the first pet I had as an adult)
☑️ I traveled to Europe for the first time
☑️ I played for Team USA in the 5v5 World Ball Hockey Championship (more on that trip)
☑️ I lost my other ferret, Bear, to cancer
☑️ We climbed Mount Washington — a bucket list item of mine for several years
☑️ Nick and I really started focusing on paying off our debt in 2017 (hoping to have our credit cards paid off this fall!)
I’m sure I’m forgetting something, and if I really tried, I could come up with 10-20 more bullet points that summarize all the things I’ve done, but that’s not really the point.
What I’m really getting at is that the YA fiction that I’ve religiously read for years just isn’t as relevant to me as it was four years ago. And I think that played into how much — rather, how little — I read last year.
So instead of remaining pigeonholed into YA dystopian, fantasy, and science fiction, I’m branching out into other genres.
This doesn’t mean I’ll stop reading YA fiction altogether. It’s really more that I’m going to just read whatever the #@$ I want.
5. Get back to the classics
As part of my efforts to expand my horizons, I want to reread some classics I loved AND read classics I never got around to reading in the past!
That Charlotte Brontë, she’s a breath of fresh Eyre.
As previously mentioned, I finished rereading Fahrenheit 451 this year (it was my book club’s selection in December).
Other classics that may be on tap (in no particular order):
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
- Literally anything by Shakespeare
- 1984 by George Orwell
- Emma by Jane Austen
- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Sea Wolf by Jack London
6. Fill my new bookcase
I got a new (to me) bookcase over the weekend and it has a LOT of space to fill.
I’m beyond excited about this. My old bookcase was only 3 (very small) shelves, and it was made of ugly black particle bored.
While this bookcase is also made of particle board, it’s just so much prettier and BIGGER.
And I’m also really excited that it’s in my dining room instead of my spare bedroom (AKA the random junk room).
7. Buy more hardcovers
Over the past 6 years, I’ve really embraced e-books. They’re cheaper than buying hard copies, and it’s honestly just more convenient to be able to have a book on my Kindle, my tablet, and my phone all at once and to be able to seamlessly read the same book on multiple devices.
But does anything really compare to the feeling of reading a real book? (Or of using a nifty bookmark to save your place?)
This year, I want to buy more hardcovers of my favorite books.
Books I’ve already bought:
- the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace
- The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe
Books I’d like to buy:
- The Winner’s Crime and The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski (I already own a signed copy of The Winner’s Curse)
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (the only one I own in paperback)
- New copies of The Lord of the Rings series (my paperbacks are beat to hell and back)
- A new copy of Ender’s Game (I gave my copy to my little brother)
What else should I buy? Leave your suggestions in the comments!
8. Donate some books
I want to make more of a habit of donating books that I realistically won’t read again. I’m really good about this with clothes and kitchen items, but I’ve always had a bit of a book hoarding problem.
Libraries are obviously always looking for books, but I may also contact local homeless shelters to see if they need any books.
9. More trips to bookstores and libraries
There’s a new indie bookstore coming to my town called The Bookery, and my hope is that it can become my reading home away from home.
Growing up, I was CONSTANTLY at the local library (I even volunteered at the Round Rock Public Library in Texas from ages 11-15). I’ve been to the Manchester Public Library a handful of times, but I frequently fall into the trap of just buying things on Amazon because it’s “easy.”
But to be honest, I miss going to the library, and I want to start going back.
10. ENJOY reading
This should be self-explanatory, but the thing with having a blog is that if you don’t dedicate time to it, what’s the point? And sometimes, that makes reading feel like a job (especially when I force myself to suffer through a book that I don’t like simply so I can write a bad review).
So this year, I want to LOVE reading again, without it being a chore I have to do.