2018 Reading Plans

With those reflection posts out the way, it’s time to make plans for the new year. My hope is that it’ll be a thrifty year, reading-wise, because my plan is to mainly read more of the books I own and to buy less books. I’d like to cut the amount I spent on books last year by more than half.

Surprisingly to me, I did pretty well on my reading goals in 2017 and managed to complete 4 of the many reading challenges I participated in. Usually, I’d only successfully complete 1 or none. I’ve also been debating whether or not it makes sense for me to participate in reading challenges since I’m never an active participant in them. I do not create separate posts for updates or follow up on the hosts’ blog to state my progress or engage in conversations on Twitter about what I’m reading for the challenge and how well it’s all going. I basically just state that I’m participating then go off and do it all on my own (or not do it, which is usually the case) like the loner I am.

However, I do find it fun to state that I’m participating and make TBRs (though I never follow them) so….I’ll continue with my mad process. Speaking of which, here are the reading challenges I’ll participate in this year and the books I’ll read for them:

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Reflecting on 2017: Reading

And yet, another reflection post on the previous year. It might not look like it, but I’m taking it easy with these reflection posts. Last year, I wrote them back to back and was burnt out by the end of the first week in January and didn’t want to look at my blog or read a book. As my mom always says, “everything in moderation,” so I’m moderating how much I write in a day.

Feeling burnt out, I set a manageable Goodreads reading goal for myself in 2017 at just 40 books. I thought I wouldn’t be much interested in reading and would feel pressured by a high reading goal. But I surprised myself later in the year when I passed my reading goal and read 74 books. I was tempted then to increase my goal, but reading pressure-free was so wonderful that I left the goal as is. Inspired by that, at the beginning of 2018 I again set a manageable Goodreads reading goal for myself at just 45 books.

Overall, this wasn’t a spectacular year in reading. I read some great books, but they were few compared to 2016 when I had a hard time deciding on my best reads of the year. However, I was very generous with my star ratings again in 2017 and gave many books 5 stars, which I don’t mind much but as time passes and I reflect on some books, I realize that I no longer think they are 5-star reads. For example, Robin Hobb’s Liveship Traders trilogy, which is wonderful and thought-provoking, but is over worked in some areas making reading feel like a chore. The more I think about those books, the more I feel like dropping a star. But, whatever. It’s still a good read that I highly recommend.

Below, I’ve selected the top books for the year for each category I usually include in my quarterly reading wrap-ups. Again, this is unneeded, especially since I’ve already done a favorite books of 2017 post, but I had so much fun doing this last year that I had to do it again this year. I’ve only included up to 5 books in each category and afterward I list some stats on my reading and mention my progress in the reading challenges I participated in. It’s basically a quick overall wrap-up for the year that’s similar to my quarterly wrap-ups. All books/items, depending on their categories, are listed from absolute best to acceptable, or from least liked to acceptable. Rereads are not often consider for the “favorites” and “least liked” lists.

If you’re curious about how I managed to track all this crap, check out Brock’s YouTube video to learn more about the reading stats spreadsheet he creates every year. (He recently posted a link to an updated version on his Twitter.)

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2017 End of Year Book Survey

Yeahie!! The End of Year Book Survey is back! 😀 I enjoy doing this survey though it’s very long (which makes me like it even more) and I enjoy reading others’ responses to them too (because I get book recommendations). So shout out to Jamie, the Perpetual Page-Turner, for creating it.

Number of books read: 74

Books: 30

Audio books: 13

E-books: 15

Comics/graphic novels: 15

Mangas: 1

Number of books reread: 17

Number of books I didn’t finish: 9

Genre I read the most: Fantasy

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ZeZee’s Favorite Reads of 2017

My intention was to post this favorites list on December 31, but time got away from me. I was enjoying myself too much working, traveling, and partying with friends and family and didn’t get the chance to write this list of favorites.

I enjoy writing and reading these best-of-year lists because I get great recommendations from them. As I said last year when I did a similar list, “the books included in these end-of-year favorites lists are ones that have great staying power. They are ones that readers often reminisce on throughout the year and might even consider rereading.” I still believe that and I chose the books on this list with those words in mind.

I couldn’t stop at the usual 10 books for these lists and instead chose 15 books. I placed them in the following categories: fiction, nonfiction, and other, which includes picture books and comics. The books are listed in the order I read them.

Fiction

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Reflecting on 2017: Blogging

It’s been a great blogging year, though I’ve been so busy that finding time to write and format blog posts and to read the posts of other bloggers became tricky. I applaud all bloggers who are able to post regularly AND find time to keep up with the posts of other bloggers. If you work full time while doing this, please give me some tips on how you manage it all without getting burnt out.

I still miss the Year in Review post WordPress usually puts together for us at the end of the year. It did a great job of concisely wrapping up our blogging year for us and presenting such stats in a nice graphic, which we could then post on our blogs. Since that’s no longer available, I have to do this myself, but since I am busy and have limited digital art skills, I’ll just talk about it all in a usual post. I guess it will be boring for some, but it’ll definitely be very useful for me.

I’m glad to see that my blog has grown a lot since the last blogging reflection post I did last January. My site views and visitors have increased from 16,000 and 7,000, respectively, to approximately:

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Reflecting on 2017: Life

Every new year morning, before I roll out my bed, brush my teeth, or talk to anyone, I grab my computer and make a long journal entry where I reflect on all I did in the past year. I reflect on what I accomplished, what I failed, and what I hoped for. As I mentioned in this Weekend Reads post, I usually do this while my family is at church. I see this as a spiritual process though it does not involve church, and it helps me to see how much I’ve developed over the year and assess what areas need further improvement.

I’ve only been doing this for a few years now, probably since 2012 when I started making one-word goals for the year, and it has benefited me well. By reflecting on the past, these journal entries give me perspective on the future. At the end, when I’m mentally and physically spent from all the writing and reflecting, I’m left with is a single word that becomes my goal for the upcoming year.

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2017 Reading Wrap-Up: Fourth Quarter

Ahh… the last quarterly reading wrap-up of the year. The amount of items read dropped this quarter since I had less time and opportunity to read, and also because I read more novels than comics and audio books, which can be quickly consumed. However, I am proud of my progress because I read more than I thought I’d be able to and have surpassed my reading goal for the year.

Books | Comics | Mangas

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