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:
Now that I’m done with my reflection pieces, it’s time to look forward to new adventures in the new year. Well, new bookish adventures in the new year. For a rebel like myself, making plans and TBR lists is pointless because I never follow them. My 2016 reading reflection is evidence of this because I hardly read the books I assigned myself for that year. However, I do like to make these lists, pointless as they may be, and I plan to make a few for 2017 in this post. (We’ll see how well I do by year’s end.)
Also, like last year, I’ll assign myself books I must read by year’s end. These are books that I’m really interested in reading and I hope I will do so and not procrastinate and forget about them.
Goodreads reading goal
Last year my goal was to read 60 books/comics and I surpassed that by reading 88 books/comics but not without some trepidation in the early months of the year. So to make my reading experience less stressful for the entire year, I plan to read 40 books/comics by year’s end.
I’ll keep track of my reading and purchases by using this spreadsheet designed for booklovers who are too interested in their reading stats, like me. 🙂
Weekend Reads is a weekly discussion on a variety of topics. At the end of the post, I’ll include what I plan to read on the weekend.
This weekend’s question:
What are your reading plans for the new year?
I don’t plan ahead when it comes to my reading and blogging and if I do I only plan halfway. I hate being restricted. Of course, planning would come in handy sometimes, especially for topics for these Weekend Reads posts, but I like to make things hard for myself, obviously.
I read that quote earlier this year and it made me feel as if I’m lacking in some way. Often I spend my weekends doing nothing except stare at white walls, trying to invent creative ways to rouse myself to do something from my lengthy to-do list, much of which consists of ways to increase my knowledge of art and literature or improve my writing. Excellence, then, would not come my way soon if I continue in this way. So my interest was piqued when I saw an ARC giveaway for Gretchen Rubin’s recently published Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. I immediately sent a request, wondering if I would enjoy the book or cast it aside as a major bore. After all, how could a book on habits be entertaining?
I doubt entertainment is anyone’s foremost reason for reading this book, and it wasn’t mine, but I worried if I’d be able to stick with it to the end. I didn’t have much to maintain an interest in the book other than a drive to change my bad habits and my friends’ expressed enjoyment of Rubin’s bestseller The Happiness Project. I’ve never read anything by her prior to this book. Despite these meagre sources to drum up interest, I immediately began reading soon after receiving the book and barely put it down.
At the heart of Better than Before is a quest for self-knowledge. That’s what latched my attention. Rubin reasons that we must first know ourselves — our wants, needs, and drives — before we can change. With that, she begins her book by stating that we’re driven by expectations. There are two types, she states, outer (deadlines and company goals) and inner (personal goals). We tackle these expectations in various ways but Rubin lists four ways we tend to approach them. She presents them as groups: upholders, who respond well to both outer and inner expectations; questioners, who resist outer expectations but meet inner expectations; obligers, who meet outer expectations but resist inner expectations; and rebels, who resist both types of expectations. Rubin confesses that she’s an upholder, which becomes more apparent the more I read. Likewise, I became convinced that I’m a rebel by the end of the book.
The following are links to articles and announcements that I found interesting and thought you might too. Some are recent while others were posted back in December (yep, weeding through my emails again) but all are book/reading related.
First up is this post on Tor.com that is sure to excite all Wheel of Time fans. Tor plans to publish a Wheel of Time companion in November of this year. YEAHIEE!! According to the post on Tor.com, “Only a fraction of what author Robert Jordan imagined ended up on the page, the rest going into his personal files.” I hope this WOT companion will make us privy to what went into Jordan’s personal files. The post included a short list of what will be included in the book. I’m looking forward to detailed character descriptions, a chronological historical recount of the world (if possible), and lots of maps. I also hope that the art will be superb. I love the art in the A Song of Ice and Fire companion and the historical recount in it is not bad either though I wish they had waited until the series is complete to do a companion. Anyways, I’m only on book 5 of the WOT series but I’ll grab the companion as soon as it’s published!
Riverhead Books has revealed the cover of Elizabeth Gilbert’s upcoming book on creativity, slated to be published on September 22. It’s titled Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. It’s quite colorful. I’m more excited about fact that Gilbert is writing a book on creativity (I wasn’t aware) than about the cover. But it looks like the kind of cover that will grab my attention from across the room. According to Gilbert, the book is “basically a manifesto. It contains everything that I believe about creativity.” GalleyCat has more on the announcement.
I don’t do well with challenges. I certainly believe I’m behind on my Classics Club Challenge. But when I saw this challenge in my Book Riot e-newsletter, I couldn’t help wanting to join. I like how diverse it is. I will partake in Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge. Here’s a bit on the creator’s—Rachel—intention: “I’ve included 24 tasks, averaging out to two per month, that will hopefully inspire you to pick up books that represent experiences and places and cultures that might be different from your own. We encourage you to push yourself, to take advantage of this challenge as a way to explore topics or formats or genres that you otherwise wouldn’t try.” Haven’t started yet but I’m looking forward to it!