Posts tagged 2018 resolutions
Reading Resolutions for 2019
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2019 is already off and racing ahead of us, but we belatedly took a few minutes to reflect on what we’d like to improve on in our reading lives. We each agreed we had some really simple, basic goals to ensure this reading year was better than the last, and that we choose books that are better and better suited for us. In the end, all any reader wants is a satisfying reading life, and a few tweaks can make all the difference. With that said, we have some simple resolutions:

Michaela

  1. Read from my SHELVES- I’ve amassed a collection I’m really excited about, and need to just commit to actually reading them instead of getting side tracked by new releases. I reorganized the TBR shelf in my bedroom into rainbow order so that it looks fresh and appealing (is the rainbow trend dead yet? This is the first time I’ve tried it!), and I feel more compelled to draw from it. I really do love having a legitimate home library filled with books I’ve curated for myself, so it’s time to read some more of them!

  2. Quality above anything- I feel like 2018 was kind of a “meh” year for my reading life, and that needs to change in 2019. That means prioritizing quality reads and being better about discerning whether I’m interested in the BOOK or the CONVERSATION going on around the bookish internet when choosing what to read next. I also need to accept that fun, contemporary, fluffy reads just don’t tend to be my jam. They always look appealing, I almost always hate them, and I just need to accept I have to get my fluff elsewhere (looking at you, kdramas!). Quality for me is going to mean more of the classics and meatier reads that leave me feeling fulfilled, and I’m looking forward to it.

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Rikki

  1. Read the classics I know I’ll love - I am so eager to keep reading the classics that speak to me. The winds have changed directions toward a deeper prose that leaves me thinking a little more, that speaks to my soul, and provides a greater foundation and appreciation for the literature I want to carry with me. A lot of foreign novels and classics are what I’m after for the foreseeable future.

  2. READ FROM MY SHELVES!!! - Do you hear me, self?! I want to be intentional about reading what I have. Story of our readerly lives, right?! But really, my main bookshelf got a major facelift this year. So many books were purged and made way for so many brilliant and beautiful new-to-me books. It’s time I resist the urge to read everything at the library and maybe even buying, and focus on the good that I have for awhile.


Do you have any reading resolutions for the New Year??

Some Reading Resolutions for 2018
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Michaela

Every New Year brings about a week or so of quietly mulling over what changes I can make in my life that will serve me well. I'm not into arbitrary goals or expecting life changing results, but I do pick a broader theme that I need to focus on in the coming 365 days.

This year it's structure.

I just need a little more structure in my day to day life, because I know when I do successfully implement it I'm happier, more productive, and there is just generally less friction in my life. Executing it is going to look different in every area in my life, but for reading, it comes down to focusing on two things:

  1. Read more selectively

  2. Read more from my own shelves

This is seemingly straightforward, but the intent here is to stop wildly swinging around between books and feeling overwhelmed. Towards the end of 2017 I started to feel a little paralyzed by the amount of books I wanted to read, and lacked the structure (and therefore focus) to hone in on what was important for me personally to read. I really want to choose more books this year that stick to my insides, that speak to me, and that I can carry with me for years to come, and not just whatever catches my eye for a moment. 

Because I am a highly selective book buyer, my shelves are already carefully curated, so reading more from them will hopefully ensure I read more books that really resonate with me this year. I love reading what's new and popular, because it allows me access to the larger conversation around these books, but I need to just slow down a bit and read more of what fits me

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Rikki

Great minds think alike, because I had just told Michaela that very same thing - I need to read what I have. I have a great collection of fantastic books, many beautiful vintage editions that need one more person to love them and read their pages. I succeeded last year in massively culling my collection and not buying books. I took up borrowing most everything from the library.

Not only that, but I read more books in 2017 than I've ever read in... one year? in my life? Not sure exactly, but I'm mighty proud of myself for making reading a priority AND encouraging my children to become strong readers. Which they both are.

Now, I want to continue picking up the worthy titles I own and ensure that I'm not just a hoarder of bound pages with lots of words. My one and only goal:

  1. Have more books on my shelves that are read versus not read

I'm encouraging my kids to do the same and we're all diving a little deeper in the classics we have, and reading together. I'm thankful that we can share books we love and have discussions on what we read and I'm looking forward to much more of that in 2018.

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Do you have any reading resolutions for the New Year??

The Unread Shelf Project 2018

So there's a wonderful project spreading through Bookstagram right now: #TheUnreadShelfProject2018. Basically the idea is that you take stock of all the unread books on your shelf, and prioritize reading them in 2018. Simple! This is, of course, going to look different for everyone, but I did some thinking over the past few days, and decided I'm jumping in with both feet.

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One of my major goals (and Rikki's too!) for 2018 was to read all those books on my shelves that I really want to read "someday" but keep putting off for one reason or another. I also have this silly tendency to avoid reading books I know I'll love, because I don't want them to be over. As a result, my shelves are awash with books I'm pretty sure I'm going to love and haven't read.

This is going to be the year that changes.

 

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Basically, here's how I'm structuring it for myself:

  1. Cull my collection: This is the obvious first step: get rid of stuff I don't actually want to read! I'm planning on KonMari-ing the crap out of my shelves and getting rid of anything that I'm not excited to read. I have quite a few books on my shelf that I purchased years and years ago, and I've changed significantly as a reader since then. I'll also be returning all my library books, just for a clean slate.
  2. Make a list: I got a lovely new journal for Christmas from my step-sister that I decided will be dedicated to this project. First, a master list of all the unread books on my shelves, and following that, space for a bit about the experience reading each one. I'm interested to see how my expectation of a book corresponds to the actual experience of reading it, because so many of these I have built expectations for for years. It's like I created my own hype for them, and I'm curious to see if I was right or wrong. 
  3. Start prioritizing: Once I have a fresh stack of books I'm excited about, I need to organize them so they are readily available and in plain sight. I have a bookshelf in my bedroom I'm planning to use exclusively for this project, and everything else needs to go back to it's home on my main shelves. I'll be sticking high priority books on the top shelf, and lower and lower priority as I go down. That way I have to read the best ones FIRST.
  4. Reduce library use: Currently, I use my local library...let's say "excessively". I check out a huge stack each month, usually finish half of it, and renew the rest to oblivion, while also putting ten more titles on hold. Since I'm working on reading from my own shelves, I'm planning on limiting myself to one library book a month most months. There will always be that one random book I'm dying for that I don't own, but I need to slow down on swiping that library card.
  5. Buy/request less: I don't need to place myself on a book ban simply I honestly don't buy that many, but I definitely want to continue being highly, highly selective about purchasing books. Supporting my local indie stores is really important to me so if there's something I want, I'm going to give them my money, no hesitation. Also, Rikki and I have the wonderful opportunity to request books from publishers, and usually have those requests granted, but right now I need to start being ultra-selective, cause I've got a backlog of ARC's to get through! 
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I'm not dealing with hundreds of unread books on my shelves (thankfully!), so I'm hopeful this strategy will see me finish everything waiting for me in my personal library this year. I honestly wonder how I will feel at the end, and how my relationship with my books will evolve. Will I feel annoyed that my shelves no longer hold fresh possibilities? Relieved that I finished and enjoyed the things I own? Will I have culled even more from my stacks by the end? Have discovered new favorites? Who knows, but I'm ready to find out!

So...who's joining me?

How We Fared With Our 2017 Reading Resolutions
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Michaela

My 2017 resolutions were:

  1. Read 40 books and keep track on Goodreads
  2. Read at least 10 classic novels

I read 12 classic novels and 75 books this year, and all were dutifully tracked on Goodreads. I am shocked I read as many books as I did, honestly. I figured I'd maybe make the 50 book mark, not all the way to 75! I'm also really happy with Goodreads as a tracking method; it was the most convenient way for me to mark the books I read and keep up with what I was currently reading, so I will definitely continue that in 2018. 

This year ended up really being about rediscovering the book world and returning to being a more constant reader after  couple years of not reading as much as I had been previously accustomed to. Being on bookstagram meant I was immersed in what was new and getting great buzz every single day. Combine that with forging relationships with publishers and having early access to new releases meant I was generally more on top of what was coming out this year than I have been in my whole life. I definitely didn't read all the hot new releases, not even close (nobody could ever keep up with that, holy cow), but I read way more of them than I normally would have.

In addition to the new releases I read, I was also reading widely from backlist, non-fiction, indie presses, and of course buddy-reading classics with Rikki. This voracious, eclectic reading style really allowed me to explore and define who I am as a reader right now at age 28, versus what I used to like in my teens/early twenties.

I truthfully didn't read much between 2012-2015 because there was too much life happening. As you'd expect when life gets really intense, those years ended up being hugely transformative for me as a person, and I've found the changes they wrought profoundly affected my taste in books. I am standing here at the end of 2017 looking back at the past 5 years, realizing that I am a wholly different person and reader than I used to be. It's safe to say this past year of exploration in books has been so good for me, on so many levels.

Now that I have a much better handle on my current tastes as a reader, and am keeping one finger on the pulse of the publishing world, I'm planning for 2018 to be one of greater selectivity. I want to only be reading books I know will truly suit me, and to be able to turn away from some of the hyped new releases without FOMO.

Of course there will be some buzzy fresh releases I'm genuinely interested in reading, but I also have at least a few dozen books waiting for me on my own shelves I've been meaning to get to. There is nothing more irritating than finishing a book thinking "oh that was nice!" and then forgetting all about it a week later. I want to read more books that will stick to my insides, and I know there are rows and rows of them waiting patiently on my shelves.

RIKKI

My 2017 resolutions were:

  1. Read 40 books
  2. Read more classics
  3. Read widely

I've always been a book lover and reader, but I've never set a reading goal for myself before this year. I read maybe twelve books in 2016, before The Ardent Biblio was born, and I was totally cool with that. Once we got started and my kids were reading more, I wanted to make reading a much bigger part of my life and I set an end of year goal and finished with about 28 books. This year, I set it to 40, thinking that might be overly ambitious, and was surprised with how much reading I really was able to fit into my days when it became a priority to me. I've surpassed my goal, reading 68 books and am so pleased with my reading life this year. 

From buddy reads with Michaela to buddy reads with my oldest kid, I'm happy to say that I'll be setting the same goal for 2018. I'm not about the quantity I read per say, but the quality of books I read is what I find most important. I read very few books that I didn't enjoy. This past year, I started grad school, we had a baby, and moved for the first time as a family (first time in 9 years for me). I start school again at the beginning of the New Year, so we will see how that affects my reading life again.

Most importantly, I want to continue being selective about the books I purchase and the books I own. I will continue using my local library like crazy, I hope to participate in book clubs again (fell off since baby came along), and author events would be a great addition! Lastly, I want to read books that "I've been meaning to get to," because life is too short to not read things that you feel compelled to read. I read for me and I want to feel good about that all the time, and I want to fill my mind with things that are empowering, beautiful, and full of wisdom.

Happy reading in 2018!