Top Ten Tuesday: 2015 Resolutions

For today’s Tuesday Top Ten, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, we are asked to share our 2015 resolutions, bookish, blogging, or otherwise. This year I feel like I am in a resolution rut, because my resolutions are pretty much the same this year as they were last year and the year before. Instead of being discouraged by this, I am just going to promise myself that this year, I’ll make sure at least half of these stick!

1. Read more books. 2014 was a good year as far as quality, but very poor as far as quantity: I only managed to finish 32 books, although I started and put down at least a dozen more after making substantial progress. I really let my (bad) mood drive my reading choices. My target isn’t huge, just to average one book a week. If I read some chunksters this year, I may give myself a small pass on hitting 52 books. (I currently have have my eye on Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White.)

2. Tackle the TBR. This is an ongoing resolution for so many book bloggers. We try and try to whittle down those piles. I’ll be doing the TBR Double Dog Dare hosted by James, which is becoming something of a yearly tradition for book bloggers who want to diminish those piles. The Dare is to read only from the TBR pile from January 1 through April 1. Participants can buy new books but cannot read them until after March 31. I participated in 2012 and 2013, and was fairly successful (although in 2013, I didn’t make it all the way to April without reading a new book).

3. Keep track of my thoughts. This year I would definitely like to keep better track of what I thought of what I read. I need to get back to using flags or highlighting (ebooks) and taking notes as I read. Over the past couple of years I started to realize I probably would never get around to writing a review for the blog, so I gave up even taking notes. I’m sorry that I did, because I know I read some terrific books this year but I have no notes to remind me of what I loved. Also, I find that if I am keeping up my reading journal, I am more likely to write reviews here, which leads me to number 4…

4. Write more reviews. I may not review everything I read, but I’d certainly like to write more reviews than I did this year. I read so many terrific books—like Margaret Atwood’s Stone Mattress—that went unsung (well, on this blog, at least).

5. Comment more on other people’s blogs. The chance to discuss books was the whole reason I got into book blogging. Commenting was a hot topic this year, because many people have simply stopped for various reasons. Sometimes it feels too time-consuming to try and keep up with so many great bloggers; other times we have nothing to say because we haven’t read or are not interested in the book being reviewed. For my part, I’d just like to do a better job at letting the bloggers who I read regularly know that I appreciate their time, effort, and recommendations.

6. Write. In the last quarter of 2014 I got very disciplined about scheduling in some writing time and sticking to it. I don’t have a goal here other than to pick up and keep that momentum going in 2015. For now, it’s all about getting back into the habit.

7. Read more short stories. I used read more short story collections than novels in any given year. Last year I read one, the aforementioned Stone Mattress. Late in 2013 I pre-ordered Lorrie Moore’s latest collection, Bark. It’s still sitting on the shelf, untouched. **Cringe** I bought several other collections in 2013 and 2014 and haven’t read any of them either. Any of you who have followed this blog over the years know I am an advocate of the short story, so I think in 2015 I’d better walk the walk.

8. Find a read-along or another challenge to join. I gave up on challenges a long time ago, but I think joining one (just one!) again might help me get back into the swing of things.

9. Use the library. A couple of years ago I decided to give up my library card in hope that I would defer to my own shelves. That didn’t entirely work, so this year, I renewed my library membership. I am hoping that will help me stop buying ebooks on sale, but I am also happy to be supporting my local branch once again.

10. Finish what I start. I’ve gotten really bad about not finishing some perfectly good books. I am all for putting down a book if it truly is bad or making you suffer in some way, but I put down some great books this year just because. I had several book tantrums where I spent a period of weeks just grazing through books and being mad at any number of them for not holding my attention, when really it wasn’t their fault. I need to get back some of the discipline that has rewarded me as a reader in the past.

What are your resolutions, bookish or not, this year?

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8 comments

  1. I agree that commenting can take a bit of time, and even if you did read a post, you might not have much to say. I just like the post in that case haha–it’s not much but I guess it’s something.

    I kind of wish I continued to take notes as I read. I started tabbing with post-its so I wouldn’t get side-tracked with making comments; and ultimately throw off the pacing of the read (if that makes sense). But with tabbing, the intent with marking key areas to talk about isn’t the same as when you first read it (in terms of initial reactions). Ahhh.

    Cheers,
    joey via. thoughts and afterthoughts

  2. Joey, that’s always the conundrum with taking notes. I use the tabs for passages I might want to quote in a review, but as far as note taking, I don’t do it while I read, but after I’ve finished a reading session or two. That way I don’t distract myself from the initial read, but my thoughts are still fresh. Happy New Year!

  3. I’m not much of a short story reader (the exception is Flannery O’Connor – she’s from my town and you have to be a fan or you simply can’t live here! Luckily I love her writing – even though she can be very scary). I seldom take notes when I read and I don’t keep a journal (although the blog is sort of a journal, I guess), but when I read All The Light We Cannot See I put sticky tabs everywhere. When it came time to write about it, I really couldn’t put into words how I felt about the book – although I tried. Looking forward to your posts in 2015.

  4. Grad, Flannery O’Connor has long been one of my favorite writers. Which town do you mean, by the way: Savannah or Milledgeville? I really need to get through my backlog at the start of the year, but after I’ve made a dent in that All the Light We Cannot See is at the top of my list to read. Thanks for visiting!

  5. Good luck with your library project! I love my own library and can’t imagine being without it. Does your library have free interlibrary loans? Cause if they do, that’s really excellent for you! On top of the already-existing excellence that all libraries always have.

  6. Jenny, it isn’t really a project–I just need to stop buying books. I was a very loyal library patron for years. Luckily, Atlanta does have free ILL.

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