Happy New Year, bookworms! It’s a new calendar year and although I never make personal New Year’s resolutions, I always try to make a few bookish and blogging ones. Each year I learn more about myself as a reader, a blogger, and really just as an individual and I try to think of how I can make this hobby even more fun for myself in the upcoming year.
This year, I’m really looking back at scaling down commitments… again. For a lot of people, scaling back means not pressuring themselves to write as much and blog but (thankfully) that’s not usually something I have issues with and when I do find that I don’t have the time to write, I’ve slowly made my peace with not posting something new all the time.
In 2016, I’m trying even harder to think “less is more” with commitments like challenges, read alongs, books for review, etc. I spend a lot of time getting so excited for all the NEW and can’t resist jumping on an idea/book/project because it sounds like fun. This year, I’m really going to try to reel myself in on the requests and post commitments and stop to think about the kind of time I really have to do them. I can always pick up new things but it’s terribly hard to back out of a commitment (and I always try to avoid backing out of anything unless I absolutely have to)!
I always like to take a step back and see what I wanted to work on in 2015 and see if I accomplished my goals, what I could improve on, and what totally didn’t work. Here’s what I wanted to try in 2015:
HOW’D I DO? I totally dropped out of every single challenge. You think I’d learn because I did this same thing in 2014 where I swore off challenges and then thought I could do them in 2015 and that was so silly. The Book Blogger Organization Challenge was my own and it really did help me clean up my blog (sorry, though, not hosting it again this year) but other than that, I almost immediately dropped out of everything because it just added on more work/stress!
THIS YEAR: NO CHALLENGES! They’re lovely but I just don’t want to add any more stress onto my day/week/month/year. I always do a Goodreads goal which is my only challenge this year.
Instead of reading challenges, I’m taking on different things like photo challenges! I’m still hosting #weeklybookstagram this year and it’s a fun and stress-free way to keep things interesting.
LAST YEAR: “I’m sticking to the same thing. Happy to read books with my friends but with how busy things have gotten, I’m less likely to do read alongs.“
HOW’D I DO? I’ve really only done the usual On the Same Page read alongs and then I did host the Lunar Chronicles (Re)Read Along. The TLC read along was fun but I should have learned from past experiences was also very long and people tended to lost interest or forget about it or not want to commit. I probably will not host another read along.
THIS YEAR: Just OTSP! I have no other plans for read alongs.
LAST YEAR: “Oh, brother, who knows. I really do want to try to catch up on ARCs this year but I also say that every year. Maybe I will actually find the time… but those new books are always coming out!!!!”
HOW’D I DO: I caught up on some things but it was more backlist than ARCs.
THIS YEAR: I just really, really want to try to request less. It’s so very hard because SHINY but I really am trying to not just download things that I’m autoapproved for (I am SO bad at that) and I’m really trying to only request ARCs from publishers if it’s something I really plan on reading right away. Although ALA and BEA may be hard to resist with galley drops. I think it may be easier this year than it was last year.
READ WHAT’S ON MY SHELVES
LAST YEAR: “I should try to do this again! Maybe reading more ARCs and reading more books from my shelves count as one thing this year? Haha!”
HOW’D I DO? I have been finishing more series! I’m not doing AS well with backlist books but I’m trying to keep a good balance. I think I still read a ton of 2015 books this year though. It’s so hard to maintain!
THIS YEAR: I really want to work on finishing a few more series this year. I know I’ll have to read a lot of ARCs to catch up but I can also read ones I already have.
LAST YEAR: “I actually think I’m going to aim LOWER. Sounds weird, right? I usually try to beat myself from last year. But I’m doing things differently in 2015. I really want to keep up with my reading challenge and not always feel so far behind. I think I’ll start my goal off at maybe 100 or 110.”
HOW’D I DO: I must have started at 110 and changed to 100 because that stupid stats page looks like I didn’t finish it. I really did though! My goal was 100 and I read 102.
THIS YEAR: I think I’ll try 100 again! It was a really nice pace to keep up with and I think I can do it again!
LAST YEAR: I didn’t actually set any blogging goals for myself last year.
THIS YEAR: I really want to keep trying to stay creative and come up with fun new posts. I’ve never had an issue with reviews (though I do have some I need to catch up on) but it’s the fun and extra posts that I really need to stay creative with! I also want to try to do some more video reviews or BookTubing. I did exactly one video this year and then I never had time to film another one. I’d really like to start doing that every once in a while!
I also really want to try to do less THINGS. I’m going to try to say yes to fewer blog tours, take on fewer projects, etc. I tend to commit to a lot of fun things because it’s too hard to say no and then I put stress on myself!
So what are your 2016 goals? Request less? Blog more? It’s hard to stay on track but I think we learn a little bit every year and really develop our blogs/habits even better!
Hi, all! Welcome to back to our new feature called PUB DATE where Estelle from Rather Be Reading, Andi from Andi’s ABCs, and Maggie from Just a Couple More Pages and I all team up to pair books + beers in harmony! Each week, one of us will features a beer and a book of our choice, each with a different theme for that month!
This month’s theme: RESOLUTIONS
I’m not usually one for making New Year’s resolutions, but this Pub Date theme was easy for me. Most people would think of trying new beers as their “beer resolution” but I try new beers all the time and as far as trying new styles… I generally know what I like and drink those most of the time. So instead, my “resolution beer” is Spotted Cow from New Glarus. That’s TOTALLY not a new beer for me (in fact, it’s one of my all-time favorites) BUT my resolution this year is to actually visit the brewery! New Glarus, WI is… kind of in the middle of nowhere. You really have to be going there to get there. The closest major city is Madison but it’s still about 30-45 minutes away so if you want to visit New Glarus Brewery (and actually drink a decent amount in town), you’ll probably just need to stay in town… So this year it’s a goal for Shane and me to head on out to New Glarus on a weekend trip (well, extended weekend because if my memory serves me correctly, they actually don’t do tours on the weekends? Which is weird.) and finally visit the brewery!
I made a few bookish New Year’s resolutions that were easy but I still need to work to keep! One was that I wanted to read more fantasy and another was that I wanted to catch up on more of my old ARCs, so I put the two together to come up with The Burning Sky! I’ve just felt like I’ll REALLY enjoy this book and I want to catch up on the series this year. Oh, and it also meets my “catching up on egalleys” too because I accidentally downloaded book two without reading book one. Oopsies. I usually don’t follow resolutions because I just get stressed out with all of the things I like to tell myself I’m going to do, but so far it’s been working out well for January! I made a spreadsheet of books per month and set up different categories so that I can easily see what I’ve read, what I need to read, and what I want to read and it’s been working out great!
Thanks for joining us for another edition of Pub Date! Missed any posts? You can catch up at any time on my blog page for the Pub Date Feature!
Shockolate Wheat by Shock Top. Herbed/Spiced Beer // 4.30% ABV. I was totally afraid of this beer because any chocolate flavored beverages that aren’t just plain old hot chocolate are usually too much for me. This one was a LITTLE bit (but I also drank it after dinner so I was already full!) — it’s definitely chocolately and it sits a little heavy but it’s also very delicious!
Ebel’s Weiss by Two Brother’s Brewing Company. Hefeweizen // 4.90% ABV. Ebel’s Weiss is one of my favorite beers from Two Brothers. I feel like their beers are definitely getting better with age & experience but this has been a favorite from the start. A light taste but a satisfyingly filling feel!
#001 Golden Amber Lager by Wisconsin Brewing Company. Amber Ale // 5.50% ABV. I think the Wisconsin Brewing Company is fairly new? Shane grabbed this one when he was up in WI the other month and we’ve been working our way through this case of beer. I do like ambers but I also have to drink them in moderation because they’re very filling! This one was really good though! I highly recommend it.
** Beer styles and alcohol content from Beer Advocate **
** Drink responsibly **
Well, we made it through another calendar year and I’m so happy to say that The Book Addict’s Guide is still going strong — stronger than ever! 2013 was a BIG year for me and I went through a lot of changes — both good and a little stressful — and so my 2014 goals are going to be totally different than everything I wanted to accomplish in 2013!
LAST YEAR: I started the year by participating in the Debut Author Challenge, The YA Contemporary Challenge, and was working on my own version of Epic Reads’ United States of YA.
THIS YEAR: I am signing up for ZERO challenges. I have a tendency to take on a LOT of different things because it’s so fun to participate in everything! But you know what? It’s really hard and time consuming to try to do it all! I actually ended up giving up on keeping tracking of both the Debut Author Challenge and YA Contemporary Challenge less than halfway through the year. Updating and maintaining my Goodreads, designated blog page, and staying on track for the challenges became overwhelming. I also decided the United States of YA was fun but also not something I really wanted to update and maintain all the time.
LAST YEAR: I participated in the Song of Ice and Fire read along, reading five massive books totaling over 5000 pages. I hosted and participated in the Gayle Forman Read Along (another 5 books, but much less in terms of pages). They were only two, but they were a MASSIVE undertaking and while they were a lot of fun, they took up a huge amount of time.
THIS YEAR: I’m not saying no to read alongs, but I’m going to be a lot choosier about what I sign up for. Read alongs are really a lot of fun, but that’s also time that I have to designate to a book while reading another book for my own personal reading time. Alyssa, Amy and I will be doing our “Three’s Company” read alongs this year which is really less for a formal read along and more for us just reading some really good books together and enjoying them all at the same time. I’m REALLY looking forward to this because it’s so much fun to read the same books at the same time and this will definitely be much less pressure than a formal read along and then I also wouldn’t have to read multiple books at once. I already know that it will also push me to read books that are maybe a little bit out of my comfort zone (whether it be genre, content or adult/MG vs my usual YA) and expand my horizons to new things!
LAST YEAR: I still had some trouble with reading ARCs on time and keeping track of them really well. I also went to BEA and picked up a ton of books there… I had this grand plan of reading them all in order before the pub date and… well, that didn’t really happen at all. With my read alongs and older books I wanted to read and newer books and egalleys… Well, a lot of books got tossed to the side to make way for all of the newer books and then those got pushed to the side for commitments. COMMITMENTS. So much fun but caused lots of trouble haha!
THIS YEAR: This year I’m going to try to request WAY less egalleys and really pick and choose the books that I want to read. I’m going to try to stay on track with the ARCs I currently have and start working on the ARCs I had requested and work on reviewing those as well. I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to work on catching up on the books I already have/own/have downloaded and I also really want to start cleaning up my shelves and reading what I’ve already purchased.
I plan on going back to BEA this year and while grabbing books was a certain thrill, I really want to pick up only the ones I’m really interested in. I thought I did a good job of this in 2013 but at the same time, I still have a lot of unread books at home that I knew I probably wasn’t going to get to. I feel bad that I have so many books that I took because I felt like they had potential but really in the back of my head, I knew I was going to push them aside for my “must-reads”. (Sadly, some of which are STILL sitting on my shelf unread. See??)
I’m also going to try to do better at reading ARCs around their pub dates. Some have really gotten lost in the mix because I just requested to many and there are so many egalleys and physical ARCs that I need to get to still that I’ve actually been dying to read!
LAST YEAR: Let’s face it. My blog is called “The Book Addict’s Guide” for a reason. I have a problem. And that problem is buying books. My shelves continue to grow with more new books and then I read ARCs or egalleys and I forget about those glorious books I have on my shelves! I’d be interested to see how many new releases I read last year versus books I already had on my shelves but…. that’s too much work to actually find out haha!
THIS YEAR: Although unofficially, I’m going to try to read more of a mix. It’s hard to read a variety of old and new when there are so many new releases at my fingertips via ARCs from publishers, Netgalley, Edelweiss, and whatever I’ll haul from BEA this year, but I really do want to read some of the books I already have! I finally read LEGEND by Marie Lu this year and I don’t know why I waited so long! I know there are hidden treasures hanging out there and I want to be able to get to them!
LAST YEAR: I barely squeaked by, reading barely more books than I had last year (only by two but hey, I did it!) because it was SUCH a busy year! 2014 is probably even more busy so…
THIS YEAR: I’m hoping to beat 2013 but I guess we’ll see how the year goes! I have so many things going on that I hope I have time for that much reading but we’ll see what the year holds. I read 131 books in 2013 so my goal in 2014? Starting at 132 haha!!
2014 is going to be a busy year for me. I’m planning my wedding, visiting Alyssa & Amy in a few weeks, travelling for two destination weddings (April & June) and have two more locally (my two best friends from elementary school — one in July and one the week before mine!!), BEA in May, and well… I think that’s plenty! I’ll try to keep up as best as I can which is why this year I am actually planning to commit to a lot less outside of my own blog. I can keep up at my own pace but I’m trying not to commit to other things for fear of not making deadlines!