My 2016 in Books and 2017 Goals

It’s that time of the year when everybody is taking stock, making resolutions and Goodreads wants to know how many books I will be reading in 2017 that  I read over the past couple of months. Well, I am a bit disappointed that although I read over 45  books, I did not meet my reading challenges: 2016 Kenyan Bookworm and  PopSugar one. After a lot introspection and watching a couple of  Booktube videos I realised a couple of things

It’s that time of the year when everybody is taking stock, making resolutions and Goodreads wants to know how many books I will be reading in 2017 that  I read over the past couple of months. Well, I am a bit disappointed that although I read over 45  books, I did not meet my reading challenges: 2016 Kenyan Bookworm and  PopSugar one. After a lot introspection and watching a couple of  Booktube videos I realised a couple of things:

  • I transitioned from graduate school to a full-time internship position that requires a lot of reading, researching and writing. Hence, I was exactly inclined to pick up a book after 5 pm. Moreover, I spent a more time doing a number of online courses that seriously  No tuve tiempo!
  • The older I get, the more experiences I want. I love being a bookworm and constantly irritating people with bookish anecdotes and book recommendations. But I think that it’s time that I put down the books in order to write down my own stories (pun intended). (H/t to Ariel and Chboskyy)
  • I thought that public challenges and posting TBRs would work for me and hopefully “force” me to post more on my blog but as you can see from my blog archives, it didn’t happen.
  • A few weeks back, a fellow Kenyan book blogger expressed her frustration of likes and follows not equalling the effort put into content creation, which I totally get and can relate to. As I told her, book blogging is still gaining steam in the Kenyan blogosphere (correct me if I am wrong) and it seems that everyone is caught up in Instastories and Snapchat that they would basically prefer TL;DR versions. Nonetheless, I have been challenged by bloggers like Brain Pickings’s Maria Popova who curates her reading on her blog and does not necessarily feature bestsellers. Just good books.
  • Thanks to Gretchen Rubin, I discovered that I am an Obliger (which I confirmed by reading her book), which means having goals like a Goodreads challenge can be a double-edged sword. Believe me, there are times when I do feel like reading shorter and quicker books or even DNF just for the sake of Goodreads challenge sash and to give myself a pat on my back (Hey! No judgement here). However, that negates the whole purpose of reading as a hobby.
unsplash-eli-francis

My bookshelf is in a similar state

OK.  Enough of the ranting. Now to the good bookish things that happened in 2016.  So I…

  • read over 45 50 books *happy dance* including a  number of non-fiction titles
  • hosted my first interview series (the Readers’Nook interviews here) and interacted with some bookish people
  • got published on  SLA.
  • did a mini- detox and updates on my blog
  • re-discovered Goodreads.(h/t Rincey Reads).

So for 2017  reading and blog goals, I have decided to:

  • Read 5o books for the Goodreads reading challenge: At first, I thought of setting the challenge to 30  because of the reasons stated above but I want to savour my reading. Nonetheless, I think if I make the necessary lifestyle adjustments, I can still hit the 50 mark. Moreover, I don’t think that I will be participating in any of the reading challenges because I feel like I need more wiggle room. Sunny Bindra, I accept your challenge
  • Reduce the amount of books on my bookshelves and in the process gave my bank account a break. Once again, I will attempt to limit the number of books that I will be acquiring.
  • Read the whole Anne of Green Gables series: Memento Mori challenged himself to read the complete works of an author so read Cormac McCarthy in 2016  and will be tackling William Faulkner in 2017.  I have been keen on Children’s Literature and  I didn’t  get to reading any of  L.M. Montgomery’s work until I read  Anne of Green Gables in 2015. Well, I recently bought a complete set of 8 for  KES 800  ( Less than £7 and $8) on the streets of Nairobi and I think that they would be a good break from the non-fiction books that I am planning on reading in the coming year.
  • Embrace slow reading: As much I love the booktube and book blogging community, I feel like one can easily get caught up in the book hauls and long TBRs which eventually leads to reading FOMO.  Believe me, it is real! So I want to reduce the amount of TBR and haul videos that I watch because unfortunately for me, they are a huge enabler and they make me not appreciate the books that I have and generally makes me more anxious.  In addition, I would like to…
  • Review at least 12 books  on my blog  in addition to my quick thoughts on Goodreads by keeping a reading journal or taking  notes on Evernote app
  • Finish the current books that I requested from Netgalley and review them as promised:  As many e-books and I  are not the best of friends, I would like to fulfil my end of the bargain with Netgalley. I am determined to slay my TBR pile, starting with the books that have been there for a couple of months. So if you have any pro tips, please feel free to share them in the comments section below.
  • Continue with Readers’ Nook interview series: I am glad that I got to interview a few people towards the end of 2016 and hope to share reading habits of amazing people in the coming months. In case, you have any suggestion for people that you would like to be featured, please let me know here.
  • Reading to cover my literary blind spots: I was recently inspired by Alysia from ExLibris talking about reading genres outside her comfort zone (she reads a lot of classics) On my part, I would like to read more on topics that I am not aware. More on that in an upcoming post.
  • Remember my ‘why’:  I  feel that over the last couple of years, I have been caught up with blog stats and metrics and I forgot the reason why I started this blog: to share my bookish thoughts and interact with fellow bibliophiles.  Thanks to Erin Loechner, I am slowly coming back to it. Hence, I will strive to share my honest opinions while ensuring that I deliver quality. Myleik Teele and one of her  BFFs Toni V. Martin recently reminded me in a recent podcast (coincidentally about books) that you can’t be excellent in just one area of your life, you have to be excellent in all areas.

The current state of my Kindle library.  Please, don’t let the ticks fool you.

Let me know how your 2016  reading goals worked out for you. Did you hit all your reading goals? What are your 2017 reading resolutions?

 

Updated from December 2016

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One Response to My 2016 in Books and 2017 Goals

  1. Diana says:

    All the best! I think I will copy your goal number 2 on reducing the number of books on my bookshelf. Good luck with the ARCs also. That has always been my challenge. Happy reading and have a wonderful 2017.

    Like

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