Friday, January 7
I've been thinking about this off and on for a few weeks now and I finally decided on a few. Some will definitely be doable...others will be a challenge. After all that's what resolutions are supposed to be about, right? Let me apologize up front for the length of the post, but it's an entire year's worth of goals :)
1. I started out 2010 with two different reading challenges. The DIK Reading Challenge and the Erotic Romance Reading Challenge. I originally signed up for the DIK because the list of books that you could choose from included several books from my TBR, and even then I was worried about how many books I was accumulating, but never getting around to reading. I did pretty good for about 3 months....then I just stopped. Since I choose this challenge to attempt to read from the TBR I'm disappointed that I didn't do better than that. Unfortunately, the TBR problem only compounded as the year progressed. Then, there was the ERR. I definitely read enough Erotic Romances to complete the challenge, but I didn't review all of them, so I can't in good conscience count the ones I didn't review....which means I didn't complete that one either. So I've come to the conclusion that I suck at challenges for one simple reason. I like to read what I want when I want, and don't want a challenge requirement dictating which books I read and when I read them.
I was reading Wendy the Superlibrarian's blog and read that she participated in a TBR Challenge, and I thought to myself...that's the kind of challenge I need. But after looking at the details of that particular challenge, it had restrictions like genre and such....I wanted one that I could read ANY of the books in my TBR depending on time and the mood I was in. Then, amazingly I was trying to catch up on my blog reading and found a different TBR challenge at Barbara's blog. The BA Reading "Off The Shelf" TBR Challenge, and after looking at the details I knew it was exactly what I was looking for because the only restriction was that you had to already have the book on your shelf. Perfect!! I decided to be realistic and go for 15 books in the challenge. A little over one per month. At that rate I should be able to read all of the print books in my TBR in about 12 years. Yes, you read that right, 12 years! You see now that I have a problem....and I'm only talking about print books people. I have probably just as many ebooks that I've purchased or downloaded from the Amazon free reads that are waiting in cyberspace for me to read. And that's assuming that I won't add any new books to the TBR. Lets be honest, we all know that won't happen. I have a big TBR problem, and it's actually starting to bother me...especially when I read some of the year end summaries and read other bloggers "best" lists from 2010 and KNOW that I have quite a few sitting on my shelves. That needs to change, and 2011 is going to be the year!
It might be hard to believe but I actually almost considered not reading any books published after 2010 in 2011 so that I could focus only on the books that I already own and are sitting on my bookshelves. If I were to do that I could probably read all of the books that have been patiently waiting my reading attention in one year. But then I thought, "what good would that do? All you would end up doing is making a list of the books released in 2011 that you want to read/buy...in essence creating an entirely new TBR." *Sigh* It's a no win situation :( So I've had to resign myself to read as many of my original TBR, without neglecting new releases that I want to read. I can live with that....but I many need to buy another bookshelf :) So I will be participating in ONE challenge, which you will find in the left hand sidebar, but also in reviews as I read the books.
2. I need to be better about reviewing more books, and sometimes that might mean fewer guests here at Musings. There were some weeks last year that I had a new guest every day of the week. I really only have time for one post a day (sometimes not even that). And don't usually post on the weekends because that is family and "me" time. When I read 2-3 books a weeks, sometimes more, that means that only the fraction of books that I read were reviewed...and for the most part the ones that were reviewed were books that I received for review purposes, not ones I picked up on my own. I'd like that to change in 2011. My goal is to post at least one review per week. That may not sound like a lot, but it's more than what happened last year, so I consider that an attainable goal.
3. Many of my own meme's also got left behind in 2010. The only one that I kept up with was Monday's Muse, and I have to say that one was completely my pleasure :) So instead in 2011 I thought I might do something a little bit different, but hopefully better:
- One Collective Review per month
- An end of month recap of all of the books that I read, with either a link to the full review, or a brief, and by brief I mean one or two sentence review of what I thought about each book that I read. In the end of month recap I will also let you know what my favorite book for that month was, and what my favorite cover was. This will take the place of the Seductive Museums Cover Art meme, which I am going to set aside for now.
4. I'm going to keep track of the books I read differently than I did last year. Many people like Goodreads for that, but me...I find that I didn't keep it as updated because it was on a different website. I know it sounds kind of silly, but out of site out of mind...at least for me. I would forget to go and input my reading lists at the end of the month. So, for 2011 I've created my own spreadsheets using Google Docs (which I love). I'm on Google all of the time....email, blogging, my calendar, so this makes sense for me. I'm going to keep track of the usual, and also:
- page count...I'd like to know what the average length of novel that I read last year. Both in print and in digital formats. Are books getting shorter, or is it just my imagination? I hope to be able to tell by the end of next year.
- cost...I have absolutely no idea how much money I spent on books last year. Maybe I don't really want to know, but I think it's something that I should know...so I'm going to start tracking that also.
- Print vs. digital edition. Will I read more digital or print books in 2011? I'm pretty sure it will be print since I get many of the books that I read from my library, but I'll be interested in knowing for sure.
- Publisher. 2010 was the year of "Berkley" for me. I read more books from this publisher than any one other publisher. Mostly because many of my current favorite authors are being published by this house, so I'd like to see how it breaks down this year.
5. Finish all of the unfinished parts of the blog...before my next blogoversary. If I go on a year without finishing what I started in 2010....I'm gonna....well I don't know what I'll do. Maybe not let myself read a book until it's done...kind of give myself "you're grounded" :) It just needs to get done because I keep thinking about it, and I don't want to think about it anymore.
6. Finally, I think I'd like to focus on reading one new to me author and/or series a month. Last year I kept a list of authors that I'd like to try during the year. And I actually did really well with that. I tried a lot of new authors and found many that I enjoyed. Keeping an ongoing list really helped me remember who they were when I found the time to try one out. But this year I'd like to take it one step further and focus on one author per month and try to read their backlist during that month. For instance, I have almost all of Kate Pearce's "Simply" series on my bookshelves, but haven't read them yet. I keep meaning too...but it goes back to the TBR thing. So if the author has a series that I've been dying to read...I'm gonna just go for it. There are also a few other authors that some of you have suggested like Pamela Clare that I'd like to read, as well as Loretta Chase. She made many "best" lists at the end of 2010, and when I perused the All About Romance top 100 list compiled by votes from readers I was surprised at how many books she had in the top 100....obviously I've been missing out on something good.
Now that I've set my goals for 2011, I'm actually pretty excited about it. I think all of them are doable, while still being challenging. So tell me, what were your goals for 2011 (personal or blogging...doesn't matter) and if you have a TBR problem, how do you go about reading the books on your bookshelves, while still reading all of the new releases? I need help and I'm willing to listen to whatever ideas you might have that I haven't thought of yet.
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