As the end of the year fast approaches, I thought I’d just pop on to do a little summary of my reading and blogging year. I will of course be doing a Best Books Of The Year post, more than likely on New Years Eve. My post won’t be a top 10 or Top 20, it will just be however many books give me ‘the feeling’, but I’ll explain more about that in the post on NYE.
What I thought I’d do today is just have a quick look back over 2019 as a whole in terms of my reading and my blogging. I mentioned to my best bookish pal Clare at Years Of Reading Selfishly that I don’t feel like 2019 has been my best reading year and I don’t mean because of the standard of books. When I think back to 2018 I felt as if I was on a roll with blogging, I felt motivated and juiced up and enjoyed creating content and publishing posts at least twice a week. However, as this year panned out, I found myself under increasing (self imposed) pressure to read and review EVERYTHING before it was published. I felt like I was churning out reviews and began to feel very much bogged down and demotivated.
Some of you may remember that I had a little break from blogging in August (1 week) and then again at the start of November (2 weeks). It was during the two week hiatus that I knew I had to stop putting pressure on myself and start paring back the posts. I decided that 1 post a week was ample for me as I have 2 children and I work fulltime and want a life away from blogging! (I know right!) Since then I have been posting once a week and it feels much more managable. I feel rejuvinated and excited to head into 2020 with a renewed vigour for writing.
2019 has also been the year of the DNF for me too. I very rarely gave up on a book if I wasn’t enjoying it. I would steadfastly trudge on until the end and consider it a personal mission. Towards the end of 2018 I DNF’d a couple of books (popular ones too!) and I felt the odd twinge of guilt. However this year I have felt very little guilt and have realised that life is too short to force yourself to plough on with a book you are not enjoying! I still stand by my policy of not reviewing books I have DNF’d but I do usually tweet about books I feel I can’t finish. I know a few people who like to keep quiet and let DNF’s slink away but If I’ve tweeted that I’m currently reading a book and then decide to DNF I feel its only fair to let people know my decision. That’s just me.
This year has also seen me breaking into audiobook territory! If I ever forgot my physical book and tweeted lamenting this fact, I used to get so many people responding with ‘audiobooks’. NO! I used to rage….they are NOT for me. However, I feel I can now eat big bowl fulls of humble pie and sheepishly admit you were all SO RIGHT! I took the plunge and downloaded Maggie O’Farrell’s I Am I Am I Am and since then I haven’t looked back! Audiobooks have seen me through bus journeys, walks, baths, wallpaper scraping, and afternoons in the office. I tend to stick to non-fiction but as recently as yesterday I downloaded Saltwater by Jessica Andrews and I’m loving it! Watch this space….(update: since writing this blog post I’ve finished listening to Saltwater and bloody loved it!).
2019 has also been a huge year for short story collections for me. I feel like I’ve become known for my love of a good short story collection and I love recommending them. My Best Books Of The Year Post currently features around 6 or 7 collections, something which I never thought would happen. There are some crackin’ collections due to be published in 2020 aswell which I’m super pumped for! If you’ve not yet made the leap to short stories I would urge you to do so….If you need any recommendations, I’m your gal!
I also bought my first poetry book this year…..I’m yet to read it……I’m scared!……..2020 has to be the year that I’m brave and give it a whirl!
The last point I just want to touch on is my Goodreads challenge target. Last year I set my goal at 120 and read over 130 (I think). This year I set it at 150 to stretch myself a little. Currently with 13 days of December left to go I have read 141 books. I did wonder whether I should grab some short books and push myself to hit the 150 target but do you know what?…..I want to reach it organically if I can. If I don’t, its no great shakes, for me its just a record of my reading year. Next year I think I’ll drop it slightly……
Going into 2020 I am very excited by some of the books I already have in my possession and some of the books I’ve got my eye on and my fingers crossed for. I will continue to post once a week (no set day) and I will hopefully have a slightly better blogging year!
This is my last post now until New Years Eve. I’m going to enjoy christmas in all it’s madness and mayhem and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas too! Thank you all so much for your continued interaction and support, you’re all bloody brilliant bookish belters!
See you all soon!
Amanda – Bookish Chat xxx