Yes, it's that time of year again. A new year brings with it new challenges but, alongside the vow to eat more greens and get to the gym three times a week(always made, rarely achieved!), I've been re-evaluating my reading life and working out what I want to get from my reading in 2017 and how this blog will fit into that.
I spent a lot of 2016 feeling like I 'had' to read certain things. In an effort to grow and develop this blog, I took every opportunity that I could to obtain proofs, review to deadline and be as good a little book blogger as possible. And whilst I am very grateful to have read some great stuff as a result, it has led to me becoming bogged down in reading 'to order'. And when you have a day job, there's nothing worse than the thing you do for fun becoming a second job. It takes all the fun out of not only blogging but also reading. I feel it really affected me in 2016 and I intend to make sure it doesn't happen this year.
So whilst I'm not going to go completely cold-turkey on proof requests and reviews in 2017, I do need to accept my limitations on how much I can read at any one time. Going forwards, I'm not going to be making promises about when I'll review a specific book. All I can say is, if I request a book; it's because I intend to read it at some point. Which might not be immediately. This will probably result in me receiving less proofs but all I can say is that I'd rather read a book in a positive, 'want to' frame of mind than feeling like it's a chore. I didn't start this blog to turn it into a second job - I have one of those already - I started it to have fun and share my love of good books and the best way I feel I can do that is to read what I want, when I want.
My other reading goals this year are a little more targeted. As always, I've set myself a Goodreads challenge and am aiming to read 60 books in 2017. This is deliberately lower than last year's target (75 books) because, as per the above, I want to cut myself some slack and stop feeling like I have to read if I'm not in the mood. So I've selected a figure that feels challenging but do-able.
I also want to continue to read more diversely. To this end, I'm going to attempt the Book Riot 2017 Read Harder Challenge, which has 24 reading challenges designed to encourage you to stretch outside your comfort zone. Categories range from 'read a book about sports' through to 'read a superhero comic with a female lead' so I'm looking forward to giving it a go.
And last, but by no means least, I want to try and read more books that I already own this year. In 2016, I bought A LOT of books. Far more than I could possibly read. Instead of helping me reduce The Shelf of Unread Books, 2016 expanded the shelf to shelves plus a pile under the bed and a fully-stocked bedside cabinet. Meaning I own a lot of books that I want to - and fully intend to - read. So whilst I'm not going on a complete book-buying ban (because life has to have some fun), I do want to reduce the amount I buy and read more of the books I already own. A 'one in, one out' rule of sorts.
So those are my reading resolutions for 2017 - let's see what the year brings! As always, I'd love to hear from you about any bookish resolutions you've made for the upcoming year so please do come and say hi on Twitter, Goodreads or Litsy (links on the right hand sidebar).Wishing you all a very happy and joyous 2017 filled with lots of amazing books and, as always...