Monday, January 5, 2015

Discussion: 2015 Reading Goals and Challenges

Kiersten's Goals & Challenges

As 2015 begins, I've decided to define some reading goals and challenges I'd like to complete throughout the year! I normally just read whatever whenever, but after seeing so many people posting goals and challenges, it's gotten me kind of excited to take part in some as well! Here's what I'll be up to in 2015.

 Bout of Books 12
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
I'm really excited to be participating in Bout of Books 12 since it will be my first read-a-thon! Also, since I'm hoping to be more active in the book community on Twitter this year, I think Bout of Books will be a nice way to transition in and meet new bookish people.

Goals are optional for Bout of Books, but I've decided to set a few small goals for myself. As far as reading goes, I'd like to finish Chaos by Sarah Fine, which I started yesterday. Finishing Chaos will also tie into one of my goals that I mention later on in this post! The other books I'd like to finish during Bout of Books are Stories from the Shadowlands by Sarah Fine, which is a collection of novellas and extra content related to the Guards of the Shadowlands series, and This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales. My mom picked up a signed copy of this for me at one of the Fierce Reads tour stops AND she also picked up a signed copy that I'll be giving away later this year! Wooooo!!! If I finish all three of these books and still have more time in the read-a-thon, I'm hoping to read either Phantom's Dance by Lesa Howard or The Lost Chalice by Anita Clenney. As for non-reading goals, I'd like to catch up on some reviews I have yet to write for books I've finished lately and stay active in the Bout of Books challenge community.

For updates on how my Bout of Books is going, check out my Twitter!

 TBR Jar
After watching Katytastic's TBR Jar video, I was inspired to take part in the challenge as well! For this version of the TBR Jar, the pieces of paper in the jar are actually categories rather than specific books. My jar will have 12 challenges in it and I'm hoping to do one each month! While I liked some of Kat's challenges, I decided to change a few to better fit my reading tastes. My challenges are as follows:

Read a completed series with more than 3 books
Catch up on an unfinished series
Read a series finale
Read a 2015 debut
Read a new-to-you author
Read a book that's free for Kindle on Amazon
Read/watch a book and its adaptation
Read a book with 500+ pages
Read a book someone else picks
Read a book that's been on your TBR for more than a year
Read an old ARC that you never got to
Read a print book that you own

I have yet to actually make said jar yet, but once I do, it's going to be awesome! I'm really excited about this because I feel like it's going to challenge me to read books I've been wanting to read but wasn't necessarily motivated to do so. I'm also hoping it'll help me read some books I already own, so that's a plus! I'll be announcing all my TBR Jar picks on my Twitter, so stay tuned!

 Other Goals
Some other reading goals I have for 2015 are in regards to series and debuts.

For series, I'd like to complete at least 8 series that I've already started. Looking through my "Read" shelf on Goodreads, I noticed a lot of open series (Also because I'm terrible at reading finales because I don't want it to be over, and, I don't know, I'm just weird like that. I think Allegiant scarred me.) Since I'm currently reading Chaos by Sarah Fine for Bout of Books, I'm already on to a good start!

For debuts, my goal this year is to read at least 5 debut novels that are released in 2015. Tomorrow, in our first Top Ten Tuesday post, I'll be talking about my top 3 anticipated debuts for 2015, but there are a ton of great debuts coming out this year to look forward to! I think it's nice to read new authors' works because sometimes I can get stuck in a rut of just reading one author over and over. You never know if you'll find a new favorite!

If you read our We're Back! post a few days ago, you'll know that We Live and Breathe Books took an unexpected hiatus at the end of last year. As I'm getting back into blogging, I'm hoping to be much more active in the community. To me, this means trying to be more social on Twitter versus just liking things as well as reading and commenting more on other blogs. I follow so many great blogs and I just don't feel like I show them enough love so this will be a great way to show that appreciation. Additionally, I'd like to review every book I read (outside of school related things) in 2015. I have so much regret over not writing reviews for books I've read, whether it was before I started blogging or just because time passed and I never got to it. There are books that I really liked and every time I want to express my enjoyment, I can't because I never wrote a review! As long as I stay on top of my reviews rather than putting them off, I think I'll be able to accomplish this.

My last goal of 2015 is to buy less books. As a Kindle reader, I am a serial one-clicker. It's a problem. I once bought an entire 8-book series because all the books were on sale as a Kindle Daily Deal. I have not read said series. (...Ok, I acknowledge the fact that I am a sad human being and I might as well set the money on fire. I'm not proud of this - I just couldn't resist the sale!) Anyway, as a Kindle reader, it's so easy to hoard books because they don't take up space in your home! Kindle Daily Deals are also so affordable that when I see a good book on there, I just have to have it. Instead of binge buying Kindle books this year, I'm going to be a lot more selective about which Kindle Deals I actually purchase (only ones I really want) and I'm going to stray away from buying ebooks that are a bit pricey unless it's a new release of a book I'm highly anticipating (ex: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare). On top of that, I'm also going to do that whole library thing! As it turns out, there is a large selection of ebooks available through my library and reading library books is free. I like the idea of owning books (I really do. I'm the same way about having physical CDs rather than mp3 files.), but even though they don't take up any space, it really does get too pricey, especially since I'm a college student and I'm hoping to study abroad in Florence this Summer. My mom also subscribes to Kindle Unlimited, so I can read books there as well.

So those are my reading goals and challenges for 2015! In regards to my different reading challenges, I'm also going to make a challenges page to keep you updated on how I'm doing. Happy reading!

- Kiersten

Noor's Goals & Challenges

A lot of people set New Year's Resolutions. This year, I want to set New Book Resolutions and set a few goals and challenges for challenges for myself instead of reading books on a whim partially because I think it'll be fun and partially because it'll motivate me to keep blogging when I get busy. So here are some of the bookish tasks I want to accomplish:

 Bout of Books 13
Like Kiersten, I'm planning on participating in the Bout of Books read-a-thon. However, I'm currently getting up to winter break shenanigans visiting a friend in Dallas and so I'll be participating in the next one, taking place on May 11 th - May 17 th (just in time for my summer break woo).

Because this is so many months away, I haven't decided which books I'm going to read because I don't know which books I'll have read by then so I'll update you closer to the challenge about which books I'll be marathon reading! I think I'll try to aim for four books, because that's my favorite number and I think it's a nice number to go for and maybe I'll ad a fifth bonus book to try and go for as a stretch goal.

I'm really excited to do this and also, if you visit the Bout of Books blog and look at the Schedule tab, there are various challenges you can do and post about and most of them sound really interesting. I'm sure for the next read-a-thon there'll be different ones but I'm also sure they'll be just as interesting so I'm going to try to do as many of them as possible because they sound like they would enhance the experience.

 TBR Jar
This is another one that I'm doing that Kiersten already wrote about: the TBR Jar Challenge, based off Katytastic's TBR Jar video. Kiersten already explained the way it works with the categories, so here are my 12 challenges! I kept six of Kat's and added six new ones to mix it up (also I stole two of Kiersten's because I really liked them).

Read a 2015 debut novel
Read a book that someone else picks
Read a book you DNF'd/gave up on
Read a new-to-you author
Read a book that is not a novel
Read/watch a book and its adaptation
Read a book that's been on your TBR for more than a year
Read an old ARC that you never got to
Read a book you think you'll hate
Read a book solely judging it by its cover
Read a book by a close friend's favorite author
Read a book a member of WLABB reviewed that you haven't read

I'm so excited to make my jar and do this challenge because I love cute things like this and anything involving mason jars and the various projects you can do with them and this is another thing that'll motivate me not only to read consistently but to read things I might otherwise have put on the back burner so this should be great!

 The Rory Gilmore Reading List
So, I'm a huuuuuge Gilmore Girls fan. I used to come home from school every day and the first thing I'd do would be watch it on ABC Family and then I'd go upstairs and continue my life of other things. Rory Gilmore was, and continues to be, an inspiration to me. When they put the show on Netflix, I intended to marathon it as soon as I finished watching Arrow, the show I'm currently watching. Rory Gilmore loves to read. Rory Gilmore lives in a world of books. Rory Gilmore is, and there is no other word that describes her so perfectly, bae. And so, someone went and compiled a list of the 339 books that have been mentioned on the seven seasons of the show.

So, this isn't really a 2015 goal, because there's no way I'm reading all 339 books this year (although I have read some already so I have a bit of a start) but it's just a general ongoing goal in my life. Now that I have this list actively in my possession available to reference I can work on completing it at my own pace.

I created a Rory Gilmore Reading List page on my Tumblr where I'll be keeping track of my reading so if you ever want to see how I'm doing you can check there or if you want to read with me (or race me) that's where I'll be updating my list.

I really like this challenge because I can decide my own pace so when I'm swamped with work I can hold off on reading but when I don't know what to read I have a list of over 300 books to choose from, and it's based off one of my favorite shows so finishing it, however long it takes, will give me such an immense sense of accomplishment.

 Other Goals
One other goal I have for 2015 is to be more organized. I have this really bad habit of walking into a bookstore, buying an armful of books, and then sticking them in my bookshelf haphazardly (don't worry they don't get hurt) which wouldn't be the worst thing except I do this on a way-too-often basis and now my bookshelf is crowded with dozens upon dozens of books I haven't read in stacks that have no rhyme or reason to them. I should also mention that I don't have traditional bookshelves which would maybe alleviate some of the mess but I have what looks like a wood cupboard built in to my wall (it's actually pretty cool and partially why I chose the room in the house that I did) and it has three (technically four but the fourth doesn't really count) rows of shelf space that are really deep. So I can just put my piles of books everywhere and a) if I close the closet door no one will see and b) it can get messier because there's space for it. Right now it's absolutely atrocious and I have the issue of not being able to find anything and also not knowing what books I own and don't own. Sometimes when someone mentions a book, it'll be one I've heard so much about I won't remember if I bought it or I just think I did because it's so popular. So my goal is to organize my severely chaotic mess of books and maybe that way it'll help me figure out what I want to read during 2015, rather than my usual "this is at the edge of the bottom shelf and looks good" method. Also, I can figure out what books I should visit on my TBR list because half my shelf is a giant TBR list and having it out in front of me would be wise.

Another goal is to be more efficient with my reading and reviewing. When we took our surprise hiatus, for me the reason I hadn't read a book for pleasure since my review of Follow Me Through Darkness and the beginning of winter break was because I just started to get so swamped with work. It was awful, I would be writing around two papers every night on top of all the reading I had to do and the random work for my other classes. It was really stressful and of course I had other obligations as well and having time to read fell away. However, I know next semester is going to have just as much work and I don't want to fall into the college grind again and give up blogging because I do legitimately enjoy it and don't want to stop every time life catches up with me. So my goal is to be more efficient not just with blogging but with my time management skills and figure out how to make time for reading books while still doing the work I have assigned. I don't have to be reading a book every week, but I'd like to make sure I'm still actively consuming literature because the past few months were mentally brutal and taking away time to read killed me even more. Hopefully I sort myself out in 2015!

Other than that, I'd like to take this year to vary up my reading list and read lots of new and interesting books!

- Noor

Do you have any goals/resolutions/challenges you're partaking in?
Let me know in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. One of my goals is to read all books I have purchased. I also want to whittle down my wish list at the eLibrary and finish some series that I started.