As with every single post for months now, I am super late with my end of the year posts. I have a few things I want to talk about over the upcoming weeks – and had absolutely planned on publishing my favourite books of the year today, but there is something about the first day of the new year that makes me want to shout resolutions from the rooftop, so I am doing that instead.
I had a weird reading year where I pretty much stopped blogging and instead of reading my normal rooster of genres (memoirs, short story collections, literary fiction, and loads and loads of SFF), I pretty much exclusively read romance. I forgot about my reading resolutions (except for the big one) until checking them again earlier this week – but I did surprisingly well on them (mostly because I had fairly low-key resolutions for 2019).
Read 100 books.
This I managed no problem at all. I read 128 books – the largest number since I started tracking my reading in 2015.
Keep writing reviews.
This I did not do even in the slightest. I gave myself permission to write short reviews for some books in 2019 and then did not even manage that. Part of that has to do with the pace in which I finished romance novels, part with how impossible I find it to properly review said romance novels, part (a rather large part indeed) with how very much pregnancy stole my energy for anything that wasn’t strictly necessary.
Post around two to three times a week.
Read by whim. (AKA request fewer ARCs)
I actually really did that – and while I loved it, it also meant that I went often for the immediately gratifying but ultimately forgettable romance novels that I inhaled – and now there are very many that I could tell you nothing about.
Only read books by women and non-binary authors
I did it (as far as I know). While I enjoyed this experiment and think that it did overall not change all that much about my reading – it was also a flawed idea from the beginning. Gender is not the only thing influencing marginalizations – obviously. Comparing apples and oranges and all that. I naturally gravitate towards books written by women and I cannot see that changing and I don’t see myself reading literary fiction by white men anytime soon – but there is so much exciting SFF and non-fiction written by MOC that I missed out on – and this feels like a stupid by-product of an idea that was more of a fun way of challenging myself than anything else.
Read 100 books
I debated on this when I set my Goodreads reading challenge earlier today – I usually manage 100 books fairly easily and I am not above slotting in a graphic novel if I fall behind and feel like being ahead again. But (and this will be a running theme) I cannot predict how having a child will change my reading pace, my concentration, and my willingness to prioritize reading above a social life (I won’t be working for most of the year and maybe then will actually want to meet up with people? I don’t know!). But my friend Rachel had a very good point: picture books. So 100 books it is.
Keep my blog running
While I have come to realize that the way I have been running my blog up until this year won’t be feasible for the foreseeable future, I still want to keep it. I like having a blog, I love the bookish community, and I like having a hobby for the first time since graduating high school. In whatever form I can manage, I want to keep this part of myself active.
Read the Women’s Prize Longlist
Reading (most of) the Women’s Prize longlist last year was my reading highlight – by far. I had so much fun with my dedicated group chat and being this immersed in the litfic bookish community was fun. I intend to do this again. My (lovely wonderful future) child timed their probable arrival perfectly, which means that I will be off work from the middle of April onwards and hopefully should have finished the longlist before I fall of the face of the internet for a while.
Be kind to myself
Things will probably change this year – and I want to make an effort to be kind to myself and accept that my reading and my blog will be different. If I want to read only romance novels, I will read only romance novels. I do not want to put any pressure on myself that feels unnecessary and I am hoping to just let myself be and enjoy this space I have built for myself in any way I can.
Do you have any bookish (or non-bookish) resolutions for the upcoming year? Also, thank you all for still reading my (sporadic) posts.