Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Reading my way through 2014:



This week over at The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten Tuesday is all about bookish resolutions. I have a post in the works about my history with resolutions and the ones I'm pondering this year, but I'm going to deviate a little to talk about my resolutions specifically to do with books.

I don't tend to make book-centric resolutions, but a couple of years back, I resolved not to buy any secondhand books for a whole year. My library was getting all triffid-like and the worst thing about secondhand books is that you can sometimes pick up five for a dollar. There is no stopping the growth of the book haul when they're so cheap! So for a year I didn't buy any secondhand books (except for this one time my sister expressly invited me to a book sale and I couldn't refuse, on the grounds of social etiquette -- and so my excuse shall remain) and it was actually pretty liberating. For a whole year, I didn't buy secondhand books, which meant that if I wanted to buy anything, it had to be a new book, from an actual bookstore. It was a great year for me in learning to appreciate the humble bookstore, as I'd previously been a thrifted book junkie. New books cost a lot more and therefore the collection grows much more slowly -- which was exactly what I'd needed -- but for the first time in a while I also experienced the joy of reading new releases and keeping a closer watch on publishing news and developments. Not to mention the fact that my dollars went to authors and bookstore owners rather than garage sales and whatnot. It was a great experiment and it's actually changed how I shop for books these days.

This year, my bookish goals (all of them casual, none of them binding) are less about buying books and more about what I actually do with them. Oh, and there's less than ten, but you'll forgive me that, won't you?

  • write more reviews; I love love love to talk about books in real life, but my ratio of books read to books written about is woefully unbalanced. This year, I'd like to be more diligent about jotting down my thoughts post-reading, and then sharing them, too.
  • write more honest reviews; this one's a bit misleading. It suggests that my reviews thus far haven't been honest. That's really not true at all. However, I do have a tendency to only review books that I like, respect, or enjoyed in some aspect. Whenever I attempt to write more critical reviews, I can't help but consider the fact that the author -- who for good or ill has slaved over the words I might be panning -- may someday stumble across the review. Even if I don't respect the finished product, I respect the work that's gone into it, so it's hard for me to share reviews of books I don't think are great. Here's to bravery!
  • read more poetry and biography; the last few years have been very heavy on YA fiction and I'm not complaining because that's my jam. It's what I love to read and write, but I found that by the end of 2013, I was really craving some poetry and biography into the mix. I miss poetry! I miss real peoples' lives set down in words!
  • read the numerous e-books I've downloaded; reading for me is like 70% words and 30% the aesthetics of actually holding and interacting with a book. Therefore, I've been slow to jump on the e-book wagon even though I am seriously affectionate towards my iPad. Last year, a book I couldn't afford in hard copy forced me into e-book land so now I know I can actually read an entire book through a screen, I'm determined to get through more of the e-books I have.
  • read things way outside my natural choices; university has been fantastic for forcing me to read stuff I might never otherwise pick up, but I complete my Master's midway through the year, so I'll have to keep myself on my toes picking through some great literature I might have otherwise overlooked. It's eye-opening and challenging, and I think we can learn heaps when we read outside our comfort zone.
  • participate in more top ten tuesdays; because book memes are the best memes.
  • post book-haul pictures; because ditto for pictures. I love seeing others' books and bookshelves, so I assume the same must be true (for at least some of you) in reverse.
So there you go -- my reading goals for 2014. What's on your list?

15 comments:

Laura said...

I just followed a bunch (...two actually) of bookish people on tumblr and got some recommendations and I went to the library today- and picked up some books that I am really excited to read. It was all kicked off by reading 'Fangirl'. It has been AGES since I was so into reading a book that I stayed up way past my bedtime reading and shut the rest of the world out the next day in order to finish it. It was such a lovely feeling that I hadn't realised I'd missed.

I have loved the books you've recommended to me, so I look forward to hearing some book reviews from you. And book memes... yes please :)

Laura Elizabeth said...

Ha! I just had another look at the picture and the book I am reading right now is the Patrick Ness one in the top right corner! We shall have to discuss it when I see you next.

Andrea said...

Guess what I think of ever time I see or hear the word pandemonium...

Bush Maid said...

Not buy a second hand book for a year and only buy new ones? That is admirable. Unless you cheat, and go to the Christian bookshop closing down sale and get around $300 worth of books and music for $15 like I did today... Then it kinda blows the whole "don't buy too many books too quickly" theory...

I like these resolutions. I could safely say most of them will be mine for this year. Except ebooks. Long live paper and ink! I'm a diehard.

Danielle said...

Ooh, be sure to pass on your tumblr bookish people so I can follow them, too! Lately I've discovered youtube.com/booksandquills and am very much enjoying her cute book-vlogging (and equally cute accent). Sigh. I love the feeling that Fangirl generated for you (I was the same -- and also with Attachments!).

Danielle said...

OH WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS SO MUCH BECAUSE I AM NEVER OVER THIS BOOK.

Danielle said...

Ughhhh it's like right on the tip of my brain!

Danielle said...

WHOA. WHAT. That sounds amazing! You should post a picture of your amazing haul. (And I'm sad; does that mean Shepherd's Nook is closing down?).

Sofia said...

I get your feelings on the subject of negative reviews, because I understand the amount of work that goes into writing a novel, but if the author one day happened to come across your negative review of their book(s), you wouldn't be hurting them, you would actually be doing them a favor. Through your review(s), they would get constructive feedback, which is an asset they can use to make their next books better! You've got to be cruel to be kind and all that :)

This is my TTT: http://takeawalkonthewriteside.blogspot.it/2014/01/top-ten-tuesday-top-ten-bookish.html

Bush Maid said...

Good idea, I should do that. I'm so chuffed.

And sadly, yes. :( No place to buy Christian materials in Singo any more. *sad face*

Danielle said...

That's such a good perspective.

Now off to check out your top ten!

Danielle said...

Aw, this makes me sad. That place was an institution!

Em said...

Read more e-books that is one that I am a victim to also. Downloading a ton (especially the free ones) and never getting around to reading them.....
Great list :-)
Em @ http://theyabookbutterfly.blogspot.com/

Danielle said...

I know! It's a blessing and a curse. On the one hand: free books! On the other: SO MANY BOOKS. Here's to a great year of gettin' through those ebooks!

Bethany said...

I am hoping to get a lot of my ebooks read. I have too many that I've gotten for free or very cheap, but keep forgetting to get around to reading them! I was not a fan of reading ebooks, initially, but now I adore my Kindle Fire and Kindle Touch and usually keep my Touch in my purse!

I'm also looking for 'bookish' blogs to follow. Can you recommend any? I'm on Tumblr but haven't found many good ones there yet. I could be looking in the wrong places though!

This year I am really hoping to finish reading through the LOTR Trilogy, read through the Chronicles of Narnia and the Anne of Green Gables series. I am also hoping to start writing book reviews for what I've read on my goodreads account. I have trouble with reviews though. If I loved a book, I tend to just say something like "AHHH!! I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!"

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