Happy New Year, everyone!
Now, many of us see a new year as synonymous to new beginnings. In a way, it is. But we also need to keep in mind that it is not some life changing event. Still, years are a way for us mark time and assess how far we have come and how far more we want to go. This is where resolutions and goals come in. We set targets, telling ourselves that those are the things we want to achieve. As I do so this year, I want to be mindful of which targets are achievable for me, yet adequately challenging such that I stretch myself a little further than I otherwise would. So, without further ado, here is a rundown of what I want out 2014.
- 2 non-fiction books per month – These can be from any genre, including recipe books or how-to guides, so I can keep learning new things. Though I do hope to pick up more books on sociological issues.
- 1 adult book per month – I don’t care if I get stuck on Contemporary and Chick Lit more than anything else. Point is, I want to look beyond what YA has to offer. Past attempts have not been entirely successful, which is why I decided I have to set a target this time round.
- 1 German book per month – Since I completed my A Levels a few years ago, German has no longer been on my curriculum. I don’t meet many people with whom I can converse in German. One semester I had a German exchange student as a room mate. Last semester there were a couple of German exchange students in one of my project groups. Still, I recognize that conversing is not enough, so I must pick up some German literature more regularly again.
- 1 classic book every 2 months – When one of my form teachers actually wrote in a report that I am well-read, the first thing that came to mind was the irony of it. Classics have never been part of my repertoire, and I’m kinda ashamed to admit it. For some reason the literature classes I attended have been rather unconventional, so I ended up being taught more modern texts in 7th and 8th grade. In 9th and 10th grade we somehow did a lot of post-modern texts. I think the only classic texts I studied in school were The Bacchae and Women of Troy and a few more I can’t remember because I took Theatre Studies.
- But I digress. Point is, I want to read some classics but I don’t care if they’re ancient or modern, or where in the world they’re from.
- 100 books this year – I have no idea if I can manage this because this year is full of uncertainties for me. Results came out a couple of days ago and I am officially graduated! (Queue the cheers for I completed my honours degree in 3.5 instead of 4 years! :D) This also means that I need to start applying for jobs, so I really don’t know what’s in store for me. Either way, in the past two years I kept exceeding my initial targets. In 2012 I set it at 15 because I was incredibly busy with school and other activities. I read 30. Last year I then set it at 30, only to increase it to 65 half-way through and finishing the year with 68. Let’s see if I can do a hundred.
- Expand my features – The only 2 things I’ve done diligently is post reviews and post discussions. Beyond that I’ve not been as organised as I’ve wanted to be. Instead of setting up a fixed blogging cycle though where each day gets a feature, I will post them when I have stuff to share. I do however want to start a weekly recap. I’ve seen quite a number of bloggers do this and I find those really helpful. I especially like how Asti from A Bookish Heart notes all that which has been going on in the blogosphere! While I doubt I’ll ever be as exhaustive and detailed, I do want to note down other blogger’s posts that catch my eye. Mostly for my own reference but also to share links to wonderful content out there.
- Be more active on the blogosphere – Comment more on other blogs and meet new people. I already mentioned all that jazz about communication being key, so I’m not going to elaborate.
- Make sure I keep having fun – After all, I set up this blog because I wanted to. Not to please anyone but myself, so this is where it’s at. I will not allow myself to conform to some unattainable standard. If I can blog daily, for example, I will. If I can’t, I won’t. That’s entirely up to me. Blogging here is a way for me to express and to share my love for books. I want to keep it that way.
Now here come the book challenges that I intend to participate in this year. Last year I was late to the party because I only started out book blogging in June. Doing a couple of challenges sounds fun because others are in it too, so it’ll be encouraging as I set out with these challenges this year.
Standalone Reading Challenge – The point is to read 15 YA standalone books that are published in 2014. There constantly are new books being published and I don’t want to forget about these as I try to clear my TBR pile of books published prior to 2014. With this challenge, I want to remind myself to look for new stuff to. If you’re interested in joining there’s a list up on Goodreads where you can look for suggested books and head on over to Icey Books to sign up.
Rewind Challenge – Shiny and new doesn’t always mean better, especially when it comes to books. There have been a ton of books in the past I told myself I would read but never did. And so I challenge myself to reading and reviewing 24 books published prior to 2014. Genre doesn’t matter. If you’d like to sign up, visit Coffee Bean Bookshelf to do so.
Series Challenge – After spending so much time, waiting for series to be completed or reach near completion, so I don’t have to wait between books in a series, I thought that this challenge right here is perfect. My aim is to reach silver since I’ll mostly be starting from book one in the series that I intend to complete. That means completing 4–6 series. For sign-ups and details, Read. Sleep. Repeat. is your gateway.
Reading Challenge – Of course, my challenge list wouldn’t be complete without that of Goodreads. For this I aim to finish reading 100 books. I think this is the first time I’m genuinely interested in finding out if I can reach that target because it goes beyond what I’ve seen myself do in recent years.