Last year I realized I wasn’t happy at all with blogging and reading. I was really feeling the pressure to read everything and felt so guilty whenever I even thought about reading a book that wasn’t a review copy. 2014 is my year of getting back to the basics, the year I remind myself why I love reading so much. Everything boils down to two main issues: what I’m reading and what I’m requesting. Since we’re a little over a month into the new year, I thought I’d track my progress and get it down on paper, so to speak, to see how I’ve been doing!
In terms of my goal (I lowered it this year to 60), I’m doing pretty well: 11 books down so far, 18% of the way there! When I looked on goodreads, however, I was a little shocked when I realized only one book wasn’t a review copy. I’m not too worried about that though: today starts a Siege & Storm readalong I’m doing, I’m doing another readalong later this month, and I’ve got a month-long event for an older series in the works!
Another part of this goal was to focus on books I know I’ll enjoy, rather than pick up a book I might like. So far, my ratings have been:
5 stars: 1
4 stars: 6
3 stars: 2
2 stars: 2
1 star: 0
Not too shabby!! Obviously I’d love to have more 5-star reads (although I’m currently reading a Jojo Moyes, so that’s a given), but I’m absolutely thrilled that the majority of books I’ve read so far this year have been 4- and 4.5-star reads. Even my 3-star reads haven’t been bad – one I’m still thinking about a month later! As far as this goal goes, I’d say it’s certainly a success. Hopefully the rest of the year goes just as well. I’m beginning to realize that being open-minded with new books/authors/genres doesn’t necessarily mean picking up any book I come across. I know what I enjoy reading and I can apply that to new authors.
This was the big one. I know I’m not the only one with a netgalley problem! Even when I contact publicists I tend to go a little overboard and last year it really caught up with me. I was hardly keeping up with the review copies I received – I have some 2011 ARCs that are still unread – and the pressure was overwhelming. So many times I would give into that instant gratification and request books that I thought I might like and hope for the best when it came time to actually read them.
I’ve been doing surprisingly well with this one. I haven’t put myself on any bans, but I’ve definitely started thinking more before contacting a publicist or hitting up netgalley. Does this book really sound like something I’d read and enjoy? Have I read books by this author before? Will I actually have the time to get around to reading it before it’s released? I’ve also gotten over my reservations about declining books; I was terrified that if I said no to a book, that entire publishing house would cut me off.
I know I still have a long way to go and that things aren’t going to miraculously change overnight, but I’m working at it and am extremely happy with how things are going so far. Already I feel like the weight has been lifted – I’m much happier now and can’t wait to see where it goes from here!