Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Reading Challenges: Successes and Failures

Business with school had a devastating effect on my reading time this year, and that is reflected in my challenge results. I predicted that to a certain extent and set modest goals, but still had mixed results. Ah, well. School is just a couple more years and then I hope to have a lifetime of good reading years! :)

2015 challenge sign-ups to come! (I've not been able to keep up with blog reading this year at all, so I'm going to have to go searching for reading challenges. If you have a 2015 challenge feel free to post it in the comments! I could use the help finding them!)

Challenges I Completed

The Women Challenge: I'm pleased to have completed this challenge at the highest level for the second year in a row! I completed 22 books written by women this year, which is just over half of my total books read. Yay!

Diversity on the Shelf: I completed this challenge at the lowest level, which required 1 to 6 books. I ended up reading 3. I'm glad to have succeeded in this challenge, but sort of sad that I only read 3 books (7% of my total) written by people of colour! This is definitely an area to keep improving.

Book Bingo: I did end up finishing a row! I always have a lot of squares but no rows completed, but this time I got all the squares in the top row: 1 TBR book, 1 non-fiction, 1 series book, 1 fantasy, and 1 new release. It's the easiest row on the board but hey, that's a win! :)

Challenges Where I Fell Short

The Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge: 2013 was already a big drop in numbers from previous years, so this isn't too surprising, but my numbers dropped even more in 2014, my first full calendar year of being back in school. The free time just wasn't there! I read 41 books in 2014, down quite a bit from 84 in 2013. Sad face.

The Mount TBR Reading Challenge: Alas, I fail this one every year! In previous years that's been because of review copies, but this year I didn't even have time for review copies. This year it's because of library books. As part of my librarian training I've been exploring new genres and discovering lots of new books, so my library card has been put to good use!

The Banned Books Challenge: Surprisingly, I didn't end up reading a single banned book this year!

The Seriously Series Challenge: I fell short on my goals for this one this year. But it remains a favourite challenge of mine!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Reflecting and Looking Forward


Wow, it's been quite a year! I was aware throughout the year that I was way behind on my book reviews and blogging in general, but I honestly didn't realise until recently just how little I blogged in 2014. Hardly at all, really, besides doing the 24 Hour Read-a-Thons and posting some monthly wrap-ups. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, since my schedule for the last year has consisted mostly of going to work, coming home and doing homework, sleeping, and repeating the next day.

However, there are good things to look back on, too! As much work as it's been, I've learned a lot in school this year (I'm in library tech), and I've become more and more excited by the prospect of becoming a librarian. Recently that's been affecting my leisure reading, too. Since it's important for a librarian to be familiar with all genres for readers' advisory purposes, I've started reading popular books in genres I normally wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole (eg. romance). It's been an interesting experience and I plan to continue broadening my horizons in this way!

Also, I joined a book club! Not an online, Goodreads book club that I won't keep up with at all, but a real, live book club! This is very exciting. That's also got me reading books I normally wouldn't have picked, and I really think it's breathed some life into my reading in a year when it's been tough to fit in any fun reading at all.

Looking Forward

Despite not achieving my reading goals the last few years, I'm my usual optimistic self going into the new year. Since I'm about a year behind on my book reviews (seriously!), I've decided to wipe the slate clean in 2015. (This was not an easy decision for my OCD-tendencies self.) That way I'm not being held back by the prospect of reviewing books I don't even remember. I'll be reviewing my 2015 books as I go, and if I find myself with some extra time to write another review, I'll go back to one of those 2014 ones. The idea is that I'll mostly be writing reviews of things I just read, while they're still fresh in my mind.

My schedule probably isn't going to get any more relaxed in the next year, but I'm hopeful that, with this fresh start, I'll be better able to fit blogging into my daily rat race.

To those of you who actually read this post, and who've stuck around while I've been an absentee blogger, thank you so much!! You rock. Seriously.