01 January 2018

Hello 2018 // Resolutions and Challenges

Hello 2018
Happy New Year! It’s time to once again set our selves resolutions to inevitably break within the first few days of the year and challenges we will wither smash or forget about within days. I always end up forgetting about my challenges and resolutions and I always try and do a mad rush at the end of the year which always fails. I often question why I even bother. In fact, I never used to bother with resolutions because I knew they would never last.

It may sound like I don’t like the start of a new year but even though it is but an arbitrary method to track the passage of time there is something so lovely about that start of a new year. It holds so much potential, there are so many possibilities of how the next year will go. It may not always be a good year but I love the feeling that you can begin afresh and try and improve. And if all else fails I also treat September like a fresh start so I’ve got 9 months before I can attempt to set myself back on track for the end of the year.

2018 Resolutions

I may not have always been a fan of resolutions but I have a handful of bookish/blogging ones I wish to try and achieve.

  • Request fewer ARCs! – The continual theme of the end of 2017, for me, was complaining how behind in my ARC reading I was. I may have reached the elusive 80% response rate on Netgalley but I still have so many ARCs to read and a lot were for the middle to end of last year.2018 will be the year of me only requesting the books I really, really want to read. No more maybe reads or pretty cover requests for me (probably).
  • Buy fewer books! – I buy a lot of books and I don’t apologise for that fact. I am good at finding good deals and spending wisely (most of the time) but I have so many unread books that buying more feels hard to justify. I have no specific plan in place so this resolution is probably doomed to fail but I want to try and stop my gains from exceeding the books which I have read. I would be happy with breaking even at this point.
  • Stop apologising so much! – I apologise a lot to you guys on this blog. When I get busy, when I don’t post, when I don’t reply. There are apologies for the most ridiculous reason but no more! I want to apologise less when it’s beyond my control. I’m allowed to have a life outside this very fun hobby so it's ok.
  • Bring back posts I like on the blog! – So I realised I haven’t done a ‘Five Reasons to…’ post in a good long while and there are other little features and posts I haven’t done because they seemed like too much effort or I thought about it but never got around to so I am going to try and do the posts I like and not the ones which are easy.
  • Remember to post reviews on Amazon and Goodreads! – I am good at posting reviews on Goodreads but less good about making sure I put them up on places like Amazon but I am determined to try and get reviews up on those places once a week because this helps support authors too!
I don’t know about you guys but I feel like these are achievable aims. I’m not overreaching they are just good things to try. Will I succeed? Well… that’s a whole other question.

2018 Challenges

I always like to take part in a few challenges but I don’t want to do too many and overstretch myself. This year I may have chosen to do many but I am hoping I can cross books over for some challenges. Apart from the Discussion Challenge they are all reading based challenges and all should have some crossover (I hope).

2018 Discussion Challenge

This is my favourite blogging challenge which I take part in every year. I’ve done it for the past two, I think. It helps encourage me to write discussion posts which are always great and actually get a conversation going with you guys. It’s hosted by Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon at It Starts At Midnight. They are both great hosts and I love the link up to see all the discussions folks are posting.

My aim is to be a Chatty Kathy which is 21 to 30 posts. Over the space of a year that should (hopefully) be achievable. I want to try and get two posts up a month which I (might) be able to do.

Monthly Motif Reading Challenge

Monthyl Motif
This is a challenge I stumbled across completely by accident but it looked interesting. It is simply a book a month I am attempting to read and that is totally manageable. And a lot of the monthly themes seem like ones I would actually be able to read anyway.
  1. JANUARY – Diversify Your Reading
    Kick the reading year off right and shake things up. Read a book with a character (or written by an author) of a race, religion, or sexual orientation other than your own.
  2. FEBRUARY – One WordRead a book with a one-word title.
  3. MARCH – Travel the World
    Read a book set in a different country than your own, written by an author from another country than your own, or a book in which the characters travel.
  4. APRIL – Read Locally
    Read a book set in your country, state, town, village (or has a main character from your hometown, country, etc)
  5. MAY- Book to Screen
    Read a book that’s been made into a movie or a TV show.
  6. JUNE- Crack the Case
    Mysteries, True Crime, Who Dunnit’s.
  7. JULY – Vacation Reads
    Read a book you think is a perfect vacation read and tell us why.
  8. AUGUST- Award WinnersRead a book that has won a literary award or a book written by an author who has been recognized in the bookish community.
  9. SEPTEMBER- Don’t Turn Out The Light
    Cozy mystery ghost stories, paranormal creeptastic, horror novels.
  10. OCTOBER- New or Old
    Choose a new release from 2018 or a book known as a classic.
  11. NOVEMBER- Family
    Books where family dynamics play a big role in the story
  12. DECEMBER- Wrapping It Up
    Winter or holiday-themed books or books with snow, ice, etc in the title or books set in winter OR read a book with a theme from any of the months in this challenge (could be a theme you didn’t do or one you want to do again).

2018 Romance Roundabout Challenge

This is another one I stumbled across. I was searching for a romance based reading challenge but most of them didn’t seem all that challenging. Like the Contemporary Romance one, or it was too challenging. This one has a set number of categories and I can make it as easy or hard as I like. This is a GoodReads based reading challenge which I don’t love but it is a really cool challenge so I’m not letting GoodReads put me off as it’s a site I should probably utilise as more than just as a way to track my reading.

I am just going to be a ‘dabbler’ on this one and aim for one book per sub-genre. Do read more than one romance book a year to fit into these genres? Of course, I do but as soon as a set a target for myself we all know I’m going to fail epically.
    • Paranormal Romance
    • Urban Fantasy
    • Young Adult (fantasy or contemporary both qualify)
    • New Adult
    • Erotic Romance
    • Sci-Fi (can be romance or straight sci-fi)
    • Historical Romance
    • Steampunk
    • Contemporary Romance
    • Romantic Suspense
    • LGBT Romance
    • Fantasy (not to be confused with paranormal romance!)
    • Mystery (not romance focused, can be cosy mystery or thrillers)

2018 Beat The Backlist

I also plan to participate in this Backlist books challenge because I have a lot of backlist books to read and a challenge which utilises teams and points as a method to encourage you to read is always good (and this way I can combine my other challenges into this one too).

I aim to read 50 books for this challenge. I will be in the team Story Sorcerers so fingers crossed with do well!

Personal Reading Challenge

personal shelf love
And (finally) there is my own personal reading challenge which I have created for myself to try and beat the mountain of unread books I own. This is a challenge of my own making created specifically for me and the many books I have bought. You can feel free to use (and adapt it) for yourself but it’s going to work for me.
    • A book I bought because of Nick.
    • A book I bought because of Danya.
    • A book I bought because of a Smart Bitches podcast.
    • A book I bought (and avoided) due to the hype.
    • A book I bought for the author.
    • A book I bought for the cover.
    • A book from a subscription box which I’ve not read.
    • A highly anticipated book I’ve just not read.
    • A book I was excited to read until a bad review put me off.
    • A sequel to a book I’ve loved but not read as I want to reread the first book.
    • A physical book with an ugly cover.
    • An ebook with an ugly/embarrassing cover.
    • A big ass physical book I’ve put off reading as I don’t want to carry it about.
    • A book I bought because an author mentioned it.
    • Any book off of my last chance pile (those books which get one more chance before they go to the charity pile).

What challenges are you participating in this year? Do you have any resolutions for the year or are you just going to take it as it comes?

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