2016 was all about reading smarter, not harder.
In 2017, I’m getting a touch more flexible with what I read.
In 2015 I really looked at my reading habits and decided I didn’t like them. I felt bogged down by all the library holds I had coming in on a regular basis and was requesting far too many books. As a mood reader, it was detrimental to my reading experience. I went through so many reading slumps in 2015 it was insane. I disliked the idea that reading was a chore when it served as my primary stress reliever. In order to get to the bottom of it all, I chronicled my reading habits and what changes I was going to make in my Tackling the TBR posts and from there, I was able to come up with a game plan for 2016.
I shared my 2016 Reading Plan in my SERIESous Tips: Avoiding the Chore of Reading post and I really liked that approach. By limiting my library and review requests, I had a lot more flexibility to read the books I wanted, when I wanted to. I hadn’t truly been able to do that in years and I can’t even describe how awesome it was to pick up a book just because I wanted to as opposed to needing to.
But this plan did have its holes and I learned some really important lessons:
- Restricting series/novels to a particular month is hard when you rely on library books!
- You can’t really control the availability all that much and it will screw up your plans!
- Stick to the “review request” limit!
- I had a hard time passing up some blogging tours and the like…lesson learned!
- Put less books on hold and focus on what is already available!
- Why wait 3 weeks when you could start something in 2 minutes?
- I LOVED that I was burning through my Kobo library!
- It was great to read books I had bought over the years!
- Go with the flow!
- With fewer deadlines, that meant I could read whatever tickled my fancy at the time.
It’s November but I’m already planning how I want to tackle my TBR in the new year.
Maybe I should focus on the next 2 months instead 😛
— Lauren (@SERIESousBooks) November 12, 2016
2017 is a year of really big changes for me.
My post-secondary education is finally finished and I will be entering the working world as a “real adult”. I really don’t know what life is going to bring–I might be working nonstop or not at all–but nevertheless, I know that will drastically affect my reading!
Which is why I want to keep everything flexible!
And so, I created a new reading “plan” to guide me into this new year:
- TBR Picks – purchased novels on my Kobo/Kindle/bookshelf
- I lowered this to 2 just because I don’t think I will be reading as many books as last year
- This is a part of my Shelf Love Challenge 2017
- Library Wishlist – aka 5 Year 5 Book Challenge
- this is a personal challenge of mine to read 25 of my most anticipated reads of the last 5 years
- instead of planning all the titles out at the start of the year, I will decide what titles will be for each month on a monthly basis, pending library availability/etc.
- I joined a Jane Austen book club on Goodreads that will go until April 2017
- I really want to get some more classics under my belt now that I don’t have English class anymore
- This is all about not hitting that “request” button too many times!
- I love helping new authors get that exposure by reviewing their titles, I just don’t want to feel “forced” to read something because I said “yes” to too many people
- Library Holds
- Again, I just want to focus more on what is already available to read now and reserves those holds for books with really long wait times
I’m sure that this plan will be modified along the way once I start working; but I really think it’s structured enough to give me direction but not so rigid that I’m stuck with a certain path. I accomplished a lot this past year in terms of my reading and finding that balance and I want to keep that momentum going forward.
Do you create a yearly plan or do you just go with the flow?
What are some of your 2017 reading goals?
This is very well detailed. I too like to go with the flow, so I don’t have lists or TBR’s to go from. I just pick up an ARC that is due soon, or a book that I feel like reading at the time!
I like going with the flow when it comes to what type of book I want to pick up next but I have such a crappy memory that if I didn’t write down when ARCs are due, I’d forget them! So I find this list (and Trello) helps me keep track of those deadlines so I don’t miss anything!
I really hope your Jane Austen book club includes Emma! That’s actually my favourite one. I got a bit obsessed with it at university and wrote a several thousand word project on it. Also your list reminded me that I still haven’t read Northanger Abbey, and I really should.
As always, love your organisation. I have non whatsoever beyond a pile on my floor that I replenish when I realise that I’ve read most of it. This is why I am never writing about the right books at the right times.
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You know, Emma was the book for December and I just couldn’t get into it 🙁 All the Mrs/Miss/Mr characters really had me confused. I’m reading Persuasion right now and really loving it, so I’m hoping once I get acclimatized to Austen’s right again, I can return to Emma. I think I was just a little rusty when it comes to the classics 😛
I try to be organized but it does have its faults. I schedule some reviews so far in advance that I completely forget what I wrote about by the time they are posted :S Having an eReader helps too or else I would just have piles upon piles floating around.
wow, sounds like a game plan. I always try to set a plan but never really follow it in the end.
I totally get that. Last year was the first time I really had a game plan and I actually stuck with it. I only had one challenge I created completely fail but I really learned from it so it was a success. The biggest thing for me is to have a way to keep track of requests and other items with deadlines.
That’s great you learned a lot about your reading in the past couple years. I hope 2017 is a great reading your for you. I don’t really have a set plan for things. I don’t get as much from the library now that I don’t work at one anymore. I don’t visit AS OFTEN. I want to keep trying not to request or accept review books as often. I did fairly well last year. BEA books accounted for a lot, but I’m not going this year. Basically, I want to read way more of the books I already own.
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I totally get that. My goal is to significantly reduce the number of books currently sitting on my Kobo (because I don’ t buy physical books anymore unless they are favourite series I’ve already read) by the end of the year.
I worked really hard on reducing my review copies and so far, I’ve been able to spread them out thanks to very accommodating requesters. That has been a big help.
But I realize, with my focus on so many books, I’m forgetting about picking up some sequels for series I need to catch-up on! Hopefully, I can get back into the routine of reading those sequels!
I’m also in the post-college graduation phase of my life! It’s super overwhelming not knowing what’s coming up but I hope that I can still keep on top of, if not exceed, my reading and blogging goals.
Your excel sheet looks great! I’m using one to that another blogger created to keep track of my reading stats.
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I’m not sure what the next 2 months are going to bring in terms of reading and blogging but I’m excited to see what happens next!
[…] books on my nightstand, etc.) but nothing really got the job done just right. Then last year I saw Lauren over at Serious Reviews do an in depth post about how she tracks her TBR and fell in love with her method and had to try it myself! I used it for most of 2017 and now 2018 […]
[…] did a post a while back on how I track my TBR that was inspired by the lovely Lauren @ Seriesous Book Reviews and I’ve found that the system works well for me! Though I usually include my TBR in my paper […]