Bookish

2017 Resolutions: How did I do?

Last January I made this list of my top ten bookish resolutions for 2017… and now the time has come to see how I did! I’ve completely forgotten what my resolutions were, so this should be an interesting trip down memory lane.

1. Read 24 books. Done! Somehow the stars aligned this year and I actually managed to read THIS MANY books… don’t ask me how! (Come to think of it, I know exactly how: SO MUCH required reading for college!) Although I don’t really care about the number of books I read, I can’t help but be pleased with this count!

2. Read more classics. Done! This goal can also be credited to the many books I was required to read for my courses this year, especially for my tutorials at Oxford. So much Victorian literature!

3. Read something by Zadie Smith. Done! Luckily enough, White Teeth was on the list of assigned reading for the Writing Feminisms tutorial I’m taking this upcoming term so I finally got around to reading something by Zadie Smith. (Also, it was AMAZING. Would definitely recommend!)

4. Read more by Charles Dickens. Done! I ended up reading two more novels by Dickens this year: Hard Times and Oliver Twist. I enjoyed both, though not as much as Great Expectations. (How I love that novel…)

5. Read A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. Nope! I feel as though I’m just destined to not read this book. Despite my incessant inclusion of this novel in countless TBR lists, for some reason I can’t seem to get around to reading it. Will 2018 finally be the year???

6. Continue posting to my bookstagram. Done! I’ve had such a blast updating my bookstagram, especially now that I have the privilege of being surrounded by so many beautiful buildings and scenes at Oxford.

7. Write more discussion posts. Done! I feel like I’ve definitely made an improvement by writing longer posts about my study abroad experiences and introducing weekly features like Feminist Fridays onto my blog. (Pssst! Any feedback on this point would be very appreciated!)

8. Be more engaged with the online book community. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to go with a no for this one. Although I’ve had an amazing time studying abroad, being at Oxford does mean that I have less time to blog. I’ve really missed reading and commenting on everyone’s posts!

9. Read slowly. Hmm…. probably not. Again, having so much work at Oxford means that I really can’t afford to spend my time slowly wading through novels like I’d love to do. So much to read, so little time!

10. Have fun!! DEFINITELY! One reason I love blogging is that it always reminds me to have fun with what I read. After all, what good is reading if you don’t enjoy it?

I unknowingly achieved over half of my bookish resolutions 2017– who would have thought?

What were your resolutions for 2017? Did you achieve them? Will you carry them over into 2018? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday: 2017 Bookish Resolutions

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Happy Tuesday!! I know that today’s official Top Ten Tuesday theme is about our most anticipated 2017 debuts, but here’s my dilemma: I really don’t know any upcoming debuts being published in 2017. Due to an incredibly busy college semester I’ve been out of the bookish loop for so long that I haven’t been able to stay up to date with new releases. Rather than ramble on about books I know nothing about, I’ve decided to share my Top Ten 2017 Resolutions instead. (Look at me, starting off the New Year as a blogging rebel!)

1.Read 24 books. Though I easily surpassed this Goodreads Challenge goal in 2016, I’m nevertheless going to set the same overall reading goal for 2017. I like to have something to work towards, but I never want to feel pressured to read an impossibly and impractically high number of books. Two books a month feels just right!

2. Read more classics. Yet another resolution that I’m borrowing from last year’s list (I assure you, there’s a purposeful trend here). Over the past few years I’ve been really enjoying reading classics and I’d love to continue expanding the network of authors and genres within classical literature that I’ve read.

42003. Read something by Zadie Smith. 

Ever since reading her interview on the New York Times’ By the Book column I’ve had the itch to read something by Zadie Smith. Her most recent novel Swing Time has received fantastic reviews, but I think I might start with her debut novel White Teeth and then work my way forward from there. As long as get around to reading one book by this fascinating, highly-praised author this year, I’ll be happy!

Charles Dickens4. Read more by Charles Dickens. If this goal looks familiar, it’s because I sadly failed to accomplish it last year. I absolutely adored Great Expectations when I read it two (three???) years ago, but since then I have read nothing else by Dickens. I desperately need to remedy this in 2017! Any suggestions on where to start would be greatly appreciated! The only other book I’ve read by Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities, so everything else is fair game for a recommendation.

a game of thrones cover5. Read A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. That’s right: another goal that I failed to accomplish in 2016. I’ve honestly been meaning to read this book for years but for some reason my inner bibliophile is really intimidated by it, both in terms of size and content. A little pep talk, anyone?

6. Continue posting to my bookstagramCreating a bookstagram was one of the best bookish decisions I made in 2016. I randomly decided to make one over the summer and I’ve had a blast doing it every since! In 2016, I want to continue posting photos and exploring different themes and angles.

7. Write more discussion posts. Lately I feel as though I’ve been getting into a blogging rut. My blog has been mostly tags and Top Ten Tuesday posts lately with the occasional review mixed in, so I want to make an effort to write more discussion posts in 2016. I was surprised and overjoyed by the positive and thoughtful comments left on my recent discussion post (Why It’s Okay to NOT Make Time for Reading). Discussions in the comments section always remind me how amazing the online book community is!

8. Be more engaged with the online book community. With my discussion post goal in mind, I would also like to be more engaged in the online book community in other ways. Recently I’ve been using Twitter (@peanutfreeisme) more, but I would also like to be more active on Goodreads and other platforms. Feel free to reach out and follow/friend me on any of these platforms!

9. Read slowly. As I recently mentioned when taking a look at my 2016 resolutions, reading slowly and taking the time to appreciate and absorb each book I read is always something that I can improve upon. It’s easy to feel as though we have to rush through books to achieve reading goals or read as much as possible, but where’s the fun in that?

10. Have fun!! As always, I include this final resolution as a reminder to myself that reading is for ENJOYMENT. I want to read to have fun, to learn, and to be inspired– not merely to check off books on a list or achieve a Goodreads challenge.

What are your 2017 resolutions, bookish or otherwise? What do you think of the goals I’ve set for myself? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Bookish

2016: How Did I Do?

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Today I’m taking a look back on the 2016 resolutions I made last January to see what progress I made on these goals. I honestly haven’t looked at these resolutions since I first made them, so this will be as much of a surprise for you as it will be for me!

untitled-design-21. Read at least 24 books. I definitely completely this one! As of right now I have read 67 books, which is a lot more than I initially expected to read. I would say that about half of these are probably books I had to read for school, but reading is reading!

untitled-design-22. Read more classics. I just did a quick count, and out of the 67 books I read this year 18 of them were what I consider to be classics. I’m really happy with that number, especially since they generally take me longer to read because I like to take my time with them.  

untitled-design-23. Read more nonfiction/memoir. According to another quick count, I read 23 nonfiction books/memoirs in 2016! I can definitely thank my coursework for that high number. I feel like I found a new appreciation of nonfiction in 2016, which to me is a success in and of itself.

Charles Dickensuntitled-design4. Read more works by Charles Dickens. SUCH A FAILURE. I have yet to read another book by Charles Dickens and it makes me so sad. (Hint: sneak peek of my 2017 resolutions!)

untitled-design-25. Read at least 3 books in Spanish. This past semester I took a Spanish literature class in which I read three novels and countless short stories in Spanish, so this goal has definitely been achieved!

untitled-design-26. Organize my bookshelves. YES. Though I still have to donate quite a tall stack of books that have been sitting on my bedroom floor for months, I recently organized all of the books that I do not. Also: I GOT A NEW BOOKCASE. It’s glorious and shaped like a staircase and I love it so much.

a game of thrones coveruntitled-design7. Finally read A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. ANOTHER FAIL. I just can’t seem to prioritize reading this book. (2017, I’m looking at you to pull through!)

untitled-design-28. Read more of the books I own. Though I have acquired quite a few books over the past year (I just can’t help but gravitate towards used book sales!), I have made a conscious effort to read the books I already own while on breaks from school. Besides the occasional used book sale, I have also tried to limit the amount of books I buy. For example, I didn’t ask for any books for Christmas (so much self-control!).

untitled-design-29. Read slowly. This goal will always be a work in progress for me, but I think it’s say that I did make some improvement in this area over the past year. For instance, I’ve consciously chosen to take my time reading longer books such as Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow and Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. It’s not perfect, but I’ll keep working on it!

untitled-design-210. Have fun! YES!! One of the ways I spruced up my bookish life in 2016 was by creating a bookstagram. I’ve had a blast taking photos and connecting with other readers on this fun platform. And, as always, blogging has made reading an amazing experience!

All in all, I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made achieving many of my 2016 resolutions. Hopefully I can be just as bookishly successful in 2017!

How did you do with your 2016 resolutions, bookish or otherwise? What were your most fun, challenging, and rewarding goals to work towards? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Resolutions

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!! It’s the first Tuesday of 2016– writing that feels so strange! Where does the time go??

As per usual at the start of the New Year, the Top Ten Tuesday topic is our Top Ten Resolutions for 2016. I feel like these could be considered more like goals than resolutions— or is there even a difference? (Says the English major!) Anyways, on with my bookish plans for 2016!

1. Read at least 24 books. I’ve decided to keep the same Goodreads goal as I had in 2015 even though I easily surpassed it last year. I’ll be away at college for the majority of 2016, so I won’t have as much time to read besides what I’m assigned to read for classes. Also, a lower goal allows me to take my time with the books I do read and even read some longer books without having to worry about them being too much of a time commitment.

classicsclub logo2. Read more classics. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of classic literature, both due to my college classes and because I’ve been enjoying exploring that genre. I’d love to continue to do this in the new year and hopefully be able to check off some of the books on my Classics Club reading list!

3. Read more nonfiction/memoir. Every year when I look back at the books I’ve read I always feel as though I never read enough from the nonfiction/memoir genre. There are some really great nonfiction books that I have on my TBR list for 2016 (take a peek at my recent book haul for more info) so I’m hoping they will get me off to a good start.

Charles Dickens4. Read more works by Charles Dickens. In the AP English class I took in my senior year of high school I read A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, the latter of which I absolutely loved. I’ve been meaning to read more of Dickens’ work ever since, but for some reason I just haven’t gotten around to it.

5. Read at least 3 books in Spanish. Over the past year or two I’ve been trying to read more books translated into Spanish. Since I’m now going to be a Spanish major in college, I figured that it’s about time I start doing this more often. I’ve got several Spanish books on my shelves that I’m looking forward to reading, so hopefully I can finally get around to completing this goal in 2016.

6. Organize my bookshelves. At the moment my bookshelves are kind of getting out of hand. The bookcase in my bedroom is overflowing with books, many of which I read years ago and have no intention to read again. Sometime in the near future (maybe before winter break ends?) I need to sort through all of my books and decide which ones I want to keep and which ones I want to donate. Then the reorganization process really begins!

a game of thrones cover7. Finally read A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I feel like this is a major fandom that I might enjoy, considering that many people have told me that it’s sort of similar to LOTR. I’ve never watched the TV show or read any of the books, but hopefully I can get around to reading at least the first one this year. I mean, if my brother read it (he never reads willingly) and enjoyed it, then I should be able to, right?

8. Read more of the books I own. I love books so much that I just want to own them all. The problem with this is that I have so many piled up in my room that I haven’t read yet, and they end up sitting there for AGES before I finally get around to reading them. Hopefully this year I can trim down that physical TBR (and maybe make room for some new ones?).

9. Read slowly. This is more of a mindset for me than the actual pace at which I’m reading. Sometimes I get so caught up in wanting to read all the books! that I miss out on appreciating whatever book I’m reading at that moment. In 2016 I want to stop reading hurriedly and start reading in a more relaxed way, if that makes any sense.

10. Have fun! As always, I think this is the most important resolution to make. Above everything else, reading should be fun!

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What are your resolutions or goals for 2016, bookish or otherwise? Let me know in the comments section below!

I hope your New Year has gotten off to a great start!

Yours,

HOLLY