Tags and Fun

February TBR Challenge: Finish It Up Feb

This is pretty much the opposite of last month’s challenge – in February I want to finish some series that I’ve had ongoing for a while! I’ve picked six sequels where I’m eager to know how things end. Want to see what they are?

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Author's Note

January Reading Wrap Up

Well, I didn’t intend to be so quiet this month! I was incredibly busy for the first half of the month with reading and editing submissions for Indie Bites magazine, and then after three years of managing to dodge it, I finally succumbed to Covid at the end of the month, so it was a bad month for the book side of things all over. But I’m on the mend, and the editing’s almost done, so let’s wrap up what I did get read and done, and move on to February!

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Tags and Fun

January TBR Challenge: New Year, New Starts

In the spirit of fresh starts, this month I thought I’d focus in on starting some new series that I’ve been meaning to get to for a while! I’ve chosen six books that kick off duologies, trilogies or longer series, and I’m starting them all to see if I want to continue on, or if I can take the rest of the series off my shelves.

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Author's Note

2023 Reading Goals

I can’t believe how quickly the last year has gone. It’s been a mixed one for me, with some health challenges that wiped out a lot of my energy, so while I normally love the changing of the year, this time round I’m feeling a little bit of pressure to work harder and, well, do more! On the flipside, I also want to make space for a slightly less stressful year, so oxymoronically I’m in full planning mode about how to let go of planning mode – we’ll see if this is the year I chill out a bit (probably not). In 2022 I thought about chucking in the blogging towel more than once, but I’ve done some reflecting and I still love this little blog, so you haven’t got rid of me just yet…

And I’m ready to set myself some new reading goals for 2023!

Books read:

I think I’m going to stick to the same overall reading goal as 2022, of 400 books. I did end up reading quite a bit more than this, as you’ll have seen in my wrap up post, but it’s a nice point that’s a little bit of a stretch without having me flat out and worried about falling behind.

It’s also a nice round number and I really liked tracking the percentage of books I’d read last year, so I’m going to keep doing that – it means I need to read around 33 books a month, or 100 books per quarter.

Also, I just really love the moment when I copy my ‘Read’ list from my TBR page into a document to save, and then get to start a lovely new blank list!

My Owned TBR:

I’m so thrilled with my progress on my TBR in 2022, getting it down from 299 to 199 – that might not seem like a huge amount compared to my 200-odd reduction in 2021, but I realised pretty early on in 2022 that I’d winnowed out most of the books I was likely to DNF or not want to start, so everything on the list was actually going to be read!

I’d like to do this year’s TBR reduction goals quarterly, as when they’re too big they feel a bit insurmountable. I’m going to aim to get this down from 199 to 180 by the end of April – that feels doable and allows for plenty of new books to come in, because that’s what makes it difficult! I’m already much pickier about requesting review copies, and I’m starting to make good progress on some of the oldest sections of my TBR, so I’m hopeful that I can manage this.

NetGalley:

I’m starting the year with 59 books to review on NetGalley, and a ratio of 90% – while I’m pretty happy with my ratio, I do feel like there are a few too many books waiting on the list, so I really want to thin this down quite a bit. More than half of them (35!) have been read, so I just need to get around to writing up the reviews! I’d prefer to have no more than 20 NetGalley books at any time, so whittling this down is a real priority for me.

Reading Challenges:

My reading challenges worked really well to get me picking up a variety of books last year, so I’m going to continue to set myself a little TBR each month on a particular theme. The major change I’m making this year is that most of the time these lists were too long to finish comfortably, so I’m setting an upper limit of 9 books each month – that way, they aren’t the whole focus of the month, just a few things I want to get to.

Tomorrow’s post will have all the details of my January challenge!

General

Overall, I would really just like to get back to a place where reading is a joy and not a chore. I spent a lot of 2022 realising the ways in which my taste has changed, and becoming a bit disillusioned with the constant churn of popular books which didn’t quite suit my actual reading preferences, so for 2023 I want to embrace books as a pleasure again. Getting that TBR down will certainly help, but so will allowing myself to read my older fantasy books, and my weird niche sci-fi, and stuff that’s completely “off-brand” for the blog but feels more like me. So I’m making no promises, but we’ll see how a year of mood reading goes!

What are your reading goals for 2022? Wish me luck with these!

Author's Note

December/End of 2022 Wrap Up

Happy New Year! I’m back from my hiatus feeling very refreshed, and I’m really excited to get back to reviewing and talking books! As with last year, I thought I’d reflect on December as a month, with some thoughts about the whole year mixed in, and then set myself some fresh 2023 goals tomorrow.

I set myself two goals for 2022:

  • to read 400 books
  • to reduce my TBR

And with both of these, I did much better than expected!

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