2018 was such a great reading year for me. Honestly, I can’t get over how great reading was for me. I read so many books and I wrote so many blog posts and made so many friends. I don’t say this because I think it’s cheesy, but I honestly feel blessed.
This year, I plan on challenging myself to some big goals. But before I can do that, I’ll need to assess 2018 and see what I’ve learned from my year of reading. Here’s my ten learns:
I need to stop putting so many books on my monthly TBR
This was an extremely unhealthy thing I did last year. Every month, I was so excited about all the great reads I wanted to get through and I assigned myself crazy 24-book TBRs. Seriously. I’d go into the month super hopeful and then right in the middle of my first book, I would get anxiety about all the other books I had to read.
I’m also not the type of person who reads all the time. I mean, I love watching TV and I play video games every once in a while. I keep my interests pretty mixed as well, so reading all the time would keep me from doing the other activities I love.
I never got anywhere close to 24 books read in a month. If anything, I burned out at about eight books and then lazed around hoping to get some more energy to read again. It never happened. This year, I plan on reading 100 books and I’ve made myself a plan that’ll hopefully keep me from the burn out.
I really love romances in doses
This year, I learned that I really love a good romance novel. I’m more of a contemporary romance that’s pretty mainstream. I know romance readers probably won’t agree with this, but I haven’t had the courage to explore the genre more. For me, it’s been a nice palate cleanser after reading so many heavy fantasy novels. I’ll continue to intersperse some contemporary romance and contemporary fiction between my heavier reads.
I’m a very moody reader
This is actually something I want to work on this year. While I love reading based on my mood, my mood is also not stable. Meaning that I’m either buying books I want to read, picking up the first book in a series because I felt like it, and really had no sense of control. Since I’m a control freak, I wanted to change that. So when I put my TBRs together, I try to think of what I’ll be in the mood for during the month. I pick vastly across my favorite genres so I’m never bored, and I keep it to a minimum of nine books a month. I think planning before your month allows you the reading life that’ll stick with your mood changes.
A scheduled day works really well for me
This year, I found myself reading and working interchangeably. If I wasn’t writing, I was reading. If I wasn’t reading, I was doing something else. I found myself so caught between what I wanted to do and what I should do. Lately, I’ve been scheduling my mornings to blogging and my afternoons to reading. It’s been really helping me keep focused, feeling less obligated in reading or writing at any given time. I’m so elated to continue scheduling my days and also with the help of my bullet book journal.
I love my book journal and annotating
Last year, I fell in love with annotating my books and keeping a book journal. The annotations are just for me, but the book journal has been my constant companion as I explore all the different books I read. This year, I’m going to be taking it another step forward and combining both my book journal and my agenda together. I’ll be setting up bullet journal pages as well as continuing to keep notes on all the reads I encounter.
I need total silence when I read
I don’t know where this comes from, but I need to read in a silence only monks can understand. Sometimes it’s quiet enough for a pin drop and the other times it’s some classical music, but nothing beats a completely silent room with you and your reads. I think this happened because a lot of the books I read were heavy stories with a lot of elements that I needed to keep up with. I would get lost in these stories (as one does), but in order for me to be completely immersed, I need utter silence. I hope to find a really good library this year.
I can read an entire book in one sitting
Honestly, this one feels like I’ve unlocked an achievement. I can’t believe that I read a few books over the course of a weekend or one day. It’s not easy for me because I still consider myself a slow reader and because of that, I don’t try for sitting down and reading a book without getting up. But it happened. The conditions need to be perfect to make it real. It needs to be the right book, the right amount of time, and the commitment to put down your phone. I’ll definitely be looking forward to having more weekends like this!
I’m constantly challenging myself and my reading life
Over this past year, I feel like my reading life was one giant science experiment. Perhaps it’s because I was doing more work for Book Riot and I’m writing articles for this blog, but I tried out a lot of different things. I read from different genres. I tried to do kooky things with my reading habits. While my reading life feels like a series of science experiments, it does make for good writing. I do plan on continuing my experimental life. Let me know if you see any fun reading challenges I can try for you!
I want to keep reading books
Well, isn’t this an obvious one. The reason why I’m adding it is because 2018 really taught me how much I love books. I love reading books. I love writing about books. I love sharing my reading life with you. If I could make this my day job, I totally would. But for now, I’ll continue to read books and challenge myself and come up with fun content for you all!
I love sharing my reading life with you all!
I think the best thing I learned this year is that I don’t want my blog to be another book blog. I don’t want people to come here and see review after review after review. I wanted to make it my goal to share my reading life and hopefully you’ll be able to adapt and share your reading life too. I’m going to continue doing that with you all! Let’s continue to read and share our reading lives together!
What did you learn about your reading life last year? What do you plan on improving?
8 thoughts on “10 Things I Learned About My Reading Life in 2018”
I imagine your TBR list is just growing and growing at this point. Do you stay to a rigid first come first listed mentality or do you jump around with your choices?
LikeLiked by 2 people
I jump around. Some books I have to read ASAP and others are a wait till later reads. If that makes sense haha
24 books a month was a big commitment! If I read 24 books in a six months I feel like that’s an achievement, haha.
I found out about Netgalley and it has helped me to stay on focus with my blog. It has been hard to find things to post about but reading novels and writing reports has really helped me to stay on track with reflecting about what I read. This has helped my personal writing because I am constantly practicing analysing text and thinking about how I would read my own writing as a reviewer.
What I have learned in 2018 is that it is okay to not like a book. I read a book for Netgalley that I didn’t like this year but I didn’t want to give it a negative review because I know the time and energy it takes to complete a full novel. I had to learn that I could be constructive about my response and still maintain my own opinions about the book not being up to par.
I read best in short burst. My schedule is busy with college and work so I keep my kindle charged and in my bag, or I keep a paperback in my purse for “dead time” time that spend in the grocery line or waiting for someone to be ready for a meeting. Time that I am wasting during the day when I could be exploring new worlds and expanding my mind.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Love this, Simone! I’m a romance reader who is never going to pressure you to read more of the genre but who will always have recommendations on hand if you ever do.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Have you ever considered writing a novel yourself?
LikeLiked by 1 person
Nah I’m not the fiction writing type
Love this concept for a blog post. Mind if I write something similar for my blog (with credit to you ofc)?
I did the same with the huge TBRs, it would stress me out so much! And I’d also put off reading long books because otherwise I wouldn’t get through my monthly TBR.. yeah. I stopped doing that. Reading should be fun not stressful!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Yeah sure! Go for it!
LikeLiked by 1 person