01 January 2014

Out with the old, in with the new: Hello, 2014!

The thing about New Year's Day is that it always comes sniffing around when I'm not ready for it.  But, so long, 2013 - it was nice knowing you.

My goal was to read 120 books - so I read 167 books last year, of course, since I'm that sort of over-achiever.  That made 49,369 pages read (or so, I think a few things didn't have a page count in GR).

I read books of all kinds, so definitely a different genre spread than last year, and so many great books came out this year that I couldn't choose just one favorite book this year: When Women Were BirdsCloud Atlas, Eleanor and Park, Fangirl, A Sport and a Pastime, No Good Duke Goes Unpunished, The Secret History, Night Film, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Once Upon a Tower, and Sex Criminals (easily the best comic I read this year).  As to least favorite book, that one goes to Joshilyn Jackson's Someone Else's Love Story which I loathed with the fire of a thousand suns and wonder why I didn't give it one star (if you want to know why I finished it, I had to review it for Brazen Reads).  I had one official DNF, Big Girl Panties, because I really couldn't get past the "hero's" i-can't-be-seen-with-an-unattractive/overweight-person-because-it-will-make-me-look-bad attitude (sad, because I got it for review from Avon, but I really didn't want to waste my reading time).

Speaking of Avon, I had some bookish adventures this year.  I lived up to my resolutions of "Be brave" and "Take a vacation" by taking an overnight trip to see Eloisa James and Tessa Dare at Anderson's Bookshop (PS: we did not coordinate our clothes, haha).

I went all by my little lonesome and had a wonderful time at a pre-event meet-and-greet at a chocolate cafe nearby and met some of the lovely ladies from the Eloisa's Ambassadors Facebook group.  That same day I found out that I had been accepted into the Avon Addicts program, which I had applied to on some wild-haired whim, thinking I'd never get accepted in a bazillion years.  Such a great group of ladies, editors, and authors!  It threw my romance reading-and-reviewing schedule into a tizzy, from which it still hasn't recovered but I'll catch up.  My third bookish adventure involves book subscriptions.  I decided to try on the new streaming/lending ebook service, Oyster, once it came available for iPad - it has a gorgeous interface and a ton of books to borrow for only $10/mo.  This has the backlist that my local public library can't afford so it's so worth the price.  I also subscribed to Melville House's Art of the Novella series and it's been fabulous so far.

The one project I didn't do so well with was my Overdue Reads project and other ongoing projects I have (see the tabs up there? Those).  Although I tried to be more focused with my reading it was still all over the map, very mercurial, and my reviewing is shamefully behind.  To that end, here are my new resolutions:

1.  Be mindful in my reading and bookish purchases - I do not need to purchase every, single book I come across, which is a serious vice of mine.  I cannot single-handedly keep the book industry floating (that has to be the subconscious urge, I'm sure of it).  I already own a ton (literally, I'm surprised the house joists are holding firm) of books and therefore need to read or start/dnf what I already have rather than purchase more books to join them on the unread shelves.  I also need to stay more current with my reading projects so those actually move forward and be smarter at managing my "start-itis" with books (and knitting).  I have challenged myself to read 130 books this year.

2.  Be timely on reviews - reading a book will always be more enticing than writing a review, but I have so many unwritten/half-written/not-even-started reviews that I have some major catching up to do.
3.  Drink more water.
4.  Move more (the Fitbit is helping, but I need to be better at going to the gym).
5.  Cook for myself - ongoing, but I did much better in 2013.  I didn't eat nearly as much fast food.  Coffeehouse lattes/mochas are still a weakness, though.
6.  Be brave.
7.  Take a vacation (I have plans....).
8.  Relax.

Happy New Year, everyone!!

ETA: It was actually 168 books in 2013 (with 49,401 pages read) - I had missed getting the date on the third issue of Sex Criminals. Oops.

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