Friday, January 1, 2010

Reflection and Resolutions

Happy New Year 2010! As I look back on 2009, my first year of blogging has provided many opportunities for personal growth. In addition to "meeting" new book-loving friends and discovering a new hobby (and learning quite a bit in the process!), this has been my most enjoyable reading year - ever.

I've rediscovered short stories, read graphic novels, joined challenges, learned of Persephone Books, had a review published and, most important of all, read some truly wonderful books. Earlier this week, I posted some stats that got me thinking about New Year's Resolutions. Here's what I came up with ...

1. Read more non-fiction.

2. Read the books I own. In 2009, only 11% of books read came from my stacks while, at the same time, they grew at an unprecedented rate. Nearly 50% of books read were new purchases. This must be lower if I'm going to make a dent in my tbr pile. As a result, I'm re-imposing my modified book-buying ban. No book will be purchased unless I plan to start reading it that day.

3. Book club selections are my #1 priority.

4. Read more books by newly "discovered" authors. I was shocked to find that 63% of my 2009 books were written by new-to-me authors. Now I want to make time to read more by my favorites.

5. No challenges ... for now. Since I enjoyed challenges in 2009 (and even completed 6 of 8), this was a hard resolution to come to. I'm very much a mood reader, and my experience with Virginia Woolf this past week has reinforced that fact. When choosing what to read next, I want it to be what I feel like reading and not what fits with a particular challenge.

Along these lines, I've decided to give read-alongs a try... beginning with Woolf in Winter.

6. Continue reading short stories. Short stories were an important part of my reading and blogging in 2009, and will be again in 2010.

7. Expand my reading horizons... even more. Prior to last spring, I thought graphic novels were something X-rated! The few I read in 2009 were wonderful, and I have several more blogger-recommended titles ahead. YA, science fiction, and fantasy may even get added to my list!

8. Read those chunky books on the shelf. Who cares if I go more than a week without a review? I love classics and long books... especially in winter.

9. Audiobooks - I love them and have been averaging one a month. If I listen while exercising (instead of just in the car), I can "read" even more... and maybe even lose a few pounds!

10. Reread old favorites. I failed the Everything Austen Challenge because I never got around to rereading my all-time favorite Pride & Prejudice. Sure, I could have watched one more movie, but my reason for joining in the first place was to read the new annotated edition. I will reread Pride & Prejudice - yet again - in 2010.

So there they 2010 resolutions. I'll revisit the list quarterly to see how it's going. Will you be making reading resolutions?


  1. Happy New Year, JoAnn. Wishing you joy and peace and good luck with those resolutions!

  2. Sounds like your resolutions were well thought out. I hope the mood reading works to your advantage with only great books in 2010. ENJOY and Good Luck Joanne

  3. Sounds good! I, too, need to read more of the books I own. I started a new blog (Curl Up and Read) dedicated to that challenge in October (22) and finished 18 of those books. For me, that's real progress. During that time, I also read some other books...but progress, rather than perfection!

  4. Great reading resolutions!

    I have read the annotated version of Pride and Prejudice twice and thoroughly enjoy the background information provided.

    Enjoy a GREAT reading year - and I look forward to reading all your reviews.

  5. Those sound well thought out - I look forward to seeing what the New Year brings to your blog. Happy New Year

  6. Here, here on number 2! I've signed on for some challenges that should help me make a dent in my pile, but I still keep ordering from the library and buying new ones! I've decided to expand my horizons and take on graphic novels as well. I've never read one in my life!

    Here is to a great first year blogging for both of us, and an incredible 2010!

  7. Happy New Year, JoAnn. Your resolutions look great and well thought out. I wasn't going to sign up for any challenges, but alas, I have. I just hope I can keep the number of them down this year..yeah, that's the ticket!

  8. These are great! I could have used them all for my own goals post. Well except for no new challenges. I've gone a little challenge crazy this year.

  9. I have only made one resolution and that is not to force myself to finish a book I don't like. These are awesome resolutions and I wish you another great reading year. I had some preconceptions about graphic novels as well but your recommendation for Ethel & Ernest pretty much shattered what I thought I knew:)

  10. I'm still thinking about my reading resolutions for 2010 but like you I am very much a mood reader so I think I will concentrate on not forcing myself to read a book just because it is so popular with so many others - it might not be my cup of tea!

  11. That looks like a well thought out plan. I haven't thought so much, I'm just aiming, as last year, to focus on the very best books. I'm a mood reader too but I can't resist those challenges - I'm just making sure I sign up for ones that goive me a degree of flexibility. Happy new year!

  12. Wonderful goals! Happy New Year!!

  13. Not a big challenge person myself. I greatly prefer read-alongs. What book are you doing for Woolf in the Winter? I'm reading Mrs. Dalloway.

  14. Joann-some great ideas here-on book buying I have two rules I follow pretty much-no Hard Bound Fiction-means I have to wait to read the newest books in some cases-and I try not to buy more books in a month than I read in the previous month-

    I do not read many short stories but when I do I normally enjoy them-I have collections of short stories of Wharton, Chekhov and Gogol and will read some in them in 2010

    expand horizons-other book bloggers have totally expanded my horizons in the last 6 months-

  15. I love your resolutions!! good luck with them this year!!

    Happy New Year!!

  16. This is the year I'm giving Read alongs a try, too. I've never joined in before, and I'm so looking forward to Woolf in Winter. I also want to clear up some of the books I've got on 9,000 shelves, at least that's the way it feels, and make better use of the library. Which charged my son $137.00 for overdue videos. I think he should've just bought them outright. ;)

  17. Zowie, JoAnn, some of your resolutions are mine (not that I've written them).Totally with you on #2 & am slowly reading down the pile...Ironically, I've joined more challenges for 2010 because they force me to read the books I've been meaning to get to for so long. Except for graphic novels. That is a complete horizon-expander! Brava to you for a great first year of blogging; may you enjoy many more!

  18. Persephone Books was a wonderful discovery for me, too.

    I love your list, but I'm refraining from making my own. :-D

    Happy New Year!

  19. We have a number of goals in common! I also plan to narrow down the pile of books waiting on my shelf and I'll also be cutting down on challenges this year as I've proven myself to be rather fickle minded when it comes to reading material. One day I'd like to read something like this and the next day it's something like that. I also promised myself I'd get aquainted with classics :)

    Hope you have a wonderful year of reading!

  20. I get so many books read when I walk -- I love audiobooks.

    Great resolutions.

    Happy, happy new year.

  21. Gavin - Thank you...and Happy New Year to you, too!

    Diane - I have high hopes for the 'no commitments other than book group' approach. We'll see..

    Laurel-Rain Snow - Congratulations on paring down your tbr pile. You amaze me with the number of blogs you are able to manage!

    Molly - I'm looking forward to the annotated P&P. Any time is a good time to read Jane Austen!

    Verity - Thank you. I'm looking forward to following your reading and baking adventures in 2010!

    Sandy - Yup... this year my tbr pile must be addressed. Hurray for graphic novels. I still can't believe Ethel & Ernest brought tears to my eyes!

    Kim - Those challenges are just so tempting! When I first decided to 'limit' the number, couldn't get it below 10. No challenges was a hard resolution to make...

    Stacybuckeye - It' so easy to go challenge-crazy. There are some great ones out there. Good luck!

    Book Psmith - Not finishing books you don't like is a great resolution! I finally gave myself permission to abandon books a couple years ago, and it's allowed me to experiment with books outside my normal comfort zone.

    Karen - I think you'll enjoy your reading even more if you can do that!

  22. Fleur Fisher - Good idea! If you're going to do challenges, pick ones with some flexibility.

    J. Kaye - Thanks, and Happy New Year to you, too!

    E.L. Fay - I'm reading Mrs. Dalloway for Woolf in Winter, too.

    Mel U - I like your book-buying rules! Hope you get to some short stories this year.

    Staci - Thanks...there are quite a few resolutions this year.

    Bellezza - Those tbr shelves can get overwhelming. Here's to clearing the shelves in 2010!

    DS - LOL... similar resolutions, but I was silly enough to list them all. Maybe that will force me to be more accountable!

    Softdrink - This is the first year I've actually written out resolutions...we'll see if that helps me stick to them ;-) Gotta love Persephone!

    Mark David - I hope you have good luck with your resolutions, too... especially in reading some classics. I have found some real treasures this year!

    Beth F - I love audiobooks, too... hope combining them with exercise (or at least walking) works for me.

  23. Your resolutions all sound great! I'm a total library fiend, so my TBR books just sit sadly on my shelf. But for some reason, that doesn't bother me as much as it should. ;)

  24. You have some great ideas for 2010! Happy New Year!

  25. This is a great list of goals! I identify with many of them, myself. Your soup above looks yummy!

  26. Eva - Since I received Wolf Hall for Christmas, the library copy went back along with ALL my other check-outs. For the first time in ages, I have no library books - amazing!

    Reviewsbylola - Thanks! Let's just hope I can stick to them...

    Tara - I like having some goal in mind to start the new year. The Tuscan Bean Soup is my favorite this tie of year.

  27. This is a great list of resolutions! And I am so happy you are going to participate in "Woolf in Winter". I read Virginia Woolf in college but it's been a long time since then and I am looking forward to reading her books. She's a unique and wonderful author!
    I really enjoy short stories and also hope to read more this year especially by authors I love such as Munro, Bloom, Chandler and Boyle but I look forward to discovering new ones too!

    This will be my first full year of blogging and so the first time I've participate in reading challenges. I'm looking forward to the few I signed up for but I'm a little nervous too! Still, I know it will be fun and I will read some wonderful authors whom are new to me!

    Happy New Year Joann!

  28. Amy - I'm really excited about Woolf in Winter too. This is my third attempt at reading her work and, after two failures, I've finally managed to finish one. Have fun with the challenges and happy 2010!

  29. I happen to like all your resolutions. Do you have a list of your bookclub reads?

    I spotlighted you with 2 awards -- just 'cause I was thinking of you.

  30. Kim - Aww, thanks! No, I don't have a list of book club reads, but it might be a good idea to start one this year! I'll add it to my sidebar soon.

  31. Great resolutions, Joann. I also add and add to my TBR pile (I can't seem to help myself!)...but I love being able to go to my towering stacks and find just the right read when I want to :)

    Like you, I'm hoping to read more short stories in 2010...and continue stretching my comfort zones too!

    Happy New Year!

  32. Wendy - Just spent some time yesterday organizing my tbr pile. I'm sure I could have a great reading year without buying another book...we'll see how long the resolution lasts though. I agree it's fun to have lots of choices. Good luck with your resolutions, too!

  33. Nice list. I'm hoping to refine and post my list on Sunday.

    I'd love to get the number of books in my TBR down to what actually fits on the shelves. I'm really good at not buying them, but then I get library books and don't read what I do have.

    I've been rereading several old books the last few days and it feels good to pick it up and know I'll love it.

  34. Lisa - I'll look forward to your list... they're fun to read! So far things are going well, buy it's only been a few days. Can't wait to reread some old favorites this year. You're right - it does feel good to pick up a book you know you love.


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