I’m not usually one for resolutions and if I do make them, they tend to be small and manageable. However, when I saw that this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke and The Bookish was my Top Ten bookish resolutions, I thought I would take a look at what I’d like to achieve at 746 Books in 2016.
1. To read at least 60 books this year
Last year I set my Goodreads Challenge at 52 and just managed it, so I’d like to push myself a little further this year and try and read 60 books. It’s not a great difference really, but would bring the 746 down to 586 which would be a nice feeling. I see people who have set goals to read 100, or even 150 books and I am envious of their ambition but there is no point in setting myself a challenge that I have no way of completing and 60 should be manageable for me.
2. To read 20 books by BAME authors
When Naomi at The Writes of Women and Dan at Utterbiblio started Diverse December last month, I was shocked to discover how few books by BAME writers I read on a regular basis. It’s not that I don’t own a few, I do, I just don’t seem to choose them for my next read. So, during December I read Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu and loved them both. I’m delighted to see that Diverse December has grown and will now be a year long initiative – #ReadDiverse2016, so I plan to read at least one book a month by a BAME writer. I know that doesn’t seem a lot, but it’s a start.
3. To continue my book buying ban
Obviously this had to be in my Top Ten, it’s the whole point of the blog! I’m still on course and still haven’t bought myself a book in the two years I’ve been doing this, although trips to the library have become more frequent as have Net Galley requests! Still, I’ll keep trying to hold my resolve. I’ve already started my birthday book list to present to my husband (Don deLillo’s new novel; Eileen by Otessa Moshfegh and American Housewife by Helen Ellis) but I’m hoping I can stay strong for another year! Andi over at Estella’s Revenge has started a 2016 no book buying challenge called #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks, so if you fancy limiting your book buying this year, why not join her?
4. To redesign my blog
I’ve been mulling over a redesign for a while now and this may be the year I finally try it out. I’m toying with a new logo and a new site theme, if I can manage to decide what I want. I may have to say goodbye to Lauren at some point, although I have grown quite fond of her at this point!
5. To take part in #Woolfalong
The lovely Ali over at HeavenAli is hosting a year long celebration of the work of Virginia Woolf during 2016. Shamefully, I have never read any Woolf, but have To The Lighthouse and Mrs Dalloway in the 746 so I’m looking forward to taking part
6. To lose the guilt…
Sometimes I have to remind myself that my blog is my hobby, not my job. I often find myself feeling guilty for not keeping up to date with reading, reviewing or my Twitter feed. There is no point in worrying about something that should be a pleasure when I have enough other things to worry about! So, I will try and keep up with my WordPress Reader and all your lovely blogs, but if I miss a day or two it’s not the end of the world. And ultimately, if none of these resolutions are kept, then that’s not such a big disaster either.
7. To continue to explore Irish Literature and promote Reading Ireland Month
The main reason I have been visiting the library more and requesting galleys is my renewed interest in Irish literature. It’s been a real revelation to me over the last two years how much I love the work that comes from this little island and how much there still is to read! Along with Niall at Raging Fluff, I’ll be hosting Reading Ireland Month again during March and this year I’m going to focus on Irish women writers. There are some great initiatives out there – #WakingtheFeminists, which came about as a response to the male centric programme of 1916 Centenary events produced by the Abbey Theatre and #WomenAloudNI which will celebrate women writers from Northern Ireland on 8 March. I do hope some of you can set aside a book by an Irish author in March and join in the craic.
8. To try and complete 20 Books of summer – 3 is the magic number!
2016 will see my third attempt at my 20 Books of Summer challenge. During year one I read 16 and during year 2 I read 18, so I’m hoping that I can reach the magic 20 this summer. I will need to choose my books wisely…
9. To connect more through Instagram
I have become quite fond of Instagram in the last few months and plan to use it more to document my reading life. If you are on Instagram, why not follow me at CATHYB746. Be warned, you will also see dangerously cute photos of the twins and pictures of my dinner, but there is bookish stuff there as well!
10. And finally and most importantly, To have fun!
One thing I’ve learned from blogging is that I have no idea what might happen next. The bottom line is that I love reading, I love books and I love talking about them and you are all a great bunch of people to do that with. I don’t pay too much attention to my stats, I mainly just enjoy the conversations, so I plan to have more of them, have fun and be open to whatever comes my way!
So, there we have it. Ten bookish resolutions that I can look back on in a year and regret not having completed! If that is what happens, I will refer directly to No 6 again!
Do you have any bookish resolutions? Any resolutions at all? I’d love to hear them.