Back to another episode of She Didn’t Read What She Said She Was Going To: holiday edition!
Actually, I’m not going to spend much of this post beating myself up about not meeting my goals. Instead, I’d like to turn my focus to reflection on this past year, and the new year ahead – and new reading challenges!
As some readers know, 2021 was my first year of true *adulting*. I am now one full year out of college, and I started out this calendar year with multiple jobs that put me well over your standard forty hours a week. Finally in July, I ended up on a normal, forty-hour schedule, and my reading that had been left by the wayside – through months of working long hours, living in a camper, and just generally being exhausted –finally picked up. I kick-started this blog back into working shape when I finally saw some of my time open up. And since then, I’ve managed to maintain a slightly over one-book-per-week average.
That said, I did start this year out with a fifty-two book goal on Goodreads. I do the challenge every year, and last year I managed sixty-five books, the year before, fifty-nine, and my senior year of high school? Seventy. I will never top the amount of books I could consume when I had three periods a day basically set aside for reading. But fifty-two seemed reasonable. Even when I was in college, working two jobs, I was able to get to sixty-five. So I figured.
But I was wrong. Horribly wrong. Mid-year, I realized there was no way in hell I was getting there, after spending the spring absolutely drowning and spending 100% of my free time just sleeping. I was sleeping like, eleven hours a day. Regularly. So yeah, I didn’t get to fifty-two books this year, and I certainly don’t expect to before December 31st. Around July, I adjusted my goal down to just forty books, and truthfully, I may not reach that either.
I think it’s important to remember that it’s just been a tough year all around. The way many people suffered from the lack of human contact during 2020, I suffered from too *much* human contact upon re-entering the real world in 2021. And it hit me hard. It hit many of my friends hard. Remembering that the world is built for extroverts, and not us extreme introverts, was a harsh reality to face through the spring and summer. It’s only now, towards the end of the year, that I’m readjusting. You people-people simply have no idea how good you have it.
As it stands now, I have read thirty-two books this year. I’m on my last review of the year for the blog, and it’s set to be Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King (which has been on my tbr for about three years now, lol). I am content with thirty-two books, knowing that next year is bound to better, and that I simply made it through 2021 without *fully* collapsing. All in all, this is still a hobby, and not meeting my goals is not the end of the world.
Looking forward now! Last year one of my close friends invited me to the Facebook group for The 52 Book Club: a book challenge that not only asks you to read about one book per week, but attaches a prompt to each book. I joined a little late this year, and decided to skip it, but never left the group. So this year, I’m going to attempt the 2022 challenge (in addition to my normal Goodreads challenge, in which I will again attempt fifty-two books this coming year).
Like many other readers attempting the challenge, I’ve attempted to plot out my reading in a way that it eliminates many of the books I’ve been holding onto for years, instead of buying every little book I need for the prompts. Here are a few of the prompts I’m struggling with, if you have any ideas!
8. Involving the Art World
28. Award Winning Book From Your Country
43. An Author That’s Published in Multiple Genres
I purposefully didn’t fill in every prompt with planned books so far; some of the prompts (like 45. A book with illustrated people on the cover) are things I read pretty regularly on my own, so I think there’s some flexibility there to see where the reading takes me in 2022.
As best I can, I’m going to try and post my reviews throughout the year with the matching prompt, so you can read along with me or choose not to read the ones I don’t love for this or that prompt! I will be setting up an additional page on the blog so you can follow my progress. I hope you’ll join me in tackling The 52 Book Club’s 2022 challenge. If you’re looking for tracking resources of your own, check out this page on The 52 Book Club and scroll to Downloads.
Now, looking back quickly at November, I have to admit I only read one of the dang books I said I was going to. Ugh. Hook, Line, and Sinker can be crossed off my list. I never made it to my other NetGalley reads, though I’m already incorporating them into my 52 Book Club Challenge (One Italian Summer for prompt 52, anyone?!). Not to worry, though, as I did squeak out a Christmas book review for you all, as well as tackle a monstrous-ly sized King novel. I do my best.
This month, I want to hear from you: what challenges are you doing this year? How many books are on your tbr for 2022? Any books you can’t wait to see published? Give me all the deets!
Have an amazing remainder of your holiday season, and a wonderful new year, friends!