[TSS] Bookish Intentions for 2013

We’re into December, the month I generally start thinking about all the things I’d like to do in the coming new year. Looking back on the intentions I made for 2012, I see that I’ve had huge success with three of the four items that were on my priority list: meditation, writing and exercise.

The fourth item? Reading. And while I wouldn’t say, in the words of Dylan, my nine-year-old son, that it was an epic fail, I could have done better. I did have two or three truly spectacular reading months this year, but ever since my busy season began again, I’ve really let the reading slide.

So, since broadcasting my intentions for this year seemed to have worked for me, I thought I’d jot down my bookish intentions for 2013:

Always have at least one book in “currently reading” status.

Putting on my analytical hat, I can see that the periods during which I read hardly anything at all are times when I don’t have a book currently on the go. So logic tells me, if I’m always currently reading something, why, surely then, I will keep on reading. Right?!?

Read some of the books that have been sitting in my physical TBR for *cough* a little while now

Photo 2012-12-02 1 06 51 PM

This is one of my physical TBR stacks (I think it enlarges if you click on it, so you can read some of the titles). It sits in the upper rack of my bedroom closet, and what you’re seeing is the front row of stacks. Yes, there is another set of three stacks in behind this front row. And yes, I’ve had some of these books in my possession for what seems eons.

While I love finding and reading new titles, I’d also like to start working on reducing these stacks (if just to get some of my closet space back!).

Document what I’ve been reading.

I have never been good about keeping track of what I’ve read. I was so thrilled when my old library upgraded its online system so that you could actually see the history of books borrowed. But the Toronto Library, which I love to bits because it has almost every single book I’ve added to my TBR list this year (very good for the pocket book, you know), sadly does not have this feature.

So I need to do it myself, manually. I could do it by writing reviews but I’ve tried that and it just isn’t me. I prefer blogging about what I’m reading, what I’ve read and what I want to read, filled with little bits of my opinion.  I’ve also had off and on success adding books to my to-read list at Goodreads and to my Pinterest boards (I have two, one for TBRs and one, which I’d “pinned” great hopes on, for books read in 2012).

Midway through the year, I even started a reading journal (of the handwritten variety). Made all of four entries in it, but I’ve reread those entries a few times, and each time I say to myself, What fun! Why did I stop?

So it will be probably be some combination of the handwritten reading journal and Goodreads/Pinterest.

Participate in at least one readalong.

Simply because seeing those readalong hashtags on Twitter is always so much fun, and I always want to dive in with a tweet, only not, you know, actually currently reading the book, it’s not really possible.  (And if you know of an interesting upcoming readalong, please do let me know in the comments!)

Sign up – and complete!! – at least one reading challenge.

Epic fail is truly a good word for my past experiences with reading challenges. But if I can manage to keep track of what I’ve been reading, I might sign up for the What’s in a Name reading challenge hosted at Beth Fish Reads. On Twitter, Kathy (@bermudaonion) and Candace  (@bethfishreads) were talking about about how they just check their list of books read, and almost always end up fulfilling the challenge requirements just by doing this. Kathy actually said it was like a puzzle, going through her books read list and checking the What’s in a Name categories. I like the sound of this!

So these are my bookish intentions for 2013. I’m not brave enough to set an actual number of books I’d like to read for the year, the way Memory does (and then she tracks every single one of them with a review!). And I do tend to go overboard when I decide to do something (unfortunately, the momentum dwindles after a little while) so I’m going to be on hyperalert not to sign up for a ton of reading challenges.

But it does feel good to just set out this handful of bookish intentions. I have a really good feeling about this!

13 thoughts on “[TSS] Bookish Intentions for 2013

  1. Megan M.

    I am JEALOUS of your TBR pile even though I know it must overwhelm you every time you look at it! We no longer have a bookstore in our town (a Waldenbooks in the mall was it, until Borders closed everything) but I have a Kindle and penchant for downloading anything that sounds halfway decent and is at a good price, so I have almost 200 books just waiting for me to get to them and I find more nearly every day. Plus I go to the library once a week to get things I want to read but can’t afford for the Kindle!

    I just read a similar post on an author page (she’s got about 300 books waiting for her) and she gave herself a few rules for getting through them that might help you, too.
    http://www.roniloren.com/blog/2012/12/3/my-crazy-tbr-pile-my-tough-love-rules-to-cut-it-down.html

    Reply
  2. Charlie

    Those are some really good goals, and easily do-able too which is always important. I like your first two especially, as much as it’s nice to have no books on the go (from a completion point of view) it is easy to let that time go on. And it looks like you need to get to that TBR! Loving the sound of the documentation you’re planning :)

    Reply
  3. Vasilly

    Go, Belle! You can do it. After looking at your TBR stack, I have to say that the 39 Clues series is a page-turner especially on audio. So is Twilight. I think now you’ve given me a great idea on where I can stack the rest of my TBR pile. Why didn’t I think of my closet? 😉 Have you thought about joining C.B. James’ TBR Double Dare Challenge? It’s not really a challenge but a bunch of people trying to get through their unread stacks. It starts January 1st. Good luck on all of your goals.

    Reply
  4. Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll)

    Great list!

    I’ve made Goodreads work for me as documentation. It actually helped to set a goal for the year in Goodreads — then I was motivated to go put the date that I finished a book so it would count toward that goal. I didn’t advertise it at all and didn’t care, that much, whether or not I met the goal, but it was just enough to get me to put in the star rating and the date when I finished a book even if I wasn’t going to write a review on my blog.

    I think I want to try a readalong this year, too — Twitter makes it extra fun!

    Reply
  5. Holly (2 Kids and Tired)

    Goodreads was life changing as far as my reading/blogging. It’s easy to use and easy to track. Love your TBR challenge. My TBR stacks don’t quite measure up to yours, but some books have been there for an embarrassingly long time.

    Reply
  6. Memory

    Excellent goals!

    So far as tracking goes, I use a very brief sort of physical reading journal to list what I’ve read. Every time I finish a book, I add the title, author, number of pages, date I finished, and whether it’s a keeper/seller/library book/loaner/e-book. I don’t bother with detailed thoughts on the book, since I know I’d procrastinate terribly if I had to say something meaningful as soon as I added a new title to the list.

    I also use this most excellent spreadsheet, designed by Nicki of Fyrefly’s Book Blog, for an electronic option. i love how it keeps track of total page numbers for me so I don’t have to do any pesky math. :) It’s also got a bunch of customisable features that I’ve had fun with, and it’ll let you compare your reading from one year to the next. (This is my first year with the newest version, so I’ve only got one set of data in there so far.) I highly recommend it. I usually update mine once a month, using my physical reading journal for reference.

    Reply
  7. Rebecca

    I have put myself on a book-buying ban for the past year (and in the year to come) because a) I am unemployed and disabled, lending to very little money in which to purchase books, and b) because I already have AN OBSCENE amount of books in my house waiting to be read as it is. I have a bookshelf full plus four or five boxes packed away. Not much. I am hoping to make more of a dent in the coming year, too.

    Dewey’s Readathon is a great one to participate in because it feels like every single person is involved. But there are some awesome smaller readathons, too.

    Reply
  8. Alex Dumpfree

    I use a very brief sort of physical reading journal to list what I’ve read. Every time I finish a book, I add the title, author, number of pages, date I finished, and whether it’s a keeper/seller/library book/loaner/e-book. I don’t bother with detailed thoughts on the book, since I know I’d procrastinate terribly if I had to say something meaningful as soon as I added a new title to the list. . I have to say that the 39 Clues series is a page-turner especially on audio. So is Twilight. I think now you’ve given me a great idea

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>