Reflections on a Well-Read Year

It is hard to believe that 2018 is over but at the same time, it has often felt like a never-ending year.  Admittedly, I often read to escape the news and its never-ending cycle but reading is also so much more to me.  Yes, it can be an escape but it’s also about learning, meeting new characters, getting introduced to new places, new ideas, new experiences and widening my view of the world through both fiction and non-fiction.  And one of the reasons I started this blog was to be able to share the reading I love with my people (and anyone else with an interest).

At the start of this year, I decided to set some reading goals.  I’ve never counted the number of books I’ve read in a given year or even how many books I’ve read in my lifetime and I thought it would be fun. It was fun and it was through those goals that I learned a few things.

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Goal #1 was to read 75 books.  I thought it was probably a lofty goal but I started the year out on a sabbatical (I called it funemployment as I left a job to take some time for myself) and had a great deal of time to read so thought I could use my free time to get ahead. When I started my new job in the middle of the year, I was tracking well to that goal. It was in the last few months of the year that I fell off track.  Working obviously takes up a great deal of my time (I like my job so this isn’t a bad thing) and I got into a couple funks where I wasn’t that interested in reading for various reasons.

Trying to get out of those funks and back into the groove made me realize that it shouldn’t be about the number of books I read but that it should be about the books themselves.  And not about rushing to read something to mark it as read, but to enjoy it or savour it or learn from it.  So as I sit here on the last day of the year, I’m behind my goal of 75 and I’m ok with it. I read a phenomenal collection of books and stories, learned new things, discovered new authors and new voices, met old friends through some of my favourite series and laughed and cried and got my heart racing.  For me, it was a well-read year and in striving to meet my goal, I achieved a great deal.

Goal # 2 was to read at least 50 new books.  I have a collection of books that I love to reread – sometimes they’ve helped me get out of funks and sometimes it’s just because I love the stories and the characters so much.  Other times, it’s because I need them but in setting out to read so many books, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t use rereads to hit the number.  I’m proud to say that I read 53 new books in 2018.  A couple will probably be added to my list of favourite books to re-read!

Goal # 3 was to blog lots.  I didn’t want to set a number of posts as I’m committed to only posting about books I feel positively about.  I read for many different reasons and I do read books that I detest or find boring or just plain depressing but I don’t think it’s fair for me to share those opinions. I’m not a critic or an expert on books, I just know what I like and I’m willing to share about those books.  If you ask me straight out about a book I don’t like, I’ll tell you and I’ll tell you why but I have no desire to criticize someone’s work on the internet because I didn’t connect with it.  As a result, I’m sometimes without something new to post about and truthfully, life can get in the way.  Essentially my excuse for not setting an actual number but I’m pleased that I posted 25 posts vs. 22 in 2017.  I’m going to keep this goal in 2019 and continue to grow.

You can see all the books I read this year here: 2018 Reading Goals

2018 was a good year for me in reading and I have no doubt that whatever happens in 2019, I’ll have another well-read year.  I’m going to set some new goals (a more realistic total book goal) with the aim of reading some great books, meeting some more new authors and their characters, having some new experiences and reading lots.  It won’t be about the number but as I really learned this year, about the books and stories and authors themselves.

I hope that you read some great reads in 2018 and that you have great wishes for 2019! Thanks for reading my blog and being a reader, I appreciate it and I hope that every now and then you come across something here that introduces you to a book or an author you might not have read before.

Happy New Year!

K

(Also, should you be interested in my reading antics, feel free to check me out on Instagram by following @acaptivatedreader)

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