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The Sunday Salon: Reflecting on 2012, Goals for 2013

The Sunday Salon.com

I promise, I promise, this is the last of the “business-y” posts I’m going to do before getting back to writing about books. It feels like I haven’t written a full book review in forever (although a look back at my archive says it’s only been about three weeks). But before I can do that, I have to do this little retrospective and look forward at my reading goals.

At the beginning of last year, I made up a list of six resolutions I was going to work on in 2012. And, looking back at them, I had pretty mixed results.

FAILS: Complete my Essay a Day Project | Complete the 2012 TBR Challenge | Re-read the rest of Harry Potter

Looking back, I think it’s interesting that the goals I COMPLETELY failed on were goals about reading very specific things — a genre, and a predetermined challenge list, and a well-loved series. I think I am more interested in following my interests when I read, which makes specific reading projects hard for me to complete.

IN THE MIDDLE: Write reviews within two weeks of finishing a book.

I was definitely better about writing reviews in a timely manner this year, but still let many of them languish (I finished Ex Libris, which I just wrote about in my 2012 catch up post, in April, for example). But, I did find a format for writing mini-reviews that I really like, which helped keep me semi-caught up. I will be continuing that in 2013.

WINS: Balance review, library, and personal reading | Give myself a break

I cannot tell you how absolutely thrilled I am that I was able to successfully balance review copies and other books this year; I came out almost exactly at the ratio I was hoping for. I’m not quite sure how it happened, other than I did work hard to be more selective about the review copies I accepted and brought home fewer books from BEA. And, I’ve just gotten better, in general, about giving myself a break in most aspects of my life. I feel good about that too.

Goals for 2013

Keeping in mind which goals I did and didn’t accomplish in 2012, I came up with a relatively short list of goals for 2013. And, to help me along in this quest, I am actually going to print them out and put them up near my computer so I can be reminded about what I’m trying to do this year throughout the next 360ish days rather than just revisiting them in December.

Essay a Day, Take Two: In 2013, I want to actually commit to a resolution I made last year to try and read an essay every single day. I read more essays this year than in years past, but the every single day part only happened in fits and spurts. And if this morphs to a goal to read one collection of essays a month, I’m ok with that too.

12 Ebooks and 12 Audiobooks: In 2013, I want to read more ebooks and audiobooks. I have a Nook, a tablet, a smart phone, a subscription to Audible, and a tendency to bulk buy ebooks when they’re on sale, but I still cannot seem to find a way to integrate e-reading into my reading life. When I buy books in electronic formats, they seem to languish on my devices and in the cloud because the books on my shelves are in my face and calling for my attention. If I can read one ebook and listen to one audiobook per month, I’d call it a win.

Balance Books In/Books Out: For the last couple months, I’ve been keeping a running tally of books in/books out to try and manage my TBR shelves. I give myself one point for every book that enters my house, and subtract a point when I read one of my own books or donate a book. Library books don’t count for adding or subtracting points. The system has helped me be more accountable of my books, and I want to keep it up in 2013.

Balance Review Copies, My Books, and Borrowed Books: This is a resolution every year, but I like making it because it’s important to me. I’m going to set the same number for 2013 as I did in 2012: 40 percent review copies, 30 percent library books, and 30 percent personal books.

Leave One Comment Per Day: Right now, I leave comments on other blogs in batches even though I read at least a few blogs every day. My goal in 2013 is to leave one comment every day to get into a habit of commenting more regularly.

Read My Shelf of Doom: Despite my miserable showing in the 2012 TBR Pile Challenge, I am committed to trying again in 2013 (you can find my list here).

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Diane@BibliophilebytheSea January 6, 2013, 7:58 am

    Interesting look back and look forward. I am trying to read more from my shelves, and only borrow audio books from the library now. I like eBooks for ease of reading in bed with lights out and reading at lunch while eating.

    Hope your plans for 2013 fall into place.

    • Kim January 7, 2013, 9:43 pm

      I do like the Nook for reading while I eat — it’s a lot easier to hold than big books. I should just leave it at my office so I remember to read there.

  • bermudaonion(Kathy) January 6, 2013, 8:52 am

    I’m exactly the same way with e-books, that’s why I’ve given up on them. Maybe if they were the only books we owned, we’d do better. Good luck with your goals.

    • Kim January 7, 2013, 9:44 pm

      Out of sight, out of mind, I guess. It’s hard to remember ebooks when there are so many on my shelves too 🙂

  • Vasilly January 6, 2013, 10:32 am

    I completely failed the Essay a Day Project. Instead of trying to read an essay a day, I think I’ll just try to read every essay collection I own instead. That’s probably a collection a month.

    I read e-books but I do have to remember that I have them. It’s that whole “out of sight, out of mind” thing. Good luck with all of your goals!

    • Kim January 7, 2013, 9:44 pm

      I think focusing on one collection a month is a good idea. I would like to read one every day, but I will be more than happy to finish 12 entire collections in the year.

  • Amy January 6, 2013, 11:23 am

    I received a Kindle for Christmas and am pleasantly surprised how often I find I can use it. (Yes, I’m that Luddite who prefers Real Books.) I’m going to keep it in my purse. It would have been handy on 12/31, when I was stuck in line for 45 minutes trying to make an end-of-year donation at Goodwill. It’s already come in handy when I get allergy shots–I have to sit at the doctor’s office for 30 minutes afterwards. A Kindle is easier to haul along than multiple books (because I never know what I’m going to be in the mood to read :-)).

    • Kim January 7, 2013, 9:46 pm

      I will sometimes read ebooks on my phone when I’m standing in line if I forget a book. It’s really not that convenient though; reading on my Nook would be easier than that.

  • Alex in Leeds January 6, 2013, 2:43 pm

    I love the idea of an essay a day, I’ve committed to reading/mentioning one on the blog every week in 2013 and have had fun this week rounding up all the collections I own and hunting in the library system for others I fancy dipping into. 🙂

    • Kim January 7, 2013, 9:47 pm

      Last year I tried to share the essays I was reading, but it ended up feeling burdensome, which was the exact opposite for what I wanted the project to be. I like the idea of a few essays a week (or maybe a month) though — thanks for mentioning your project!

  • Lu January 6, 2013, 4:46 pm

    These are really doable goals! I think we should always have one of those ambitious goals in there. Just think how good we’ll feel about ourselves if we accomplish them! Right? I’d like to read a poem a day, which I try to do with the daily poetry emails I get (one from Ted Kooser, one from poets.org, and one from Garrison Keillor). Happy New Year, Kim!

    • Kim January 7, 2013, 9:49 pm

      I love the idea of a poem a day! I tried to read a book using a service that sent you a short passage every day last year, I think, but got stalled out after a few weeks of not making time to read the passage. I hope you enjoy your poetry project 🙂

  • Sheila (Book Journey) January 6, 2013, 9:51 pm

    Great goals. I agree with you on the e books too. I want to use it… I dont. I tried last year to set a goal of reading all our book club picks on the NOOK. I made it to February 🙂

    • Kim January 7, 2013, 9:53 pm

      The thing is I love to have copies of books I have loved so I can share them with others, and I can’t do it with ebooks. It bugs me that you can’t.

  • Laurie C January 7, 2013, 5:08 am

    I’ve just started reading The Power of Habit (in print) and it’ll probably help me figure out why I haven’t read on my Nook in months. I think it’s that I’ve been getting sent print galleys and borrowing actual books from the library instead of requesting and committing to NetGalley titles. I do have one on the Nook that is coming out in the spring and I have to get to it before it expires (for the second time).

    • Kim January 7, 2013, 9:54 pm

      I was thinking that maybe getting more into NetGalley would help me with my goal. We’ll see though. I have one egalley on my tablet now that I’m close to finishing for book 1 of 12 for the year.

  • Charlie January 7, 2013, 6:04 am

    It’s difficult not to want to do lots of posts about the previous year 🙂 I like your goals for this new year, especially the essay one – have you a particular subject in mind or are you going to just read generally? And yes to ebooks being easy to forget.

    • Kim January 7, 2013, 9:56 pm

      I’m just hoping to read generally. I have a lot of collections on my shelves I’d like to get to, and I liked collections by multiple authors. So I’ll probably lean towards those.

  • Care January 7, 2013, 6:19 pm

    I have the same problem of not reading my eBooks! I am reading one now because it is a book club book. By which I mean that when I want a book NOW and don’t have access to a print-book-store, I download to my iPad and start reading. But I am loving that I now listen to books – so wondefful to be ‘reading’ when I can clean or drive! Best to you in reaching your goals. I haven’t set any.

    • Kim January 7, 2013, 9:58 pm

      I’ve gotten a little better about not buying so many ebooks, but I have a pretty extensive collection of books I bought while they were on sale — lots of good fiction that I want to read. I have lots of audio books too, I just have to remember to listen to them!

  • Nikki Steele January 8, 2013, 9:08 am

    Great goals! I’m finding the same difficulty staying with audio and ebooks. Audiobooks especially always take me longer to finish than regular books, perhaps 3-4 times longer, and so I don’t feel like I spend enough time with them.
    As for the essay a day — I think it’s a great goal. Those daily goals (mine are writing on my personal stuff and exercising) always seem to feel the most failed, but I’m sure when looking back I’ve written and, well not exercised, more in the last year even though it wasn’t every single day. I’m sure it was the same with your essays. A general positive direction is always much better than no positive push at all.
    Good luck on your goals!

    • Kim January 16, 2013, 9:13 pm

      That’s a good point on the essays. Even if I didn’t read one every day, I read more than I have in the past and that’s a big plus.

  • Alita January 8, 2013, 3:58 pm

    Great goals! I’m totally with you on the balancing books in / out thing. In theory, I know I shouldn’t be bringing more books into our house each month than I can realistic read within a month, but unfortunately that’s just not the way it happens sometimes.

    I would also like to get back into commenting more often this year. It’s something I used to be good at, but my commenting has really dwindled during the last year or so. Usually, there just seems to be too many blog posts to read and the thought of reading and commenting on them every day feels overwhelming. Aiming to do at least one a day makes it seem a whole lot less daunting, but would equal to leaving more comments per week than I do at the moment.

    Good luck with all your goals!

    • Kim January 16, 2013, 9:14 pm

      In theory, I know that too… but I still buy a lot of books. The boyfriend hasn’t said much about it lately, but every once in awhile he makes some comments 🙂

      I’ve gotten better about skimming more posts, or skipping over ones that aren’t interesting to me in order to read and comment on more that I feel connected to. I may miss things, but I’ve appreciated the stuff I’m reading more too.

  • Athira January 8, 2013, 5:47 pm

    I like your Books in Books out policy! What a great way to manage the shelves. I need to adopt that. I also failed at the HP rereading goal, but I’ve taken it up again this year and hope to finish it. Good luck on your resolutions!

    • Kim January 16, 2013, 9:14 pm

      I think my sister and I are going to try to read HP together, which should help.

  • Jenny January 10, 2013, 7:25 pm

    Wait, are you saying that you set a goal ratio of review, library, and personal books, and then you hit that goal? That is insane to me. I am so impressed right now.

    • Kim January 16, 2013, 9:16 pm

      Yup, that is what I am saying. And it is insane! I did not think I would do it. I think I actually read a few more library books, percentage wise, than my goal… but the goal was mostly to get down to 40 percent review copies which was exactly where I was at.