Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Old Books, New Year

So this post is 99% an attempt to motivate myself into reading some books that have been on my shelf for a while! I am completely disgusted in myself that I've had unread books gathering dust on my shelves for years and this is the year I'm going to finally read them! Realistically I'm not going to get through them all, but here are a few that I finally want to read!

Ok so I know I probably should have read this by now. Caraval was the book everyone was talking about back when it was released, and since then it's become a whole trilogy! The different covers for this are gorgeous, and I remember when everyone was collecting every different version! Really that was such a great marketing campaign. I've seen this book be compared to The Night Circus a few times, and although I didn't completely love The Night Circus, I did think the imagery was absolutely gorgeous, so if Caraval's imagery is anything like The Night Circus, along with having a good plot, I'll probably be sold! 

Why oh why haven't I read this book yet? I've managed to collect the whole series and even have some pretty snazzy postcards, but I still haven't got round to actually reading them! I've seen so many good things about these books that I do want to finally read them this year. I think I'll probably end up getting addicted and binge reading the whole series in about a week.

I've had a Lord of the Rings book boxset since I was about eleven, but I've only ever made it past the first book. Honestly both the book and movie for fellowship are a little slow, and as it's my least favourite movie in the trilogy odds are it would be my least favourite book too, but the problem is I just haven't read the other two books to find out! The movies have been favourites of mine ever since they came out, and I really do want to read the books. I've seen people say they're difficult to read which has put me off a little, but I'm going to do my best to get through this trilogy this year! 

I've honestly been wanting to read Six of Crows for YEARS! I finally managed to read the Shadow and Bone series towards the end of last year, so this year will finally be the year that I fall in love with Kaz. To be honest Kaz has been so hyped up that I will actually be pretty disappointed if he doesn't become one of my favourite characters. I did have mixed feelings about Shadow and Bone, but I've seen people who didn't like the Shadow and Bone books much but loved Six of Crows so I'm just going to have to wait and see! 

So for some reason I just never read the Percy Jackson books. Honestly, it's probably because I'm a hag and was more interested in YA than Middle Grade by the time these books started to get popular. Something I've been doing over the years is buying the books in this series from charity shops whenever I see them, and by doing this I've finally managed to collect the whole series so I honestly have no excuse not to start them now. I adore Greek mythology so I'm pretty sure I will love these books!

There's so many books on my TBR for this year, but I honestly think I'll be focusing more on books that are already on my shelf as I really don't have the shelf space or the money to buy too many new ones! That being said I would still love some book recommendations be it old or new books, so feel free to let me know what books I just HAVE to read this year!

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

2020 Blog Goals

So 2019 really wasn’t a great year for me, and I don’t want to throw all my personal problems at you, but my mental health went downhill pretty steeply, and I had little motivation to read. Honestly, I felt like a pretty big failure when I was 11 books behind my goodreads challenge, but I’ve realised I’ve been putting too much pressure on myself to blog, and instead of a hobby, it started to feel like a chore. I was taking on so many review requests, signing up to blog tours and feeling pressured to review proofs before their release day that I lost sight of why I started my blog in the first place, which was, of course, to talk about the books I love. This year I’m going to reread old favourites, bring back some of my old style posts and guide my blog away from mindlessly churning out reviews. To make this happen I’ve set out a few goals to get me back on the right track!

Be more creative

Last year the majority of my posts were either reviews or blog tours. I found myself not wanting to write reviews, and even when I forced myself to write them I couldn’t stay focused and it could take hours. Writing the same kind of post over and over became monotonous, and I just wasn’t enjoying writing reviews anymore. This year I want to regain my love of blogging by being more creative with my posts and trying out new things. I want to experiment with my content and see what works and what doesn’t. I also want to get out more and take more bookish pictures. I have a SLR camera that barely gets used, so I want to use that more and maybe learn how to use more of the features to make my photos look even better! 

Read more Middle Grade

One of my goals for this year is to read more middle grade books. I barely ever read any middle grade, but a couple of months ago I read The House with Chicken Legs and thought it was amazing! It made me wonder what other great middle grade books I was missing out on by sticking to YA, so one of my goals for this year is to find out. I’m pretty lost when it comes to middle grade and I feel like I will be annoying my friend who is a children’s bookseller quite often for recommendations. If anyone knows of any MG books I just have to read please let me know!

Prioritise books I want to read

I have a problem where I will be looking forward to a new release, but once I get it I stick it on a shelf for a few months instead of reading it because I’m prioritising review requests instead. This year I’m going to be more critical with requests I accept along with only requesting proofs that sound AMAZING! I need to stop feeling guilty for rejecting requests, as life is just too short to read books you aren’t enjoying. I never DNF books even if I’m really not enjoying them, but now I’m going to do my best to stop reading any book that I’m really not enjoying. I’m going to start reading all those books that have been sitting on my shelf for far too long, and realise it’s okay to do my own thing and not have the latest proof that everyone’s talking about.

Bring "Reviewing the Classics" back

This was a blog series I loved doing and honestly I have no idea why I stopped! I studied English Literature through college and University, so I came to love some classics and think others were a bit rubbish. Working on this series made me pick up some classics I’ve never even heard of before, along with giving my take on some of my favourites. I would love to discover even more classics this year and share my thoughts on them.

Put less pressure on myself

I need to stop comparing myself to others. The fact is I’m just not a fast reader, and I have other hobbies and obligations. Just because someone has set their Goodreads goal at 100 books doesn’t mean I have to do the same. I’m going to set my own achievable goals and not compare myself to Susan who reads 5 books a week. This year instead of setting my Goodreads goal too high and failing the challenge,I’ve set it at 20 books. Last year I managed 19, so even just reading one more book than last year would be a goal to aim for! Setting small achievable goals will be better than setting myself up for failure.

I’m sure I’ll think of more things I want to do as the year goes on, but my main goal is to continue reading and blogging at a steady pace, and not beating myself up if I need to take a break. It’s easy for me to feel stressed if I set too many goals and deadlines, so I’m going to set as few as possible and see where that takes me. I hope you will all continue to read my blog as the year goes on to see what I come up with!