After this, I only have one more challenge to address; my Goodreads challenge. But it would be remiss of me to not take the time to talk about the straight up messes I have made of my reading and reviewing this year. This is where I lay down the shameful double whammy of bad habits that sabotages my reading and reviewing every year.
Bad Habit #1: Mood Reading
There really isn’t anything wrong with mood reading. Except, you know, if you have ARCs piling up, shelves overflowing, and you can’t seem to stick to any kind of plan. After several of my resolutions in 2018 sort of crashed and burned I decided to only pick challenges that would give me the flexibility that mood reading brings to the table. So, no more “When Are You Reading?” or special categories for reading. Everything would be general and intended to clear my Massive TBR. I did have two specific challenges: The Harry Potter Read Through and the Learn Something New challenge. Both of these challenges required me to read specific books and this had me avoiding doing either.
Bad Habit #2: Not Keeping Track of My Reading
One of my favorite challenges that was new in 2019 was the Library Love Challenge hosted by Angel’s Guilty Pleasures blog. I did a fantastic job keeping track of the books I borrowed from the library in January. Part of February and piece of March were also written down. And, even the small amount of data I kept has shown me that using my library saves me somewhere between $500-$1000 a year and that doesn’t include the DVDs I borrow. Can you imagine how cool it would have been if I had tracked it all year? Here you can see the gradual failure….
Here are the things I borrowed from my local library in 2019
You are a Badass, How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero ($15.00)
The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley ($14.00)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Matt Haddon ($15.00)
China Rich Girl by Kevin Kwan ($13.00)
Atomic Habits ($27.00)
China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan ($12.00)
Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan ($12.00)
Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz ($15.00)
Conan Doyle for the Defense by Margaret Fox ($15.00)
Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Library by Robin Sloan ($15.00)
January total money saved = $138.00
Simpsons Confidential by Mike Reiss ($15.00)
In Praise of Wasting Time by Alan Lightman ($16.99)
Drawn Together by Minh Le ($17.99)
The Wicked King by Holly Black ($15.00)
Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian ($15.00)
Reading Art ($35.00)
The Con Artist by Fred Van Lethe ($14.99)
The Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl #2) by Eoin Colfer ($15.00)
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson ($15.00)
A New Hope – The Princess, the Scoundrel and the Farm Boy by Alexandra Bracken ($15.00)
Daughter of a Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller ($9.99)
The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson ($12.00)
Savings for February and March $196.96
Truly Deviously by Maureen Johnson ($15.00)
The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Phillippe ($12.90)
Fantastic Beasts and How to Find Them, J.K. Rowling ($15.99)
Meet Cute, Helena Hoang ($8.99)
Hello Universe, Erin Entrada Kelly
The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Fish in a Tree
Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Gemina, Illuminae Files #2 by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Obsidio, Illuminae Files #3 by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
The Black Count by Tom Reiss
Betty While, If You Ask Me by Betty White
Can you imagine how successful my reading would have felt if only I had stuck to my plans and kept track of what I had done? If I look back at my September Series Challenge or my November NonFiction Reading Challenge I see a strong start only to run out of steam towards the end. Did I really run out of steam or did I just not track them?
Because the reality is that the lack of data truly affected all of my other challenges in one way or another. The only place I really tracked every single book was in my Goodreads challenge. But, I then failed to take that data and use it for my other challenges. All I had to do was transfer the information and I didn’t.
But I can finish things. And that is where I am especially disappointed with myself. I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time this year and I finished. I even have a printed certificate to prove it. Why did I finish this but not some of my other challenges?
What I need to do is ponder this before I come up with my 2020 Reading Challenges.
Tell me, please!
Do you have any tips or tricks I can use to help stay on track this year?
I don’t do reading challenges (because I am 1000% a mood reader), but I’m sending some good vibes your way! I do track my books – in a notebook, that I’ve had for 15 years, because I’m old school like that – and find it fascinating to go back and see what I read, so my advice on that front is… find a tracking mechanism that works for you and then stick with it. Best of luck!
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I do need to set up a better tracking system. I use Goodreads and 2020 is the first time I tracked everything but maybe a notebook is a good way to keep the challenges organized. I LOVE old school planners and paper and pens. Thank you for the advice!
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