Monday, December 31, 2012

Wrapping Up 2012, Looking Forward 2013

Here it is, the last post for today, I promise! ;) I have greatly neglected blogging the past few months and let the posts pile up, leading to this deluge of five on the final day of the year. I'm pleased to have made it to 50 posts, though. I hate to see how my blogging habits always wane at the beginning of summer and never quite get back into shape. But before I talk about goals for next year, let me review 2012.

Once again I attempted to tackle the 100 book challenge. I fared much better this year than last, reaching a total of 90.5 books - 14.5 more than in 2011! (I'm desperately trying to finish The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien tonight but that's not going to happen.) I likely could have reached 100 but I tend to slack off early in the summer...bad Reno. Regardless, I achieved my goal of reading more books in 2012 than in 2011. I didn't take on challenges in the way I did in 2011, but here is a recap of the two official and one personal challenges that I worked at:

  • 2012 TBR Pile Challenge - The first challenge I have participated in twice, I did marginally better this year than last, finishing 9 of 12 books. I started Collapse in February, got 100 pages in, and somehow never found the time to finish...I had difficulty finding  Walden at the library, though I did have The Once and Future King signed out for five months - just never got in the right mood for it, I suppose! I enjoyed most of the books I read for this challenge, but I don't think I would consider any among my favourites.
  • The TBR Double Dare - This challenge was to read books only from your TBR list in the first three months of the year. That I succeeded at - lots of my books on my list! Many of the books read also turned out to be great reads or even favourites, such as In the Night Garden and Perdido Street Station. I read 16 books (of a goal of 20) and dropped three.
  • Tolkien Challenge - Lastly, a personal challenge to read a number of books by or about Tolkien! My goal was to read the first eight books on the list and I succeeded. Every book for that one was a enjoyable read. The History of the Hobbit is incredible! For the first time, I read The Lord of the Rings in its entirety, an amazing experience that I found quite impossible to describe. I plan to make reading LotR an annual event - I am looking forward to beginning again tomorrow. :)

In the upcoming year, I will once again be reducing the number of challenges I will undertake, this time to zero (setting aside my Tolkien 'challenge'). Something I've been struggling with is focusing too much on quantifying my reading...reading is an experience that cannot and should be quantified. For most people I suspect this is not so much an issue, but when I start quanitfying I get very carried away and cannot stop, getting into a minset of 'Ahhh I must read this book for this so I have to read all these pages today!' and focusing only getting through pages instead of enjoying a book. I always enjoy reading, but sometimes I feel I make it more about the page count than about the experience. So this year, I will still have a few goals, but ones that are more about creating content and enjoying experiences. These goals are:

    • 75 posts
    • 75 books
    • Write daily (see my earlier writing post from today)
    • Sidenote: meditation and no library fines (did well for the first half of the year...)

    I know I am terrible at falling apart after about three or four months with these sort of goals...we'll see how they go! I'm going to exercise my willpower more this year, I think. Happy New Year, all! :)

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