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Bookish Resolutions for 2012


Ornament on Magan's Christmas tree

Hello, friends!  We hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Under our Christmas trees, we found lots of bookish goodies – Barnes & Noble gift cards and books from our wishlists.  We’ve discussed resolutions and 2012 goals with a few people via twitter and definitely a lot between the two of us.  It made us think – what do we hope to accomplish next year? Maybe you’re thinking about next year, too. We’d love to hear what your plans are for 2012 – in your personal life and all things book related. If you feel like doing a post like this, link your post at the bottom so we can read what you hope for the new year.

Happy New Year,
Estelle & Magan


I am nervous to write these down and make them blog-permanent. One thing you should know about me is how I’m terribly afraid to fail. I am going to try to keep these as realistic as possible, but I also want to continue to push myself as a reader and blogger.

  1. Next year I’d like to read at least 115 books. That will allow me to stay on schedule with my posts here at Rather be Reading. We each write approximately 8 reviews a month. Considering I’m currently at 90 books and I didn’t begin until mid-May of 2011, I know I can hit that. (Yikes. This still scares me!)  I need room to read books that maybe I won’t review on here so we don’t have duplicate content and I need to allow for books that maybe I just won’t like or want to review.
  2. It’s time to tackle the books on my bookshelves – I want to read at least one book / month that I already own.  I utilize the library a lot, buy new books frequently, and receive books from NetGalley. That leaves little room for finding something on my perfectly organized bookshelves that I’d care to read. I admit I get sucked into wanting to read the latest and greatest release, so sometimes it is difficult to go back to something that was…gasp… published 10 years ago.
  3. If I don’t want to read a book I already own… ever.. it is either a) going to be taken to Goodwill, b) sold at Half Price Books, or c) put up for grabs on the blog so I can mail it to someone who would like to read it.  Why clutter my

    Magan's Bookshelves in the Living Room

    bookshelves when I can fill them with my favorite books?  It’s time to stop being a hoarder.

    (Oh, and PS, I’m including a picture of my recently completed bookshelves (to the right). We moved into our house January 1 of this year and this project took me waaaaay longer than it should have.  I’m glad my favorite books and some of our favorite knicknacks have a home now.)

  4. I don’t want to be the blogger that gets super caught up in a schedule and quits reading for herself. I love following book blogs. LOVE it. I add so many books to my lists from them and they inspired me to start sharing what I think about books. I want to make sure that I’m reading things that make me happy, that are written well, and to not get frustrated when I shouldn’t be spending more money on books and can’t get the book I want immediately. This book-reading thing is expensive. Books aren’t cheap, so I need to utilize the library when I can…
  5. or learn to swap books between bloggers. I would love to find people who are interested in sharing books so we can do kindle shares or lend out books via snail mail.
  6. This is really silly, but I want to have at least one author listed for every letter of the alphabet on our list of reviewed books. (Who said goals had to be all serious?)
  7. And last but not least, I want to become a better writer throughout the next year so I cam more effectively communicate how I felt about a book. I don’t want to become stale or repetitive, but I do want to be able to share a negative review with you when something doesn’t speak to me. I have trouble sharing negative feelings, but I just need to get over it.


I was never one to believe in making resolutions for the new year. But this year I started making little goals for myself. Reading a certain number of books, writing a certain amount of pieces, working out a certain number of times a week — and it really helps. I only answer to myself (which is sometimes difficult) but I have found this year has been so fulfilling because of these tiny goals I’ve been setting. I’ve been so lucky to welcome so many amazing people into my life because of the first two (and I never thought that would happen) and with the third one, well I feel a whole lot better about myself too. When it comes to setting some sort of “rule” for the year, I do think it’s important to remain flexible and not freak out about it. (Hard for me because I love to freak out.) But it does help. Just take your time and it’ll happen. So here are some of my guidelines for 2012:

  1. Read 100 books again. I don’t want to set the bar SO high because I want to make sure I have time to:
  2. …read 6 classics and concentrate more on contemporary adult fiction. We all know those two will be more time consuming.
  3. I also must get into the habit of writing a few notes and finishing a book review before reading 5 other books. I do this ALL the time, and it gets very hard to go back and remember what I read when my mind is infiltrated with more characters, plotlines, and writing styles. This will also cause me to…
  4. Get ahead on reviews. Magan is really super at this and because I spend more time reading than writing my reviews I’m sometimes cramming my monthly reviews into one week. I don’t want to do that anymore. Because sometimes I will come across books I do not want to review at all (2 come to mind at the moment) and some that just don’t fit what our blog is all about (Mary Todd Lincoln bio, anyone?). I never want to feel like I can’t be reading for me. That’s just crazy talk!
  5. In other non-blogging resolutions, I would love to balance my time better so I can make time for blogging, the gym, and my husband without feeling like I’m going nuts. This should be fun. It’s a hobby!
  6. Find every single book in my house that I have not read and make it a priority! It’s getting a little out of control. It’s just so easy to buy books on the Nook or on my lunch break but NO more. (Or at least, less of this please.)
  7. I also… big drum roll … would love to start writing a young adult novel. At some point this year. I don’t have to finish it but I would like to have a few chapters written.

Over the course of this year, this list might get a little bit longer. But I think for now it’s a great start. Hope all of you enjoyed your holiday (and are continuing to enjoy them). Here’s to a fantastic 2012!

As a fun bonus, here's what my sister painted me for the holidays!

We’d love to hear what your plans and goals are for 2012. Write a post and link up so we can read, follow along, and encourage you to hit your goals!


January 1, 2013 - 12:01 am

Happy New Year from Rather Be Reading! - […] year we made bookish resolutions for 2012. We thought it would be fun to do the same for 2013. Here we […]

May 29, 2012 - 7:01 am

Our Half Year Report + a Summer Giveaway - […] reflect on the bookish resolutions we made for this year to re-motivate ourselves. – do a little dance and celebrate our six (well, […]

January 3, 2012 - 11:04 am

Sharon @ Fictionally Inclined - Great goals! I’m also trying to read some of the books I actually own this year. I tend to get distracted by newly acquired books and forget about those sitting around, waiting for me to read them.

Magan, I’m incredibly envious of that room! I couldn’t fit that many books into my dorm room if I tried. Although I do give it my best shot! 😉

December 29, 2011 - 3:26 pm

Mands - Great goals, ladies! I’d like to branch out a bit more and read some non-YA too. I’m 3 books away from 170 so my goal for next year is to read 200.

And I love Magan’s living room, it looks like the perfect place to read.

December 28, 2011 - 10:58 pm

Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl - Hi, girls! I was hoping to participate in your resolutions blog posting happiness, but I’ve been SO sick, and don’t think I’ll have time to! But I love your lists. 🙂

Magan – 115 books? Wow. I read 37 this year. I seriously have no time! Where do you find the time to read so much? I also need to read more of the books I already own, rather than buying so many new ones! My shelves actually have more unread books than read ones on them. It’s kind of weird. AND… I need to quit hoarding books I’ll never read. I need more room for my favorites! You’re so right about reading for yourself. Sometimes I get stressed out because I have not posted a new review soon enough. Like these past few weeks when I’ve been sick off and on, I have felt so bad for not posting anything! Why?? This is not a job, and I’m not required to do anything. I need to chill out, or I will fall out of the book blogging realm. Your #6 goal is SO me! I’ve been thinking the same thing! Where will I find a book that begins with “Z”? Or “x”? (I organize my book reviews by title, not author.) This will be challenging.

Estelle – I also need to read more classics, and adult fiction in general. That’s definitely on my list for 2012. And I’m also one of those people who waits forever to write a review! I think I need to keep a pad of paper with me while I read, so I can jot down my thoughts. I always have such great ideas about what to include in my review, but by the time a book is over I’m only holding on to the happy/sweet/sad/annoying ending and have nothing to say! Like you, I also need to balance my time by making MORE time for reading! I need to schedule in more me and a book time. Yay for writing a novel! You’ve got a reader here, if you need one!

Happy new year, girls! I’m seriously so happy I’ve gotten to know you both, and I love your blog! Thanks for being so welcoming and supportive during my first month and a half of solo book blogging. Best wishes for the new year, and good luck with your awesome goals!

December 28, 2011 - 8:19 pm

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - I finally posted my resolutions post! Apparently, if you combine my personal and bookish resolutions, I have 26 all in all. *gasps* I have absolutely no idea if I can manage all of them, but I’m definitely willing to try!

Magan: I completely agree with #2 – I really should start reading the books I actually own, before buying/borrowing more. And #3 is something that I tried doing this year, and found to be very useful indeed because I freed up space, got some cash and “shared” the book. As for #5, I’d definitely be willing to swap books with other book bloggers, if there was an easy way to do it! And I have a resolution similar to #7 too, because I think my reviews could use some work.

Estelle: I shall be cheering you on for #2, and I have no doubts that you will be able to do it! And I agree with #3. I have that same problem. For instance, right now, I have 10 books I haven’t reviewed yet and I’m pretty sure the stories have all become muddled in my mind. #6 is similar to Magan’s #2, so I definitely agree. And I will totally support you on #7! It’s something I’ve been trying to complete for years, but have never succeeded.

You can do it girls! Here’s to accomplishing every single item on our lists.

P.S. Wow, I just realized how long this comment is, haha. I’m sorry for the overexcited babbling!

December 27, 2011 - 5:27 pm

Gloria - These are great, and you both made a resolution that I made a couple months back… To read books I already own. I haven’t stopped buying new books, but I want to read at least one book a month that’s already on our bookshelves. There are so many!

Best of luck with your goals!

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