January 7, 2010

Taking a Cue: My Year of Reading (and Blogging!) Deliberately

I have read several posts lately on reading deliberately in 2010. I believe the idea began as a Twitter discussion and grew from there. I have to say that it is a fabulous idea and I want to make 2010 the year I read deliberately, too. In fact, as I celebrate my 1st bloggiversary on Saturday, I have made some resolutions in Blogging Deliberately, as well.


· Read 100 books. I read 93 in 2009, a record for me. So my new record is at least 100 books.

· Read more fiction books. This is the opposite of a lot of reader’s goals. I have seen a lot of “read more nonfiction”, but I read more NF than fiction in 2009. I want to read more fiction in 2010. I also want to read in more genres, including YA, which is a new genre for me, more mysteries, and more fantasy, which is not something I read much of at all.

· Continue to read both fiction & nonfiction that is about different cultures. Anyone who reads my blog knows that I love, love, love stories that take place in other countries or deal with other cultures and traditions than my own. My favorites are Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and Italian. I want to continue to read about people who live, work, behave, and react differently than me. It is fascinating and enriching.

· Give myself permission to read spontaneously more often. I am much better when I get to choose my books spontaneously and not be confined to a pre-made list. I did too much reading from lists last year and I think that contributed to a lack of enthusiasm some of the time, as well as the amount of time it took me to read the books. Now, I am admittedly a slow reader. I will never finish a book in one day (unless it is a children’s book). But I am hoping I can read books in less than a month now. No need for me to read books I am not into just to finish a challenge.

· Participate only in reading challenges that I am really excited about. Last year I signed up for some challenges that I thought I should do and was not necessarily excited about. Needless to say, I did not finish those challenges. This year I decided I can fit classics, poetry, essays, and history into other challenges and that I do not need separate challenges for them this year. Maybe next year I will decide to go back, but this is what I am trying this year.

· Stop reading a book if I cannot get into it. There is no need to keep pressing on and on. I did give up on several books last year, but it took me a long time to admit I couldn’t get into them. Especially if they were advanced reader’s copies. That is just the worst. I am going to try to press on if they are ARC’s, but if not, I can always try again some other time. Even if everyone else in the world seems to like the book, it is okay if I can’t figure out why. Not every reader will get into every book out there. It is impossible. I have to allow myself to be human.

· Read my ARCS in a more timely manner. I have decided to no longer promise that I can get an ARC (even one requested by me) read by a certain date. I know myself well enough now to know that it is a promise made to be broken. However, I am going to try to read what ARCs I do have and get within a few months. I am starting with the ARCs I have had the longest time. I am also not going to request as many. I got in over my head last year before I knew it.


· I will not feel guilty because I blog irregularly. I am not going to be able to post every single day. It will be okay if I have 2 posts in one day and none the next. I will do more blogging on the weekend and then schedule the posts to be spread out during the week. I am just too tired most days when I get home to concentrate on writing anything worth reading.

· I will comment more on blogs. Especially on the blogs of those who take time to always comment on my posts. I will take time to at least skim the posts of every blog I subscribe to, even if I cannot possibly comment on all of them. I subscribe to an insane amount of blogs because everyone has a great blog with something I can learn, a new book I haven’t heard of, a good review style, and interesting and witty remarks. I will not let my Google Reader scare me into procrastinating so easily.

· I will do memes and write book reviews, but I will also make sure that I write the at least occasional post on some bookish discussion topic. I enjoy writing and I need to plug more of that into my book blog now that I feel more confident.

· I will do more author interviews, more guest posts, more 20 Questions for bloggers, more Take Me Away posts, and bring in my own meme that you may have heard me talking about called The Book List. I will not feel guilty if I accidentally forget to post one week and just make it up when I can. I do have fibromyalgia and not everything will always go as planned. I had to learn that in life and now I have to learn that with this blog.

Have you made any deliberate decisions for 2010?

Here are some more bloggers who are Reading Deliberately in 2010. See what they are up to:

The Literate Housewife



The Book Lady's Blog

Hey, Lady! Whatcha Readin'?

Linus's Blanket

Medieval Bookworm

Shelf Love

Books and Movies

Rebecca Reads

Care's Online Book Club


S. Krishna's Books

kiss a cloud


Life in the Thumb


  1. I didn't realize you read so much non-fiction. Good for you!

    I think we all sign up for challenges because we think we should and not because we're really excited about them. But sometimes those are the challenges that turn out to be the most fun!

  2. Nice goals! I swear, my resolutions are made to be broken too, lol. But I'll try. Good luck! :D

  3. It's funny how many people are talking about this. I decided to read more deliberately this year and made personal challenges for myself based on my goals, and about 2 weeks later, everyone was talking about reading deliberately. :)

    Great goals. My goals actually involve less reading/blogging and more balance this year.

  4. You've set some great goals. Good luck!

  5. You have some excellent goals set...it is good to let some of the pressure go. Blogging and reading are supposed to be fun activities, right!! I have to remind myself of this!

  6. It's sounds like you're trying to be a more relaxed reader and blogger...which is good! Good luck with your resolutions!

  7. I love that you paired deliberateness with spontaneity! I think it's great as you showed that one doesn't exclude the other. That's also something I want to strive for in 2010, reading more of what my mood dictates at the moment instead of what I have to read in order to post the review on time (this means almost no ARC's but it's okay for me).

    Great goals, I hope you get to meet them all.

  8. Good luck with the 100 books- I'm sure you will make it especially that you're going to be reading more fiction. Those generally read faster than non-fiction.

    Love your different cultures books and your Take Me Away feature!!!

    Yes to being spontaneous!! I make lists sometimes but it's always fun to just stand in front of the bookshelf and grab the first one that interests you!!!

    I'm only doing challenges that speak to me personally. Even though they are all great we're only human right???

    I gave up on a book last night...I do NOT feel guilty!

    Not requesting or accepting many ARCS at all this year. I just can't get them read in time!!!

    blog when you want to!!! and most of all blog for yourself...I enjoy reading your thoughts!!!

    Here's to a great 2010 of Reading Deliberately!!!

  9. I love this idea. I haven't sat down and written out specifics but know that for me this means cutting way back on the books that I accept for review and getting back to the classics.

  10. Love the "no guilt" part! I'm one of the "read more non-fiction" bloggers - I only read 6 non-fiction titles in 2009! Ack.

  11. You have a lot of great goals.Blogging about bookish topics is something I want to do more of this year. I love reading those kinds of posts.The reading challenges goal is one I share too. Good luck on all your goals.

  12. I think this is a fabulous post. I might have to do one too. I want my reading to be more goal orientated this year too.

  13. That's quite heavy but I wish you good luck!

  14. I love your wish to read spontaneously! I also would like to do more linked reading - when you see a book mentioned in a book and so you go read that and see where the trail ends up. maybe. Happy 2010!

  15. What a wonderful list of goals! I'll have to read this post from time to time throughout the year to remind myself to read more spontaneously and do more writing on my blog. :)

  16. Last year I blogged about deciding that I would not finish a book I couldn't get into, and I did that at least twice. It is very freeing once you decide to do this (& stick to it.)

    I've also resolved to comment more on others' blogs. I'm a huge 'lurker.' ;-)

  17. Happy blogoversary! That always gives lurkers something to say...

  18. Reading between the lines, I think I hear you saying you want to have a little more fun with your reading and challenges and do what interests you rather than what you feel OBLIGATED to do ... including blogging a certain number of times each week and so forth. Let me tell you, giving yourself this freedom is exactly what will help you jumpstart some of the doldrums you've been describing or feeling lately.

  19. I love the reading deliberately idea - I've enjoyed seeing what everyone's goals for the new year are! I'm making loads of resolutions but keeping them more-or-less secret so the blogosphere won't know my shame when I fail. :P

  20. this reading deliberately is a terrific movement, and I think you've established just the right goals for yourself...

    and yes, you can quote me...


  21. Nice list. I agree with the ARC issues - that's one the problems for me. I feel really guilty if I don't read or finish it.

  22. Great post!


  23. Those are great goals! I think it's so wise to not suffer through a book that isn't working. I have a hard time with that. What's the point of sticking it out to the end? It's supposed to be fun.

  24. This is a most excellent post!

    I think many of us forget that blogging isn't necessarily a job. We forget to give ourselves permission to have a day (or several) off every week to just enjoy the fun of reading. Heck, that's why we all got into this in the first place isn't it?

    Many of my goals mirror yours so I wish you luck!

  25. Great post and great goals! I need to work on the one about not feeling guilty for not posting regularly!! I'm glad I am not the only one in this boat!!


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