Proceed with caution: long-ass, rambly blog post ahead.
I know I’m probably going to sound like a broken record (because I’m pretty sure every single person on the universe has said this already), but boy, did 2016 fly past. I going to try and refrain myself from making the obligatory dad joke and say that it feels like 2016 was only 2 days ago (ha ha) but in all seriousness, it’s kind of easy to forget how much impact one year can have until you actually sit down and reminisce, or in my case – write a blog post about – the significance it really had. Today, I’m going to be talking about some of my bookish highlights of 2016 plus some of the reading goals that I hope to achieve in 2017.
Started my blog
Okay starting off with a big one, 2016 was the year that I started traditional blogging. I would just like to formally declare that it is one of the best decisions I made. I love blogging in a way that I don’t think I’ve loved anything else *whispers* not even Bookstagram. I originally started my blog with the sole purpose of posting book reviews but then I realised how much I loved doing discussions and tags and just blabbing to you guys about everything (sorry!) and I’m so excited to see where 2017 takes us. I am still pretty horrid at regular posting but this is all about to change my friends (see below for proposed goal)!
Started actively advocating and reading diverse
One of the biggest, and best, changes I made in 2016 was to my reading habits – I started actively reading diverse books. Along with this, I also started engaging in diversity discussion a lot more and as a result, I have learnt so many things on an issue that is so important and personal to me. I discovered the effect that a character can have on you and if you guys checked out my Favourite Books of 2016 post, you may have seen me get a little emotional about the impact that Inej from Six of Crows had on my life. Thinking about it, it’s more than a little unfortunate that it took me over 20 years to find a character that spoke to me on so many fundamental levels and I want everyone to be able to experience that joy and have that representation in their lives because it is so very vital.
Made some amazing bookish friends
2016 was the year that I joined Twitter. I know, only like a century late right? More specifically, it was the year that I discovered the wonderful community that is Book Twitter. Despite the occasional problems, the community is such an amazing place to be a part of and it is the reason that I made so many of my new bookish friends this year. I am so thankful for all the people who came into my life this year and whilst I can’t name every one of you because there are just too many (and my memory’s shit, so I will 100% forget people), I would just like you to know that I LOVE YOU ALL. Also, a particularly special shout out to my fellow Aussie bloggers because you are all such a wonderful, friendly, tight-knit group of people who I absolutely adore <3.
Travelled the World-ish
Okay, so whilst this may not seem like a bookish highlight at face value, it totally is because I got to visit some of my dream bookstores around the world (I mean, what else does one do on holiday, right?). Also, I say “world-ish” because I only went to 4 countries but hey, the ones that I did go to were amazing. Some of my favourite adventures included going to The Strand in New York City (you can find a detailed blog post about it here, it’s basically just me confessing my undying love to it) and Shakespeare and Co in Paris!
Learnt to deal with blogging disappointments
I’m not going to lie, 2016 wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns. I had a major rough patch during the second half of the year in regards to Bookstagram and blogging over on there. To be perfectly honest, I just wasn’t as fun for me anymore. When you’re blogging, a largely unpaid pursuit (completely unpaid in my case), it needs to be fun or you won’t have the motivation to do anything at all. After struggling with it for a while, I decided that I just needed to move forward. After writing a blog post to help me hash out my thoughts and work through the struggle (which you can find here), I decided that I was going to put more effort into traditional blogging and the rest is history.
Goodreads Reading Goal + Review Every Book
So after long contemplation, I have decided to make 2017’s reading goal 100 books. I was actually considering making my goal 52 books again like last year (so one book per week) but I think that’s just more a case of me going easy on myself, not as a result of challenging myself and so this year, it’s go big or go home.
Even more crazy than trying to read 100 books is the fact that I’m going to try to review every single one. Because I want to try and keep myself sane, I’m probably just going to do one-paragraph reviews over on Goodreads for books that are not ARCs/ review copies (which will get the standard, in-depth review).
Read More Diversely & Complete #DiversityBingo2017
I really want to make a conscious effort this year to read books by marginalised authors and about marginalised characters in 2017 because I found this experience to be so rewarding last year. This year, I’m helping to host a year-long diverse readathon, Diversity Bingo 2017 (more details can be found here), and one of main goals within reading more diversely is to complete this readathon (which is basically reading 1 book for each of the 36 specified categories). Also, there are heaps of amazing diverse readathons and projects to look forward to this year so I’m excited to see where it all goes.
Branch Out From YA
I just want to preface this goal by saying that I adore YA. I will always read YA and it will always have such a special place in my life. But saying that, I do want to branch out a little into adult fiction. I feel like I miss a lot of great adult reads because I am so focused about what is happening in the YA book world (and because the majority of people that I follow in the book community have similar reading tastes) and so I want to make an effort to expand my horizons (boy, that sounded cheesy).
Read More Diverse High Fantasy
This kind of combines the last two, but within reading diversely and within reading adult fiction, I really want to read more diverse adult high fantasy. Well, the “more” is probably a lie because I don’t actually think I’ve read any before. I really enjoyed reading Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss last year and I desperately want to find some diverse adult fantasies because I know they’re out there, they just need to be shown a little love and attention. If you have any great recommendations, definitely let me know!
Maintain a consistent blogging schedule
Ahhhh, the elusive blogging schedule. It’s not that I don’t make one – I swear, I do. It’s just that it is so hard to stick to it. This year, I am going to commit to posting at least 2 times a week. Guys, have faith in me because it is going to happen. Hopefully. I’m so excited to work harder, see my blog grow even further and to meet some wonderful new book bloggers in the amazing year that is going to be 2017.
That’s it for today, friends. What are some of your 2017 goals?
Until next time,