Not much time left to meet those reading goals of 2017. My to-read goal was set at 40 this year & I exceeded my goal and I have read 115 books. Gold stars for me! Below are some free-floating bookish thoughts. I’m also working on my best of list for 2017 and my reading wish list for 2018. Before the end of the year I’m going to try and read a few more books.
The majority of my reads this year were via audio books. I used to think it was cheating to listen to audio narration. It’s different – it’s still reading, just through your ears and brain instead of eyes and brain. If you are apprehensive about trying audio books, or you tried one but the voice was all wrong and you couldn’t get into the story. It might be worth your while to try again in 2018. It’s not cheating either.
I love audio books. They are great for improving active listening and good narrators flush out characters by dramatizing them with their voice(s). Yes, sometimes the narrator can be a positive/negative influence on the story unfolding before your very…ears. After listening for awhile you’ll get favorite narrators that really do amazing things to create nuanced characterization for a cast of characters that are often exchanging in rapid fire dialogue. I’m often impressed. The audio books published these days, have come leaps and bounds since the days of books on tape. You can now train yourself to listen at a faster speed. Sometimes I like to savor a book, hear it at the speed it was recorded. Sometimes I have 15 minutes before I get home but 20 minutes of the book left, I can bump the speed up. I personally do not like going about 2 times the original speed – and I can never start a book at a higher speed. Whatever you prefer, you can adjust how you hear your new favorites. Are you studying a 2nd language – you can slow it down to you can translate what you are hearing.
It’s expensive? Yes, sometimes buying audio books can be more costly than paperback and e-book versions. With that though, you get portability, the ability to listen while you work-out at the gym, go for a walk in the park, fly across the country (when electronic devices are permitted of course), do housework or commute. So many ways to diversify how you multi-task are available when you use audio books. Audible and other audio books stores often have sales, deals, a plan that can save you a lot of money off the original cover price. If you use audible or amazon, and you have a roommate, family member or friend that also enjoys books – you can link your accounts to share your books with one another. If your resolution this year is to save money, or if you are concerned about the cost and commitment to these audio files, I have good news for you, your public library has audio books for your reading enjoyment, for free. The Libby app rolled out this year and I’ve started seeing advertisements for it on bookish websites I frequent. I discovered Libby from the public library website and it has changed my reading world. The Libby app allows you to browse, check-out, return, and of course listen to audio and read e-books from your phone. It’s a really easy platform to use. To find out if your library has adopted Libby as a platform for your library, check with your library website or your local librarian. This has honestly been the best app I downloaded all year! Click on Libby below to learn more about the app.
Some other thoughts on reading in 2018, goal making and being realistic.
The reading challenge is part of my goal for 2018, my other goal is write more reviews, keep this blog current with thoughts on reading, bookish sub-topics, reviews and suggestions. I know it won’t be as consistent as it has been this month – this month was my exercise in getting familiar with the platform, practicing putting something out there and giving myself and outlet for sharing my reading world while learning about the other facets of blogging.
My number one goal for 2018 is to read the books I have or use the library for new titles. I have quite a few “bought them and forgot them” in either e-book, audio-book and paper formats. My goal is to get that number down. I’m also thinking about starting a bookish podcast or book-tube channel. (Still reading up on the best ways to get started in these platforms) But, as with life, I have some other priorities that are going to take precedent before these things can be fully analyzed as possibilities. For now, I’ll continue watching the book-tubers and listening to my favorite literary podcasts and before I branch out on my own, I plan to put something together share with you my favorite reading/book discussion outlets on the internet. In whatever direction I go – I want to keep reading and books a major part of my life, keep evolving as a reader and growing as a book person.
To achieve my goal for reading what I have on my virtual and physical shelves, I need to build anticipation for reading them. Try to make them as exciting as they were when I bought them – this might mean re-reading some books in a series, it might mean watching or reading reviews or finding someone to read the book as a buddy read. If you have ideas on how to make the books on your bookshelf as enticing as all the new stuff floating around, please let me know. On the same token, if I have outgrown a book, if it is part of a series that wasn’t just thrown on the back-burner – but that I no longer enjoy, I’m okay with passing it on to someone else & allowing myself to put in my did not finish stack. Sometimes you can pick a book and it’s the wrong time for you to read it.
I also plan to make a conscious effort to read a diverse array of books that are identified as own voices. I want the authenticity of reading a main character or protagonist that is written by an author that represents that segment of subculture, be it race, sexual identity, religion, country of origin, socioeconomic status, gender, veteran status, all the labels and dividers unmentioned – I just want to have some perspective and authenticity – across the board.
I don’t know for certain how many books I should put as my goal for 2018. I’ve set really high goals in the past and I hate the feeling of failure even if it self-imposed. I’m thinking 52 might be a good fit for me and for what I have set out to accomplish- but I won’t commit fully until new years eve. Because procrastination on goal setting sounds like the best plan at the moment.