29 December 2015

Reading Challenges and Resolutions: 2015 In Review

This post is all about looking back on my intentions from last year and seeing how successful I have been. I didn’t really have resolutions, as such, more aspirations and I actually took on a couple of reading challenges… and then promptly forgot to keep you guys updated because I am so forgetful. I will let you know how my reading challenges have gone, though and I promise there is then a new post to come with my reading challenges for 2016 (I’ve learnt a few things from this year’s epic fail).

We will begin with my reading challenges and look at how successful I was in keeping with these challenges (not very).

Flights of Fantasy (hosted by Alexa Loves Books and Hello, Chelly)

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A fantasy reading challenge was always going to be easy for me to succeed in. I set myself 12 books as my target, because I had been going through a fluff phase, and I knocked that figure out of the park reading a total of 64 books in the fantasy genre.

I struggled at first at how I would define a book as fantasy for this challenge, there are a lot of different kinds of fantasy genres within that one title. I decided to include all fantasy, be it urban fantasy, high fantasy, epic fantasy, whatever it was it had fantasy in the genre name and it counted. Not everyone would agree, but it’s my challenge and I’ll cheat if I want to.

As I read so many books I won’t bother to list them all, I’ve decided to do a top 5 fantasy reads for you. You can view them as my recommendations if you wish, just click on the cover’s to go to Goodreads and find out more.

 Dusting Off The Shelf (hosted by Emily at Books and Cleverness)

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This is a challenge which I thought would help me shed books from my shelf (I know, what a grand success that has been) and I was excited at the concept. Sadly, I didn’t take it as seriously as I should have. I intended to read at least 15 old books from my shelves (both digital and physical) and I did so admirably reading a total of 21 old books from my shelves. Sadly, I carried on buying new books at a ridiculous pace so any success I had on this front was lost my the influx of books.

I am going to carry on trying to cut down my TBR pile throughout the beginning of next year using the 5 to 1 idea introduced to me by Amy at Pages of Starlight. I have been trying this month (and failed) and I think the only way I will be successful is to stop looking at books online wherever possible. At least for a month or so.


The Fairytale Retelling Challenge (Hosted by Mel @ The Daily Prophecy)


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This is the only challenge I truly failed at. I thought it would be easy to read 12 retellings in the space of a year… turns out I was wrong. I didn't manage 12 fairytale retellings, I managed 9, which isn’t terrible, but I had high hopes at meeting this challenge with ease. If anything I had more doubts about succeeding with the Dusting off the Shelf challenge.

I don’t think 9 is a bad number of retellings to have read, especially when I read so many books this year, but I still wish I’d read more.

GoodReads Reading Challenge 2015


I also participate in the GoodReads challenge every year. I initially had a target of 100 (which I always set for myself as a bare minimum) which I kept upping as I hit targets, so it went from 150 to 200 and then I’ve left it as I just hit 200.

This is a reading challenge I’ve never stressed myself over, if I don’t hit a target it won’t bother me, I just like seeing how many books I’ve read.

New Years Goals Progress


I set myself a few simple goals for 2015, and I think it will be interesting to see how successful I’ve been with each.

  • I want to get myself organised: I can safely say I’ve had little to no success on this front. The most I’ve done is started keeping lists and I keep a spreadsheet created by Crini at All About Books which helped me keep track of my books read, books bought, and my challenges. I’ve downloaded her next one for 2016 as it has been my most vital book organisation tool ever. Otherwise, my organisation skills still need work. Here’s hoping they’ll get better next year.

  • I want to review more books: It’s hard to judge this one. I feel like I’m getting better about reviewing what I read, but that doesn’t mean I’m reviewing more books. I’ve had 45 book reviews up so far this year, but I’ve read over 200 books. That’s me only reviewing a quarter of the books I’ve read. When looked at in those terms it doesn’t sound great, at the same time I like to think I’m reviewing the books I’m most passionate about, and that is mostly the case. I have chosen not to post a review of books I’ve received a review copy for if I find I cannot give a good review, because I know sometimes it’s best to say nothing at all. I will carry on working on my reviewing skills, but I don’t want to be spamming with reviews, imagine if you had to read a review for every book I read, that’s basically a review a day!

  • I want to get some variety in my blog: I was concerned I was just churning out Top Ten Tuesday posts and Sunday Summaries last year. I am still churning out Sunday Summaries (I like talking about me, okay) but I haven’t posted a TTT in a while for no other reason than a lot of the topics haven’t interested me. I do want to keep trying to keep up with that though next year. I am going to be better at choosing only the topics which interested me. I did have a phase of posting quite a few discussions, as well, but they have fallen by the wayside as life got in the way of things. I think the thing I’ve been most proud of is the Author Addiction feature Kaja and I have been doing, and I am looking forward to do something new next year… although details need to be finalised.

  • I also want more variety in what I read: This one has been a bit hit and miss. I discovered a whole new genre, historical romance, and have fallen swiftly in love with it. I haven’t really read as widely as I would have like though. I am attributing that to the fact I haven’t challenged myself with my reading challenges enough, though. Next year I plan to do one or two but pick one which challenges me to read more outside my comfort zone (otherwise I never will).

And there you have it folks. This is my reading year in challenges in resolutions. It was a greater success than I initially thought it would be, but I’m disappointed I wasn’t more successful in the fairytale retelling challenge. I won’t cry myself to sleep about it or anything, though.

Did you set yourself goals and challenges for the year? Were you successful, and do you feel the pressure to achieve the goals you set for yourself, or is it more about helping get a bit of variety in your reading which your aiming for?

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