Resolutions, kept and broken: A look back at 2013

imagesBefore I launch into a whole new set of bookish resolutions for the New Year, I thought I should do a quick look back to see if I actually kept all — or any — or even a few of my resolutions for 2013. And here’s where I stand:

Resolution: Maintain a healthy ratio of old to new.  For every new book, whether purchased or borrowed from the library, I resolved to read at least two that were already in my collection.

Result: Fail! I’m hopeless, I think. The number of unread books on my shelves is simply staggering at this point… and yet the new ones keep coming!

Resolution: No new series. I resolved not to start any new series in 2013, with the exception of new series by authors I already love to read or new-to-me series that have already been published in their entirety.

Result: Success! I can’t think of any series I started this year — with the exception of one or two trickstery books that didn’t warn me up front that there was a big fat “to be continued” lurking at the end. Which is totally not playing fair, as far as I’m concerned. I did read some books in ongoing series that I’m already involved in, and I did read the whole Y: The Last Man series, but those are allowed under my arbitrary rules. This one counts as a win!

Resolution: Patronize local bookstores.

images2Result: Mixed. I still rely on Amazon for a big bulk of my book purchases, especially now that I’m hooked on my Kindle, but I do make sure to visit the local indie sellers pretty regularly to pick up gifts and random impulse purchases… and if I attend an author appearance or other event at a book store, then I’ll always make it a point to buy something while I’m there.

Resolution: Housekeeping. I resolved to do some serious sorting and put together a bag or two (or three) of books to donate for the next library sale.

Result: Mostly a win. I did take quite a few bags of books out of my house. I co-chaired a book swap at my workplace, which was a huge success — and to which I donated about 25 – 30 books from my own shelves. Everyone who participated walked away with some great finds, plus in the end we donated the remaining books to the library for its next sale — a total of 14 cartons of donated books! My shelves are still overflowing, but I did manage to offload some of the books that I just knew I didn’t need anymore, and got my son to do the same. Honestly, this one is a never-ending challenge, and always will be.

Resolution: Try something new! I resolved to read at least 3 – 5 non-fiction books in 2013, preferable from a few different subject areas.

Result: Hmm. Not really. I read two memoirs, and that’s it. I really should have made more of an effort, but what can I say? I’m a fiction fanatic, from my head to my toes.

Resolution: Face facts. I resolved to admit that I just don’t like short stories and stop trying to force myself to read them.

Result: Success. I read a collection of fairy tales that I was excited about, and picked up an anthology that included stories by authors I love. And that’s it. I just said no to any other offers of short story collections, no matter how highly praised or eagerly pushed at me. Iron willed, that’s me!

nyresOverall? I think that’s what you’d call a decidedly mixed success rate! But that’s okay. I never did lose those extra pounds either…

Some of these will make it onto my 2014 resolution list, in one form or another… along with a few new items that I either will or won’t stick with.

How did you do with your 2013 bookish resolutions? Any big successes that you’re particularly proud of? And any “what was I thinking” items? Let’s round out 2013 by sharing our successes and our “not so much” results!

8 thoughts on “Resolutions, kept and broken: A look back at 2013

  1. I could never keep to maintaining a healthy ratio of new to old. I love my Kindle and have a freebie addiction! My big resolution this year is to get my number of outstanding NetGallery books down to a more acceptable amount. Hope I can do it! Happy New Year!

    -Maria @ Reading the Alphabet

    • Oh, I’ve been working really hard on my NetGalley backlog as well! I even made myself a spreadsheet sorted by publication date (I’m kind of a nerd about things like that) so I could have a way to track what I need to read and when. It helps — but it’s also overwhelming!

  2. Oh neat! Mine are all fail, I think. Minus reading more, which I totally nailed: 40 books or so more than in 2012 \o/ 😀 Otherwise I sucked – less buying. nope. More library time: LOL NOPE. But the problem is our libraries aren’t well stocked, and I hate translations, so… Not ma fault! 😀

  3. Well done with the housekeeping! I’m working on bookish resolutions for a blog hop I’m doing on 31st and that will definitely be one of mine! I’ve had bags and bags and bags of books waiting to go to the charity shop or to be sold on ebay for a looong time now!

    • I did a bunch of selling on Ebay and Half.com a couple of years ago, which went okay — although once I factored in my packing materials, my postage, and my time, I’m not sure it was more than a break-even situation! It did let me feel more justified about spending money on new books! I love that my neighborhood library branch will accept book donations for their future fundraising sales — it makes it so convenient to get those bags out of my house! 🙂

  4. I just did some housekeeping for the new year and put two bags of books together and feel so much better. Getting rid of those (which consisted of a ton of books I really don’t ever see myself reading) reduces my owned-tbr pile to less than 200 which is way better than it’s been in recent years. lol I REALLY want to work on reading more older books. Do you ever feel like us bloggers are constantly reading the same ARCs at the same time? I feel like I need to mix it up and go back in the past to read some of the fabulous books I had to of missed out on. I only had 5 goals last year and I completely failed at 2 of them so that’s progress. The two were Focus on books I already own and limit my ARC requests. lol I’m doing good on the ARC requesting but again, we’re only a week into the new year. 🙂

    • Oh my gosh, you are absolutely right about all of the blogger reading all of the same ARCs. The curse of NetGalley!! 🙂 It’s not a bad thing, but you’re right, I need to make sure I carve out enough time to read the things that appeal to my quirkier, non-conformist side too. I really, really, really agree with you on the need to focus on books I already own — but it’s so hard to keep to this when there are always so many shiny new books that I NEED. My ARC requests got insane and now I have a huge backlog, so I’m trying to put myself on a strict diet and not request any new ARCs with publication dates between now and July. As with all of my resolutions, I’m not sure I’ll have the will-power to stick to it, but at least my intentions are good!

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