2021 Reading Goals.

Hey!

I hope you’re having a great start to the new year. I thought I would once again post my reading/blogging goals for the year. It’s always fun to think about and to make lists. Some of these goals may be repeats or similar from last year, because I really want to continue to stick to these goals this year as well or finally accomplish them if I haven’t in past years. I am trying to keep this list a little shorter than previous years, because after a year like 2020 was….I just want a relaxed and less stressful year as far as everything goes.

2021 Goodreads Challenge. I am keeping my Goodreads challenge to 50 books. If it wasn’t for counting audiobooks toward my reading challenge goal last year (which I don’t usually do), I wouldn’t have completed my challenge. So, I’ll just keep it at 50 books and hope for the best. Last year was a weird year as I have said over and over again. I am hoping this year is better and I do end up reading a lot more!

ARCs/no ARCs. I am going to try really hard not to request any (or many) ARCs this year. Last year I was getting so swamped with ARCs and I was barely read much, it was a struggle to keep up and I ultimately fell behind. I want to try to focus on the ARCs I still have from last year that I didn’t get the chance to read. I want to get those read and reviewed. I’m sure I’ll still get a few here and there and that’s fine, but I don’t think I’ll go looking and requesting much (if at all).

2017 or older TBR jar. So, I found my old TBR jar of books that I added from 2017 or earlier. I want to try to read one book a month from that jar. It should be doable since it’s only one book a month from that jar, but we shall see! I think it’ll be fun to try to read books from there and FINALLY get around to some of those older books on my shelves/Kindle. My January pick is All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. And speaking of older books, that brings me to my next goal. *EDIT ON 2/19*: I created a new TBR jar and will be using that to read books that are 2019 or older.

Read 15 of my own books. What I mean by this is reading older books I own and not counting rereads. Books I buy this year do not count toward this goal. I struggle a lot with this goal every single year, because new books get released and then I read a lot of library books and ARCs. I am drowning in unread books that I bought years ago. Last year I set this number to 25, but I was only able to read 12. So, this year I am shooting for a lower number and if I read books from my old TBR jar, I will do pretty great at this goal.

Write more reviews. I have been totally slacking on writing reviews over the last couple years. I used to review everything I read and then for some reason I stopped doing that and only reviewed ARCs or super new releases. I want to get back into the habit of writing reviews again, so I want to at least try to write reviews for a lot of the books that I read whether they be full reviews or mini ones. I will still probably not write a review for every single book I read, but I want to at least write more than I have been. Maybe at least two or three reviews a month? I’m not really setting a number for this goal though, it’s just a thought and not necessarily a goal that I will be really working hard toward.

Focus more on my blog and new content.  It’s not a surprise that the last few years haven’t been the greatest as far as blogging goes. I didn’t blog nearly as much as I wanted to. I want to try to get a blogging schedule going and come up with some new content to include as well. I also want to start sharing my pictures again. I was out of space, but I gained a little extra space after upgrading my blog to a professional account. I also really want to try to come up with a more permanent solution for the photo storage situation, because I never ended up doing that last year. I’m paying yearly for the upgraded blog, so I need to actually use it. It’s beginning to get harder to justify paying for something that I haven’t been using very much lately. Maybe I can find a new solution to this too. I want to get back to posting my pictures and random little trips I go on, even if lately those trips are just to parks because of covid.

I hope to be around more in 2021! I know I haven’t been around too much last year, but I am hoping that changes this year. I want to be around more. It might take some time, because I’m still trying to find a good balance now that I’m working again. This job is temporary though, so who knows what the rest of the year will look like. I love having this blog and I love connecting with you. I’ve gained so many new followers and friends throughout the years. In 2020, I almost made it to 2000 followers, which is pretty big to me! I am hoping that 2021 is a great year for blogging and meeting new friends and staying connected with you! I can’t wait to continue our friendships, creating new friendships, and reading all of your posts.

What are some goals you have for this year? Feel free to link me to your posts if you have one!

I usually make a list of personal goals, but I will not be doing that this year. I made a list of 11 or 12 goals for 2020 and I accomplished only one of them and it totally bummed me out. So, if anything, my one “personal” goal for 2021 is just do whatever makes me happy. Over the weekend I was able to do a bunch of blog hopping, which felt nice reading your posts again. Feel free to link me to any posts that I may I have missed that you want me to check out. Hopefully this week I’ll start working on (and posting) my star ratings for 2020. First up will be all the books that I gave five stars to in 2020.

In case you missed it;
2020 Year in Books.
Wrap Up|| December.
Book Haul|| December.

I hope you have a great day!

2020 Year in Books.

Hey!

Today it is time to look back on my reading throughout 2020! I’m not going to lie, it was a struggle with reading. I wasn’t even sure I would complete my Goodreads challenge. I had to adjust my reading “rules” just to accomplish that goal alone. I wanted this post to be full of different pie charts and stats, but I just didn’t have the time to do everything I wanted for it. I also just wanted to get it posted since it’s already January 8. I do have a couple numbers to share with you in this post and give an update on my reading goals from 2020 and if I accomplished them or not. First, let’s start with my Goodreads reading goal…I wanted to read 50 books in 2020…

51 of books read for challenge.
12 of those were audiobooks.

Compared to last year, I read 34 less books than I did in 2019. That number is kind of depressing, but as I am sure I will say countless times in this post, it was a crazy year! My mind was elsewhere and my drive and motivation to read was almost non-existent at times. I am happy that I at least completed the challenge though even if it wasn’t by much.


I don’t do half star ratings and I use Goodreads’ rating system with how I rate the books that I read. Below is how Goodreads has their star ratings set up.

5 stars – it was amazing
4 stars – I really liked it
3 stars – liked it
2 stars – it was ok
1 star – did not like it

I feel like I used to give three stars out in previous years if I thought it was okay and 2 stars if I didn’t really like it and forgot about 1 star altogether. So over the last few years I tried to use the way Goodreads has their stars when it came to rating books and continued with that in 2020. With that being said here are my star rating counts for the books that I read in 2020!

My numbers look a lot different than they did last year. I don’t know if it was because I was mentally in a different place and nothing “wowed” me much in 2020 or if I just didn’t read that many amazing books this year. I know that I read 30+ less books than I did last year, so that could have played a big part in it too. Last year I gave out 29 five stars and in 2020 I only gave out seven! This year it looks like the four star rating was my best friend because I gave out so many four stars. Overall, I think that I still read a lot of great books. It was just a bummer that I didn’t have a lot of five star reads.

You can check out all the books that I read in 2020 over here with links to reviews if I did one. But I will be doing a series of blog posts coming soon of all the books that I read in 2020 with their star ratings. My first post will be all the five star books of the year and so on. I did it in previous years and decided to continue with those posts, because it’s always fun to look back on the books that I read and share what I loved and maybe didn’t love so much.


Now onto my 2020 reading goals and whether I think I accomplished them or not. You can check out the actual post I made in January 2020 of my goals over here, but here is just a small recap of what they were. That post has longer explanations of what each of these goals were. Sorry in advance if I repeat myself a bunch of times throughout this next section lol.

2020 Goodreads Challenge.
I was able to complete my 2020 Goodreads challenge of reading 50 books. I was only able to read 51 though, which was a little disappointing because I was hoping to read a lot more. I’m still happy that I was able to read 51 books though.

Read 25 of my own books.
What I meant by this was any books that I bought in 2019 or earlier. Nothing I bought in 2020. With this goal, I only read 12 of my older books, so that was a bummer.

Don’t fall behind on ARCs.
I did fall behind on ARCs quite a bit, because I wasn’t reading as much as I hoped that I would. It was a crazy year as you guys know, so my mind was just elsewhere.

Continue to buy less books. 
I did very good with this goal, because I honestly hardly bought many books compared to most years. I think I bought around 30 books, not including e-books. You all know I probably went crazy with those e-book deals. 😛

Re-organize my bookshelves and my Goodreads shelves.
I don’t think I did this at all. I honestly just didn’t really have it in me to mess around with either of them. There was one point that I had to take all my books off my shelves because we were redoing the flooring, but I honestly just put them up almost exactly like they were before. I missed my opportunity haha.

Get rid of books I didn’t like or plan to read.
I did get rid of a ton of books at the beginning of the year. I took them to a used book store. I could probably go through my shelves again and get rid of more. For now I am pretty happy with where things are at.

Get back into bookstagram.
I attempted to get back on bookstagram, but that didn’t last very long. I posted 21 pictures in 2020 over on my bookstagram account “sociallyawkwardbookworm”. I wanted to post more and I was excited to, but then my motivation to do that just dropped and I wasn’t into it.

Focus more on my blog and new content.
As I previously said, it was a crazy year and I just didn’t have the motivation or drive to come up with new content for my blog or put very much focus into it like I really hoped. Seems like lack of motivation was a big theme for 2020 lol.

I hope to be around more in 2020!
I lost my job in December 2019, then covid hit shortly after, and the world changed so much, so my love for everything just dropped so much. I got insanely depressed and my mind was just not here anymore. I wasn’t around much on my blog or anywhere, honestly. It was a really sad year.

How did you do this year with your reading goals? How many books did you read in 2020? Feel free to link me to your posts!

I think I will end this post here. My next post will be my reading goals for 2021. You may see a repeat of a couple of these, but also a few new ones. I’m actually thinking about keeping it pretty short for this year, because I am still in this weird place and I just want 2021 to be as stress-free as possible. We’ll see what happens! I’ll catch up with your posts and reply to comments this weekend as I don’t work the weekends, so I’ll have some time to finally catch up! Feel free to link me to any posts that you REALLY want me to see ASAP and I’ll make those priority. 😀

In case you missed it;
Wrap Up|| December.
Book Haul|| December.
Happy New Year, 2021.

I hope you have a great day!

2020 Reading Goals.

readingoals

Hey!

I hope you’re having a great start to the new year. I thought I would once again post my reading goals for the year. It’s always fun to think about and to make lists. Some of these goals are repeats or similar from last year, because I really want to continue to stick to these goals this year as well or finally accomplish them if I haven’t in past years.

2020 Goodreads Challenge. I am going to keep it at 60 books for this year as I did last year. I’m in a weird place right now, so I want to make sure I have a good balance between focusing on things happening in my life and reading/blogging. I also barely accomplished 60 books last year (not including audiobooks), so I don’t want to increase it this year. *edit* I decided to change my reading goal to 50 books. I was hit with a reading slump in January and I already felt so much pressure that I wasn’t reading enough, so I’m lowering it to 50 so I can breathe easier. *edit*

Read 25 of my own books. What I mean by this is reading older books I own. Books I buy this year don’t count toward this goal. I struggle a lot with this goal every single year, because new books get released and then I read a lot of library books and ARCs. I am drowning in unread books that I bought years ago. In past years I’ve had this count really high and never reached it, so this year I decided to go with a lower number and making it 25 instead of 40 like I had it last year. I think (hope) I can read 25 of my older books. I read 15 last year, so I think if I really try hard at this then I’ll be able to read 25.

Don’t fall behind on ARCs. I usually do really good with my ARCs at the beginning of the year, but toward the end of the year with the holidays always coming up quick, I always seem to fall behind. This year I also dealt with a lot toward the end of the year with things happening in my life and my mental health. I want to try to figure out a good schedule and work around it, so I don’t fall behind this year. I will say though, I did stay on top of my Netgalley ARCs. I love ARCs, I love to review them, but falling behind totally sucks! It takes all the fun out of it, which is never good.

Continue to buy less books. I’ve been pretty proud of myself with not buying so many books the last couple years. Not that I don’t want them, because I do. There’s so many books that I want, BUT sometimes I buy them and they sit on my bookshelf for years never being read. I have so many older books sitting on my shelves right now that I need to finally read. I’ve been using my library a lot for those new books if I am really dying to read them. Plus, things are going to be pretty tight money wise this year because I lost my job. I need to save as many pennies as I can.

Re-organize my bookshelves and my Goodreads shelves. They are both (real & virtual shelves) kind of a mess and cluttered right now. I want to clean up my Goodreads shelves, because there are so many books added to my “to read” shelf that I probably forgot about and might have lost interest in. My real shelves don’t really have much organization minus keeping paperback/hardcovers together and keeping authors together if the format is the same. I want to organize it better and maybe do some kind of theme/look. And this also brings me to my next goal…

Get rid of books I didn’t like or plan to reread. I didn’t do very great with this goal last year, but I am hoping that I will this year. I have so many books on my bookshelves that lets be real, I probably will never get around to reading or books I never want to reread. I want to sit down and really figure out which ones to keep and which ones I can let go. It’s so hard letting books go, but I know that other people will love to have them and they are just collecting dust on my bookshelf. I also really want to own books I love versus just having a ton of books taking up space that could be used for new books/new favorites.

Get back into bookstagram. I’ve been so back and forth with my bookstagram over the last couple of years. I want to put a lot more focus into starting my account up again. I’ve had fun with it in the past, so I really want to get back into it. I also loved following other accounts and checking out all the new books and bookish items. I haven’t really gone through my bookstagram feed in months, so I am probably missing out on so much! Hopefully I can get some new ideas and start it up again.

Focus more on my blog and new content. It’s not a surprise that the last couple of years haven’t been the greatest as far as blogging goes. I didn’t blog nearly as much as I wanted to, especially in 2019. I want to try to get a blogging schedule going and come up with some new content to include as well. I also want to start sharing my pictures again. I was out of space, but I gained a little extra space after upgrading my blog again. I also really want to try to come up with a more permanent solution for the photo storage situation.

I hope to be around more in 2020! I love having this blog and I love connecting with you. I’ve gained so many new followers and friends in 2019 (I have almost 1700 followers which is pretty big to me), so I am hoping 2020 is even better. I can’t wait to continue our friendships, creating new friendships, and reading all of your posts. 🙂

What are some goals you have for this year? Feel free to link me to your posts if you have one!

I’ll have a 2020 personal goals list coming soon. I don’t think I ever posted one in past years, but I thought it would be fun to do one for this year. Maybe by sharing it, it’ll help me to stay on top of things that I want to accomplish for myself outside of reading/blogging too.

In case you missed it;
2019 Year in Books (Reading Stats).
Wrap Up|| December.
Book Haul|| December.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

2018 Year in Books (Reading Stats).

yearinbooks2018

Hey!

I actually did pretty awesome in 2018! My Goodreads reading challenge was to read 50 books and I was able to complete that goal and read even more than that!

2018readingchallenge

77 books read for challenge.
17 audiobooks listened to.
total books read: 94

The books I read and the audiobooks I listened to brought my total amount of books read in 2018 to 94 books, which is pretty awesome! I even did better than last year by reading and listening to more books. I read 18 more books than I did in 2017 and I listened to 9 more audiobooks than I did in 2017. Crossing my fingers that 2019 is even better!

I didn’t include my audiobooks in my challenge goal at the start of the year, because I wanted to be able to read 50+ books on my own. I did add them to my Goodreads at the end of the year though, so that I can have a list of all the books I read overall for the year in books (below) on Goodreads.

yearinbooks2018-2

I changed up how I rated things in 2018. I decided to not do any half star ratings and I also used the rating system that Goodreads has for their stars.

How Goodreads has it setup:
5 stars – it was amazing
4 stars – I really liked it
3 stars – liked it
2 stars – it was ok
1 star – did not like it

I feel like I used to give three stars out in previous years if I thought it was okay and 2 stars if I didn’t really like it and forgot about 1 star altogether. So in 2018 I tried to use the way Goodreads has their stars when it came to rating books. Here are the star ratings that I had for 2018:

24 – 5 stars
41 – 4 stars
22 – 3 stars
7 – 2 stars
0 – 1 stars

I am pretty happy with the amount of books (and audiobooks) that I listened to and a lot of them were books that I REALLY enjoyed, which is great. I am going to be doing a series of blog posts coming soon of all the books that I read in 2018 with their star ratings. I didn’t keep track of the books that I decided to DNF (did not finish), but this year I am going to keep track of them. I don’t even remember off the top of my head what they were. I know there were a few though. My first post will be all the five star reads of the year and so on. I did it last year and thought it was a fun idea, so I want to do that again. Be on the look out for those! 🙂

How did you do this year with your reading goals? Feel free to link me to your posts!

In case you missed it;
2019 Reading Goals.
Wrap Up|| December.
Book Haul|| December.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

2019 Reading Goals.

readingoals

Happy New Year!

I thought I would once again post my reading goals for the year. It’s always fun to think about and to make lists. A lot of these goals are repeats or similar from last year, because I really want to continue to stick to these goals this year as well.

2019 Goodreads Challenge. I set my goal this year to 60 books. By time September came around, I had already completed my 2018 Goodreads challenge of 50 books. I decided to increase it by ten books for this year. I didn’t want to go too big or too little with my challenge. I don’t want to get too overwhelmed. I think it’s manageable though, because I read (and listened) to over 70 books last year.

Read 40 of my own books. I went through all the books that I read in 2018 and a lot of them were either ARCs or library books. I am drowning in unread books that I own, so I want to try to read at least 40 of my own books. These books will not include any books that I buy in 2019, it will not include any library books I check out, and it will not include any ARCs that I receive. It also didn’t help that the majority of my books are currently packed up. I am hoping by the first few months of 2019 I’ll finally be able to unpack them.

Reading the Alphabet. I did a book tag last year called “My Blog’s Name in Books“. You basically spell your blog’s name out with books on your TBR. It inspired me to do this, but with the alphabet. I have so many older books that I haven’t read and have been collecting dust. I want to read one for every letter of the alphabet and that’s where “Reading the Alphabet” came along. I’ll have a blog post up for that later with all the books I plan to read for each letter. It will also help with my previous goal of reading 40 of my own books. I’ll have a post about this coming soon!

Read more adult books. I read a lot more adult books in 2018 and I want to continue to do so this year as well.  I love YA, I always gravitate more toward YA, but I also enjoy adult books too and I do own quite a few I haven’t read yet. There are also a ton that I don’t own that I want to read as well. Don’t get me wrong, I will still and forever love YA, but it’ll be nice to branch out more. Hopefully I will be able to branch out even more this year with reading more books that aren’t YA. Even more non-fiction would be great too!

Read my unfinished series. I didn’t do very well with this goal last year. I have started a lot of book series over the last four years and haven’t finished them. I want to finish the completed series and catch up to the newest books in the uncompleted series that I’ve started. In the last couple of years I’ve gravitated toward more standalone books, because I feel so guilty starting a new series when I have so many that I haven’t finished yet. So I want to get to more of those, so I can finally start some new series that I’ve been dying to read and have yet to start. I used to read an entire series (if it was an older one and had all or most books out) before I even started a new book/series. I need to do that again, which brings me to my next thing.

Binge read any new series I start. If I start a new book series and it has more than one book out (or all the books), I want to binge all the available books instead of putting them on hold and reading other books. Before I started my blog in 2015, I used to do that like I mentioned above. I never even bought a new book until I finished the one I was currently reading; unless it was a series that I was loving, then I bought all the books and binge read them all. Not going to lie, as much as I love blogging and everyone I’ve met here, it’s kind of changed my reading habits A LOT. Now I’m drowning in unread books and unfinished series.

Continue to buy less books. In 2018 I did a pretty good job with not buying so many books. It was so hard though, OMG. There are so many books out there that I really want and am still dying to get my hands on. I used my library a lot if I was dying to read something that I didn’t have. It helped me with finally reading more of the older books I’ve had on my shelves that I hadn’t read yet and kept neglecting due to buying more and more books every month. So I want to continue to not buy so many new books and continue to read my older books.

Get rid of books I didn’t like or plan to reread. I had this as a goal for 2018 and while it did work out for the most part, I’m sure there are still more books that I can donate/trade. Currently almost all of my books are packed away though, so I know that I won’t be able to accomplish or really work on this goal until toward the end of the year.  I continue to run out of bookshelf space, #bookwormproblems. I want to put an empty box next to my bookshelf (once I buy new shelves, because currently I have none! *cries*), so if I don’t like a book or it was just “okay” and I don’t have any real connection to it, I plan to drop it in the empty box instead of putting it back on my shelf. Once the box is filled, I will donate the books or give them away and continue again. I want to try to own books I REALLY love versus having a ton of books taking up space that could be used for new books.

Don’t fall behind on ARCs. I usually do really good with my ARCs at the beginning of the year, but toward the end of the year with the holidays always coming up quick, I always seem to fall behind. I want to try to figure out a good schedule and work around this, so it doesn’t happen again this year. I also don’t plan to request too many ARCs this year, so that should hopefully help with that as well. I love ARCs, I love to review them, but falling behind totally sucks! It takes all the fun out of it, which is never good.

These are pretty much my main focus for 2019 as far as reading and books go. I also want to have fun with this, so I am not putting any pressure whatsoever, because then that just sucks the fun out of it and I’ll not want to try anymore. I don’t really have any set goals for blogging, because I struggled in 2017 with it becoming a chore rather than fun. I changed it up in 2018 though, so I am going to continue to post the content that I want to post (whether books, photography, travel, etc.) and post when I want to this year as well. I don’t want to feel like I have to or it’ll again not feel fun to me and I may not be around much again. I also have a ton of things happening in 2019 that I haven’t talked about yet, so that may take up some of my time as well. It’s all about balance and I have to find something that works for me.

What are some goals you have for this year? Feel free to link me to your posts if you have one! 

I have a few more blog posts that I am hoping to post over the next week or so. One being my 2018 reading stats and my five star reads of 2018! Be on the look out for those. 🙂

In case you missed it;
Wrap Up|| December.
Book Haul|| December.
Christmas 2018.

I hope you have a great day!

firework