Hello everyone and welcome to today’s 2021 half-year review of my reading progress! I appreciate I’ve been a little quiet over the last week and a half. I have been taking time to spend with my family, in particular my sister who has recently visited the island for the first time in 16 months. Previously she has been unable to due to Covid restrictions.
Somehow, we are at the halfway point in the year. Where the heck has that gone? Regardless of how quickly it seems to have flown, I feel like now is a good time to take a look at my reading progress over the year and review what I would like to do over the next six months.
Half Year Progress
This year is a little peculiar in that I have decided not to set myself a reading goal this year. If you want to find out all the reasons for that, you can find that in my 2021 Reading Resolutions / Goals post. Ultimately, the decision was taken to give me a little bit of breathing room and take a step back, without burning out or dropping everything completely. Naturally, I haven’t read as much as I have in previous years. However, I have been taking the time to engage in more hobbies and learn new things… and I’ve enjoyed doing that!
The other decision I made at the beginning of the year was to read almost exclusively off my TBR. At the beginning of the year, this list was around 200 books long, just over. That is a lot of planned reading and without taking the time to dedicate to this list, I was never going to stand a chance of getting through it! Even now the progress I have made doesn’t seem huge, but it is going in the right direction and I’ll take that as a win! Whilst I haven’t cleared too much off the list, I have been adding to it as well as reading books off it… So I can’t complain too much!
In the last six months, I have read 10 books. To recap, these are the books I have read so far this year: –
This is a lot less than previous years, and part of me is comparing myself to that standard and saying that this isn’t very much. But, another part of me is saying “hang on, this is more than most people read in a year!” Given that my goal for this year was to step back and enjoy some more downtime, I suppose it is better to measure my success by that. I have enjoyed having more time, as well as having the freedom to choose what books I want to read and when. I pick up and read when I want to and not because I feel obliged to.
It’s important to remember that being a successful reader isn’t about the number of books you read. Despite not having read as many this year, I have no lack of content for my blog and it’s given me a little bit of a chance to catch up with the backlog of book reviews. So yes, I’m running at a slight deficit but at the moment that suits me just fine.
Next Half Year Plans
To get that happy medium of reading enough books for content I will probably have to read a little bit more than I am currently, but not too much. I don’t have to read 72 books (my personal-best) to be a successful reader and blogger. I have a blog. I post on it regularly and most importantly of all, I enjoy doing it. Taking the step back has reminded me why I started to do it in the first place – for the love of books and reading. Stats don’t matter. Whether you agree with that or not is entirely up to you. But I stand by that decision and I’m glad that I made that choice at the beginning of the year.
That said, I do want to start reading a little bit more again. I’m never going to push myself to beat my personal best for the stats or bragging rights. That’s a lot of books to read and whilst I enjoyed it at the time, I have definitely come to appreciate the other things I get involved in and having a variety of hobbies at once. To achieve that again I would have to give them up, and I’m not prepared to do that. However, I would like to make reading a bit more of a habit again (because at the moment it really is as and when I fancy). I would like to be a bit more up to speed ready for the beginning of next year and so this is the perfect time to ease myself back in.
At the moment I’m probably picking up a book once a week on average, and maybe listening to an audiobook on a separate occasion – also maybe once a week. Rather than try to boost my reading based on the number of books read, I am instead going to set myself a goal to pick up reading more than one night a week. It doesn’t have to be for very long necessarily, but I want the regularity back, and I think this is the right way to do it. If I happen to read more books by doing that then that’s great, but equally if I end up reading the same number of books (perhaps because I’ve chosen some chunky ones to get through) that’s also fine by me.
So, here is my 2021 Half Year Review and my plans for the next six months. What have you been reading this year?