Compared to previous years, my reading and blogging journey has been completely different. In my 2021 Reading Resolutions/Goals post I outlined my intentions to take a very relaxed approach. And that I did. I’ve enjoyed taking the time to enjoy reading and get back into it as a hobby rather than a habit. I’ve also been taking the time to expand my skills in other hobbies, and even take up new ones. It has been time well spent, and upon reflection I’m happy that I made that choice. I needed the break.
If I’m entirely honest I burned myself out in 2019. I’m proud that I managed to read as many books as I did (72), but the timing of it wasn’t ideal. That same year I started studying for a professional qualification, and I was also dealing with some neighbour issues at home that ultimately resulted in me moving in 2020 in the middle of a pandemic. That’s was a whole new kettle of fish of stress, but again, it has been worth it in the long run.
Now you have the context you can probably understand why I needed to take a step back. But equally, I’m ready to start challenging myself again and get back into a routine of reading more regularly. If this year has proven anything to me is that I need a little bit of structure. I still did reasonably well and have probably read more than the vast majority of people despite this, but I’m ready to read more again. If you want to find out what my plans are in order to make this happen then you will find this outlined in my 2022 resolutions and goals post being published tomorrow.
But now, it’s time to recap the goals I set myself in 2021 and share with you how I got on!
In my 2021 reading resolutions/goals post I didn’t set myself a Goodreads Challenge for the first time in six years. It was strange and yet liberating at the same time. The point of this was to not feel like I was forced to read and it certainly worked! If anything I’d say it worked a little bit too well because my motivation to read did drop quite a lot. Whether that was because of the circumstances or because I didn’t have a regular reminder that I was on track or not, I couldn’t say.
That’s not to say I’ve done badly however. Having removed all the structure and pressures to read I have still managed to read 22 books this year. That’s still a decent number and that’s not even counting the 4 books that I started and decided to not finish as well. It’s reasonable and given that the point was to step back and take a break I think it’s fair to say I still managed that whilst still enjoying reading as a hobby.
Here is a list of the books I managed to read in 2021: –
- A Remedy in Time
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- The Toll
- The Book Thief
- Fire and Blood
- You Are Not So Smart
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Shadow and Bone
- The Cockroach
- A Clash of Kings
- The Taking of Annie Thorne
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Consistent Creative Content
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
- Red Rising
- Million Eyes II: The Unraveller
- The Warden
- Traitor’s Blade
As well as the above I’m ending the year with partial progress on The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. This was loaned to me by my sister’s boyfriend Chris, and I was hoping to have this read by Christmas. However, this hasn’t happened. Sorry Chris, I’ll have to get this back to you next time you visit!
One of the goals I set myself at the beginning of last year was to try and chip away at the old books on my TBR and to try and clear some of the backlog. Given that I haven’t read anywhere near as much as I usually do it’s obvious to say that I haven’t made as much of a dent in the list as in previous years. I did however make an effort and I did read some of the older items on my list. I’ve also been doing the shelf control series and whittling down that list in that way; as and when I have a come across a book that I no longer wish to read I have take it off the list.
Combining both of these efforts I’m happy that I made some progress towards this goal. Needless to say I still have a long way to go and the list is always growing (although this year I have managed to maintain it at around the same level).
At the beginning of the year I decided that I wasn’t really going to take on review requests in 2021. I knew that I was going to be reading a lot less than usual and along the lines of not signing up for the good rates challenge, I didn’t want to commit myself particularly. I have however read some amazing books as a result of requests and so I set myself the rule that I was only going to take them on if I really wanted to read them… say, if I had already worked with an author and started a series.
I ended up reading five books as part of blog tours over the course of the year. The first of those was A Remedy in Time and I had already committed to it prior to setting my goals for the year. I then took part in a couple of blog tours in July and another two in November. All the books were written by authors I had read previously; only one of the five didn’t follow on a series I had already started. I enjoyed taking part in the block doors however some of the timing wasn’t great as they were very close together. If I take anything forward into 2022 it’s to try and space out any commitments if I take them on.
Re-read Harry Potter
Whilst I didn’t manage to re-read the entire Harry Potter series this year, I have managed to read five out of the seven books. To my mind there has been a nice mix of picking these up but also reading others so that I benefitted from variety. The last two books are fairly substantial in size but as I found with reading the series to date, they are really easy to pick up. I may not have finished this in 2021 but I will be carrying these last two books forward and reading them in 2022. I’ve gotten this far, so I’m not giving up the re-read now!
All in all I’m happy with the progress I made this year. I’ve given myself the break I needed whilst taking part and reading things that I loved. My real emphasis for 2021 was to get back to the love of reading and back to my grassroots which I’m satisfied I’ve done. I’ve also given myself the energy to get back into reading and blogging more. The batteries have been recharged so to speak, and I’m ready for taking on a bit more in 2022. If you want to find out what my plans are then check out my blog tomorrow as I will be sharing my new year resolutions and goals for the year ahead.
How many books did you read in 2021? Have you read any of the books I picked up? Let me know in the comments!