(SUGGESTED BY JILLIAN @ JILLIAN THE BOOKISH BUTTERFLY) Prompts: The book community is full of consumerism. People want to not just read their favourite books, but own them as well. Sometimes this can get…a little out of hand. How do you control your spending/buying books you don’t have time to read? Does setting a book buying ban work for you? How long do you usually ban yourself for?
(SUGGESTED BY DANI @ LITERARY LION) Prompts: As we enter the new year many of us will be setting goals on Goodreads and choosing new year’s resolutions. What are your goals related to your blog or books/reading in general? Are you going to have resolutions this year, and if not why not?
QUICK RECAP of 2021 goals/resolutions
I’m just gonna come out and say it: I didn’t do a great job of achieving my 2021 goals/resolutions. 🙃 I was so convinced at the start of the year that it would be my year and well, a couple of slumps, weird reading moods, and burnouts later, and that wasn’t the case at all. I felt pretty shoddy about it when I realised just how little I accomplished but after a little internal monologuing, I decided that it’s okay. Of course, I’m disappointed that I didn’t achieve what I set out to do, but I had as much of a rough personal year as a lot of others did—but the high point is: we got through it!
I thought I’d share a review of some of my 2021 goals/resolutions before moving on to 2022:
Read 150 books (GR challenge) – this is the only goal I achieved as I ended up reading 199 books!
Tackle my existing physical shelves (at least 50 books) – yeah, no. this really didn’t end up happening as i participated in a slightly overwhelming number of blog tours last year 😂
Catalogue all my physical/digital books – i didn’t even end up making/downloading a library tracker until january 2022 so… 🙈
Prioritise reading Asian (South/Southeast Asian) authors – i read 13 books by asian authors and considering i read almost 200 books, i didn’t do well with this one!
Read more amazing Middle Grade Fantasy! – i read a few mg fantasies that i really enjoyed but 2021 ended up being the year of romance, and i think 2022 is going to follow suit.
Grow my blog to 800 followers – sadly, i didn’t achieve this and have been in 700 followers limbo for the past 8 months but i’m honestly just happy to have a few regular readers who engage with me, especially after posting so erratically in 2021
Read more non-fiction (at least 4 books) – nope. non-fiction stood no chance 🥲
IS THERE HOPE FOR MY 2022 READING GOALS?
Oof, that recap was a little more painful than I anticipated (😮💨) but I’m not gonna let that stop me from trying again in 2022! I also know myself and I’ve never been very good at sticking to resolutions or slaying goals. I’ve always kind of taken things as they come and just going with whatever flow I’m on, but I also like having a general idea of where I’m heading and what I want to work towards. All that to say, I’ll have these goals but I’ll try not to take them too seriously? It’s chaotic but we’re rolling with it, ok? 🤓
THE 2022 READING/BLOGGING GOALS
I’m gonna keep it pretty simple this year and include one or two ideas that I’ve been thinking about doing for the past year and I’m pretty excited about it, so hopefully, that means it’ll happen! 😂
Read 50 backlist titles – Because I really want to focus on getting the backlist read this year!
Complete the 2022 Popsugar Reading Challenge – I’m trying. Again. Maybe 2022 is the year I’ll finally complete it 😂 why not be ambitious, right?
Fill in my Library Tracker – I’m starting with recording my ebooks and then I’ll move onto my physical books!
Grow my blog to 800 followers – why not be a little more ambitious, eh?
Start my Re-read Project – I had this idea to re-read some of the books that I rated 4-5 stars before I started my book blog. I’d love to see whether I still feel the same way about them and I want to give them actual reviews this time! I hope to at least read 2-3 series or ~10 books.
That’s it for my 2022 reading and blogging goals! Do you set yearly goals for reading and blogging? Do you find setting goals helpful or is it just pressure you don’t need?
I also started watching my fair share of booktube this year and these three were my favourites:
Favourite post you wrote in 2021?
I’m not usually good at boosting my own stuff? But there were a few posts that I really enjoyed making and two reviews that I’m particularly proud of, even though they’re a bit lot on the long, I couldn’t help gushing about the books because I loved them *so much*!
I didn’t take a lot of bookish-related photos this year but I did do a book look for my stop on the Cast in Firelight blog tour, a photo of my newly reorganised bookshelf (that didn’t last long lol) and another photo of one of the (very) few hauls I did this year!
Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, etc.)?
There were none this year (but are there ever any events? no… lol) 🥲
Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2021?
I don’t know if I can really say whether I had a “best” moment because my blogging and reading life felt pretty low-key in 2021. I guess one of the best moments I felt was when I came back from my extended hiatus to find that there were still people following my blog? 😂 I still feel the imposter syndrome pretty often, especially when things felt really tough this year, but yeah… I’m just thankful for all of you who engage with this weird third-culture kid across the sea! ❤️
Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
Oof, I’ve said it a million times already but this year was a weird one and I felt it on both the blogging and reading front. I planned to take a short break early on in the year which then turned into a several-month-long hiatus which I apparently really needed! It wasn’t a smooth journey diving back into blogging but I found my groove again after a while. I still question why I’m producing anything at times because my engagements weren’t what they were before, but I love this community and I’m still glad to be here. In terms of reading, I was stuck with a weird reading mood that didn’t disappear until… well, it didn’t really disappear all year! 😂 While I’d normally read a pretty balanced mix of fantasies and romances, I could hardly focus on anything except the latter all year and without them, I probably would’ve read next to nothing in 2021. 🙈 I’m planning to try reintroducing more fantasy into my life this year but if not, I’m totally okay with mainly reading romances!
Most popular post this year on your blog (whether it be by comments or views?)
As with every year so far, my reviews always get the lowest views out of all the posts on my blog. I’m also sure that because I took an extended hiatus this year, my stats dropped considerably but again, I’m just glad that anyone stuck around. ❤️
Best bookish discovery (book-related sites, bookstores, etc.)?
I gotta be honest, I didn’t really discover any new book-related sites or bookstores this year because I didn’t really do much retail therapy (surprisingly!) and outside of work, I spent very little time online and engaging. 🙈 Boring, I know!
Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Well, I can say with certainty that I didn’t reach many of the reading/blogging goals I set for myself this year. Some of the reasons for why were out of my control and the others… Well, it just didn’t happen and that’s fine! The one goal that I did surpass was my Goodreads Reading Challenge. I set my goal for 150 books in 2021 and I ended up reading 199 (welp, that one to 200 😂). I’m happy I at least did that!
One book you didn’t get to in 2021 but will be your number 1 priority in 2022?
I’ve technically been reading She Who Became the Sun for… A long time now. It’s been on my “currently reading” list since I picked it up mid-year and I’m disappointed that I haven’t finished it yet but as I’ve mentioned, I really struggled with fantasy last year. I’m definitely going to prioritise it this year and I do hope I love it as much as everyone else seemed to!
Book you are most anticipating for 2022 (non-debut)?
Ooh, there’s not just one book I’m highly anticipating! I’ve just made a list of ten but here are ten more that I’m really looking forward to this year:
2022 debut you are most anticipating?
A Magic Steeped in Poison isn’t my most anticipated debut because it has the most gorgeous cover but it definitely doesn’t hurt! 😂
Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2022?
I’m really looking forward to reading Bound by Firelight, the second and final book in the Wickery duology.
One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2022?
I wrote last year that I wanted to spend more time engaging in the book community and sadly, I didn’t do as much as I’d like. So I think I’m going to keep this goal the same! I hope to be more active in the book community and engage with more amazing book lovers!
A 2022 release you’ve already read & recommend to everyone (if applicable)
I’ve only read two 2022 releases (I’m so behind please don’t judge) and one I didn’t quite enjoy and the other I absolutely loved but haven’t gushed much about yet.
If you’re looking for a sweet and adorable graphic novel to read this year I’d highly recommend Chef’s Kiss! It’s got great friendships, realistic and relatable adulting situations post-uni life, and a very sweet MM romance. Not to mention all the food!
And that’s a wrap on 2021, folks!
So, that’s the last bit of the End of Year Survey. I actually feel like there are maybe some things that I haven’t reflected on yet in this wrap-up—mostly to do with my 2021 goals—but that’s OK. Maybe I’ll do a separate post for that. I can’t believe 2021 is already over and we’ve started another new year, sadly with the same circumstances. That said, I hope 2022 gets better and is kinder to all of us!
How was your year of reading and blogging in 2021? What was your best blogging or book-related moment? Is there anything that you’re really looking forward to or something you really want to achieve in 2022?