Top Ten Tuesday: My Bookish Resolutions for 2018

January 16, 2018 Christian, Top Ten Tuesday 72

Happy Tuesday! Today we kick off a new Top Ten Tuesday era by moving the linkup over to That Artsy Reader Girl! And a good way to begin is by setting some goals. Some bookish goals, to be precise.

I do set a reading goal for the Goodreads challenge every year but I don’t stress over it. It’s more of an easy way for me to keep up with all the books I’ve read at the end of the year when those whimper-inducing ‘faves lists’ are due. But that’s all I do as far as numbers are concerned, so this list is more idea-oriented than numbers-driven.

Without further delay … behold, my bookish resolutions for 2018.

1. Tackle my TBR pile/reading backlist

Image Source: Pinterest

I really could just stop here because, while the other goals are not in any particular order, this is my numero uno goal for 2018. It’s so out of control, y’all. The books I committed to review and haven’t yet… The books I’ve heard about and haven’t made it past marking ‘want to read’ on Goodreads…. The books I’ve had on my radar for way too long… This year. They will be read. Or I’ll die trying 😉

 

2. Read the dang Lunar Chronicles, for the love.

I think this series has showed up on my bookish resolutions list for the last two years. There is just no excuse (except books and life) for not reading them yet. A creative, unique take on fairy tales that will stretch me a little (not a fan of scifi)? And those gorgeous covers!! This year. They will be read. Or I’ll die trying (does that sound familiar? I think I’ve read that somewhere… oh. wait.)

3. Read more of my ‘first choice’ books.

One of the pitfalls of book blogging is that you can become inundated with more review requests than you will ever read in one lifetime. And, because my ultimate goal is always to encourage authors and promote their books, I end up overbooking myself and then I don’t get to read the books I really want to read. Don’t get me wrong – I never read a book I don’t want to read but just like there are different layers of ‘favorites’ there are different levels of book-read-wanting. (I don’t know what to call that lol) I’m so woefully behind on several series, several authors, and my fave genre: mystery/suspense. So this year I want to make time to read the books that make my heart happy just by looking at the cover or the author or the book blurb.

4. Learn to say ‘no’.

This goes along with #3. The only way I’m going to make time to read the books I really want to read is to say no to some of the ‘I think I want to read that’ books that come across my radar. Or at least say ‘no for now’ (see? I’m waffling already lol). I hate turning authors & blog tours away but it just needs to be done sometimes. And Netgalley… you are a temptress. That is all.

5. Read more diverse voices.

If we only surround ourselves with people who look like us, sound like us and believe like us, we are missing out on some of life’s greatest blessings. In November, I had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Theon Hill speak about diversity in fiction. What he said has really stuck with me, especially this: “We engage diversity because God has already embraced it in eternity.” The problems with prejudice in my country will never truly be resolved on Capitol Hill; rather, the tide will turn when we learn to listen to each other’s hearts. And that won’t happen if we only surround ourselves with books by people who look like us, sound like us and believe like us with characters who also look like us, sound like us and believe like us.

6. Start a podcast.

Several people have asked me to do this but, until just a couple of weeks ago, I had no inspiration at all for what that would look like in reality. I can’t say much more right now, but keep an eye here and on my social media accounts for more info. I think it’s going to be really fun!

7. Try to figure out how to bookstagram.

Image Source: Finding Wonderland

Like a podcast, this will seriously stretch my creativity. I am just not artistically oriented at all. Like… not at all. What i envision in my head is not what ends up coming to be, so up til now I’ve just given up on trying to bookstagram pretty book pics. I would love to figure out a way to have my cake and eat it too – be able to do pretty book photos without stressing myself out. (And also … to have cake and eat it, if we’re being honest.) Umm…don’t hold your breath waiting for this to happen, though. It’s low on my priority list lol.

8. Get my reading room/library put together.

Image Source: Pinterest

I’ve had plans to turn our home office into a reading room/library for over a year now. One problem is that our home office has mainly been used as a storage room for a couple of years… the other, related, problem is that our weekends get busy quickly and suddenly our well-intentioned plans to work on it fall by the wayside. But… I’m determined to do it soon. I can’t wait to get it all set up and show you pics!

9. Kondo my book collection.

Have you heard of Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up? I haven’t read it yet but I’ve read several articles & blog posts from people who have put the book into practice. One of the things they all seem to reference is the concept of joy in relation to decluttering. Mainly, if something doesn’t bring you joy, donate it or throw it out. The stacks of books in my house (and my broken toe, thanks to a bin of books to read) tell me I really need to apply this to my books too. If I haven’t read it, obviously it stays. But of the books I did read… did they bring me joy? Do they bring me joy when I see them on my shelves (or in a ‘decorative’ stack on the floor lol). If not, I’m going to pass them along.

10. Live in the Word.

Image source: Pinterest

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, one of England’s best-known preachers, is quoted as saying, “Visit many good books but live in the Bible.” More than anything else this year… even if I never get caught up on my backlist TBR pile… even if I still don’t get those Lunar Chronicles read… even if my office is a storage room forevermore… I want to saturate myself with God’s Word. Last year was a tough, tough year on my soul. It needs a renewal, the kind that only Jesus can provide. And the best way to start is to dive into the Bible and meditate on it throughout each day. I’m excited to see what He will teach me this year 🙂

What about you? Which bookish resolutions do we share? 

Carrie

72 Responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: My Bookish Resolutions for 2018”

  1. Rissi

    I SO want to start reading more books off my shelf instead of *just* the books I sign up/want to review. I do seem to go in cycles of this when I’ll do really well and other times… not so much. This year hasn’t started out good at all for reading but I’m hopeful that will change as the time goes on.

    Saying no isn’t easy, but I feel like I’ve been able to do this the longer I’ve blogged. I’m slowly (and continuing to) learn that I don’t need to – nor CAN I, review everything. I’m open to new genres, but overall, I know what I like and that’s what I stick with because there’s nothing worse than “forcing” yourself though a book.

    …fortunately, NetGalley formats too oddly on my reader, so I steer clear of it. 😉

    PS: Thanks so much for the Wishful Wonder image feature. If you ever do join a bookstgarm challenge, you’d always be welcome. 🙂

  2. Carolyn Miller

    Love this (& loved seeing Australia Day for January 26 on that Bookstagram image!)
    Sorting out my office is an ongoing dilemma (sigh), but I do feel so much better when it’s done.
    Love #10, living in the Word is such a great challenge, isn’t it, to be immersed in God’s words. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Gloria

    I have learned to delete books from my wishlist on Amazon if they are on there too long. After all, my Kindle is slap full! I do want to read my Bible more also and am really interested in bullet journaling to get more organized. Great post!

    • Carrie

      I have heard a lot of good things about bullet journaling… i’m just afraid i would get too OCD with it and end up more stressed LOL

  4. Andi

    Fabulous resolutions! I mention you in mine. 😉
    Definitely 3 & 4. I really need to do more of reading my first choice and use my library for the others. Very much, Yes to Netgalley being a temptress! I’ve tried some of the bookstagram challenges but I just forget about them. Lol
    We have a closet in our office that would be a perfect reading nook and my daughter has agreed to help me with it.
    Okay! I’m exhausted just thinking about all of this! Hugs!

    • Carrie

      LOL! I’ll go check out your post in a few minutes – thanks for the shoutout 🙂

  5. Lynn

    Learn to say ‘no’ is probably something that more of us need to do more often. I have such a fear of missing books that it’s difficult – which is silly really because the books will still be there at a later date won’t they.
    Lynn 😀

  6. Caryl Kane

    Love this post, Carrie! There several series that I want to read. I’m also going to concentrate on my TBR. I’m already in the habit of passing along books that didn’t impact me.

    • Carrie

      that’s a good habit to have… though… i feel i must remind us all… it’s not hoarding if it’s books! 😉

  7. Beckie Burnham

    Your list resembles mine in a lot of ways. Let me know how saying no worked for you! 😉 That is my biggest weakness as evidenced by the backlog of review books sitting around my house. I have tried the bookstagram challenges, but like you I am artistically-challenged. It was fun though. I can’t wait for your podcast magic! Sounds wonderful.

  8. Debra E. Marvin

    We need to spread out the work load. Maybe more group reviewer blogs? Carrie it looks like you are making more work for yourself, though. Podcasts would be awesome. Bookstagram looks like a lot of work.

    I worry about burn out of all my favorite book bloggers! You are in high demand for output, so take care of yourselves!!

    More, bigger, better wears us all out.

    • Carrie

      yeah… i think Bookstagram will be on my resolutions list for a long time LOL.

      And I think a lot of us were really burned out by the end of last year – so many great books to keep up with but sometimes it all overwhelms. We’re holding each other more accountable this year to REST and moderation. 🙂

  9. Tracey Hagwood

    My first goal is the same as yours (and Spurgeon’s)
    1)Live in the Word!
    2)Read at least one new author each month
    3)Read one book on my backlist each month
    4)I’d like to redo my office/reading room
    5)Write a review for a finished book before starting another book-so hard!

    Wishing you much success on that Top Ten Carrie!

    • Carrie

      Wishing you success on your goals, Tracey! I love #2 and #3 – a great plan!

  10. Rebecca Maney

    Oh, my! What a list! I can only imagine . . . . oh wait, I really cannot. Even on my small scale, I over commit, and so I am trying to limit what I say I will do and spend more time in the reading arenas that I love.

    And, I want to re-read my favorites more often this year. So hard to do when so many new titles are popping up!

  11. Marylin Furumasu

    Oh Carrie,
    I really like your list. It looks a lot like one I would have if I had one.
    I think first and foremost I will always put my reading God’s Word and time with Him first, but those novels call so loudly. UGH!
    I hope your reading goals this year will be easy to follow. Good luck on that TBR mountain!
    Take care and may God richly bless you this year!

    • Carrie

      Thank you, sweet Marilyn! Yes, those novels can be pretty insistent, can’t they? lol

  12. Evangeline

    I greatly enjoyed your blog. There were a couple of quotes that really spoke to me this morning: “The problems with prejudice in my country will never truly be resolved on Capitol Hill; rather, the tide will turn when we learn to listen to each other’s hearts.” Praying that God will help me to truly listen with my heart to those I encounter this year. And this one: Charles Haddon Spurgeon, one of England’s best-known preachers, is quoted as saying, “Visit many good books but live in the Bible.” I am an avid reader, but I want to spend more time in the Word than in other books. Thank you for sharing. Blessings!

  13. Michelle Lunsford

    Some great goals there, Carrie. I too have been feeling challenged to read more diverse voices, as well as pushing myself to read more outside my favorite, go-to genres. My TBR pile also needs to be tackled with a bit more fervor than I’ve been directing toward it lately. Or at least finding a better balance between reading what’s already in the TBR stacks along with adding ever more titles and purchasing new books.

    Number 10 is a great one and, I think, for Christians one we can always work on. If you are one of those who likes to consider reading plans, I’ve found this resource helpful: https://www.ligonier.org/blog/bible-reading-plans – Lots of different options, with a variety of “programs” to tackle building up the scripture reading discipline. No matter what reading focus you opt for when it comes to the Bible, I’ll share the advice of which I must often remind myself… spending time in scripture is as much (if not more) about spending time with God than the actual time spent in the text. Like all good conversations with the best of friends, it can wax and wane, be light or intense, and ultimately strengthens our relationship and helps make us a better person. The important thing is that we share the conversations. 🙂

    Good luck in tackling these in 2018.

  14. Lindsay

    These are great goals! Especially number 10! I admit I’ve had a hard time with setting a daily Bible routine before, but the past 6 months I’ve been doing a lot better. I now get the daily Mass Bible readings sent to my email, and they arrive at 5AM, so I can read them as soon as I get up, which is a wonderful way to start the day. 🙂

    Yes, read the Lunar Chronicles!! I’ve never been a fan of sci-fi, but I absolutely love that series, and think it is a my favorite fairy tale retelling series ever!! 😀

  15. Paula S.

    Carrie, Carrie, Carrie! Lists,lists, lists! Finding my lists all over the place but are they checked off? I think I’m just making more paper for the landfill! I think I over challenged myself last year, meaning book challenges. They are fun but are they getting in the way of the books I REALLY want to read? Same thing with review/ influencer teams. I must be more selective, ( she says as she counts 5 already this year!) I have a notebook for my challenges to keep them all straight even though they are all on goodreads. I have a notebook for reviews— try to review the one I just read before going on to the next— only have three or four that I am “ currently reading” at the same time— LOL. And another notebook for the influencers teams. Then two notebooks with authors and their books in publication order, which I should be marking the ones I’ve read! I’m organized to a Point then it all goes! Where is the time to read all those marvelous new books? I’m leaving series unfinished —boo hoo! Oh I know, I’ll make another list of what I want to read this year— as if my piles on my bookshelves aren’t staring me in the face! And don’t even get me started on my kindle books. Hubby knows to ask each evening” got any books today? “ but hey they’re usually free ones!
    “ Get off the iPad “ is something he says , too! Bye bye! Blessings need to go do my devotional.

  16. Susan (Bloggin' 'bout Books)

    You know, it’s funny how I have hours and hours to spend on a good novel, but so little time for daily scripture reading/study. You’re right — that’s very backward thinking! Thanks for the reminder.

    Happy TTT!

  17. emilee

    I love Bookstagram and would love to see you get involved. 1, 7 and 10 are the ones we have in common. I don’t enjoy futeristic/scifi either and I don’t plan to start now. I will try to be a little more diverse and get out of my genre comfort zone. Happy reading Carrie!

  18. Jeanne B.

    # 2 – I still have “Cinder” on my shelf from last year. # 9 – Oops. Just added another book to my TBR pile. And # 10. Makes everything else fall into place.

  19. Melissa

    2 the best ways to tackle your TRL is:

    #1 Have a Kindle subscription

    #2 Get a residential library card from your state library system (I currently have a NY public library system card and I get many ebooks and audiobooks that way without having to travel there. They sent the card in the mail. They only asked for copy of my NY driver’s license. A state held library card works for only residents of that state.

    • Carrie

      my problem is that I have too many books already sitting here and on my Kindle, begging to be read and I’m so far behind! lol.

  20. Martha T.

    The first goal you mentioned,reading several books out of your TBR pile ,is mine too! Maybe it will actually happen!😀

  21. Valerie S

    I am THRILLED you’re planning to start a podcast! This is the best bookish news I’ve heard all year. You’ll be excellent!

  22. Linda K. Rodante

    Wow! Now that is a to-do list! Just writing it would tire me out! 🙂 Which is why I only write and don’t do all the stuff you do. But #10 and #5 are on my heart too (as well as a number of the others, but…) Number 10–The Bible is my all time favorite book and the one with the purpose and love and reality we all need and want. Even with knowing it and loving it, I have to purpose to put it first place each day. Number 5 is something Toni Shiloh challenged me with (and many other authors) this year. Diversity! Having diversity in our books (Her Diversity Between the Pages is fb group). My last book, Pursued, was written with that challenge in mind! And hopefully going forward I will remember it.

  23. Winnie Thomas

    I’m going to save time and just use yours, but I’m leaving off #2, #6, and probably Bookstagram, since I’m so technologically challenged it would probably take all year for me to figure it out.

    I might have to cut a couple more out and just have a Top Five list. That sounds more doable for me.

  24. Jocelyn

    I like your last resolution. Last year I read a lot of books, mostly fiction, as they are my “take me away” therapy. But this year, I too want to read more of my Bible and saturate in God’s word. Thanks for the very best resolution.

  25. Mikal Dawn

    #10. Yes. Oh, so many yeses. I love God’s Word, I love living in it, and I love learning more about Him through His Word. I *adore* fiction, and spend many hours with some incredible friends (with the real people vicariously through their creations, and their creations themselves), but there is nothing better than spending time with my Saviour.

    Also, YES TO THE LIBRARY ROOM. I’ve tried talking the husband into turning our dining room into one, but something about loving company and friends and playing board games with them at the table, blah blah blah. 😉

    • Carrie

      “there is nothing better than spending time with my Saviour” – YES!

      And what you need is a room that can transform at the push of a button. No company in sight? LIBRARY ROOM. Peopling required? DINING ROOM. 😀 lol

  26. Sarah

    We can read the Lunar Chronicles together. I am currently 1/2 way through book 2.

  27. Yvette

    I was mentally “yep”-ing to most of these, though it was a “yep, you should” about The Lunar Chronicles! I’d love to re-read them, but I have stacks of books that have been waiting too long for their first read…sigh.

    Good luck with the book purge and I’ll be on the look out for that podcast announcement 😀

  28. Katie// Girl About Library

    I really enjoy your thoughts on reading more of your first choice books and also relate to that situation. I find myself frequently thinking, oh well as soon as I read x book that everyone has been raving about, I’ll read this other book that I’ve had on my TBR list for years. Both are books that I’m excited about, but when everyone is hyping the new release, it is hard to focus on books that really interest you.

  29. Charlie

    I totally understand what you mean about layers of favorites. I do the SAME thing. I have so many books I was sent to review that I said I would hanging around in my Carousel on my Kindle to get to at some point. Good luck with your goals!

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