Thursday, January 01, 2015

New Beginnings

The year of . . . GOING BACK TO BASICS!

GoodReads 2015 Reading Goal???*  NOPE.  NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!  Well, at the moment, that's how I feel about setting ANY reading goals.  I fell behind in February, 2014 and have been stressed out ever since because I couldn't get caught up (finally did in the nick of time with the help of graphic novels!).  Needless to say, it was not a pleasant reading year. :( Why? Why did I put that pressure on myself?  Stupidity.
Self-imposed stress is stupid. 

Because Plan A has been exhausted.  Here is . . . 

"Read whatever I want, whenever I want.  Period."

I think I can live by that.

All those NetGalley ebooks that I request will be read . . . IF I WANT TO!  All the Shelf-Awareness ARCs will be read . . .  IF I WANT TO!  All the unsolicited book offers will be accepted and read . . . IF I WANT TO!  Purchases, gifts, wins, suggestions, and all other books will be read . . . IF I WANT TO!

 There will be NO book that I will allow myself to read other than    . . . IF I WANT TO!

If I only read 25 books (random pick) this whole year, then that's fine with me.  I do not want ANY pressure, just excitement.  I want the joy of choosing and reading a book that I'm drawn to.  Easy peasy.  What a relief!  Who would have thought?

I'll leave you with this:

 There was one tidbit from Nora Ephron's book that has made me think.  Nora mentioned the idea of being "raptured" by books.  I think that is a really great word to describe when one is totally engrossed in a book.  You know, like when everything around you disappears, and you are transported elsewhere.  Then when you're interrupted (never fails!), you have to blink several times or gently shake your head to come back to the present.  What do YOU call that blissful event?  Unfortunately, it hasn't happened in my reading life as often as I would like.  I'm beginning to think that it's just the type of reader I am -- not necessarily the books that I read.  I know some people are lost in every book they pick up and others that read so lightly that nothing truly grabs them.

 What do YOU think?  What's the word(s) you use to describe being swept away in a book?  And . . . do you think it has more to do with the reader or the choice of books?

I hope your 2015 Reading Year is the best it's ever been!

Thoughts of Joy

*ADDENDUM:  I literally just set a GoodReads Reading Challenge Goal.  The reason I did it was because the badge is purple!  Yes, friends, that's the real reason.  : /  However, I made it so there will be NO pressure:  24 books.  I think I can handle reading and/or listening to an average of 2 books a month.  Oh dear.  What have I done?  Kidding.


  1. Happy New Year, Joy! I only read 37 books this year and the number would be much smaller if I hadn't listened to so many audiobooks. I'm trying not to set any goals for 2015, but if I were to change my mind, I'd like to do this each month:

    Read 1 book I've owned for at least 10 years
    Read 1 book I acquired in 2014
    Re-read 1 favorite from my "Keeper" shelves
    Read 1 nonfiction book

    That shouldn't be too difficult, right?

    1. Les ~ Happy New Year!!! :) Audiobooks are the BEST! I still absolutely love reading a book, but audiobooks are so convenient.

      You can modify that plan, if you want. Whenever you pick up a book, you change categories. That way you are reaching all those different books, without the stress of having to read all 4 in a month. Just a thought. I'm all for NO STRESS reading this year. :)

  2. Happy new year Joy!! Welcome to the Whatever, Whenever Club. I did read much more this year but I've stopped caring about numbers and challenges and obligations (I don't even open those Shelf Awareness emails...should just unsubscribe). It's been great not feeling the pressure.

    As for being grabbed by reading. I did lack that in 2014. I'm not sure if it's just being a distracted mother to young ones? Or if it's the books I'm picking? (A lot of it was "meh" book club reads). I miss being GRABBED by a book! Hope we are both able to find some of that in 2015. :)

    Happy new year!!

    1. Trish ~ Happy New Year to you, too! I owe you an email! I want to catch up on quilting with you as well.

      The Whatever, Whenever Club is brilliant! :) Love being it so far. It's so difficult to do (like anything) until you're ready. I was ready.

      I love being grabbed/swept away by a book. I'm already feeling better about my reads being that the pressure has been removed. When I have a sense that it's a "must read", the fun seems to be taken away (different degrees depending on the purpose). I hope this plan solves the "just okay" reads I've been experiencing.

  3. Happy New Year, Joy! I did set a goal on GoodReads. Six books. It'll be tough, but I think I can do it. LOL

    I love that feeling you and Nora describe. Books that take transport me so completely into their pages . . . It does still happen to me. Not as often as I would like. But maybe that's the way it is supposed to be. Or, like you said, the type of readers we are.

    My feeling for a long time has been to read only what I want to. Even when I sign up for book tours, they are always books I really want to read. I think long and hard about them before saying yes--and always because I know I'll be seeking the book out whether I'm reviewing it or not. Same with NetGalley.

    I probably should care more about deadlines than I do, I suppose, but I've gotten over that. I think acknowledging to myself that book blogging is not my top priority in life--or even my second or third--has helped with that. I still love to read and talk about books, of course. That's why I still blog. :-)

    1. Literary Feline ~ Happy, Happy New Year! :) SIX books?!? Love it. LOL

      As best as I can remember, every book I have requested (variety of forms), I have wanted to read. So I didn't choose books just because. I think all those books became a problem when A. There became too many to juggle and B. Deadlines. If I specifically told someone I would read it, I did. If not, I let it go. I didn't always WANT to read a specific book when I needed to. Now, I'm over that, too.

      I mainly blog to keep a simple record of what I read. I've never been a "reviewer" and never wanted to be. However, I do love the book talk.

  4. Excellent goals - do what you want! Although I love how you succumbed to the purple badge.

    As for becoming engrossed in a book? It's part book, part reader. The book writing has to match the way your brain works. Some authors do it; some don't. Also, your real life has to be such that you can let go and get into it, and some months it just doesn't happen. But isn't it the best when it all comes together?
    all the best (books and health and people) to you

    1. Raidergirl3 ~ LOL Purple. How could I pass that up?! :)

      Yes, yes and yes! I agree with your analysis of enjoying books. :) It is the best when it all comes together.

      Happy New Year to you and yours!

  5. Hey, Joy, how have you been? Stopping by to see what you've been up to and say that the whatever I like reading plan is the one for me!

    Seriously, it's nice to reconnect and say happy new year to you. I'm stepping back into the blogging world and would like to invite you to visit my new blog - kay's reading life. I'm excited to talk books again with all you lovely people. I've missed it.

    1. Kay ~ What a delight to see your comment! Not just a comment either, but a new blog?!? Woo! You know I'll be there. I may not comment often (or much at all if I'm realistic, but with my new philosophy this year, maybe I will, who knows?), but will certainly be reading it. YAY! What's your first book? Oh never mind. I'll come by and see for myself. :)

      So glad you are back!

  6. I dialed it back a little bit, too, because no matter how stressful life may get this year, I want reading to remain a comfort and solace.

    1. Susan ~ "Comfort and solace." Amen. :) Happy New Year, Susan!


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Happy Reading!