Thinking about New Year’s Resolutions and Book Blogging

Bella's Garden

Bella’s Garden

Because what else would I think about when coming up with resolutions? Reading, writing, prayer. Those are my priorities behind which diet and exercise are so far at the back of the pack they can’t even be seen.

This year I didn’t keep a reading log. I don’t even remember why I let it slide, but I did. And I regret it. I have only the vaguest idea of what I read this year. When a friend asked for our suggestions of our favorite reads of the year to add to her reading list for the coming year, I drew a blank.

In the past I’ve really enjoyed the discipline of keeping a reading log, sharing what I’m reading here on the blog, and jotting down a few notes about what I like and don’t like. It’s been fruitful and I think I read more books and am more thoughtful about what I read when I’m writing about it regularly.

So my resolution for this year is to get back into the groove of having a monthly reading log post, just jotting down what I’ve read each month makes me more thoughtful about what I read and how I read. For me setting goals about numbers of books I plan to read or making lists of books I want to read seems to be a fairly useless exercise. I’m not motivated by that kind of goal setting. But I would like to read more, and to be more deliberate about what I’m reading. So here’s to keeping a reading log in the coming year.

I have a few other goals. Goals for writing, goals for homeschooling. But it seems I’m not quite ready to write about those in public right now. So I think I’ll just leave it at this. One goal that I can achieve with a minimum of stress.

What are your goals for the coming year? Do you have any must-read books? Any things you really want to write?

6 Responses to Thinking about New Year’s Resolutions and Book Blogging

  1. Angela January 1, 2015 at 9:14 am #

    Goodreads really has made it a lot easier for me to keep track of my reading. Of course, it also makes it a little too easy to add books to my TBR list… which is probably not great for my budget. But it’s fun.

    • Melanie Bettinelli January 2, 2015 at 12:16 am #

      I think you’re about the fifth person to mention Goodreads to me in the last couple of days. I have a Goodreads account and I’ve tried to use it, but it just doesn’t work for me for some reason. I’m not even sure why. Maybe I just feel too spread out over the internet. A blog and Facebook is about all I can keep up with. And I’d really rather be able to drop Facebook and just have the blog. I like having my stuff all in one place. I like the booklists here on my blog, which feels like my space, my virtual home. Having book lists on Goodreads just doesn’t seem real to me somehow. Like storing my personal library in someone else’s house. I’m so glad it works for everyone else, and I sort of feel like I’m missing out on something by not really using it. But I do think that blog lists are my cup of tea.

  2. Kyra January 1, 2015 at 11:35 am #

    i have Guns, Germs, and Steel looming at me, and I think I should probably read it. I’m hoping to really start reading Tolkien aloud this year, but I’m thinking it might still be too old. A reading log is a really good idea- I’ve always loved it when I’ve managed to keep one, which hasn’t been in several years.

    I’d like to write a few more thoughtful blog posts, and carve out a bit more time for writing generally. It tends to be pretty slapdash and smashed into moments when I only have one child shouting at me, instead of all of them. But I’d like to have more writing I’ve actually put thought into.

    Oh! I was meaning to ask which set of Narnia CDs you have, because I’m thinking about getting them for Nathaniel for his birthday.

    • Melanie Bettinelli January 2, 2015 at 12:27 am #

      Dom read The Hobbit to Bella but the other kids mostly didn’t listen. Just bits and pieces here and there. I keep wondering if I shouldn’t dive into LOTR, but I think it would be too soon. Maybe next year I’ll read The Hobbit to everyone else and then see where we go from there. I don’t know when the timing will be right for it, but it seems like somehow I just know and we do it. I have a weird thing about holding back my favorite books until I’m sure they will get a good reception. I just can’t bear the thought of trying to introduce them too early and having the kids dislike them. I want my favorites to make a good first impression, to be loved at first sight. I don’t want to risk them being not a favorite. So I guess this is another area where I tend to lean to better late than too early.

      I think I want to read at least one substantial classic. I tried Les Miserable in 2014 and it didn’t take. But the year before I read Middlemarch and the year before that The Brothers Karamazov. I like the idea of staying in the groove as a somewhat serious reader. Maybe Moby Dick. It keeps coming up in conversation and I really liked it the first time.

      And I’ve been thinking of re-reading Dorothy Dunnet’s Lymond Chronicles. Therese just re-read them and has been chatting at me about them. The thing is if I do read them I know I’ll want to do some substantial blogging about them. So I have to decide if I’m ready for the commitment.

      Maybe we should have a monthly book log link up to encourage us all to post our reading lists? (Did I really just volunteer to host a second link up?)

      I waver between committing myself to more writing and committing myself to more sleep. The fact is when I write it tends to be late at night after everyone is in bed. And I stay up far too late and school work and housework suffer. But I do need it. It’s a hard balance to achieve.

      I have the lovely unabridged set that’s read by a bunch of British actors, a different one for each book. Patrick Stewart does The Last Battle and I think it’s my favorite. Kenneth Branagh reads The Magician’s Nephew. They’re really fabulous and the kids love them. Here’ I’ll go find the link for you: The Chronicles of Narnia Complete 7 Volume CD Box Set (Unabridged)

  3. Katherine January 1, 2015 at 4:37 pm #

    I had been decent about keeping a list of what I read until May. And then I spent about 5 weeks reading a bunch of books I didn’t want a particular person curious why I was reading them, hence I couldn’t list them. Then we drove to Florida for the wedding. Then we had to pack and move and… well, I just never got back to it. I’m hoping to be better about reading this year and writing it down. I have been better since we moved in and unpacked my books, but by october it seemed silly to pick back up on my year list from April. So, new year! I have other goals, but that will be its own blog post….(wouldn’t want to write the whole novella here. 🙂 )

    • Melanie Bettinelli January 2, 2015 at 12:29 am #

      Katherine, you have had such an amazingly busy year with a new baby and moving and all. I can well believe you have been too busy to keep up! I think once you get out of the rhythm it’s so hard to get back into the groove again. But here’s to new years and the chance to start all over again!

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