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Topic: Reading Goals and Resolutions

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Subject: Reading Goals and Resolutions
Date Posted: 1/24/2011 5:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,597
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It's January again--a time for new beginnings and fresh starts and all that. Did anyone make any 'reading resolutions' or formulate any goals for your reading for this year? I usually don't...just read what I want when I want and let the chips fall where they may. But this year, I did make a resolution. I'm posting it here because I need some accountability. I know some of you will be surprised at this one, but...

My 2011 Resolution is not to buy ANY books during 2011...that is to say, not to purchase books with money. (PBS trading is fine...otherwise, there is NO WAY I could do this! LOL) It's going to be a real challenge to a bookaholic like me. Mind you, since I joined PBS five years ago, the amount of actual money I spend on books has gone WAY down as it is. I used to spend a couple hundred dollars a month on books, easily. The library system where I lived sucked too.

But now...I live in a city with a great library system, and I have PBS. So...I can do this! I really need to just STOP acquiring more books when I have enough (unread) books here to read for the next 3-4 years even if I never acquire another book. (I usually read about 200 books/year.) It's just silly. Plus, there is a chance we'll be moving to a smaller apartment in about a year and I just won't have room for all these books. So...I'll be pointedly ignoring information about book sales, free shipping at Bookcloseouts and any other book buying info. For my own good. LOL

How about you guys? Have you made any Reading Resolutions? I know January is almost over, but...

Cheryl

Date Posted: 1/24/2011 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Good luck Cheryl!  I don't know if I could do that!!  It's mighty hard for me to pass up a used book store...and then there's Amazon...

My resolution or I guess it's more of a goal is to read 100 books in 2011.  This will be a challenge for me--I read about 80 last year.  I didn't really keep track before last year--but I'm pretty sure that 80 would be my current record.

I don't want this to change my reading selection though.  I'm not going to not read a book because it's too long and it'll take me too much time to read. 

Date Posted: 1/24/2011 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,124
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Wow, Cheryl, good luck to you!  My sister will often tell me she's decided not to buy any books for a couple of months if she feels she has a backload of books to read--and she's always able to do it too--but it's never more than 2 months!  And of course, I end up giving her books from PBS or my thrift store during that time--it doesn't count unless she buys it herself.

My goals for the year, other than to finish the FIVE challenges that I've joined for 2011, are to start using some of the PBS lists (like TBR and BIR) on a regular basis and to keep better track of my series books--to actually concentrate on my top 20 or so series and to make progress on reading those books.  I'm going to try out the Fictfact site for tracking the series books (and March is going to be a "continue a series"month for me).

I'm also participating in the Biggest Loser challenge in the HF forum, but I don't anticipate actually "losing" any books, I'm going to use it to try to keep the number of books I "gain" to be lower than it otherwise would be for the year.

Diane

 

 

Date Posted: 1/24/2011 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Wow.  I KNOW I couldn't do that.  I could resolve to spend UNDER $100 for the year on new books but...I HAVE to have the new, hardback, first editions of C.J. Box and Craig Johnson books when they come out.  Sad and pathetic but there you have it. ( Back when I actually had a job, I used to spend hundreds a month on books as well.)

I haven't made any reading resolutions beyond completing the challenge here.  On Goodreads, you can commit to reading a certain number of books and I did that though I sort of cheated.  I think I made a goal of reading 65 books and I read 123 last year.  I've already read 13 this month so I'm ahead of the game.

Right now, between PBS and our excellent library system, I am really covered when it comes to feeding my habit.  If Mr. Box and Mr. Johnson would stop writing books, I could probably get away without spending but they won't so I'll be spending a little.

**ETA**

Diane, the idea of keeping better track of the books that I have read is something I guess I have resolved to do as well.  I keep track on Shelfari and Goodreads.  I joined Goodreads first but I actually like Shelfari better so I post there first and then just cut and paste over at Goodreads.  I'm  trying to keep track on FictFact as well, though I find their system to be a bit clunky.



Last Edited on: 1/24/11 9:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/24/2011 10:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 2,920
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My 2011 goal up on Goodreads is to read 365 books for the year. Since I came in at 338 books for 2010, so for my I think it is a doable goal.  So far I am at 27 for the year and a little ahead of my game. :-)

Date Posted: 1/25/2011 8:54 AM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 6,857
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Oh, my word, Keri!!  365 books!!  I wish I could do that.  My humble goal is 115 for the year.  It's the same as last year because I fell a bit short. So far I've read 8 3/4 books.   I also am doing the challenge here, with my goal to actually finish it this year.  :)

Date Posted: 1/25/2011 11:58 AM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
Posts: 402
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I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who struggles with this tyoe of stuff. I am going to try and read over 125 books this year. My home is overflowing with books. We don't have a ton of space and I need to make a dent in my reading. Hopefully, I can.  Last year was crazy busy but my hope is that this year I can finish all my challenges.

Date Posted: 1/25/2011 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,597
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@Laura--the reason I don't set a number goal for how many books I'll read in a year is exactly as you say--I don't want to pass up a long book fearing it will reduce my number and keep me from my goal. I read (in addition to mystery) a lot of epic fantasy, and some of those books are around 1000 pages each. The one year I set a number goal like that, I found myself passing over some of those in favor of 'quickies.' So now I look toward quality rather than quantity--which is also why I give up on a book if I'm not hooked by page 50.

I have been keeping track of what I read (and writing a brief review) for about...gosh, since late 2004. I lost a bunch of that when I had a computer crash, so I only have records from 2007 onwards now, and that's what I post on my book blog. At least I have an online record now even if my computer blows up. LOL

I have registered at FictFact, but when I first joined up, it was brand new and there was almost nothing there. I didn't have time to feed them all my series information so I wandered away. I looked a few weeks ago and it looks to have grown a lot! Time to re-investigate, methinks. Currently I have a Word Doc. with my current series listed and where I am...I have dozens and dozens of series I'm in the midst of, so I definitely need a little help remembering where I am in each series. :)

I knew you guys would understand and commiserate. Bookaholics are my favorite people. :)

Cheryl

Date Posted: 1/25/2011 1:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,124
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Fictfact is pretty new and I'm usually wary of new sites--don't want to input a lot of information and have the site go under!  But it seems perfect for what I need it for--keeping track of which books I've read and what the next book is.  I currently try to keep a paper record of this but I keep forgetting to update them when I acquire or read something, not to mention I have to keep looking online to see if new books are released.  I think having it online, and mentally linking it to when I check PBS every day, will be a lot easier to update stuff--and the new books get added automatically as they come out.

The only thing I didn't like about it was that you can't mark unread books as ones you own--I need to keep track of which books I still need to get. But then I realized that as well as marking books "read", there's a "TBR" designation--so I'm marking books TBR if I own it but haven't read it, and if I don't own it I just leave the book unmarked.  I think it'll work.  And I love seeing a whole list of the next book in each series.  It should be a lot easier to make progress on these series now.

Diane

Date Posted: 1/25/2011 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,091
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Hello All -- About 4 years ago now I bought some software to keep track of books.  It is called Collectorz.com Book Collector 7.1 Pro.  I cannot remember just what I paid for it.  I am thinking it might have been $39.95.  It has been upgraded  many times since my purchase and all of the upgrades are free.  I believe you can go to the website www.collectorz.com and preview the software.  I thoroughly enjoy using it and I am such a neophyte with things computer, I do not utilize even 25% of what it is capable of doing.  If you have a birthday, anniversary or such coming up, I really would recommend putting it on your wishlist.  I too checked into all of the free services for this type of thing and decided this would probably work best for me.

Forgive me for getting off topic here!!!  My goal for this year will be to finish the Mystery Challenge ---



Last Edited on: 1/25/11 1:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/25/2011 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,597
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I pretty much have all my book information catalogued on Goodreads, which is free. I used to use LibraryThing but I dislike their interface and there is a charge for adding more than 200 books. What I don't want to be doing is duplicating things in 3 or 4 places. Of course, any program or site used to keep track is only as good as the person entering the information...I often let it go for a few weeks and then end up doing a massive 'catch up' session. (Speaking of which...time to do that again! LOL)

I used to use Book Bag for my Palm Pilot but that died a few years ago and when I discovered Goodreads I couldn't see a good reason to invest in anything more than that...a lot of it is just a duplication of services.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 1/25/2011 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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A few years ago I set a goal of reading 150 books during the year (normal for me is 100-125 annually).  I met the goal, but felt it put too much pressure on myself for no good reason.  So I'm never going to set a goal like that again.    And, like Cheryl said, I deliberately read shorter books just to meet the goal which kind of defeats the purpose.

A few years ago I realized that my TBR had gotten a "little" out of hand.    (During the summer of 2006 when I "rediscovered" reading, I hit pretty much every FOTL sale in town - which is a LOT - and my TBR quickly grew to over 1400 books.)   So in 2009 my goal was to trim a net of 100 books off my TBR.  But that proved to be too high, so last year I cut that goal to 50 books off of my TBR.  This year my goal is the same - trim a net of 50 books off of my TBR.     It's pretty easy for me to track because I keep my entire TBR listed here on PBS.

That summer when I hit all of the FOTL stores, I also set up an Excel spreadsheet.  The first page tracks all of the books I've read.   The second and third pages track all of the series that I am reading / collecting (and there are over 100 series).  I keep a copy of this spreadsheet in my bag at all times so that I know which books I'm missing in a series and don't make the mistake of buying a book that I already own. 

I keep track of books I've read on Shelfari.   I know that there are other websites that offer similar services, but I started with Shelfari and like the look of seeing all of my BIR on virtual bookshelves.    And I'm active in multiple discussion groups on Shelfari.

Oh, and as for new books, I admire Cheryl (greatly) for her goal but the occasional new book is a real treat for me so that's one I can't do myself.

So in sum, my goals for this year are to trim a net of 50 books off of my TBR, keep track of the book I read and acquire throughout the year, and participate in several of the reading challenges in the genre forums (mystery, historical fiction, non-fiction and perhaps contemporary literature). 



Last Edited on: 1/25/11 3:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/25/2011 5:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 2,920
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I am an extremely fast reader so I can easily read a 300 to 400 page book a day. I don't normally read catagories and so I won't be using those to up my numbers. If I don't meet my goal, no biggie, I will have at least got a couple of hundred books off my TBR pile. I do mini TBRs in Goodreads for 10 to 12 books in a theme. Like currently I am in a mini TBR of all NTM authors. I am just having fun with it. :-)

Date Posted: 1/25/2011 5:44 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 482
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Reading goals!  I love them!  I usually have a goal to read 52 books a year.  I often don't reach that goal due to other demands on my time, but it's nice to shoot for something. The challenges actually slowed me down last year due to the parameters of the challenge and the difficulty level, in some cases, of the writing.  I spent a lot of time previewing and rejecting books, lol!  That's okay because I made some fun discoveries.  This year I am in 3 challenges and am trying to fulfill them through my TBR pile.  I'm not going to have a specific number of books read goal this year.  I would like to read more nonfiction this year and they always takes me longer to get through.  So my goals are to complete my challenges, not make any new purchases and try to keep my trading equal - one book in, one book out!  My TBR pile alternately gives me joy and makes me anxious!  Oh, one other thing, I am setting myself free from books on my TBR pile that once interested me but do not any more.  Without guilt.  :)

Date Posted: 1/25/2011 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,218
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I am looking at these posts and at the goals people are setting. I, too, am taking part in the biggest book loser challenge in the HF forum, but, since my TBR pile stands at about 100 books, I figure that's not too bad, unless you want to count what I've  acquired on my Kindle (which is about 75 more books). Never did I have this many books backed up to read until I joined PBS. I am not setting any goals per se. I absolutely refuse to let anything interfere with my enjoyment of reading. I am, however, going to drastically cut back on what I order, unless the book just grabs me. I have found that many, many of the books I am interested in are at my library, so that should make things a lot easier.

Another thing that I am no longer doing is to order lots of books that I think I will read only to discover that several months later, I'm no longer interested in them. As a matter of fact, I've been culling books that I don't have any desire to read anymore. Actually, putting books I think I want on my RL is really curbing a lot of my impulse "buying". I also put books on my RL that I can get at the library and that helps curb those impulses too. At my age (67), I have to be realistic here and figure that I can't possibly read everything out there that sounds good!

When it comes to series, I really depend on fictfact and they have been very good at adding books/series when I have contacted them and requested that they add something that I have and that  isn't there on their site.



Last Edited on: 1/25/11 8:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/26/2011 7:46 AM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
Posts: 747
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I love you guys, I really do.  I am the only book lover in my family, and they all think I'm absolutely nuts to be so devoted to reading.  But here, at least I am not a freak when I say I have a bookcase double stuffed with books to read.  smiley

My goal this year is to read at least 100 books.  Last year was rough - both in my life and in reading (if I hit 40 books, I'd be suprised).  So I seriously need to make up for that.  Having o many reading challenges helps.  But I don't find that I limit myself to smaller books so that I will meet the goals.  Practically all the books that I am going to read have come off my TBR pile, and a good number of them are topping 700+ pages (I'm reading the Merlin trilogy right now, and that sucker is 950pgs)  My friend once told me I needed to read shorter books.  I looked at her like she had four heads.

I am also trying to cut back on my spending, although my cousin graciously gave me a BN giftcard for Christmas.  I'm thinking, unless it's a favorite author, or I already have books in a series, I'll head to the library.  Or maybe I need to get a job in a bookstore cheeky

CR

Date Posted: 1/26/2011 8:42 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,597
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@Carolyn--I hear ya! No one else in my family is a real booklover either, although my kids all read "some."

@Jeanne--I went over and looked at the HF challenge the other day thinking maybe I would give it a go, but no way...it's gotten way too long and complicated. Aside from not buying books this year, 2011 is going to be about simplification for me. Like you, I am slowly going over my TBR and culling out books I got three, four, five years ago and no longer am eager to read. I check if it's available at the library and if it is, I'm reposting it. Will probably do a dozen or so a month that way. RIght now I rarely even order books that are available in system unless it's a next-in-series book that isn't available at the library...otherwise, my wishlist is totally doing my PBS shopping for me.

@Lynne--not to worry, if I meet this goal, there will be a BIG treat for me come January 2012. LOL I am thinking of getting a Kindle DX if I make it through without buying any books...that will definitely help with the smaller space I'll have for books. But I have to find someone who has one and try it...I looked at the regular Kindle at Target and thought the screen was WAY too small...my aging eyes will need a larger font and I don't want to be turning pages every 30 seconds. LOL

Cheryl

Date Posted: 1/26/2011 8:56 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,218
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Cheryl - I'm sure that I am older than you and let me tell you, I received the Kindle 3G for Christmas and I love it! Don't they sell them at Best Buy where you can try them out? It seems like I heard something about that.....

Also, I want to tell you that when I first looked at that HF challenge, I gasped. But you can break it down so that you can just do sections of it. Right now, I'm just shooting for challenge sections 3 and 4 - and section 4 (It's all related) can be made to fit anything. Books may be related just by virtue of all of them being on your shelves!!!

Oh! And as far as other readers in the family - my kids are both readers but not quite like me. DH doesn't read books at all!! frown

Date Posted: 1/26/2011 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,597
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@ Jeanne--Target carries the regular Kindle and that's what I looked at...I didn't pay close attention when I saw how small the screen was. I will definitely go for the DX with the bigger screen when and if I get one. It's pretty pricey, but I think I will be able to manage it if I don't buy any books this year! :)

Oh, and my DH doesn't read at all either--he's got his butt glued to the couch watching TV instead. Blech! LOL

Cheryl



Last Edited on: 1/26/11 5:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/26/2011 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,218
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Love those sound effects, Cheryl!! I can just hear you saying that - lol!

"he's got his butt glued to the couch watching TV instead. Blech!"

Date Posted: 1/26/2011 7:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
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Cheryl, my co-worker got a Kindle DX last summer and she loves it for the exact reasons you mentioned.  She loves the larger size and says she has not trouble reading the print.  If you don't plan to buy one until January 2012, I'm sure the price will come down.  Or who knows what new things they will come out with by then.  I love my little Sony reader but still have a lot of paper books to get through.  My library is slowly building their selection which hasn't been very good to now.

Date Posted: 1/27/2011 8:54 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,597
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Terri--thanks for that info! I'm hoping by then they will have a Kindle that will cook supper, fold the laundry and fill the car up with gas, too. But I might have to wait til 2013 for that model. LOL

Cheryl

Date Posted: 1/27/2011 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2010
Posts: 4,314
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Wow, I don't think I could stop buying books!  I try, but it just doesn't work for me.  But I will say I haven't bought as many since joining here-- except for from the thrift store where the price of books is WAY cheap.

I did decide to do a couple of challenges though, one on my own & a couple challenges through PBS.  I have SO many books & most of them just pile up while I buy/order more & then I don't get around to reading as many when I put them aside to get more so I wanted to read 150 books total between November 2010 & the end of December 2011 (that gives me 14 months).  I am not doing so well with that. I've only completed 10 books so far, LOL.

I am doing a non-fiction challenge, which I've finished one book for it so far & am reading book #2 currently.  I am also doing one 3rd challenge of reading a book starting with each letter of the alphabet.  Fortunately the books I complete for those 2 challenges will help with my 150 goal for this year.



Last Edited on: 1/27/11 4:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/31/2011 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,124
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If anyone wants to get in on the Biggest Book Loser Challenge in the HF forum (it's not just for HF books) it starts tomorrow!

I've spent the last week entering all my series into the Fictfact site, I also chose my top 25 series (I have almost 100 listed, if you can believe it!) and recorded which of the books from the top 25 that I've read and which I own.  My goal for March will be to read 10 "next in series" books.

Diane

Date Posted: 2/1/2011 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,597
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YAY!! I made it through January without ordering a book! One month down, eleven to go! LOL

Cheryl

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