Wrapping up 2020

As 2020 comes to an end, here are my thoughts on the things I’ve accomplished.

I attempted a post every day, but I fell a little short at the beginning of the Fall semester. I think I came pretty close, though.

I attempted to post What Are You Reading every Wednesday. I missed a couple, but I came close. This was because once we started sheltering in place, I lost my internal calendar and had no idea what day of the week it was a lot.

I attended online bookclubs when I could. I didn’t finish a lot of the books, but I got to know a lot of the people. I also found out that Inky loves Zoom meetings and usually will sit happily on or near me during them.

I came nowhere near the health and exercise goals this year. It didn’t help that the gym and pool areas were closed.

I exceeded my reading goal of 100 books. When I set the goal, I was expecting to read and review several children’s books, so 100 wasn’t as high as I made it seem. I read 101 books as of December 20, but many of them were read before I hit my slump in March. I managed to get back to it and finish up the year.

I think I did fairly well, all things considered, but I could have done better. Next years goals are set, but I didn’t aim too high. I wanted achievable but not too easy. They’ll be published tomorrow.

106 of 100 completed

I had set an annual goal of 100 books for 2020, knowing that I’d be reading and reviewing children’s books, along with my other books. It was definitely a doable goal.

I have reviewed almost all of them, even if they were reviewed a while after I’d finished the book. Some that I have already finished won’t be published for a few weeks, so I can attempt at least one post a day for 2021.

I credit my bookclubs for the majority of the completed books. Also, I had several authors ask for reviews. I’ve had to turn down many of the requests this year, due to work and school. There just wasn’t enough time to read. I also found myself with a lack of concentration during the summer and early fall. I just couldn’t do it. When I set the goal, I didn’t forsee the pandemic, obviously. I think I could have read more if I hadn’t lost my ability to concentrate.

I still have several days to read more books. I have multiple bookclub meetings coming up quickly in early January. I plan on getting those books read between now and the second weekend in January. I don’t know how many will fall in 2020, and how many will be in 2021. We’ll see as they pop up. I think that only my Goodreads account will show the actual date read, though.

Competitive Book Reading

Competitive book reading

The above linked article tells about how reading challenges have changed the way people read. It claims that the challenges add a layer of guilt if you aren’t reading “fast enough” or reading “all of the books available.” I disagree with it. Yes, I get pushed along with my reading when I am working on a challenge, but if I don’t meet the challenge, I don’t feel guilty. I am only competing with myself. I read for enjoyment. I do keep track of my books, but mostly just to see where I am. I will mark my pages on goodreads, and I will mark and review my finished books. For my own knowledge, not to make anyone else feel bad or good.

It is an interesting article, though. It gave me something to think about.

79 of 100 completed

Because of the stress of the shelter in place and the lack of the library, I fell a little behind on my reading. I haven’t actually fallen behind, but my schedule has been thrown out of whack.

In January and February, I was way ahead. I thought I’d meet my annual goal by April. The universe had other plans.

I am still 23 books ahead of my planned goal. I am still not stressing over it. The world won’t end if I don’t meet my goal. I am just not reading as voraciously as I was.

I still have many books planned out for the rest of the year. I hope to actually finish them and get reviews posted. I also hope that the library opens soon, but as time goes by, it looks less and less likely. I will be patient. It will happen.

Annual challenge thoughts

I ended 2019 with a Facebook argument with an 84 year old woman. She said that my annual goal is taking from my enjoyment of reading because I’m competing. Who am I competing with? A personal challenge isn’t a competition.

I knew going in that I wasn’t going to change her mind, because she and I have different ways of filling our reading time. She just goes for it and does her reading. I need the nudge to get started. Turn off the TV. Make it quiet time. Put down the phone.

I did leave it at “to each her own” but I have a feeling that I will be hearing from her again. I won’t let it stop me from my reading and the way that I schedule my down time.

You’re on track

I track my books on Goodreads. When I finish a book, it all automatically counts it toward the year I completed the book.

When I am working on my annual challenge, it’s nice to log in and see “You’re on Track” or “You’re (#) books ahead.” It also tells me when I’m behind, but I try hard to not get there.

Yesterday, on day 1 of the year, the website was down for part of the day. I was happy that it told me that I am on track. Positive reinforcement!

I did make progress on several books, but I can not update them yet. I will get a chance in the next day or two, if the website is fixed by then.

Reading to the dog

I was two books shy of my reading goal for the year. I decided to bring some books up to read to Molly while I kept her company until her mom got home from work.

Molly was not impressed with the book about Misty Copeland. She decided to try to lick the pages. I finished it anyway.

She was more interested in the book about Paul Robeson. I think, though, that she was more interested in showing me her new toy. At least she didn’t lick pages.

There are several programs available to kids who would like to improve their reading. One is reading to dogs. I love the idea of these programs, which is why I tried to read to Molly, figuring I’d take care of two things at once. I would hope that the dogs in the kids programs wouldn’t be as wiggly and excited to see people. The poor kids would be licked to clean and possibly tackled when they sat down.

I did finish my reading goal, despite the “help.” Now I’m thinking of the goal for 2020. I have a week to figure it out.

What Are You Reading Wednesday

This week’s audiobook is by Jeanne Gaffigan. When Life Gives You Pears. I am really enjoying it, and I’ll be finishing it quickly.

This week’s Kindle book is A Royal Christmas Wish. I started it for a bookclub, but I won’t be able to make the bookclub, so I will relax about finishing it by a certain time.

I have a few library books almost finished and I’ll be ready to return them soon.

I still have books to finish to make my goal of 120 books for the year. I need to get my reading time scheduled. And my gym time, but that’s another matter.