2016: A Year in Review (Books, Social Media, Changes for the better, and representing small businesses?!)

Happy New Year all of my amazing follower-friends!

Today will be kind of a different post, it will be more like a discussion/reflection post talking about how 2016 went for me ( yes, this will mostly be talking about books/reading habits and other bookish things since this is a book blog).

In the last few months of the year, I was chosen as a rep for two companies! I am so honoured to be able to share these lovely shops with you all:

  • Morgan makes gorgeous high-quality bookmarks. You can find her etsy shop here (If you make a purchase make sure to use the code PLENTIFUL10 for 10% off of your order)!
  • Melissa makes stunning bookish inspired candles. You can find her etsy shop here (If you make a purchase make sure to use the code PLENIFULPAGES for 15% off of your order)!

The first thing that I want to talk about is Goodreads reading challenges. For me, Goodreads challenges give me the mindset that I HAVE to read and I hate that feeling. I have set myself a solid Goodreads challenge number every year since I have made that account, except this year. When I had a challenge set (2014/2015), all I focused on was that number. I only read to increase the number. I flew through books, retaining no information, and not delving into the story as much as I wanted to. I feel like that was pointless reading. Looking back at the books that I read in those years, I remember nothing. It is as If I did not read those books at all. I don’t even really consider those books to be “read” anymore. That is why I call that reading pointless. I will need to reread all of those books and fully give them the attention that they deserve. Don’t get me wrong, I adore reading books, and I kind of like the idea that when I read those books again, it will be like I am reading them for the first time. All in all, I only had a Goodreads challenge in 2016 because I set a random number so that at the end of the year I could go and see what I read, and how many books I read, which I think is how I will continue to do these “challenges.” I do not want reading to feel like a competition. I ended up reading 31 books this year which is pretty good since I was super busy with school, and like the saying goes, “less is more!”

This past November I went through my Goodreads ‘to-read’ list. I had around 1000 books on that list because when I made my Goodreads and Instagram account, I added a whole bunch of books without even reading the synopses to see if I would be interested in them. I took a few hours, read through ALL the synopses, read brief friend reviews and made the decision as to whether or not I am really interested in that book. I got my to read list down to around 40 books from the absurd 1000. It feels really refreshing and less intimidating knowing that the number is not so high anymore. I am so glad that I took the time to do this so I only spend my time reading books that I know I am going to love rather than wasting time on mediocre books. This was a healthy thing for me to do for my wallet too since my to-buy list is even smaller than my to-read list.

This April, I created this blog as an outlet to share reviews, tags, and just having fun writing. I am so glad that I decided to make this blog because it is something I really enjoy putting effort into. Posting on here and seeing that people actually read my posts and care about what I have to say makes me so happy since people are all supporting what I love to do. In September/October I started to post weekly (and sometimes twice a week) on here. My blog has really taken off since then and it has motivated me to continue posting for you all. I am hoping to continue on posting weekly this year so that I can keep sharing my love of books with you all.

This April also marked the one year anniversary of my Bookstagram account. Like my blog, I work so hard on that account and seeing all of the people that support me in doing what I love really makes me so content. In March 2016 I went through a month-long Bookstagram slump which was really detrimental to my account. I was inactive, so my followers also became inactive. I worked so hard to bring my account back but it wasn’t working at all until October and into November when I changed up my theme and was really active, commenting on other people’s posts and posting on my own account about 2-3 times a day. I don’t know if my account will ever fully recover from the terrible beginning of 2016 slump, but so far it has been steadily improving. I am starting a new theme this January which I am really looking forward to. I have pre-taken a bunch of photos and I am so excited for you all to see it! My social media links are always at the end of my blog posts! have never been this excited about a theme this much other than this year’s Christmas theme! In November I also took the time to go through my followers. I had 3k+, and most of them were either spam accounts or inactive because of my slump earlier in the year. I ended up blocking almost 1000 spam and inactive accounts, bringing my follower count down to around 2000. I am completely okay with that though, it was really reassuring to know that now all of my followers weren’t spam/inactive. I have been working on building back up my accouny with true followers and so far it has all been alright!

My reading this year has not been as good as I wanted. I average around 1-2 books a month. As a high school student, I have been really stressed out and busy with school, friends, and family. I know that I am only in my second year, but this is the most stress I have had to deal with. I have started to learn how to manage my time better, and this year I really want to try and start setting aside some time every day to read. Let me know your tips on how to do this!

This year I discovered a new author, the queen, Sarah J. Maas. I read all of her books this year and I absolutely fell in love with every single one of them. Each one was a 5-star book for me. I’ve never loved everything about a book like I have with Maas’ books. The characters, plot, writing, and just everything about them is absolutely perfect. I have never loved books and felt such an immense love for characters this much before. It was so refreshing and fun to find a series that I love this much. I could go on and on about my love for these books, but I am going to have to stop there for now.

I started a bullet journal in October of this year. I wanted to be more organized and have a place to write things down. I’m not the most talented when it comes to hand-lettering, but I think that over time my bullet journal will help me with that! It keeps me organized, especially when it comes to my blog!

I donated quite a lot of books this year, especially in the Christmas season. It was rally nice to go through all of my books and choose the ones that I won’t reread anymore and give them to someone else that will hopefully enjoy them as much as I did. If you haven’t gone through your books in a while, I suggest doing so and donating some! It’s always a good time to give!

Saving the best for last, HAMILTONNNNNNNNN. I started listening to Hamilton as a result of my friend Sam (go check out her blog, click here to be brought to it. She’s got a great blog and deserves way more recognition)! I was surprised that I liked this musical because I really don’t enjoy listening to them. Hamilton was different though, it’s so catchy and just so fun to listen and sing along to! I really recommend you give it a listen, you won’t regret it!

So that is some of my 2016 in a nutshell. Huge shout out to you if you managed to read that whole post! How was your 2016? Share your thoughts on what I wrote in a comment!

Happy reading and here’s to an amazing 2017 filled with fantastic books and amazing friends!

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6 thoughts on “2016: A Year in Review (Books, Social Media, Changes for the better, and representing small businesses?!)

  1. Joey @ thoughts and afterthoughts says:

    Your gargantuan TBR shelf on Goodreads is one reason why I’m unreasonably stingy with actually adding books to that shelf — just to stave off the list being too cumbersome to sift through later on. Instead, I bank on my memory (and continual community reminders) to get me to read a title as I probably only shelve 1-in-25 books that pique interest haha.

    It is lovely to hear about your enjoyment being in the blogging community! The first year is when everything is most fun and new and exciting. So I hope you’re able to continue this track into and through the year!

    Liked by 1 person

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