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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