Thursday, January 5, 2017

Reading Challenges: 2016 Wrap-Up and 2017 Goals

I ended up doing a few reading challenges throughout the year (two of which became more of personal ones that I'll be continuing in 2017 but only for myself). One of them was the Goodreads challenge, obviously. I get so freaking excited to set up a goal for this one each year and push myself to read as much as I can. Though I'd hoped to beat 2013's goal of 162, I'm still very happy with my number for 2016. It was better than 2015's, which is all that mattered, tbh. And I was very happy with the books I read. :)

All in all, it was a fabulous reading year. There were some unbelievably disappointing books, but the majority received 4 and 5 stars from me! I set my goal at 100 for 2017, like I normally do, but my unofficial goal is 200 books. The only time I hit that was in 2014, and I'm dying to do it again. I'm not one of those people who believes in quantity over quality, but personally, I just want to read as much as I can while I can, because I KNOW I'm never going to get to all the books I want to in my lifetime. So, for me, it's not really ABOUT the number. It's about the fact that I don't want to miss out on brilliant books. Which is a big reason why I've gotten more serious about culling books from my TBR and shelves. I'm not going to read all of them, so why do I hang onto those I *know* I won't read? Ugh. ANYWAY. I'll probably write discussion a post about all that at some point this year. I also participated in Bookish Bingo throughout 2016, and while I only completed one whole board, I love doing the challenge and it's so much fun just finding books to fill the squares. It also pushes me to read books I don't normally read or would have put off otherwise. I'm in the middle of the winter edition and haven't read a whole lot, but hoping to hit some bingos! Oh! I can't forget about the Pokemon Indigo League readathon challenge that Aentee from Read at Midnight hosted during August-September. That was SO MUCH fun, and I'm glad she's doing another challenge like it. :)

 January: The Lumatere Chronicles (3 books)
February: The Lunar Chronicles (5 books + two short stories)
March: the Circle Trilogy
April: The Wrath and the Dawn & The Rose and the Dagger (+ 3 novellas)
May: Vampire Academy (Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, and Last Sacrifice)
 June: the Addicted series (9 books)
July: The Lynburn Legacy (3 books + 2 novellas)
August: The Remnant Chronicles (3 books + 1 novella)
September: Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom
October: Hundred Oaks (Catching Jordan, Breathe, Annie, Breathe, & Jesse's Girl)
November: The Lumatere Chronicles (3 books)
December: Harry Potter (Sorcerer's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban)

So very proud of myself for reading a series a month the whole year! This was Danielle from Love at First Page's challenge, but after awhile, it ended up becoming a personal one for me. When I start doing it again this year, it will only be for me. I'd had SO MANY series I kept putting off before 2016, and so many I'd started and hadn't finished, that I had needed to commit to reading them. And there was no way I COULDN'T skip a month. I hated even the thought. I used Danielle's guidelines for what counted as a series: 3 books in a 3 or more series (either companions or continuations) or a complete duology. There were some months I definitely could not have read the whole series in a go. So, I still kept to the guideline of at least 3 books for it to count, which I think is completely fair. I mean, that's a trilogy! I only read a few duologies. Most of my time was spent with trilogies or more. I even managed to read the last 9 books in the Addicted series all in June. IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER, THOUGH. Binge-reading is one of my favorite things to do, honestly. I can't wait to knock off even more series this year!


January: Finnikin of the Rock
February: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress
March: A Darker Shade of Magic, Morrigan's Cross, Dance of the Gods, Valley of Silence
April: The Wrath and the Dawn
May: Addicted to You
June: 0
July: 0
August: The Kiss of Deception and The Heart of Betrayal 
September: Six of Crows
October: 0
November: Finnikin of the Rock, Froi of the Exiles, & Quintana of Charyn
December: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I didn't join an actual challenge hosted by another blogger for this one, though I thought about it. I just wasn't sure how much time I could commit to it given all the new-to-me books I wanted to read last year. And I'm very happy with this! I was one of those readers who didn't understand the appeal in rereading for so long (though my #1 all-time favorite series never counted and I reread that one a few times before I even became a blogger). But I'd reread about a dozen books in 2015, and I was like, I should do this more often! Most of them were rereads in preparation for series finales. But after the garbage trash fire that was 2016, I'd also needed some of these books for comfort more than anything else. I read the Lumatere Chronicles TWICE last year, and I ended the hellish last month on Harry Potter because it felt... needed. When I hit a bad spot and a huge slump in February/March, I needed the Circle Trilogy (my #1) to ground me. I love rereading for the sake of spending time with favorite worlds and characters again, and for comfort. I reread 19 books in 2016, and I'm hoping to surpass that in 2017. :D

I plan on doing all of these challenges again this year. I've already thought about the series I want to read (with extra possibilities because I'm such a mood reader), and this month I'll be rereading the final four books in the Harry Potter series. I hope, at least. I'm participating in the Dumbledore's Army readathon currently, and that ends on the 15th. So I probably won't be reading much else besides those books and the HP ones this month. Maybe at some point I'll get back into ARCs and review copies. ;) Oh! I am also going to be trying to complete the Diversity Bingo 2017 board! 

I don't think I'll be joining the challenge officially, because I've already got so much to keep track of, but I'll be stalking the hashtag for recs and such when needed. I read a lot more diversely in 2016 than I have in the past, because I started actively seeking out those stories. But I want to do better and broaden my horizons further. I can't wait to start crossing these squares off! And oh man, I didn't think this was all going to be so much to try to do in 2017. Haha, but I'm doing all of these challenges! I had signed up for two last year that I never even started, so I made sure to really do those that I knew I WOULD keep up with. And I'm so excited. It's gonna be another fabulous reading year, guys. 

Are you guys doing any reading challenges this year too? Or any of these ones? Let's talk! :)

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