My 2018 Resolutions

Yes, it’s February. And yes, I said a while ago on Twitter I would most likely be posting a video of my 2018 resolutions (both bookish and not), but I’m here writing a blog post. I’m kind of discouraged with my YouTube channel at the moment, but I’ll be talking about that later in this post.

Without further ado, let’s get into the resolutions!


2018-Resolutions

Bookish

1) Read at least fifty books.

Last year I got close to my goal; though I read 35-ish books out of my goal of 50. I’m of course going to be counting audiobooks and rereads. I chose this number because I know that it is not unachievable for me. I won’t be upset if I don’t reach the goal in 2018, but I’m going to try my best.

2) Read more audiobooks.

I read some excellent audiobooks in 2017. I started listening to them on the tail-end of December 2016, and it was probably the best decision I have ever made. Audiobooks are excellent for commuting, as I don’t have a car, and doing chores. In 2018 I want to consume even more audiobooks, as to up my reading count. I usually get audiobooks from Overdrive via my public library.

3) Set a monthly book buying budget/buy fewer books.

I’m definitely going to be working on this goal for the rest of this year. In January I ended up buying so many books, most of them being from Christmas gift cards, but still, it seemed like a lot when I really kept track. I also unhauled over 100 books from my shelves recently, most of them being unread, so I want to reduce my book buying so I can read more of the books that I buy and not just let them sit on the shelf.

4) Write a review (or film one) for every new book I read.

This is sure to be one of my hardest resolutions for this year. But, I really want to flex my writing muscles and have more of a variety of reviews on Reading Arsenal. Also, if I get my YouTube channel up and running again, I might film video book reviews.

5) Write at least one blog post each month.

I don’t want to leave my followers completely in the dark when I go months without posting something. I’m still working up the courage to figure out stuff related to my YouTube channel, so I haven’t included it in this resolution.

6) Use my public library more.

So far, at least in the month of January, I have been using my library quite a bit. Along with borrowing audiobooks, I have been borrowing physical books as well as e-books. I am also planning on volunteering (if I can get a spot) with the Friends of the Library. If you did not know, I have a Library Technician diploma. Therefore, any library-related experience would help me in my field.

7) Attempt Zero-By-2020.

You may have heard of the “Zero TBR By –” challenge, but if not, basically it means I want my physical to be read pile to have zero books by 2020. I was inspired by Amanda Center on YouTube, as she attempted Zero By 2017 (or 2018, I think). My current To Be Read count is currently set at around 200 books, so it is sure to be a great feat for me to try and do this.

8) Decide some things about my YouTube channel.

You may have noticed I haven’t been posting a lot on my YouTube channel lately, whether you are subscribed or are pledging to my Patreon. Life got away from me as I mentioned in my previous life update. The short of it is that I have overcome a whole lot as of now, but I’m still not posting videos like I would like to. I guess it’s my perfectionism, or perhaps I’m not used to editing or being in front of the camera.

Anyways, the decisions I’m going to be making, due to my changing feelings are:

Is making videos enjoyable for me anymore or is it just a chore? Am I comfortable enough with my abilities and confident enough to do the entire process? And finally, do I want to continue making videos?

I have been feeling this way for a few weeks now. I hope it just a phase because I remember really loving the entire process of making videos, even when I wasn’t able to make videos. I’m still wishing to be creative, but I honestly don’t know how to go about it anymore.

Does anyone have any tips for getting out a creative lull? Leave a comment below!

Life

9) Find a job.

I’m currently unemployed, so I don’t have a large income coming in. Luckily I have some money saved away, but that probably won’t last me for long. Currently, I’m finding it difficult to find positions, especially in retail (which is the only place I have experience) due to possibly the minimum wage being risen where I live and fewer jobs are being posted.

10) Stop lurking; start posting.

This goal is related to social media, such as Twitter and Instagram. I don’t post as often on Twitter as I used to, same with Instagram. If I try to post more, I think I can stretch my creative muscles with both writing and perhaps creative photography. I also want to occasionally start posting bookish related things on my Instagram.

11) Practice creative writing.

I love writing, seeing how long this post is. But, I really want to confidently say that I’m a creative writer. I haven’t been really writing creatively lately, but I definitely want to start. A far off dream of mine is to perhaps become an author, of what I’m still not sure. But, I still want to practice and hone my skills.


I hope you enjoyed my resolutions! Have I inspired you to start on your own resolutions? Would you like to share a few? Leave a comment down below!

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An Award, A Little About Me, & Paying it Forward

 

I have been nominated for a Liebster Award by Jenn from A Page of Jenniely. Thanks for nominating me!

If you are unaware, a Liebster Award is an award given to bloggers by other bloggers to help more people discover new blogs to follow. More information about this award can be found here.

I’m going to answer some questions that Jenn has provided for me, but before that, I will share 5 facts about myself that you may not know about me.

Facts About Me

1) I can be organized in thinking and action, but when I have little energy, that goes to the wayside. I tried keeping a bullet journal and a diary for that matter but had trouble keeping up with it. I’m more into spontaneity as of late. I am going to try and keep up with a bullet journal though. I think I’m going to have to set a reminder on my phone or something to write in it.

2) One of the only things I posted this blog’s for years were HBO’s True Blood commentary/recaps. You can probably still find them if you look hard enough. I’ve since deleted them because they did not match the feel of my blog anymore.

3) I used to be a very picky eater. I still am, but I am starting to become more adventurous with my food choices.

4) I am very sensitive when it comes to consuming media, like say a book, television show, or movie. I empathize with characters in such a way that reflects my own experiences. I also get really emotional.

5) I get very obsessed, very quickly. I find I can get utterly obsessed with something and it can last a day, a week, or even years. Then I drop it like a hot rock and wonder how I got so obsessed in the first place. I guess it is a part of growing older; your tastes change.

 

Questions

 

What is your go-to self-care? Something you do, wear, etc.

My go-to self-care is wearing a couple hair bands around my wrist along with a watch. I can keep an eye on the time, while also tying up my long, thick hair. I tend to get very hot if I don’t. I also try and carry a water bottle with me everywhere. I’m not sure if that counts as self-care, but I guess I would consider it self-care.

 What was the first book that made a difference to you and why? 

The first book that made a difference to me (besides the obvious Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which I’ll save the explanation for because it’s not unique) that I can remember was “Freckle Juice” by Judy Blume. Looking back I did not realize that book was by her.

The basic premise of the book was that there was a kid in second grade who wanted to have freckles but didn’t have any himself. A friend (or not so) tells him if he drinks this “Freckle Juice” concoction, he can get freckles.

The moral of the story, that the boy learns is that he’s perfect the way he is. Freckles or not, and if you go to drastic measures to change yourself, you’re not truly embracing yourself.

I ended up reading this over and over as a child, often in one sitting. I did do a book report on it in fourth grade. Somewhere in my old school stuff, there is probably a copy of my presentation or it may be lost. My fourth-grade teacher really liked it, and along with another presentation I did, said that I should go into dramatic arts. I did just that in Middle School and High School.

 

What is your favourite time of year? 

My favourite time of the year is Autumn. Just before the snow falls, but escaping the heat and rain of summer. It’s a little chilly, enough to wear a sweater.  But, not so much as you have to wear thirty pounds of clothing. I also really love Thanksgiving.

I also really love Thanksgiving. It’s a time to eat good food and enjoy good company. It’s also a time to be thankful for what you have, (even though the history it’s based on is about greed and genocide).

Halloween is probably my favourite part about Autumn. Eating sweets till you’re sick, watching/reading creepy things, dressing up, and having fun. I love seeing everyone’s creative costumes. It’s the holiday of cosplay.

 

Where is your favourite place to read?

My favourite place to read is at home. I love being at home because one, I’m an introvert and I honestly prefer it. Two, I can have visceral reactions to books at home because no one else can see me! And three, I just find it more comfortable as it has so little distractions.

I usually read on the couch or in bed. When I listen to audio books, I usually clean/organize while doing so.

 
Which book would you buy as a gift for someone right now? 

I would buy “A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd and illustrated by Jim Kay. It has so many lessons to teach and it’s truly a beautiful story. More of my thoughts on A Monster Calls can be found in my review.

The book is also, I think, a must-read for anyone who wants to understand grief or anyone who wants an excellent story.

 

What do you find the hardest thing about blogging?

The hardest thing about blogging, for me, is having the motivation to write. I tend to be a very anxious person and my mind goes everywhere else besides my blog. I do love it though. Getting bogged down by thoughts is my hardest thing I have to overcome. Having thoughts go every which way, not doing the thing you most want to do and then feeling guilty for not doing it.

I think of myself as more of a spontaneous writer. When I get an idea, I have to do something about it right that minute, or else I would lose it.

 

What is the most fun aspect you find about blogging?

The most fun aspect of blogging is having full creative freedom over what I write. I don’t blog for the followers or the number of views. I blog because I enjoy it. I love being creative and sharing new ideas with the world.

 

If you could offer year-ago you any advice, what would it be?

Get out of school while you still can; you won’t be an awful person. Stand up for your health. It’s okay to say no and quit. You won’t be a lesser person for it. If you can’t handle it, then don’t do it. Start looking hard for a job in your field, you’ll thank yourself for it later.

 

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because I wanted somewhere where I could talk about books. I had recently moved into the city where I currently live and had very few friends who I could discuss books with. I still have very little people in my personal life who I can discuss the books I love with, so here I still am.

I initially started my blog on Blogspot, but it broke for me, preventing me from posting anything. I ended up re-starting my blog on WordPress in July 2011.

 

What is your dream holiday?

My dream holiday would be to a bookish convention like BookNet Fest, (next year I hope it happens again)! I hope to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida too.

I would honestly rather travel with someone than alone. Maybe my boyfriend could also be a travel companion on these adventures? He has said in the past a flat-out no to anywhere in the United States, so I don’t know who I would go with. Anyone want to come with me?

 

What would be your ideal bookish gift?

Tickets for a bookish convention or an author signing. Not sure which author though. J.K. Rowling, I would probably drop everything for. Basically being an author is an amazing feat in my eyes and I would probably love to have a chat/signing with any author I can get to meet with me.


 

I bestow the Liebster Award upon…

 

Chris

@Mouseiana | modernaugustan.com

 

Cam

@justabookeater_ | boricuanbookworms.com

 

Sophie

@23reviewstreet | 23reviewstreet.com

 

Lauren

@Lauren817 | laurenscrammedbookshelf.blogspot.ca

 

(I don’t know that many bloggers so I hope this is enough!)

 

Here are your questions! Please answer these questions in your post and comment the link on this post!

 

1) What is your favourite blog post (or posts) that you have ever done and why?

2) Do you have a favourite genre of books? What is it?

3) What was the subject you enjoyed most in school and why?

4) What are your favourite methods to reduce stress?

5) What is a hobby you are proud of that doesn’t involve the internet?

6) Who is your favourite person, living or dead, fictional or real?

7) Do you use a schedule/to-do list in your day-to-day life? Why or why not?

8) Do you speak any languages other than English? If not, what languages would you love to learn?

9) Do you have any recommendations for television, music, and movies? What should everyone watch/listen to?

10) What is your dream career? What would be a day-in-the-life of your career?

Why Not Finishing and Un-Hauling Books Has Made Me Feel Better About Reading

When I was young and little naive, I made the absurd goal of wanting to read every book published that I was interested in. I know now how ridiculous this goal was, but I still look back on it as a motivator to read more, and books that I actually enjoy.

I sometimes ask myself why is it that people are so determined to power through a book even though they hate it, or keep a book that they never liked or never will get to on their shelf. Recently, I’ve embraced the power of the unhaul, and the quick ripping-off-the-bandage that is DNFing a book, (DNF=Did Not Finish).

I have a book-buying problem, as most people in the book community probably do as well. I’ve broken my book-buying ban several times; sometimes the temptation is too great. What comes along with acquiring books is having more and more to read.  If you don’t immediately read the books you buy, they end up just piling on your shelf, to add to your TBR (TBR=To Be Read) pile and it can get stupidly overwhelming. Especially if the cycle keeps repeating. I have probably over a hundred books on my shelf that I have yet to read. It’s stupid and I’m ashamed of it.

One thing that I’ve found helpful when trying to power through my TBR pile, and it’s definitely not an ideal thing, is if I’m reading a book that I own that I need to read to reduce my TBR pile, and I’m not liking it after around a hundred pages, I DNF and unhaul it. Unhauling books is probably just as controversial as DNFing them, it basically means taking books out of your collection. As a booktuber, I call this unhauling because it’s the opposite of hauling books or adding them to your collection.

I’ve noticed people tend to be huge DNFers/Unhaulers or power through and keep everything that they own. There is not really an in-between. I can understand why people power through and keep the books they own, they probably bought and paid for them with their own money or for sentimental reasons they’ve kept the book because they got it as a gift from someone special.

I tend to be the type of person that is ruthless. If an item that I own is not useful to me, it doesn’t make me happy, or it won’t continually make me happy, I get rid of it. Someone else might gain happiness from this item or book, more than I ever will. I’m not completely heartless, I do feel guilty when I give away books or not finish them when I bought them with my own money. That feeling of guilt, however, doesn’t compare to the weight I feel lifted off of me when I do give the book away. It’s like a release of anxiety almost.

Reducing the number of books on my shelf, like I did with my most recent unhaul video, makes me feel better about reading. It makes reading a not impossible task, not a chore, not anything other than enjoyable because I’m surrounded by books that I actually want to read or keep reading again and again.

I do still feel guilty sometimes, especially when I’ve unhauled a book I’ve never actually read. When I feel this way, I tell myself that if you really wanted to read that book, you’ve would have read it already and if you don’t want to read it now, why bother? I also tell myself if I find that I do want to read that book again I can always use my local library and take out the book.

I guess what I’m trying to get across in this post is that you can’t read all the books ever published that you may be interested in. In the entirety of your life, you may not ever get to every book, because more and more are being published every day. Why waste the time, the effort, or the space in your home for the books you’re not interested in? Keep and read the books you love and enjoy.