Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Reading Resolutions for 2014

1. Expand 
I really want to expand my reading tastes this year. Over the past two years I've been working on reading a lot of different genres within the Young Adult category, not to mention expanding out to Adult works in genres I enjoy such as Urban Fantasy, High Fantasy, and Science Fiction. Well, this year I want to add to that repertoire everything from Classics to Adult Fiction. 
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2.  Casual Reviews 
Another goal I really want to be able to achieve this year is to review books casually. I tried this out last year when I posted a few brief thoughts on two LGBT novels that really affected me emotionally as a reader, so I want to get more comfortable doing this. I not only think it is an easier method of reviewing, in many ways, but also a more accessible one. 

3. Breaks 
I am my own worst enemy. I critique myself endlessly and push myself a lot too, which has resulted in a blog that, for the past eighteen months, has seen few breaks but lots of reviews. I did take a break this past holiday season, though, and I loved the liberating feeling it gave me. I think that, in an of itself, has shown me that I shouldn't be afraid to take a well-needed break when I need it. 

4. Participation
I plan on making a conscious effort this year to participate more in events around the blogosphere. I took part in a lot of blog tours during my first six months of blogging and haven't participated in too many since, but I think it's time to re-introduce those to the blog, along with blog hops and other features. Over the past year I've been too isolated in my bubble of reviews of independent guest posts which has put a lot of weight on my shoulders to have a review out constantly, so I want to ease up on that strain and set more realistic goals for myself. 

5. Features
I have also been considering joining in on a few more features. I've been contemplating the idea of a seasonal feature, one that would appear four times a year to re-cap any novels I've read and haven't reviewed. I do read quite a bit of Adult Romance, which I find is the type of feel-good story I turn to when I'm craving a mindless read every-so-often, but I haven't sold myself on the idea. Any thoughts? Any other features I should look into and consider? Or just features you'd be interested in seeing on the blog? 

6. Design 
Okay, let's all be honest: that header and button are just atrocious. I can't even look at them half the time. I need to change them - and FAST! - so that's another resolution for the year I hope to complete.

7. ARCs
Essentially, my plan is to request less of these. I've been receiving a LOT of unsolicited ARCs lately, which I love, but with so many ARCs at my doorstep, I've been getting overwhelmed by the combination of both the ones I request and the ones I don't. While resisting ARCs is hard - seriously, HARD - I plan to try my best and devote that reading time to other novels.
Well, those are my resolutions for 2014...what are yours? I'd love to hear about them in the comments, not to mention your thoughts on how difficult or easy mine will be to both keep and execute! ;) And I wish everyone an absolutely wonderful year ahead, full of books, coffee, and even more good reads!


  1. Happy 2014 Keertana! Love how you published this post right at the stroke of midnight. Your goals, while vast, seem appropriate and helpful - especially the one about breaks. If memory serves me you are a second semester senior and with the college application process coming to a close, you deserve a little rest now and then. Still, I'm looking forward to reading more of your reviews on variegated genres of books as well as the features you're considering!

    PS: Please keep me updated on college news if you'd like, even if you don't post about it on your blog. You appear to be such an intelligent, hard-working, kind person and I'm curious about where you choose! (unless you applied early decision somewhere and I completely missed the ball)

  2. Keertana, I think all of these resolutions are very realistic and I think you can accomplish them! Firstly, you're one of the most wide-ranged YA bloggers I know-- you read so many genres, you're already halfway there! And girl, take a break when you need one! No one expects you to post as every single day. A break is always refreshing. :) And I don't think your design is hideous at all, but I'm curious what your next one will be! And SAME with the ARCs! I don't get unsolicited ARCs, but I definitely need to lay low on the requesting. I'm starting to feel the pressure as well. But overall, I think you'll do very well this year, Keertana! Good luck. :)

  3. I can be my own worst enemy, too. I tend to get overwhelmed or self-criticize too much, especially when it comes to my writing. I'm working on getting to the point where I put it out there and that's that. And, yeah, I need a redesign, too!

  4. Keertana, I love your goals! Like, all of those sound like things I want to do and can relate to. I know the feeling of being overwhelmed by ARCs, especially when you are reading a lot of mediocre things.

    Casual reviews are so much fun to read.

    Yayyyy for variety -- I am so happy to see a lot of bloggers making this a goal, because variety is the spice of life and I'd rather read reviews of different books than the same ones over and over and over.

  5. Happy New Year Keertana!I hope 2014 brings you nothing but the very best it has to offer and even more! I'm so proud of you and all your achievements and can't wait to see where you end up in the future!

    Lol I don't know if this matters, but I really like your design and the name of your blog! I've always thought it was so creative and I love your button too!

    I love all your goals. I know what you mean about ARCS. It is hard to resist them and I think this year I'm going to forego them because I probably won't have any time to read between the end of April and August because I'll be in school and probably too tired to anything after I finish classes in the evening.

    I'm looking forward to reading more of your reviews :). You know I love them! And I'm glad that you were able to take a break. Sometimes you just need to do nothing and relax.

    We have to discuss Sherlock and The Desolation of Smaug later! I finally saw it and sent you some of my thoughts on it!

    Again I hope 2014 will be great for you Keertana!


  6. Keertana, your resolutions are great - and very honest! I look forward to seeing what you think of Alexie Sherman's and Edith Wharton's books.

    What LGBT books affected you strongly?

  7. Hey stranger:) One of my goals for 2014 is to reappear in the blogging world. Our 2014 over at The Readventurer was mostly a break and we are all the better for it. It's been nice to just concentrate on regular life and read books for the fun of it. I admit that I'm jealous of the number of reviews you and other bloggers posted this year but what's done is done, eh? I've been trying to achieve your first goal of more inclusive reading for the past year with pretty great success. The only downside is that when you read more widely and find more gems, it can be really hard to go back to a majority of YA books without rolling your eyes. At least, that's how it's been for me:)

    Anyway, I hope you had a fabulous holiday season and I can't wait to see what you're up to in the coming year. Let's see if I can keep up.

    1. FLANN! *hugs* I've missed you, Catie, and Tatiana this past year! I'm so excited that you three will be back - YAY! And I have no doubt that I'll be rolling my eyes at YA. I read a Pulitzer Prize winner and now I'm reading GRRM's Song of Fire and Ice and when I tried to read a few pages of a YA ARC I just...couldn't! I didn't even bother trying to finish that one, so I can myself having the same issues that you did too, Flann. Still, you'll have to give me some recs as to what you've been reading lately! :)

  8. Making some reading resolutions sounds like a great idea, perhaps I should do this too! I could definitely stand to read more diversely, and a bit more consistency with my schedule wouldn't go astray! :) Your thoughts about reviewing casually are interesting too. Sometimes I feel so much pressure to review that it ends up being counterproductive, and I don't review at all! Maybe if I took some of the pressure off myself, I'd end up reviewing more frequently. Hmm, something to think about anyway. All the best for 2014, Keertana, in reading, life and everything :)

  9. The Bell Jar is one of my all-time favorite books, and I'm a huge Plath fan in general so I really hope you won't be disappointed.
    All your resolutions sound great and they're all designed to make things easier on you, which is great. I tend to avoid tours and promo posts too, which makes keeping up hard, if not impossible most of the time. I don't mind, but there are times when I wish I knew how to ease up a bit.
    As for breaks, I basically decided I'll take them twice every year, one in the summer and one over CHristmas break, just to keep things sane and reasonable. It'll be my time to reread, which I SO enjoy and rarely have time for.
    Happy new year, my friend. Hugs!

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  11. Good luck in reaching your goals!

    I don't request ARC's hardly ever, I just get unsolicited, or through Amazon Vine (which I guess are requested), but I need to find some way to add less to my TBR. I say this every year though...

    YAY for doing more tours! I don't do many myself, mostly my own, but I do one once in awhile for others if it's a book I'm wanting to read.

  12. I do think that expanding into other genres/types of books is one of the more difficult things to do for bloggers. Once you're sort of pigeonholed into reviewing YA, then for me at least it's been hard sometimes to justify the time spent reading/reviewing others sorts of books that my followers may not really care about, you know? But I think that's a wonderful goal you have, and it's one that I'm going to try to work on myself as well. (P.S. Read Burial Rites soon! I'm pretty sure you'll love it. :). House of Mirth, The Bell Jar, Brave New World, and The Absolutely True Diary...are also fantastic books.)
    All your goals make a lot of sense, and I hope you're able to accomplish them this year, Keertana!

  13. Girl I should do more or less all of this myself too. Well not so much about classics, I get plenty of that, but I should try to expand my reading preferences, and not to mention to be more careful about ARCs. I make my own grave with them. I hope you'll achieve all this. Good luck, Keertana :)

  14. I love these goals, especially the ways that you want to challenge yourself and also give yourself a break! I'm not very good at making myself broaden my reading scope, but I admire people who do that and I'm excited to see what you're reading this year as always. I like your goal of writing more casual reviews. The one you wrote for the two books last moth was gorgeous. Reading reviews that put a little bit of the reader in them are always favorites of mine. I feel like you participate a lot, but I'm excited to see what you do this year. I love that feature you do with authors. It's really great. Happy 2014, K!

  15. I'm taking a page out of your book Keertana and writing casual book reviews when I see fit. I absolutely loved how brief in form your reviews of The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Ari & Dante were, but at the same time, they covered a lot of ground so beautifully. Your reviews are inspiring!

    Like you, I'd also LOVE to expand the scope of my reading. I'm already doing so by reading graphic novels, but I'd like to do more. I have yet to try an Urban Fantasy series. Jumping back into Classics would be ideal, but it's more likely I'll read Adult Fiction first - that's what my boyfriend is reading these days. :)

    Thanks for sharing! I hope you meet all of your goals in 2014, lovely girl! :)

    Marlene @ The Flyleaf Review

  16. Gosh--blogging is hard isn't it? Rewarding but HARD. I have been struggling with balance lately--and been suffering some major burn-out. So I think you have some great goals here, Keertana. I think breaks are SO IMPORTANT. And I totally agree with being easier on yourself and not setting so high a standard for yourself that it is nearly unattainable. And YES to more casual reviews--that is something I am ABSOLUTELY putting into effect on my blog this year because I'm just burnt out on writing and I HATE that feeling.
    I love how varied your reading tastes are so I really look forward to finding out how the introduction of more classics and adult fiction affects you:) Here's to a great 2014 for us both! :)


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