Beyond Books

Reading in 2011 or This Isn’t One of Those “Best Of” Type Posts That Are All the Rage Right Now

I have to admit, I’m not feeling the end of year recap right now. I have been skimming over posts in my reader but I haven’t really been reading many of them. My apologies, I’m just in an odd head space.

This year was very challenging for me as far as personal life goes and sadly, it did sort of show through in my blogging on both blogs and in my reading experiences. The last two months were abysmal on the reading front and even when I did finish a book I had no desire to blog about it. I forced myself, of course, because it bothered me almost more that I wasn’t blogging about the books. I was at war with myself and it was exhausting. I can be quite the nag. Sheesh.

I’m not big on setting goals and issuing challenges, but I did do a little of that in the reading part of my life. Not only that, I did so successfully. Big surprise to me.

Because Goodreads had a nifty widget this year, I joined their Reading Challenge (since I like widgets that keep track of things.) In 2010 I read 120 books, so I figured that should be doable again and even increased that amount by 5 just to make it more exciting.

I managed to read 140 books in total, therefore surpassing my goal.

I reached my goal in mid-October. With the way I was reading, I should have reached at least 155 by now, but November and December kicked me in the shins and I’ve hardly read a thing. That being said, 140 isn’t a number to sniff at either. I think that’s the most I have ever read in a year since I have been keeping count of the books. Maybe when I was working in retail books I’d read something close to that, but I don’t know because I wasn’t counting then.

I read way more YA than I normally do this year but mostly a lot more MG than I normally read. Why? Because I am tired of books seeming to be exactly the same story. I am tired of love-triangles, unnecessary graphic sex scenes and insta-love. I find that Middle Grade books are becoming more exciting because they have these great, imaginative plots and fantastic character development and still have a shred of originality that a lot of YA and Adult fantasy/paranormal/mysteries just don’t have anymore.

The only challenge I joined in 2011 was The 2011 Debut Author Challenge. I managed to read 26 books on that list, which I think is also a record for me. Normally many of the debut books are difficult to find in stores here.

I also didn’t BUY as many books this year. I tried very hard to read many of the books I already own that have been sitting there on a shelf, table, floor, unread for so long. Financially this year was difficult so I cut out book buying immensely. I think I received more books for review this year than I ever have and I’m always picky about what I accept.

Blogging about books still remains fun for me, and I shall continue as long as it does. I just like to blog in general and the few dear friends I have made through this blog will always be cherished. I like that I hold true to my own vision of this blog and I seem to stay out of the drama loop almost 100% of the time. I like that.

I appreciate every comment I ever get and I try very hard to reply to them all. It was tough while I was down in the dumps because I wasn’t interacting with anyone anywhere, but I do try. So thank you all for reading this past year, I know my reader base grew a ton and I want you all to know that I truly appreciate your visits.

Not sure what 2012 will bring, but as I mentioned on my personal blog, I will work at taking it one day at a time and trying to just cherish each day as it happens – no matter what happens.

I wish you a very happy and healthy New Year, Internet and I look forward to seeing you on the flip-side!


  • Jen

    Aww Cat. 2011 seemed to be one of those years. BUT, it’s brought me to some amazing people… LIKE YOU! We must meet IRL somehow <3

  • Molly

    Oh I KNOW. Who does those best of posts? Oh wait that’d be me. Ironically enough I’ve been skipping everyone else’s best of posts. I guess mine wasn’t so much a best of as a favorites. Which I’m also doing for my book reading list but it won’t go up until tomorrow.
    I read a LOT more books this year than I normally do but so many of them weren’t anything I liked because, I too was reading books I’d had on my shelves forever and needed to really know, “Do I need to keep this?” And the answer was a resounding NO! Egads. A-to-the-men about the creativity and non-whoriness of MG books. Some of the teen books I read this year made me go whuuuuuut?!

    Here’s to a better year with less…excitement? I’d like some consistency personally.

  • April Books & Wine

    Word. This was totes the year of MG, and I love that. So many awesome books (PETER NIMBLE ILY FOREVA).

    I am sorry about the issues you did have this year 🙁 but maybe because 2011 was an off year, 2012 will be a year of amazing things?

    I wish you the best in the new year!

%d bloggers like this: