Looking Forward to 2012

I love the start of a new year – I would even go so far as to say my favorite day of the year is January 1st. I like looking back at what I accomplished, and then planning ahead – especially when it comes to books and reading. Here are my goals, plans, and general ruminations for 2012:

Fewer Time Restricted Challenges

I found in 2011 that I did not miss the reading challenges. I like reading from the literary prize lists. I don’t like deadlines. BUT, I do have one project in 2012 which will encourage me to not only read from my TBR stacks, but will get some books crossed off the lists. I belong to some perpetual challenges which have no time restrictions (The Orange Prize Project, The Complete Booker, The Pulitzer Project, Read the Nobels, The Notable Book Challenge and Reading the World – Africa, South America, North AmericaEurope, Australia/Oceania, and Asia) and I will continue with these. I also host The Chunkster Challenge (along with Vasilly), and I will be joining that challenge in 2012. But, except for The Chunkster, and my personal reading from the Literary Prizes – there will be no time restricted reading projects for 2012.

Reading MORE Books:

I found that in 2011 I spent a lot of time on the computer. More time than I really wanted to spend. Most of that time was non-productive. Even still, I will read nearly 100 books in 2011. It got me thinking – what if I curtailed my online time even more and focused that time on reading? I want to try to do this in 2012…and so my goal is going to be to read 10 books a month – or 120 books. If I reach this goal, it will be the most books I have ever read in a single year.

Accepting Fewer Review Books:

Something has to give. I am awash in review books. I am really bad at saying “no” but I am getting better. I probably get close to twenty book review requests per week. I get numerous unsolicited books sent to me as well as those that I have agreed to receive. Many look wonderful. But, I simply cannot read all these books. So, I am establishing a strict criteria in 2012: once I have accepted four books for any given month (based on their release date), I will say “no” to everything else. I admit, this will be my hardest goal to achieve. I know I will still get unsolicited review books – but I have no obligation to read those…and my plan will be to either give away or donate many of these books. I have already made changes to my Review Policy here…and at this moment I am not accepting any books whose publishing date is prior to April 2012. I am really hoping that this will allow me to catch up on reviews from 2011, while keeping the influx of new books under control.

Participating in Book Club Reads

In 2011, I re-discovered the joy of book club reading. I plan to continue this into 2012. I belong to Bookies Too Yahoo Group and love their selections. I am also loving Nicole and Jen’s BOOK CLUB which reads and discusses one book a month (subscribe to their blogs to get updates on what they are reading and to sign up to receive a free book). I will continue to participate monthly in that. Also, I am really excited about the newly created Chunky Book Club which Vasilly and I are hosting over on The Chunkster Challenge blogwe’ve started a poll to vote for the books we’ll read in 2012 and I hope you’ll consider joining us! As far as other book club reads, I will pick and choose as things come up in 2012 – I’m watching Erin Reads Reading Buddies group and would love to know of more such groups. Do you participate in on line book club discussions?

Orange January and Orange July

Jill at The Magic Lasso is my partner in crime over at The Orange Prize Project – and she hosts Orange January and Orange July every year (check out this post about what is happening in January). I love any excuse to read books from the Orange Prize lists…and Jill makes it fun with daily posts on the Facebook Page and weekly giveaways of some terrific books. I’ll be participating for both months.

The BEA and BBC in June 2012

I am planning on going! I am VERY excited about getting to New York City this year and meeting up with other bloggers, publicists, authors, and friends. This takes a lot of planning and some financial balancing, but I think I will pull it off. How about you? Are you going to BEA in 2012? What about the BBC?

Booktopia in Santa Cruz in October 2012

Have you heard about Booktopia which is hosted by Books on the Nightstand? There are three retreats planned in 2012: Manchester, VT; Oxford, MS; and Santa Cruz, CA. Trish from Hey Lady! Watcha Readin’? tipped me off and I am planning on going for a weekend of books and connecting with friends. What about you? If you are going to Santa Cruz, please let me know!


I will be participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon – hopefully in both April and October. I will also be watching for other Read-a-thons which will help me reach my goal of 120 books in 2012!

Other Bookish Events in the Blog-o-Sphere

I follow many, many blogs and am always eager to join in with bookish events such as Book Blogger Appreciation Week and Bloggiesta – so I’ll be keeping an eye out for what is happening out there and will continue to be involved as much as possible.

What Will You See on My Blog in 2012?

  • Lots of book reviews – especially literary fiction, my favorite genre
  • Book Giveaways
  • Book Tours of selected books
  • Mailbox Monday weekly posts (as books arrive at my house)
  • Sunday Salon weekly posts
  • General literary opinion about books, blogging, authors, and everything in between
  • My quilts – I plan on continuing to design and make quilts in 2012 and will share them with you (check out my quilt pages)
  • Raven – you know me, I love talking about my dog!
  • Movie Reviews – I have been getting some movies for review lately, and I hope to continue doing some selected movie reviews in 2012. My focus will be on movies inspired by books.
  • Occasional personal posts about things of which I think you might be interested (travel, special events, memes, etc…)

Is there anything you would like to see here that I have not mentioned? Let me know and I will see if I can accommodate your interests!

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    • Jill on December 17, 2011 at 12:39

    It sounds like you have a wonderful year ahead! Enjoy every bit! And thanks for mentioning Orange January and July!

  1. You’ve set some great goals. Good luck! I’m trying to accept fewer books as well and, so far, I’m doing pretty good in that department. I plan to be at BEA too.

  2. Sounds like you’ve got some very well-thought-out plans for next year. I’m limiting the number of challenges I’m doing, as well – mainly the three I host and just a couple others. I’m also going to limit myself in the review copy department – I am hoping to participate in the TBR Double Dare Challenge, but we’ll see how my will power holds up. 🙂

    I wish I could attend BEA or any of the other bookish events, but finances won’t allow it. Maybe someday!

    • Kailana on December 17, 2011 at 17:59

    You are so organized! It sounds like you have a wonderful year ahead. 🙂

  3. These look like great goals Wendy! I’m not doing any challenges…I will probably make myself a tentative reading list for the year though. Good luck and I hope your year of reading is wonderful!

    • zibilee on December 18, 2011 at 07:13

    Lots of great goals here, and I think the guidelines will help you in doing more of the things that you want to do. I am going to be doing my own reorganization of the blog this year, as my priorities have changed, and as such, my goals have changed too. I might have to borrow a few of your techniques 🙂 This was a great post today, and I enjoyed seeing how you are going to put everything together!

    • Molly on December 18, 2011 at 08:20

    I have been giving a lot of thought to 2012 as well. I enjoy reflecting on the past year, and anticipating the year ahead. I have also come to the conclusion that while the internet is an integral part of my life, it also has the capability of stealing my free time. I want to be more purposeful with my online time.

    I would love to attend BEA this year – and meet you in person. I shall be working on making that a reality!

    • Vasilly on December 18, 2011 at 08:33

    Great goals, Wendy! I really need to think about what I want to do blogging-wise next year. Like you, I spent a huge amount of time online. I can’t do it next year. Good luck with your goals.

  4. Fantastic post! I cant wait to go through all my reds and see where I wound up for the year… I really have no idea but I feel it was a record year 🙂

    I am planning on BEA and BBC and I too am super excited already!

  5. Booktopia! Woo-hoo…I’ll see you there!

    • Amused on December 18, 2011 at 20:07

    Your goals for 2012 sound great! I particularly like your change for review requests. I might have to think about instituting something like that as I am forever behind!

    • Serena on December 19, 2011 at 09:58

    I look forward to more from you in 2012. I’m not sure about NYC in June 2012…too far ahead to plan really. 🙂 Especially for me these days.

    • Wendy on December 19, 2011 at 12:28

    Jill: You’re welcome!

    Kathy: YAY! So glad you will be at the BEA!!!

    Carrie K: It is so hard to limit those review books and challenges, isn’t it? I hope someday you will be able to get to one of these bookish type retreats – they’re fun.

    Kailana: LOL – organization is one of those things I tend to over-do sometimes!

    Amy: Dropping reading challenges really does free one up to choose books as the mood strikes…I don’t miss the dozens I used to sign up for!

    Heather: Feel free to borrow as you wish! I do think it is important to adjust our goals and priorities as we go forward…things change and I like to be flexible and go with those changes. Good luck with your re-organization!

    Molly: Oh, I would LOVE to meet you in person…crossing my fingers that you make it to the BEA this year!

    Vasilly: Thanks! Cutting down on internet time is really becoming essential to me.

    Sheila: I am looking forward to seeing you in NYC!!!

    Jill: YAY!!! It looks like so much fun!

    Leah: A couple of weeks ago I just looked at my stacks of unread review books and felt almost desperate to do something about it…I hope that this change in policy will be a good one.

    Serena: It is so hard with a little one – but I hope I see you there!

  6. Great plans! I’m rethinking a lot of what I’m doing in 2012, and looking back at the reading I appreciated and enjoyed most in 2011, it was the prize lists (you know I love them too!), reading more works by authors I’ve enjoyed before and reading works by authors I’ve been meaning to read for far too long. I’m cutting way down on review copies too, and I think four a month still sounds like a lot! Enjoy reading. I’m aiming to spend more time reading and less time doing other things too. Good luck to us both!

  7. Thanks for the heads-up about Booktopia in Santa Cruz! It’s the weekend of my wedding anniversary, but perhaps I can coerce my husband into a trip up the coast anyway…

    At this point–and if I get my Christmas wish–I’m planning to go to BBC and BEA in 2012, and looking forward to meeting you there!

    I’m doing some paid reviewing now, which means I’m actually getting MORE books for review consideration, but accepting fewer offers for the blog. My main 2012 goal is getting better about staying on top of the “work” reading so I have more time for “fun” reading!

    • Trish on December 22, 2011 at 11:22

    Wow–booktopia sounds like fun! I hadn’t heard anything about it yet. Once upon a time I would have LOVED to have gone to BEA but the new books just don’t interest me as much anymore. Would love to meet a handful of bloggers but I’m actually pretty shy in person (I know…hard to believe).

    You’ve got a lot to look forward to in 2012! Can’t wait to ride along with you. 🙂

    • Wendy on December 28, 2011 at 09:17

    Carrie: Sounds like you and I are on the same page for our reading plans! Although four review books a month sound like a lot – I figure if I am reading 10 books a month, that leaves six books of my own choosing 🙂 Also, compared to what was about 15 a month, four a month is a significant decrease LOL!

    Florinda: Would LOVE to see you at Booktopia! And of course the BEA and BBC too!! I enjoyed your recent post about paid reviews!

    Trish: Shy? You? No way!!! I would love to meet you in person – I have a feeling our personalities would click!!!

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