I am happy to welcome 2013 and it is my goal to make reading more enjoyable with less stress this year. Twenty-twelve was a tough year for me personally with the loss of my dad and my sister back in treatment for her cancer. I found myself craving “me” time and wanting to do the things which brought me a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. I wanted to feed my creative spirit. I ended up reading far less in 2012 than any time in the last four years (only 58 books), partly because I started spending more time in my sewing room (I made 11 quilts and numerous smaller projects in 2012). My priorities shifted a bit.
In 2013 I want to read more of the books I already have in my stacks. To do that, I need to stop accepting new books for review with very rare exceptions…and I need to commit to buying no more than one new book a month. Last year (if I’m calculating correctly) 124 new books arrived in the mail from publishers, publicists, and authors. Many were unsolicited, but some I agreed to take for review. I probably bought at least 40 new books myself. With those kinds of numbers, I will never make a dent in my stacks. So here is my plan:
- Read from my stacks – choose at least four books a month which I already own and read them.
- Stop accepting books for review with VERY RARE exceptions (for example, I may decide to accept a book which I have been eagerly anticipating and would most likely buy myself).
- Limit book buying to no more than one book a month (so no more than 12 new books for the year). If I buy more than one book in a month (for example for a book club), that means the next month I can’t buy any! I should note that I am NOT counting sewing or quilting books which are reference in nature
- Continue purging books from my TBR shelf which I don’t think I’ll read – donate to charities, to the library, to friends and family….
That’s it. Simple, right? I would love to get back on track to read 100 books in 2013, but I’m not putting that kind of pressure on myself. I still want to devote some time to quilting. I still want to have time to putter around my yard (we’re putting in a garden this year if it kills me!). I still need time with my wonderful husband and my pets. And, oh yes, I am still working full-time! Really, my goal is to keep things simple and prioritize what is most important.
I am also going to be putting two new policies in place on my blog:
- Respond to comments via email instead of on the blog itself
- Create a basic letter to use for response to book review queries which I am declining (responding individually to literally hundreds of emails in 2012 was nearly impossible)
The last two years have seen the loss of some of my favorite blogs. Burn out, changes in life priorities, feeling unmotivated to keep blogging – all these things play a role. I have to admit, there have been times in the last year I’ve considered exiting the blogging world. But, in the end, I find that I still enjoy the process of writing and talking about books, life and sewing. It is my goal to keep things fresh here so that I can keep on sharing what is most important to me. So, blogging will continue to be part of my life for now. How about you? Are you making changes in 2013?