Hi everyone, and welcome to a new post!
With the start of the year I usually post my reading and blogging resolutions for the year and most of the time that contains goals that are easily quantifiable, like read 50 books, re-read 8 books, read 1 book a month outside of my comfort zone, and so on. I also usually try to keep the bar pretty low in order not to stress myself out.
But you know what? I STILL stress myself out. And in the process, I don’t always ENJOY the act of reading. In fact, in 2021, I had a 3-month long reading slump in which I still read, but I had to PUSH myself through these books. I read without JOY. And that freaked me out, because reading is my number one hobby, something I love that should be bringing me joy, not stress.
While I think my slump has slowly been improving lately, I still didn’t want to do my traditional reading resolutions this year. In 2022, I want to focus on refreshing my JOY of reading. And because I still like making lists, I came up with 10 ways I plan to do just that!
- A Goodreads Goal can be fun, but is not a must
Even if I consistently set a relatively low reading goal for myself so I’m pretty certain I’ll be able to reach it, I still spend quite a lot of time thinking about the amount of books I’m reading. And if I don’t read a certain amount of books per month, I end up feeling kind of bad. No matter if I already reached the goal or not. It’s like I still want to strive for the highest possible amount of books read per year, at the detriment of my reading joy. So in 2022, I’ll try not to focus so much on the amount of books I’m reading. No matter the quantity, this year I want to focus on my ENJOYMENT of the books I’m reading.
- Comparison is the thief of joy
I guess a side effect of being a book blogger is the fact that it becomes really easy to compare yourself to other bloggers. I know I tend to do this, even when I know everybody’s lives are different and I should not compare. But it happens. Other people may read more than me, or read more genres that I want to try, or post more reviews, or read more ARCs. And that’s great for them! This year however, I’ll try not to compare myself too much. I’m doing my thing and that’s great for me too. We’re all doing great in different ways, and comparison is the thief of joy.
- Don’t be afraid to DNF
This is gonna be a tricky one, but hey, I’ll try! I have a tough time DNF’ing a book because I keep telling myself it’ll get better, or that it’s a shame not to finish it, or that it’ll be wasted time towards my Goodreads Goal. But all of that doesn’t matter. No feeling guilty right? There’s so many books out there, so why should I waste my time reading a book I’m not enjoying?
- Challenges? Only if you’re REALLY excited about them
I know challenges can be fun and I often get really tempted when I see other bloggers doing all the fun challenges. But I’m a major mood reader and most of the time challenges only end up stressing me out, or forcing myself to read something I’m not in the mood to read at that time. So something that should bring me joy only brings me stress and I want to avoid that. Of course, unless I find a challenge that I’m REALLY excited about.
- Re-reads are a thing of magic
For the past 2 years, I’ve spent the winter months re-reading older favorites and every time I do I’m surprised by how much I LOVE re-reading. It’s a thing of magic to get lost in these beloved worlds again. I tend not to re-read too much during the rest of the year, because then I’m thinking about the blog and how I won’t be able to use this re-read for a review or how it takes up time that I could spend on new releases. But re-reading brings me joy, so I want to do a lot more of it throughout the year.
- Binge-reading a finished series are great to get really lost in a world
The downside of reading unfinished series is that I tend to lose my love for the series in between installments and then just not continue. But when I can binge-read a finished series, it’s so much easier to get lost in that specific worldbuilding and that’s just a way more satisfying and joyful reading experience. So in 2022, I want to spend more time binge-reading some finished series. (Of course, I know it’s important for authors to also read unfinished series, so I’ll still do that to support them, but I’ll also make some time for finished series at the same time)
- Webtoons and fanfiction count as reading too
In line with my first rule, namely focusing less on my Goodreads Goal, I want to read more things that don’t count on Goodreads but still bring me joy, meaning webtoons and fanfiction. For example, in 2021 I discovered the Lore Olympus webtoon and really adored it, and there are many more amazing webtoons out there that I want to try. So maybe they don’t count as a book on Goodreads, if I enjoy reading them I will just go for it.
- Read for the love of reading, not for reviews or blog traffic
Like I mentioned in some of the above points, I sometimes tend to keep my blog and reviews too much in mind when I’m reading a book. For example, I’ll keep reading a book I’m not enjoying only because I think I need more reviews on the blog and have wasted a review opportunity by not finishing it (which is silly because I mostly don’t even review books I didn’t enjoy). Or I won’t pick up a book I really want to read but is not review-interesting because it’s an older one or a re-read in favor of a new release that would be great for reviewing. In 2022, I’ll try not to do this and just go for the book I want to read at that moment!
- If Netflix or another hobby is calling, just go for it
I love reading, but some days I just want to binge some TV instead. Or I want to focus on my physical health and do some workouts. Or go out with friends (when we can in these pandemic times). When that happens I’m also stressing myself out because it means less time reading, less reviews, less blog traffic. NO MORE! If Netflix calls, I’ll pick up and I’m sure the next book I’ll read after that will be that much more enjoyed.
- No feeling guilty!
This rule applies to sooo many things and basically encompasses my 9 other rules. I will not feel guilty for reading or not reading. I will not feel guilty if I’m exclusively reading smutty romances. I will not feel guilty if I’m exclusively re-reading old favorites instead of trying new releases. I will not feel guilty if I did nothing all day but read and I will not feel guilty if haven’t read all week. I will not feel guilty if I don’t do any challenges or read any ARCs or if I haven’t posted a review in a month. I just want to focus on what feels good for me readingwise. Why would I guilt trip myself about something I should love to do?