What is The Picky Pledge? Well, it's a partnership between me and Alexa from Alexa Loves Books where we hold each other accountable for the books we've acquired in 2015. For more details on The Picky Pledge, be sure to visit the introduction post. We're excited about making more intentional reading choices this year!
Alexa and I decided to post quarterly check-ins analyzing what we've learned so far and where we have room to grow. But I've also created a page to track my progress, which you can check out if you want a more in-depth look at what I've bought and read for review. With six months down, here's how 2015 is shaping up...
For this section, we were inspired by our original stats post from earlier this year. Since our Picky Pledge keeps us on track with review books and buying, our check-ins will highlight the two charts relevant to those areas!
I was in a bit of a reading slump for the first quarter of 2015, but I've completely broken out of it now. I've read 94 books so far in 2015, and the craziest part is that 32 were in the first quarter and 62 have been in the second quarter. I'm really pleased with this breakdown: 17 were books read for review, 11 were books I bought in 2015, 11 were borrowed books (library and friends), and 55 were books that I owned (TBR and re-reads). The catalyst for Picky Pledge was the desire to read more of what I owned and fewer review books, and I'm doing both!
BOOKS BOUGHT BREAKDOWN
My progress hasn't been awful here, but it's still not excellent. I've purchased 49 books in 2015: 6 with gift cards (from my birthday) and 43 on my own. The breakdown above only takes into account books I bought on my own, since that's really what I'm tracking with the Picky Pledge. Of those 43 books, I've read 8 since I bought them, 13 are on my TBR, and and 22 were books I read prior to buying them (read for review, buying a different edition, etc.). I think I'm doing much better than last year, but there's still room to grow!
1. Adding books I want to re-read to my TBR shelf has changed my whole attitude towards my shelves. There's a bookshelf in my bedroom that I use to keep everything that's on my TBR. It's been that way for at least a year, and I've enjoyed that system for the most part. But I realized that I sometimes struggled to pick a book because nothing felt new. Adding in books I wanted to re-read gave it a much-needed refresh!
2. If I'm in the mood to buy a book, I can purchase one for someone else! You know that feeling where you just want to buy something? That's often what gets me in trouble when I'm shopping online. I don't need any more books, but one catches my eye and it's all downhill from there. It occurred to me recently that I don't always have to buy something for myself. I could use that feeling as an opportunity to buy someone a random gift.
3. The library is great when I get a sudden craving for a certain type of book. While I can go overboard with library requests, I can't deny that it's perfect for those moments when I want to read something super specific that's not on my shelves. I don't need to buy something just because the mood strikes, but that doesn't mean I can't read what I'm craving! I've been turning to the library in those moments, and it's been just what I needed.
1. Don't let being at home during BEA lead to a requesting binge. I didn't do too bad with book buying this quarter, but I totally failed with review books. Thankfully, I was so good in the first quarter that I'm not necessarily failing this portion of the Picky Pledge. But I definitely got a little book crazy during BEA! I requested way too much books and was approved for more than I anticipated. At least I'm really excited about all of them!
2. When in doubt, don't. This applies to review books and book buying. If I'm hesitating to get something, for any reason, I need to learn to just walk away. Usually, the books I regret reading are the ones I'd been unsure of in the first place. If I'm still thinking about the book days later, it will still be there for me to read - and then I'll know I want to read it and won't be getting it on a whim. I'm definitely guilty of buying/requesting when I should wait.
3. A reading binge can work for your progress or against it. I spent the first part of 2015 in a bit of a slump, and I was falling behind my typical yearly progress. Since the start of the second quarter, I've been in a reading binge. I recently realized that a reading binge can be good and bad for the Picky Pledge. It can help me work through my TBR, but it can also propel me to request way more review books and do a lot more book buying.