What is The Picky Pledge? Well, it's a partnership between me and Alexa from Alexa Loves Books where we held each other accountable for the books we acquired in 2016. For more details on The Picky Pledge, be sure to visit the introduction post. We tracked our book acquisition stats throughout the year - focusing specifically on the books we bought and books we read for review. We loved making more intentional reading choices!
We both created a page to track our progress... or a place to shame ourselves when/if we failed to stick to our goals. We shared our 2016 reading statistics yesterday, but it's time for a more general review of our successes and failures today. We're reflecting on the past year and highlighting our biggest improvement and the ONE thing we need to work on as we move into the new year. We'll share our specific 2017 goals tomorrow.
Setting a specific goal and avoiding NetGalley/Edelweiss
helped me read less than 20 books for review in 2016.
As I look back at 2016, my biggest improvement was with review books. They used to make up a significant portion of what I read every year, and I wanted that to change. There's nothing wrong with reading books for review, but I often found myself finishing books that I wasn't loving solely because I got them for review. In 2014, review books made up 31% of what I read during the year. In 2015, I was able to get that down to only 22%. And in 2016, review books made up 17% of what I read. Honestly, I'm so pleased with that progress!
I've truly learned to ask myself WHY I was requesting/accepting a book for review and given myself permission to set review books aside if they're not working for me. The ones I read in 2016 were books that I enjoyed and would recommend to other readers. You know what else helped? Having a specific goal that forced me to ask myself - "Do I want this book to be one of the 20 review books that I read this year?" Unsurprisingly, removing NetGalley and Edelweiss from my Bookmarks Bar helped keep them out of sight and out of mind.
I need to significantly curb my book buying
and read more of the books I already own.
I'm disappointed with myself because I made progress in this area in 2015, but I undid a lot of it in 2016. And I don't even have a good excuse for why it happened! As I stated last year - buying books wouldn't be bad if I didn't own so many unread books. Honestly, it's embarrassing to look at my TBR. I was hoping to end 2016 with significantly fewer unread books on my shelves than when I started, but the opposite happened. I'm starting 2017 with a larger-than-ever TBR (and less time to read than ever before).
So, I'm truly challenging myself to spend more time in my personal library this year. I have plenty of books available to me - ones for every season, every mood and in every format. There's no reason for me to continue acquiring books at my current pace. And there's a whole world of books outside of the ones being hyped or newly released. I need a strive for balance - supporting authors and books with my dollars while still being wise and showing restraint. It's more important than ever for me to be intentional about what and when I read.
Check back tomorrow for all the details on The Picky Pledge in 2017!
Were you more intentional with your reading choices in 2016?