Happy new year! Well, these may seem like empty words considering how 2020 has been and how things are still going on at this moment, but the aspiration for a better year remains. To be honest, I am not really that okay at the moment, I’m pretty much in a crisis, but I thought that in an effort to try and keep my head above water, I’ll make my first post for 2021 on the positive side. Quite surprisingly, this post is on that side.
Last year, I set some reading challenges for myself, which I pretty much do every year, regardless of whether I post it somewhere or not. You can read those challenges here. Basically, for my Goodreads Reading Challenge I set a goal of 11 books, which would be reduced this year if I didn’t meet my goal. I also like to participate in Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge, although in a more casual capacity, in order to avoid forcing myself to read or getting too stressed about it. If a book fits any of the categories, cool, or if I’m not sure what to read, I may use it as a reference, to help me decide or check out new genres and styles of books.
I also went on a book “no buy”, which meant that I would avoid buying nonessential books, and could only buy books necessary for career development or for work. I’ve already mentioned what happened to that, but it would still be nice to wrap that up nicely.
Goodreads 2020 Reading Challenge
Goal: 11 books
Final Result: Read 11 out of 11 books (100%)
As I’ve mentioned in my introductory post for this challenge, this is what I consider to be my main reading challenge, the one I really try to accomplish. And boy, did I try to reach this goal in the final days of 2020. I’m not gonna lie, I went on a readathon in the last two days of 2020, and I made some pretty strategic book choices for that. I don’t think that’s cheating because it’s not like I skimmed the books. I really did finish them. And, I did finish my challenge! I reached my goal! I am so happy to have accomplished this, despite the slumps I had throughout the year.
The books I finished in 2020 are the following:
- Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
- Foundation by Isaac Asimov
- The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
- Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
- The Collected Stories of Jessica Zafra by Jessica Zafra
- The Walk: Stories by Joy T. Dayrit
- A Normal Life And Other Stories by Reine Arcache Melvin
- Graceling by Kristin Cashore
I didn’t really write reviews, which is a shame, so I just linked the Goodreads page of the titles above. I found it interesting that just like in 2019, I started the year with a Murakami book. I also didn’t finish any nonfiction books, which is a bit of a shame, but I don’t mind it too much. I did read some nonfiction last year, I just didn’t finish any books in that category. I was also able to start rereading the Harry Potter series, which I have intended to do for years ever since I bought a complete set of the books. I went into my very strategic readathon at the end of the year when I got to the fourth book in the series and realized that it was too long to let me reach my goal in time. It was also interesting how my drive to reach my reading goal was able to help me finally finish Graceling, which was so difficult for me to finish for some reason (I think there was just one plot point that for some reason made me uncomfortable, but it wasn’t really anything bad when I got past it), but I have come to realize that I love the book. I was so glad to have finally finished that. And it was kind of fitting that it was the book that pushed me across the finish line.
Book Riot’s 2020 Read Harder Challenge
It’s best to check out the introductory post I linked above to see the list of categories in the challenge, as I won’t be reproducing the list here. This is simply because I don’t think any of the books I read last year qualifies for any of the categories. It’s a bit sad considering I’d usually have at least one or two books that would fit in there somewhere, but as I have mentioned, this is a more casual challenge for me, something like a bonus round, so it’s fine even though I didn’t hit any of the marks. Hopefully in 2021 I’ll get to branch out to some of the categories they will be listing.
Went on a Book “No Buy”: I Tried
I was doing so well, too, and then I just really wanted to have some more local titles when the Manila International Book Fair 2020 happened online. The event being online really did not help my no buy because if it was a physical fair, I’d probably won’t be able to go anyway, and there’s that. This time I had time to really browse the books of different publishers and contemplate, although some books did sell out so I didn’t have as much time as I thought I’d have in deciding what to purchase. At the very least we set a budget and stuck to that, so it wasn’t one of those instances where you go on a shopping spree the moment you break the no buy. It was still very controlled, and the titles I chose did help me reach my reading goal, and they were local! I really loved that part. I’ll see what I’m going to do in this year about this, maybe a budget?
In any case, there’s that, and I’m pretty happy overall with my reading last 2020. I did have some slumps, but it’s nice to have still reached my goal in the end. It feels good and encouraging. I’ll post a separate introductory post for my 2021 reading goals, so if you’re interested, look out for that. But how about you? Did you have reading goals or book purchasing restrictions last year? How did you fare? Remember to not stress too much about it, as at the end of the day, it’s all about enjoying reading, and not making it a chore. See you in my next post!