Reading Reflections and Challenges for 2015

It’s nearly the end of January and even though I’ve been thinking about it, I haven’t put fingers to keyboard to declare what sort of challenges I’ll be taking part of in the reading world this year. I tend to avoid challenges because they make me feel like I’m being locked into something (and I hate feeling obligated and that end of year rush to complete them), so I’m doing just one. It’s the Australian Women Writers Challenge, which I took part in last year and had a lot of fun doing it. I got to find lots of new reviewers and authors to chat with. Plus, it’s something I can achieve through my normal reading patterns and extend myself by reading Australian women writers in different genres.

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I’ll be doing the Franklin level: read 10 – if reviewing, review at least 6. I can definitely beat that.

I’ve also been thinking about what I read and what I want to read. When I started this blog nearly five years ago, it was for several reasons:

1. To improve my typing skills (yes, really)

2. To improve my written thought processes – get what’s in my head down on paper without sounding like a complete idiot

3. To share my thoughts on what I read

4. And maybe, get given a book or two.

I think I have achieved that – I certainly didn’t foresee that I’d have author friends or be granted access on places like Net Galley and Edelweiss. But I need to look back at those original objectives and think about the next step for me and Sam Still Reading. I love receiving books from those who put careful thought and effort into what I’d like but I like buying books too. I can’t go somewhere and not go into a bookstore. I’ve also had to change the way I read now that I no longer commute by public transport – it’s less paper/electronic book polygamy and more like one book to read and one audiobook on the go. Audiobooks are great, but you can’t speed listen! So I’m trying to tone down the number of e-galleys I accept or books that don’t sound quite my thing and read more of what I have and what I know I’ll love. I’ll still give new things a go (most likely based on your wonderful recommendations) but I need to be a bit more circumspect. I don’t want to sound like a whinging over-privileged blogger, but time is on the limited side for the next few months and I need to make the most of it.

I also want to get out and about a bit more to talk to people about books (and most likely get more recommendations for the wish list!). I’ve registered for the Australian Romance Readers convention this March in Canberra and you might even see me doing some moderating! (I love public speaking, but I promise to be quiet and let the authors talk. Plus, I can only talk about boring science things). I’m also planning on attending the Romance Writers of Australia conference, Melbourne Writers Festival and Perth Writers Festival. Any more suggestions are welcome!

I think what I’ve craving most at present is a little more free time. Between work, study and friends, I don’t think that’s going to happen for several months but I hope to have some time to think about what’s next (besides sleep).

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