2014 Reading Plan + January Required Reading

I meant to blog about this earlier, but I got too caught up in reading several books over the weekend that I sorta kinda forgot to blog. But better late than never! First off: HAPPY 2014, EVERYONE!

I’ve always liked New Year’s. One funny and surprising thing this year is I actually finished writing my 2014 goals hours before 2014 rolled around, and I suddenly felt so mature and on track for this year. So right now I’m declaring that 2014 will be a great year for me, for life in general and of course, for reading.

I think this year will be a little but busier than normal because I made some pretty huge commitments, so I will take it a little easier on the goals. Just a little, because I still want to be challenged, but I don’t want to be too challenged that it gets too pressuring. So, here we go, the 2014 reading goals:

52 Books

I set the same goal last year, and then I upped it to 75, and I almost didn’t make it. Oops! This year, I am sticking to 52 even if I reach half of it before July. Like I said, it’s going to be a bit busy this year, and 52 is a pretty manageable number. :)

3 Classics

I used to have a 5 classic books goal every year, but this time I’m trimming it to 3 because I never reach the 5! I mean, I did, but it was sort of cheating because I read children’s classic books. :D I’m going to set lower expectations and go for a lower number so I can read the other classics. I’m thinking it’s time to pick up another Austen (Sense & Sensibility, perhaps?) this year.

20 Filipino Books

I exceeded this goal last year, so this year it shouldn’t be too hard, right? I think I will try branching out from the contemporary romance genre and start reading those books that were assigned for Lit class in school back in college, just so I get to read some of them now without the school vibe over me. :D

I also realized that I hardly touched my print books last year because of Hannah the Kindle! So this year, I’m planning to read more print books and really get working on this TBR. I mean, I know I will still keep acquiring books, but it helps if I read some that I’ve had with me for years before I get more, right? Right? (It’s a good thing I only have like, 5 books that I really, really want to get this year. More on that on a later post. :D)

Other than that, I found that I also want to read a few more non-fiction this year, and (gasp) some financial books. I know, I’m surprised at this myself, but I’m not getting younger, and I realize it’s time to learn more about these grown-up things. :D

Of course Required Reading will still be here, which reminds me…


I posted my January books on Instagram a few days back, and like I mentioned there, I always read more on January so I added a few books to the list. Of course one of them is a spillover from December and another is a reread, but that just gives me room to read more if I have time, right? :)

Books for January 2014

Books for January 2014

  • History in English Words by Owen Barfield – spillover from December, a book I’m reading as a favor to my good friend JL. 40 pages left!
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – Rereading this month for our book club’s January discussion
  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown – I loved her TED videos, and I was so thrilled to get a copy of her book. Loving every bit of it so far. :)
  • The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr – some contemporary YA goodness from one of my favorite contemporary YA authors.
  • Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews – because I missed Kate Daniels’ world and I want some good urban fantasy. It’s been a while since I read one.

And there you go. I’m tempted to make a reading list for the entire year, but I don’t want to be too strict on myself so I will just let myself pick whatever books I want to read every month for the next 12 months. Sounds like a good plan, yes? I can’t wait to discover more good books this year.

Have a happy 2014, friends, and happy reading!



2013 Reading Goals and Challenges

Happy New Year! Before the first day of 2013 officially ends, I thought I’d put this post up now before I work on my 2013 wish list and my first Required Reading for 2013. Oh, and of course, catch up on the reviews. :) I still plan on writing reviews for the other books I read in 2012, promise!

Image from we heart it

Image from we heart it

The start of the year is always the best time to join challenges, yes? 2012 saw some sort of change in my reading habits, so I’m adjusting my goals for this year to fit those new habit and preferences more comfortably. Because I believe that there should be no pressure when it comes to something like reading, plus I feel that 2013 will be a busy year for everything else in my life. I’m taking advice from people like Dr Hauschka…no wait, I meant, general advice from everyone else to take it easy and just enjoy reading. :)

So! Here are my reading goals and challenges for 2013. :)

52 Books

I am lowering the number of books I plan to read this year significantly because like I said, I’ve don’t read as fast as I used to. I blame my social life for that. Also, I’m starting to venture to other genres, and I tend to read and absorb instead of just read through. So I’ll take it easy with the number and just aim for 52 books — 1 book a week. :) Should be easy enough.

5 Classics

As usual, there’s the 5 classics book goal for the year. I only got to 2 in 2012, but I hope to finally reach 5 this year. Well, okay, I got to 5 in 2011, but three of them were children’s classics and two were rereads, so I hope this year, I would tackle new ones. :)

4 Chunksters

I’m trying to embrace the reality of doorstoppers, and you know, not fear very thick books. Heh. I read 2 of them last year, and I want to read more of them in 2013. I intend to read one every quarter, and so far, here’s my list:

  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  • Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin

20 Filipino Books

I was surprised that I got to more than 20 Filipino books this year. I thank the Filipino ReaderCon and author friends and friends from local publishing houses for this, because I got access to more local fiction. I look forward to more of that this year. :)

Required Reading 2013

I will still be doing Required Reading for 2013, especially since other friends have started doing it, too, with their own variations sometimes. It helps me when I plan what books I will read in the month. Watch out for my first Required Reading post this week!

The Reread Factor

I enjoyed rereading several books last year, mostly because they’re less pressure reads and I find that rereading old favorites give me comfort and fresh insight on why I liked the book when I first read it. I will still do this every now and then, but I won’t be setting a goal or counting them anymore. I will probably post about them sometimes, though.

I thought of setting some blogging goals, but quite honestly, I think the blogging has taken a bit of a back seat in the past year. I will still post reviews and some of my features, but there are no specific goals for the blog just yet. I think, in 2013, I will just enjoy my reading and not be too pressured to always blog. :)

Are you planning to join challenges this year? I’m curious! Share them in the comments so we can encourage each other as 2013 unfolds. :) Happy new year, everyone!

2012 Reading Goals and Challenges

Ahoy there! Greetings from 2012! :) It’s been 2012 on my side of the world for more than 12 hours, and it’s been quiet so far. But that may be because I’m alone at home right now. :P The best time to blog is always at the start of the year, so I’m going to make use of all that optimistic energy by getting as many posts in now and not just follow this link with all this spare time.

So anyway, a new year means new reading challenges. And if you know me, I’m all about reading challenges. Or, okay, not really, but I like challenging myself to see how far I can go. I’ve got some interesting challenges I’m going to join this year, and instead of making a post/page for each, I thought I’d put them all in one. :) (Oh, and here’s my 2011 reading statistics, if you’re curious :D)

Well, not necessarily buy... :P

Reading Quantity – >125

I don’t really set the number of books I’m going to read since I believe it’s about quality and not quantity, but I am going to try to top last year’s number (125). I don’t know if I can get to 150, but I will try. Let’s see. :) Print books and ebooks will still be here, but I also really want to start trying out more audiobooks this time. They’re fantastic in the gym. :D

Classics – 5 books in 2012

It was very rewarding to finally reach the five book goal for my classics reading challenge. This year, I’m still sticking to five, but I will try to read classic books I haven’t read yet, and no more thin novella-like books. This tentative list contains Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, 1984 by George Orwell and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I won’t decide on the fifth one just yet, because I’m still debating if I will finally read Vanity Fair.

Books written by Filipino authors – 20

I didn’t reach my goal last year, but 15 isn’t a bad number. This year, I will try reading the 20 again and hope I get to reach that goal this time around. I think it may be easier now since there’s Flipreads so there are more Filipino ebooks now, and I still have some leftover Filipino books on my TBR pile. Also, I will make it a point to review these books I read.

2-digit TBR pile

This is going to be a little harder than my other goals because…well, book-hoarding is an addiction! But anyway, this year I will try to reduce my TBR pile from 130+ to somewhere below 100. If I can maintain that at the end of the 2012, then good, but I’ll be happy if I manage to reach a 2-digit number for my TBR pile sometime within the year and go back to 3 digits again because of book acquisition. :D

Chunkster Challenge – Chubby Chunkster: 4 chunkster books

Since I read more YA than I read non-YA books, I’ve always felt a little intimidated by those oh-so-thick books. With the amount of books on my TBR pile, I feel like anything more than 400 pages is too much of a time investment. But it’s time to stop thinking that way and start reading those awfully thick books that everyone has been raving about. So this year, I am joining my first Chunkster challenge, at the Chubby Chunkster level, which is 4 Chunkster books. Here’s my list:

  • Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet (976 pages)
  • A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R.R. Martin (835 pages)
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin (766 pages)
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (465 pages)

Required Reading 2012

I enjoyed setting monthly books for this challenge, so I’m doing it again this year. Watch out for my first Required Reading post of 2012 coming this week! :)

Re-read Challenge – 10

This is really just for me and my obsession at finding out if the books I liked/loved during the first read. I want to know if I would still like/love them when I read them again. Ignore me, I’m just OC (but if you want to join me, I’ll post about it :D).

Book Acquisition: Borrow instead of Buy

This isn’t a reading challenge, but more of an acquisition challenge. LOL. This year, I plan to really keep track of the books I buy for myself. I tried doing that last year but lost steam later on. This year, I will do better with that, and for books that I kind of want to read but not sure if I’d want to have a copy, I’ve resolved to just borrow. I will only allow myself to buy books for auto-buy authors, and pre-order of books that I really, really want — preorder because it’s cheaper (see this list).

Blogging: Interact and participate more

I will continue to interact with other bloggers and I will up the ante this year. Which means, well, leaving more comments, and participating in Twitter conversations and things like that. I will also participate in Armchair BEA again, and Book Blogger Appreciation Week too (I missed joining BBAW last year because I was too busy).

This also includes participating in local things, like in my book club’s discussions and Filipino Book Blogger events. :) It looks like it will be an exciting year for us, too. :)

Blogging: Come up with blog features and fun stuff

I think it’s time to have some changes in this blog and post things other than reviews. This means some more author interviews, maybe some more giveaways (when I have budget, of course), and then some guest posts here. I’ve got some things under wraps — I will post about it soon. :)

And that’s it! I think these things are pretty doable. I’m not going to stress myself out — I plan to have as much fun (even more, if possible) this year with my reading like I did last year. Let’s do this!

Share your reading goals in 2012 in the comments! I’d love to know what you’re up to this year. :)

Filipino Friday: Goals and Resolutions

Filipino FridayI meant to host Filipino Friday last week, but all the hoopla and celebrations for the turn of the year caught up with me and I totally forgot about it. Ooops. Sorry Chachic!

But anyway, here I am! To those unfamiliar, Filipino Friday is a weekly (or sort of weekly) discussion among Filipino Book Bloggers about anything book or book blogging related. I’d like to start off this year’s discussion with something that I am sure everyone did or is still doing now that the new year is upon us: reading goals and resolutions.

I’m fond of setting goals and resolutions, because I believe in the power of setting one. That’s one of the big reasons why I love the new year because it allows people to start with a blank slate and leave whatever they don’t want to bring into the new year from the past there. I am also slightly nuts about setting challenges for myself, so I am always open to joining challenges that I like, or even some challenges that I am not sure I like them just so I can try to go outside of my comfort zone. So here’s this week’s question: what are your 2011 goals and resolutions as a reader and (Filipino) book blogger? Do you plan to read more books from last year, or do you plan to concentrate on a certain genre only? Do you want to up your stats, your comments or network more? Are you joining reading challenges or are you winging it? Do you plan to buy more books or less? Do you have a reading order ready for the books you will read for January, or even in the next months or the whole year?

I’ve already posted about joining the TwentyEleven challenge, which I hope helps me try new books and genres that I haven’t read before. I’ve also decided not to put a number on the books I plan to read this year after I’ve reached 100 last year — although I wouldn’t mind reading more than the number of books I read last year. I have set other goals for myself, though:

  • Read 5 classics – I’ve been setting a 10 book goal in a year, but I know that I will never reach that number because I read classics too slow. I read 3 last year (5 if you count the C.S. Lewis books, which I am not sure are classics), so this year, I’m aiming for a lower number from 10, but higher from the total I read last year. :)
  • Read at least 20 books by Filipinos – I really enjoyed Project 20:10 last year, and even if I didn’t reach the target 20 books, I’m happy that I tried. I have discovered many good Filipino fiction last year because of that challenge. I want to do that again this year.

As for resolutions? I haven’t set a final list, but here’s what I have from the top of my head:

  • I will embrace my Mt. TBR. No more stressing over the number of books I have or will have. Sure, I still think I have too many, but I will not stress over it anymore. I figure, as long as I can read and love reading, I will not stop getting books, so why fight it?
  • However, I will avoid impulse buys. I am very bad at impulse buys. Book buying is my kind of retail therapy, so whenever I am sad or angry or emotional, I tend to get more books. :P I will try to stop doing that…by doing what, I am not sure yet. But I will avoid impulse buys as much as possible.
  • I will allow myself not to finish books. Best example is the book I posted about yesterday. However, I will only probably do this for review copies, if I really cannot stand it anymore. I will still attempt to finish the books I bought with my own money, no matter how much I end up disliking it. I have very high tolerance, anyway. :P And while review copies are nice (and free), I will not force myself to love the book or finish it if I have lost interest.
  • I will keep on writing honest reviews and find ways to improve my reviewing. I know I tend to ramble on my reviews, so this year I’m going to work on that. :P
  • I will clean out my shelves twice this year. No, not dusting or re-arranging (although I would do that), but I will weed out books that I know will find better homes somewhere. If I know I won’t re-read it anymore, then I can give them to someone who will love it more than I do.
  • I will attend more bookish events this year. I think this is self-explanatory? :)

So what about you? What are your reading/blogging goals and resolutions this 2011? I know some of you have already posted your goals and challenges in your blogs, so feel free to leave a link for them below and I can do a round up here, too. :)

I’m sure most of us agree that 2010 has been a good year for us Filipino Book Bloggers, so here’s to hoping 2011 will be an even better year. :) *cheers*

Project 20:10

Just when you thought there are no more challenges to join for 2010, yes?

Of course not. It’s still January, there’s still room for challenges! :)

Introducing another challenge that I will be crazy enough to join this year — and this will probably be the last, because if I join one more I think I’ll really go crazy. :P

Where was I? Oh yeah, introducing the project.

An interesting graphic, I know. Here’s what Project 20:10 is about:

PROJECT 20:10 is a campaign to get people to support more local content, as well as create more local content.

By joining the project, you pledge to read/watch/play the works of twenty (20) local authors/ creators/ developers who you haven’t supported before, before the year 2010 is up.

Also, by joining, you pledge to create an original piece of high quality fiction/ comic/ animation/ game worth at least ten (10) pages/ minutes/ levels before the year 2010 is up.

The premise here is to solve the deadlock: the main problem for our lack of local content is there is no support, and there is no support because there is lack of local content. It’s an endless loop that will never end unless something is done to break it — and to break it, both sides should be addressed.

So this year, on top of my other reading challenges, I’m also joining Project 20:10:

SUPPORT 20: I pledge to read the works of 20 local authors who I haven’t supported before, before 2010 is up.

CREATE 10: I also pledge to create an original piece of high quality fiction at least 10 pages before the year 2010 is up.

I’m not sure if what I will write for this year’s NaNoWriMo will be considered “high quality”, but the Create 10 thing is almost done, at least by November. ;) The Support 20 might be hard, though, and probably way beyond my comfort zone. The only local fiction I pick up are the local chick lit — at least the ones that catch my eye. What else could I read? Do graphic novels count?

But a challenge is not a challenge unless I get to challenge myself, right? Okay, that probably only made sense to me. But if you’re a Filipino, you like reading and you’re interested in challenging yourself, join Project 20:10! This might be your chance to start seeing more quality Filipino works on the shelves of our bookstores! We have to start somewhere, right?

Oh, and Project 20:10 is having its launch on January 30, 2010 at the Ateneo High School Fair, 1:00PM. As part of the launch, there will be a talk on character creation by Yvette Tan, Elbert Or and more! :) More details in their Facebook group page (where you can join too!).

Okay, now where to get those 20 local works now…any suggestions?