2018 Goals & 2017 Books in Review

I was considering making another infographic about my reading habits but decided I would rather reflect on my experience on doing the challenge and also talk about what goals I’d like to set myself for the new year. One of the things I realized while doing the reading challenge is that I buy a lot of my books. Which is ironic because I’m studying to become a librarian. I love going to a library and I love how helpful librarians always are but I love the feeling of owning a good book. I love re-reading my books and re-reading becomes a lot easier, when you own it.

I know this isn’t entirely practical but even though I read off of my e-reader a lot, and despite how convenient my Nook is–nothing can really beat how it feels to turn a page and an e-reader doesn’t smell quite the same as a new book. And you can really tell which publishers really put their all into creating a book. Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson is a great example. If you happen to see the US edition in a bookstore, try opening it and the end pages are amazing. They hired an artist to do it and each depicts a god from one of the religions in the story. The Illustrated Edition of Harry Potter is another example. The size of the book and the artwork done by Jim Kay isn’t quite the same if you were to buy a digital edition.

But I’m not trying to say an e-reader is worse because I own one and I read off of it every day. They both have their different merits!

Reflection

When I started my reading challenge and set my goal to 100 books, I wasn’t really setting out to aim that goal. I wanted to challenge myself to read more but I didn’t want to beat myself over if I didn’t reach that number. Despite not reaching my end goal, I still managed to read 88 books (not counting books I’ve re-read this year). I was able to read that much is because I commute a lot and I usually read before I go to bed. I set aside at least 3 hours to read per day and if I enjoy the book, I have a hard time putting it down.

I actually didn’t have a lot of time to read in December because of school and I had two major essays due but reading is really important to me, so I made sure to organize my schedule properly. I set aside time to do my readings/lectures/homework throughout the week and also set aside time where I had free/relax time. I tried to remind myself not to overextend myself!

I also realized that I read a lot of paranormal romance/urban fantasy. I think because they’re always churning out with paranormal romance/urban fantasy books these days and the more I read of the same genre, the more I begin to see the cliches and find it harder and harder to find a good book to read. Stand out books in the genre included the Innkeeper Chronicles by Seanan McGuire and The Others by Anne Bishop. Both series completed this year and they’re both equally amazing!

I also read a few different novels based off of superheroes and Miles Morales: Spiderman by Jason Reynolds and Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo were incredible as well. They both, I felt, had strong characterization… which I feel is important for superheroes (over what kind of power they have). If you’ve heard of the Six of Crows series, Leigh Bardugo wrote that as well!

A book I didn’t expect to like was The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

Overall, I’m really glad I did this challenge! I learned a lot about my reading habits and I did read a lot more books than I normally would have read (because I decided to document all the new books I’ve read this year). This is something I’d like to continue next year and maybe I’ll create a separate section for books I’ve re-read. I’d like to challenge myself to read more books outside of fantasy but I said that this last year too and look how well that turned out. I haven’t read any science fiction books this year, so I want to challenge myself to read at least one sci-fi novel!

2018 Goals

Read at least one sci-fi novel: Like I mentioned above, I want to read more and that includes reading more sci-fi novels. I like fantasy and although the two genres are different, I feel like I could find a good sci-fi novel to enjoy. I recently bought Ninefox Gamit by Yoon Ha Lee, which I’m very excited to read!

Finish at least one book written in Korean: I previously mentioned that I bought two books in Korean, which are The Hobbit and Moonlight Drawn by Clouds. I started Moonlight Drawn by Clouds and managed to finish one chapter. I sort of put it aside because it’s really frustrating to look at a page and not know where you’re at because you’re unable to skim the page. Which I didn’t realize that I could only skim pages in English really quickly, because I’m fluent in English. Doh. The more you know, I guess.

Finish Grad School: I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to finish grad school, so I don’t know if this really counts as a “goal” but I only have two quarters left! Which is really exciting but also really stressful. My capstone (aka final/culminating project) is making oral history material available online for the Wing Luke Museum (an Asian-American museum).

Find a Job: I haven’t even started yet and I’m already stressed out. I’ve been working at my current job for about 3 years now and the idea of having to find a new one really, really stresses me out. I’m horrible at interviews and I’m really stressed about the idea that I might not be able to find a new job and about leaving my current job and will I be able to find a job in the field that I want?? Someone save me. Can I just skip ahead to after I find a job? haha

Travel: I really want to travel somewhere, outside Washington, at least once. Maybe Oregon? I really want to go to the Oregon Zoo! Or Vancouver B.C.? Or New York?? South Korea?? Somewhere in Europe??? I’m not sure. Out of country will probably be difficult financially, but I’m sure I can manage Oregon!

Be Creative: This is really general but I didn’t want to create another 3-4 goals. I want to do more film photography, I want to draw more, I want to do more paper crafts, I want to build things. I want to do a lot of things creatively!

Things I’m Looking Forward To

I have a lot of empty notebooks and journals that I’ve never used, that I want to get rid of. Or maybe I can gift them? I read Marie Kondo’s book and I want to try and get rid of all the stuff I don’t need. I realized that they only take up empty space and they’re really only collecting dust.

Something I’m also excited about is getting a handheld light meter! I’ve mentioned this in the past, but my film camera uses a battery that contains mercury, which means they’re no longer being made. Why does a film camera need a battery, you may ask? The battery is for the light meter, which tells you what to adjust so that the picture doesn’t come out too dark or too light. Which is a really noobish way of saying it and the explanation probably isn’t right, if you wanted to get nit picky, but it explains the gist. Right? I don’t know. Anyways! It doesn’t have to be exactly right, because depending on the type of film you use, you can achieve different effects.

So I’ve been using hearing aid batteries, which I think has a slightly higher voltage. I could continue using them but I felt like a handheld light meter would be a better long term investment, and also teach me more about using my light meter. And maybe one day I’ll be able to just intuit what to change the settings to! Which would be great. I found a really nice compact one that isn’t too expensive, so I’m going to purchase one and see how it works out!

I’m excited for a lot of other things, long term, but right now I’m really excited for my compact handheld light meter haha.

Thanks for reading. Happy New Year!

9 thoughts on “2018 Goals & 2017 Books in Review

  • I set reading goals for the same reason. I feel like if I don’t put my Goodreads challenge on, I won’t make any time for reading, when it’s something I really love to do. I think your goal definitely worked – 88 books is a lot to read in one year!

    I can’t stop myself buying physical copies of books. I bought a Kindle about seven years ago, and I’ve only read five books on there. Even though they’re more expensive and take up more space, I just love having an actually copy to hold. Plus, I read a lot of graphic novels, which wouldn’t look nearly as nice on my Kindle!

    The superhero books sound great and I’d love to read them. I’m really bad for buying more books than I have time to read though, so who knows when I’ll get round to it! Congrats on doing so well with your reading goal, and hope you enjoy it just as much next year!

    Good luck with your goals for 2018 and Happy New Year!

  • Happy New Year, Rezina!

    I totally understand about loving the feeling of being able to turn a page. The new book smell is great too! Reading 88 new books is still amazing! It’s hard to put time aside for certain things and I am proud of you for dedicating yourself to this challenge. There are certain genres that connect to people and it’s cool that you’ve found your comfort!

    Good luck with your goals for 2018! Finding a new job is definitely not an easy thing to do. Sending you all of the best wishes with finding something that fits your interests. Oregon is definitely a great start for traveling!

    I am totally guilty of having a lot of empty journals. It’s pretty cool that you’re getting a handheld light meter! Love how your photographs turn out. Looking forward to seeing your adventures of the year :).

  • We all read and enjoy books in different formats. The most important thing is to read them the way you like the most! :D If that means having a printed copy, that is brilliant.

    Reading 88 books is such an excellent result. It’s lovely that you have 3 hours set aside for reading! I need to read more and Netflix less!

    Finding a new job would be a scary process. You just never know what is going to come along. Hopefully, you will find a job that is a perfect fit, and you will enjoy it. :D

    I wish you the best on your goals for this year and hope 2018 will be a positive year. :)

  • Wow, 88 is a lot of books in one year! I think that’s great that the challenge helped you figure out your reading habits and made you read more than usual. Even if you didn’t hit 100, it’s still a success to me!

    Oh, and I know what you mean about the feeling of own a physical book. Even though I can read scanalations online, I love being able to flip through a physical graphic novel and being able to easily pick it up for a re-read. E-readers are convenient, but it’s still nice to have a physical copy sometimes!

    Good luck on your goals! I think they’re all reasonable and good things to aim for. That’s good that you’re pushing yourself to try a genre you don’t normally read, and of course, I love the “Be Creative” one :) I hope you won’t have too much problem finding a new job! I find interviews stressful, but the more you do it, the better you’ll get. You can do it!

    I’ve never used a light meter before, but I know a lot of photographers like to have one, even for digital photography. They look really useful!

    Happy New Year! I hope 2018 will be a good year for you!

  • 88 new books is a lot! I only read 15 new ones, while the rest were all re-reads. I hope to read more new ones in the new year, but we’ll see!

    It’s okay you didn’t read a lot because of school. My grad school saw me only do school-related reading and not much else. Needless to say, when I finished grad school, I read like crazy! And I know you will do the same :D

    Good luck with reading a book in Korean. I’m like you that I prefer to skim a book, and I can do that in English. With Korean? Forget it! My Korean reading level is very low and my vocabulary is even lower. Reading for me is meant to be a fun escape, and it’s really not fun if I have to struggle through it in Korean X_X;;

    I hope your 2018 will be great! I wish you luck with the remainder of your grad school programme. I do hope you’ll be able to travel somewhere outside of Washington this year, too. Take care and read, snap, and create to your heart’s content!

  • I read this post earlier but I can’t remember if I commented or not. Either way, I want to do a lot of these things too, especially the travel bit. I live in Wales so it would probably be quite hard to go to somewhere like Australia due to how much more expensive it would be when I could just as easily spend a weekend in Paris, but it’s something we’ve all got to do even if it’s just one town away haha. I also want to get a job, but as I’m at uni it would have to be part time – I’m thinking 60 hours a week – but being in a student town, it would be quite difficult to secure a job as everyone wants one, especially as the second semester approaches.

    Amy;
    Little Moon Elephant

  • You’ve just reminded me that I haven’t been to the library in a /really/ long time, which makes me sad. The library used to be place to hang out with my best friend when I was younger, but as I got older and had other commitments and work, I haven’t had time :( I need to make ore time this year because I do miss the library ~ I love librarians because you can tell how much they love books and they are so helpful, as well. It makes me so happy that you’re becoming one, too :D

    “nothing can really beat how it feels to turn a page and an e-reader doesn’t smell quite the same as a new book.” < AGREED! I have an eReader but I haven't touched it in at least a year because I can't get over flipping the pages of a new book and giving it a good ol' sniff!

    88 books is a massive achievement! Well done, girl <3

    In terms of your sci-fi novel; if you end up liking the book you bought, I would also suggest The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Hands down one of my favourite sci-fi book!

    Good luck with your goals; I know you're going to smash them <3 You've inspired me to set some reading goals of my own!

  • Happy New Year, Rezina! I apologize for being so horrible at returning comments lately :(

    Good job on reading 88 books last year! I set my goal for 100 books as well, but I only managed 3 books… so I cheated and changed the number before the year ended xD I’m so proud of you accomplishing such a great feat though! I grew up extremely fascinated with books, and I’m embarrassed at myself because it takes so much effort for me to read a book now.

    Good luck with your goals for this year!! I know you’re reach them all :D

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