Well I don’t know about y’all, but 2023 was quite the year for me. My partner and I got married! It was so fun, special, and beautiful. Check instagram @danyafineprint for more on that.
Bookishly, this was a big year too. Summer of 2023 was also when I officially, quietly returned to regular posting on my blog. This low-pressure approach was a perfect re-entry, and it helped me realize what types of posts I actually enjoy writing: book reviews. So you can expect a lot more of those from me looking forward!
This was also a big “numbers” year. For the first time in more than five years, I read over 100 books! I didn’t even think that was possible for me anymore. My regular audiobook listening during my train ride to work is a huge part of that. Of course I knew I’d read tons of audiobooks this year, but my jaw dropped when I saw the numbers.
There were some surprises for me when it came to genre, although my beloved fantasy and fantasy-romances were mainstays. But classics and literary fiction were surprising heavy-hitters, and I’ve found myself reaching for non-fiction (history, politics, and memoirs) more too.
I also read more widely across genres, publication dates, and formats than I ever have before. I’ve been more conscious of my own recency bias when it comes to book selection this past year, so I hope to read more widely from backlist catalogues. If I’m always scrambling to read new releases, I’ll never get to books I’ve been hoping to read for ages now!
The main reason for this eclectic selection is my on-going challenge to Read My Own Damn Books. If you’re not familiar, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a self-set challenge to read all the unread books on my shelves. I’m super proud and excited to share that after several years of plugging away at it, I’m within sight of completing that goal! I did a good job balancing my own books (ha) with ARCs from publishers and new releases from the library.
So what's in store for 2024?
Whatever I want! No, seriously – this year I’m only doing what I genuinely want to do with my leisure time. It’s kind of necessary when the “other stuff” of life gets to be a lot. One blog post per week won’t bring traffic to the blog, but it’s the amount of posting I want to do. I want to write book reviews, despite the relative lack of engagement they garner, so that’s what I’m going to focus on.
I want to sustain my forward momentum with Reading My Own Damn Books. In 2023, I read 61 books from my shelves, just under 60% of my total reading. As of January 1st, 2024, there are 54 books on my shelves that remain unread. I won’t read them all this year – too many tomes with 700+ pages – but I’d like to read half of them.
Staying on top of my ARCs is another thing I want to prioritize in 2024. I swear, the second I finished reviewing all my backlist ARCs, I went and requested a dozen more. Now the pile is creeping back up again and I want to review everything on time – or as close to publication date as I can.
Otherwise, my 2024 will be for mood reading. I set my Goodreads challenge to 75 books but I’m not fussed if I don’t complete it. I have a feeling I might though…I have my groove back!
What was your 2023 like? What energy are you hoping for in 2024? And most importantly…how many of you need to Read Your Own Damn Books?