Skip to main content

Hello there 2015!


Happy New Year, everyone!!

I say this every year, and maybe every month and almost every season, but I am always frightened by how fast time goes. Gone are the days when I measured time by when my next birthday would come, and now it only gives me pleasure when there is still a lot of time left before the next one. Nevertheless, January 1st is always a beautiful day - it's the day of new promises, new hopes, new dreams and wishes, and at least in theory, the end of all the bad habits we have. Of course, January 2nd puts an end to most of that.

2014 has been a tricky year for me and also at this blog. That is the year I finally understood why many leave blogging after a few or several years of continued posting. The face of blogging has changed so much since I first started posting about books, but more importantly, what I wanted to talk about has also changed. There were days when I didn't have any interest to blog, and then days when I just wanted to holler out loud. While some bloggers have found a way to balance out their new interests, I am still without an answer on how to do so in a way that makes sense for me. I guess 2015 is going to be a year of exploration, just like 2014 was, in many ways.

2014 was also a year of several ups and downs. On the personal front, we had some disappointing stuff happen, but we have also had some good stuff to cheer us up. I expect 2015 to be a very busy year personally, and it's good to know that at the beginning of the year because then I won't make any lofty promises and goals to accomplish this year.

Picture source

On the reading front, 2014 wasn't my best. I wanted to read more books from several other countries, and while I did read more diversely than before, it wasn't enough. Part of the problem was accessibility. The other part of the problem was being a mood reader and not much of a list person. I found that I enjoyed my reading best when I randomly picked a book without any plan or commitment to it. I want 2015 to be that year. The year I finally let go of lists and review commitments, and read whatever I want to read. It is a beautiful thing to not know what my next read is going to be. I don't think I've ever completed a reading list. No, that's not true. I have finished a couple of challenges. One was a Person of Color reading challenge, and the other was a Graphic Novel reading challenge. The first one was during my early days of blogging, when I was a lot more methodical about my reading. I was all about plans and lists and order. The latter was when I was more whimsical and random with my reading. I was just going with the mood and reading whatever I wanted. I've had the most fun with books when they come to me unbidden. Sure, there are some review books I've liked, some hyped books I've enjoyed, some tour books I've rated high, but I didn't read any of them because I wanted to read them. I read them because I had to, whined a lot during the process, and luckily for me and the book, the journey happened to be worth it. But that has been happening less often lately. I get pretty annoyed nowadays if a book found a place on my list just because I had to read it. And that obviously isn't a good sentiment to have. No wonder I had a crappy 2014 in reading. My whole reading was planned out for me and I had more ruts last year than ever before.

So here's to a year of no goals. I like not having a list to follow for the year - it makes me feel free to do whatever I want to do and hopefully discover the books I may not have come across otherwise.

What book are you reading to welcome in the new year? I am about 70% through Letters in the Attic, which is a seriously beautiful book I knew nothing about until I started reading it. I am looking forward to continuing with it and then pick up something entirely random next.

What are you hoping 2015 will be for you?


Comments

Andi said…
Cheers to fewer goals and just letting the reading and life happen. I hope 2015 is wonderful for you.
Trish said…
I hope that 2015 is a wonderful year for you and a one of renewed desire and pleasure. I went through what you're going through several years ago and finally quit the book blog, set up the new blog and started completely over. It was the only way for me to let go, but I don't think one needs to completely start over. What I have learned is that people LOVE connecting on a level other than books. Maybe it's that we're all tired of reading and commenting on reviews, but we all have a life outside of books and once we've been blogging together so long I think it becomes natural to share things outside of books. All this to say that maybe test the waters a bit!


Either way, no goals sounds like a great goal. My only real goal is to read THREE book written before 1900, just because I didn't read any last year. Otherwise, the year is a blank slate. Love that! Happy new year Athira!
Belle Wong said…
I went through a similar kind of blogging slump and then in November I decided to start blogging daily about anything I wanted to. Surprisingly, making that description stripped away the stress I'd been feeling about blogging - stress I didn't even realize I was feeling until it was gone! I find most of my posts are still bookish, I guess because my life is basically bookish!

I'm a mood reader too. I've never actually set reading goals but I have for this year, but without a single list of books other than a short list of books I want to read from my TBR stash. I know exactly what you mean about the freedom to read randomly. I really need that flexibility too. Here's to a great new year with loads of good books!
Sam O'Hara said…
Happy New Year!
And a year of no goals sounds just perfect. I am hoping to read more diversely as well, and will be tracking my reading, but I'm not going to put myself off by actually setting a target. Hope 2015 turns out to be a great year for you & your family.
iliana said…
Here's to a great 2015! I hope you find what works for you with regards to the blog. I think for me it's learning to be flexible and always keeping in mind that this is supposed to be fun for me. No pressures, just enjoying the reading journey.
bellezza said…
I can completely commiserate with the ambivalence about blogging I feel you expressing. Sometimes, I can't wait to open my dashboard. Others, I want to run away. It is hard to find a balance, it is hard not to let ones joy become a job. And the worst is feeling a burden of having to read a specific title, followed by the second worse which would be letting my friends down my not commenting enough. I have been terrible at that this year! Well, here's to hoping we find a balance, and better yet, never lose our joy. Happy New Year!
bermudaonion(Kathy) said…
It's hard to keep up enthusiasm for book blogging because it's a lot of work! 2014 was rough for us too. I hope 2015 is better for everyone. Happy New Year!
Vasilly said…
As a fellow moody reader, I know how hard it is to accomplish your reading goals.I hope you're able to find a way to make blogging work for you. Happy New Year!
Mystica said…
I can understand about accessibility. If it was not for Netgalley and Open Library I have no access to anything new in the reading world. Old books yes, new books are exorbitant here.
Here's to seeing you on the blog in 2015. Have a very happy 2015.
JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing said…
Here's to blogging and reading freedom! No stress is my goal this year, too. Happy 2015!!
literaryfeline said…
Time really does go by fast. My daughter asked me just last night how long it will take before she's a big girl. I wasn't sure how to answer that. I asked her if she wanted to be a big girl now and she said yes. She wants so much to be older. To be five like her best friend (my daughter will be 4 in March). And all I want is time to slow down. I don't want her to grow up too fast.


I wish you the best with 2015. A year with no obligations sounds like a good goal to have. I hope things calm down in your personal life was well. Here's to a year of calm and joy and very few stumbling blocks (especially the big ones).
Yay for no goals! I have mostly given up on goals -- I'm trying to read diversely this year, as I did last year, but that's the only parameter I'm setting on my 2015 reading. Whenever I try to make myself do challenges, I rebel and end up hating everything. So, lots of sympathy for you from a fellow mood-reader!
Lisa Sheppard said…
I wanted to make a more concerted effort to not have scheduled reviews I'm committed to but then I already agreed to several this year. I do so often feel just like you do - it's work and not as much fun as it should be. Reading should be fun!
Athira / Aths said…
Thank you! I hope randomness is just what I want in my reading. If not, I can do lists next year, right?
Athira / Aths said…
I agree with you that people love connecting on a personal level, sometimes even more than talking about books. I hope a blank slate as far as my reading plans is concerned is just what I need this year. If not, there are always lists waiting to be made right?
Athira / Aths said…
I am glad the blogging daily worked for you! Sometimes you just need to do something different and inspiring but with very few restrictions. I really like not knowing what my next read is going to be, and just being surprised by it. I hope we both have very good reading years!
Athira / Aths said…
If my no-goal reading doesn't go well, I will be making my lists, lol. I may make a target too, but if I do, I will be aiming so low that I can be sure I will hit it.
Athira / Aths said…
Flexibility is just what is needed! I think accepting that there are many other things we are interested in, or that stuff will keep happening will let us be less hard on ourselves. This needs to be enjoyable!
Athira / Aths said…
I know what you mean! I do need to remember that reading is not my job, it is my hobby, and I should read what I am interested in, when I am interested in it, rather than because of a date marked on my calendar. I hope you have a great 2015 and make through your goals/wishes too!
Athira / Aths said…
I did see a lot of people go through blogging ruts in 2014. I hope too that 2015 is a good year for everyone!
Athira / Aths said…
I hope so too! If I can just go with the flow, I will know that I have found the way!
Athira / Aths said…
Thank you! I have been doing more online reading too lately. I somehow find that this is best option for reading new books and also books you want to read right now. I may end up doing more of that this year.
Athira / Aths said…
Thank you! Happy 2015 to you too!
Athira / Aths said…
I so wanted to be a big girl when I was a kid too. And now I wish that I had never aged! Or at least not that fast. It's funny how you are never happy with what you have right now. I hope you have a great 2015 too!
Athira / Aths said…
True about that rebelling! Make a list and it is guaranteed to be neglected. I should only make lists of books I don't want to read.
Athira / Aths said…
It is so hard to say no to a book that looks so good!! I usually had many months planned out with scheduled reviews, and in a way, I am glad to not have anything scheduled up. Though it isn't very hard for me to say yes to another one, you know?
Athira / Aths said…
A baby will always complicate best-laid plans! I totally agree that balance is the key. You have to live too, but it would be so nice to have oodles of time for reading and blogging!
Delia (Postcards from Asia) said…
I hope this year will be everything you want it to be and more! I can
understand the pressure of commitment and the end of the year is a good
time to ponder and reflect on changes, especially when it comes to
blogging. From experience I found out it's good to be organized,
disorganized, post on a schedule and also post when you want to. If
blogging becomes a duty rather than something you do for pleasure (well,
sometimes it can be but not always!) it's not fun anymore.
For this year I hope I can stick to the list I just posted - 11 shiny new hopes and dreams for 2015. Wish me luck!
Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said…
Happy New Year! I like making lists of books for challenges, but try to avoid that it will determine all my reading. It's one of my greatest pleasure to stand in front on the TBR shelf and chose a new book according to my current mood.
Nishita said…
I am currently reading J by Howard Jacobsen, so far in, it is a good, moody read, and is keeping me in a bit of suspense. I hope the rest of the year also goes with similar high-quality books :)


I am still blogging, but feeling a little bored with the content I am putting out. Everything seems same-old, same-old, but I have no idea what to do to change things around a bit. Maybe it's time for a theme change? Let's see. No resolutions or goals set yet.
Ti Reed said…
Amen, sister. No goals here either. I can't bring myself to make any. I feel like I set myself up for failure because something always pops up. I feel good though knowing I can roll with the punches. You know? I don't feel like a failure. I just know that goals are not my thing. I prefer to do the one word thing where you focus all year on one word. Last year I chose Simplicity and it helped. This year, I am still thinking about my word.
Athira / Aths said…
I totally agree with you! It is so important to do what works for you. If a schedule and plans and goals make you happy, then that is the way to go. If they feel like pressure, then ditch them all and post as you wish.
Athira / Aths said…
Ooh I love that way of reading. Just look at a random assortment of books and read what catches your fancy. I sometimes wish I didn't know what books I own. That makes me feel like I am at my library and choosing a random book to read.
Athira / Aths said…
I know what you mean. Once in a while, I feel stuck in routine and want to change something, but I don't know what. Personally, I think your blog is one of the most eclectic and diverse ones out there, so kudos to you!
Athira / Aths said…
I think if I want to make lists, I should make lists of books I don't want to read, things I don't want to do, etc. Because all my lists end up like that - I don't read a single book out of my Must-Read-This-Year lists.

Popular posts from this blog

Hell-Heaven by Jhumpa Lahiri (Short Fiction Review)

I first read Jhumpa Lahiri years ago, when her Interpreter of Maladies was making a huge buzz. At the time, I didn't catch any of the buzz, but for some reason, when I saw the book on the shelf at the store I was browsing in, I felt it just might be a decent read. Funnily, I read the entire short story collection without complaining about it, but for some reason, I cannot read any collection anymore without agonizing over its disjoint nature.

I did enjoy Interpreter of Maladies, but I did get bothered by the thread of loneliness and infidelity and distrust that laced through the stories. For that reason, I have been reluctant to read Unaccustomed Earth. However, when I came across Hell-Heaven at the NewYorker - a free short story from her book, I decided to go ahead and read it. I can't resist the pull of stories set in India or featuring Indian characters, and it is that same aspect that hooked me throughout this story.


In Hell-Heaven, the narrator contemplates the relations…

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Maybe that’s what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place.
Bernadette Fox has a reputation. While her husband and her daughter Bee love her, there's barely anyone else who share the sentiment. Her neighbor Audrey loves to gossip mean things about her with her close friend, Soo-Lin. The other parents of kids at Bee's school look down on Bernadette because she doesn't involve herself in school affairs. Bernadette herself goes out of her way to avoid company.

And then one day, Bee comes home with an excellent report card and asks for her reward - a family trip to Antarctica. The very plan throws Bernadette into a panic but she has no other option. She hires a virtual assistant, based out of India to take care of all her demands, including getting prescriptions at her local pharmacy, doing her online shopping and taking care of some of the logistics of her trip. (It is ridiculous! Bern…

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (Short Fiction review)

With the Hunger Games hype that engulfed us last week, it was hard to avoid all the discussion of similar works that existed. Of the many titles that I came across, two stood out particularly - a short story called The Lottery and a Japanese novel (and movie) called Battle Royale (which I'm reading right now and just cannot put down). The novel will be fodder for another post, so for now, I just want to rave about the awesomeness that was The Lottery.

In contemporary America, villagers across the country are gathering on the 27th of June (and some a day earlier) for an annual event called the Lottery. Children, women, men, all come to the main square of their village or town, where the lottery master keeps a black box full of paper chips. One of these chips is marked has a special mark on it to identify the winner (the person who draws that chip). Not everyone draws however, but only the head of the family. Husbands are viewed as the head of their families/households, and if the …