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It's the Island Life | Weekly Snapshot

By the time this post is published, we will all be back home, but right this moment, as I type this up, we are enjoying our last day at Daufuskie, a secluded island near Hilton Head, SC and Savannah, GA. We were lucky to score a cottage (without having to break the bank) with front-row access to the beach, something that has always been on my bucket list and that I was thrilled to cross off.  This week has been very refreshing and just what I needed - a getaway, a break from it all, a retreat with family with no thoughts of work, to-do lists, and chores getting in the way. The island sure runs on its own time. The streetlights aren't turned ON at night to avoid attracting turtles too far from their ideal nesting place. There's the alligator crossing time at night when they go from pond to pond visiting friends (and hence tourists are advised to stay home when it's dark). There are very few cars - instead the preferred mode of transportation is via golf carts, which can go o

2021 Reading Goals and Plans

I usually wait until mid to late January before posting my reading plans or goals. Mainly because I'm very optimistic about my superhuman capabilities during the start of a new year but much of that enthusiasm fades over the next couple of weeks. I tend to believe I can read more than ever but reality is usually closer to how much I averaged in previous years. So, to allow myself the opportunity to dream big and then plan well, I take the ambitious goals for a road test during the first couple of weeks of the year. If they still look achievable, great! If not, I will part ways with those that are a stretch. 

The numbers

I have an arbitrary number set in Goodreads for this year but it's not a number I will quote as I tend to change it often and it is intended to factor in the many picture books I read with my kids. But that said, there are three numbers I would like to improve this year (last year's stats in parentheses) - total number of pages read (approx. 11k), average number of days spent per book (4 days), and average number of pages read per day (44 pages). In other words, read more and read often. 

The focus

As always, I start every year planning to read better, and almost always, I spend more time than I want to figure out my next read. I tell myself that I could have finished a book in the time it takes me to decide a read. So last month, I went through my reading lists and noted down 20 titles and 20 authors that I have always been meaning to read. These are authors that many love or authors who I have enjoyed in the past but have not read enough of. 

Another goal I have for myself this year - something I have shied away from a lot due to limited reading time - is to read more big books. To be honest, even reading one book will be a win, considering it has been a while since I last read a 500+ pager that isn't a YA title. My goal is 2 for this year and while it may take me a long time to read them, just reading is progress. To hold myself accountable, I'm signing up for the Chunkster Reading Challenge

The third thing I want to focus on is to read more from my own shelves. Again this is a goal that I sign up for every year but then books on the other side (usually from the library) tend to look shinier. Signing up with the Mount TBR challenge at the Pike's Peak level (12).

The prompts

And this is where I'm sure I won't last long. I almost considered abandoning them but truth be told, I love the prompts that each of these three challenges - Reading WomenUncorked Reading Challenge, and Read Harder - have posted. These aren't abstract prompts, and many are what I would consider challenging (for me), because my reading rarely takes me there even though I want it to. So, while I am not sure how much progress I will make against these prompts, I plan to at least try some of them. 

No matter how this ends, the fun is both in the planning and the discovery of new books. Besides, it has been years since I did any reading challenges, so this will be fun as well. It's been wonderful checking out everyone else's plans for the year so far. Are you doing any of the above challenges?