2020: The Year of No Star-Ratings

Hindsight is 20/20 as they always say, and let me tell you, I’ve been trying to figure out how to turn that into some kind of personal challenge for 2020 for ages. In the end, the answer was easy and the eagle-eyed among you might have noticed in my January reading wrap-up… I don’t want to give star-ratings for books for a full year and see how it changes my reading and blogging.

There are a couple of reasons why I want to do this:

1. For the past few years, star ratings have gotten harder and harder to give. I’ll finish a book and be overthinking about if I should rate a book three or four, did I like it as much as X which I gave four stars, but it didn’t teach me anything like Y which I gave three. What was originally an impulse decision based on how much I enjoyed a book has become overly-complicated.

2. I’m trying to be less negative. I started book blogging to boost books I loved and lately I feel like I’ve become a real grump. I’ve become too critical to the point where I’m not enjoying reading as much because my brain is too busy thinking about star-ratings and reviews. Maybe it’s the English Literature degree, but I need to re-evaluate a lot of things in 2020 and I think taking away this small thing will help with that.

3. My average star rating in 2019 was three stars. That’s terrible. And I read some good books in 2020! I want to focus more on the books and less on the numbers, so I hope this will help! I’ve always liked star ratings, I’ve never understood why some people don’t use them, but they’ve stopped working for me and I’m ready to try something new.

The only time I’m going to rate a book is if it belongs on my six-star shelf and I know it in my bones. If a book changes my life, my sheets and cleans the litter box, it’ll get this rating.

What do you think of star ratings? Do you use them all the time?
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My Reading Goals for 2018!

I love setting reading goals for a new year. Even if we’re twenty days in, but it’s actually my birthday today so it’s like a new year all over again for me! I start a new Goodreads shelf on this day anyway, to track what I’m reading at what age. The shelf of everything I read when I was 20 is vastly different to the shelf of what I read at 23!



1. Keep Replacing!
Last year I unhauled 20 books which, for me, is incredible. Part of the way my OCD manifests is in slight hoarding so getting rid of anything is hard. Getting rid of things that I have read in my childhood, or haven’t read, really bothers me. But. I’m working on that and the motivation of only buying one book for ten I unhaul works. Plus, I want seven 2018 releases so…

2. Bigger and Better!
I want to read some chunky books. For me, big books are any over 400 pages but this year I’m looking at some 500+ page beauties. Maybe even 600+ pages. Who knows! I just feel like challenging myself to stick with a book for a good long time.

3. Read all of my 18 Books I want to Read in 2018 list!
My Goodreads goal is set to 18 this year after failing my first attempt at a challenging number last year, but in my mind, it’s these 18. I really think I covered classics, non-fiction, new releases and starting and finishing series well.

4. Diversify!
I don’t really read diversely. I do read mostly women but last year I only read two books written by a POC, and four that had LGBTQIA+ characters. That’s pretty garbage! So in 2018, I want to diversify my reading more. I definitely want to read more books with characters that are LGBTQIA+. Hit me up if you have any recommendations!

5. Thread them all on Twitter!
I’ve seen a few of these threads over the last year and I was envious of those who had them for their 2017 reads. So I started my own. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to see trends and patterns at the end of the year with it all written out linearly.

What are your reading goals for this year?
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My 5 Reading Goals for 2017: One Year On!

A year ago, I posted up the 5 Reading Goals I had for 2017 in all my fresh new year enthusiasm! And 6 months ago, I had a little review of them because I like to check in with myself with goals or I’ll completely forget them until the end of the year. And now, my final review, with a little haul as I only bought 2 books this year as one of my goals! Well, 2 and a bit…

My 5 Reading Goals for 2017: One Year On!

1. Stop delaying.
2017 was the year I read what I want to read when I want to read it. And I think this one was a major success! I’ve read so many books that have been sat on my shelves for years, and I’ve really started to enjoy types of books that I’ve always thought I didn’t! It’s been really interesting.

2. Goodbye comfort zone.

Classics, non-fiction and longer books were on the list for 2017 and classics was a slam-dunk! I read 15 classics, mainly through audiobooks and I loved exploring these books. I didn’t always like all of them, but I never finished a classic and felt like the time was wasted. I also read 5 non-fiction memoir type books, but longer books remain my nemesis for another year.

3. Read a book in German.

Afraid not! I finished my German module and I’m afraid that I still don’t feel confident enough to try this. Language learning isn’t my strength and I really struggle with it. 

4. Replace.

I wanted to curate my bookshelves to reflect myself more accurately in 2017. I wanted to take away the bad, the old, the unread, so that the books I love could shine clearer! I pushed myself to do this by making a numerical challenge, ten books out and one book in. I unhauled 20 books (here and here) and I only bought 2. I’m happier with the way my shelves are looking. And as for the books I bought…

Magisterium: The Silver Mask by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare and Night Shift by Charlaine Harris. Anne Boleyn: A Kings Obsession by Alison Weir and Yesterday by Felicia Yap.

My mini-haul is Magisterium: The Silver Mask by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare and Night Shift by Charlaine Harris (which has disappeared so Day Shift is filling in). Both of which I also read this year. And I also bought hardcover copies of two books that I had proofs of; Anne Boleyn: A Kings Obsession by Alison Weir and Yesterday by Felicia Yap.
Obviously, I don’t count my required reading books but you can see those here!

5. Read 80 books.

Well, lesson learned! I don’t do well with these kinds of challenges. I ended up reading 59 books in 2017, which is still more than I read in 2014 and only two less than 2016. But not the 80 I read in 2015 and while I didn’t let it pressure me, it was a little disappointing when I realised I wasn’t going to make it. Never again!

Did you make any reading goals last year? How did you do?
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My 5 Reading Goals for 2017

I love the beginning of a new year and setting goals. There’s a lot of hope involved and I think we all need some of that right now. Since reading is a big part of my life, I wanted to have some reading goals that were separate from my general 2017 goals. And I wanted to leave them more vague and open-ended because I find them a little more inspiring, they can be taken different ways, and I’ve already been looking for different books to fit the challenge. So here are the 5 goals I have…

My 5 Reading Goals for 2017

1. Stop delaying.
When I first started reading again, after a long health-related slump, I looked at a lot of the books on my shelf that I wanted to read and decided to save them for later. I’ll read them later. I’ll get to them after some practice. I’ll read them once I get a grip on reading again. That mindset was a fair idea back then, but it stuck around. I still find myself putting off certain books that I know I want to read right now, books I’m ready for. I just finished my 200th book since starting reading again! I know how to read and it’s time for me to stop delaying. This year, I’m going to read what I want to read, when I want to read it.

2. Goodbye comfort zone.
A lot of the books I delayed are actually outside of my comfort zone which is where this goal comes from. I didn’t want to challenge myself too much back then, but now I’m looking at these books with a new perspective. I’m ready. So goodbye comfort zone and hello classics, non-fiction and even longer books. I’m not saying that I’m going to completely give up my cosy crime series, but it’s time for me to push the boat out and see how far I can get on open water.

3. Read a book in German.
And what is more out of your comfort zone than a book in a language you don’t speak, eh? I’m currently learning German and I’d like to read at least one book in the language this year. I’m thinking The Thief Lord, or Herr der Diebe by Cornelia Funke. I loved that book as a kid and since I have the English copy I can just flip between the two when I get confused. And, y’know, it was originally in German so extra points for that. This is probably a goal for later in 2017 though!

4. Replace.
Kind of borrowing from my 2017 goals with this one but I felt like it fit with my reading goals because I do want to link my book buying with, not only how many books I’m letting go of, but how many books I’m reading. My current thought is that I’ll bring in one book, for every ten that go out or read. Also, and this isn’t explicitly to do with reading but more the potential of reading. I have a lot of books on my Amazon wishlist and I’ve been doing Books I Want to Buy and Why posts about them for a while, that need a clearing up. Something has come over me in 2017, my tastes have changed and my shelves need to reflect that!

5. Read 80 books.
This is my first year making a Goodreads challenge that’s going to be an actual challenge. I managed 80 books in 2015 but not in 2016, so now I want to see if I can get back to that. I’m both excited and nervous about this, I want it to push me to read more but I don’t want it to stop me reading longer and more challenging books. We’ll see! After all, it’s just a challenge on a website. Not the end of the world.

What are your reading goals for 2017?
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6 Reading Goals for 2016: One Year On!

It has been exactly one year since I posted up my 6 reading goals that I had for 2016 (I love when that happens), and I thought before I put up my 7 for 2017, that I’d go over how I did last year. I did a how-I’m-doing at the 6 month mark but quite a bit has changed since then on some of these goals. Some I did good on, some I didn’t. Much like my 2017 life goals, my reading goals are going to get a shake-up this year because somethin’ ain’t workin’.



1. Read a couple Non-Fiction books! 
I read Green River Killer, a biographical graphic novel, Hot Feminist by Polly Vernon and Fredrick Nietzsche’s Aphorisms on Love and Hate. So I’m not counting this as a complete success, but I did alright. Strangely enough, so far in 2017 I’ve read a feminist essay, another biographical graphic novel and a semi-biographical set of short stories. Maybe 2017 will be the year of non-fiction. *knock on wood*

2. Read a book over 600 Pages!
Although I read it in audiobook form, American Gods by Neil Gaiman translates into 635 pages so I’m counting this one. Also, not a huge amount of books are 600+ pages! My copy of The Fellowship of the Ring is only 530. I’m counting this as a success but not one that was much enjoyed, American Gods wasn’t my jam.


3. Read a couple classics!

This is a recurring goal and a bit of a recurring failure for me. Although maybe less so this year? I read Dr Faustus by Christopher MarlowThe Burial at Thebes by Seamus Heaney (Antigone by Sophocles) although they were both required reading. And I’m counting The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien too. I’d like it to be a longer list next year though.

4. Get rid of some books!

Eh. Okay, not really. Although I have a new outlook in 2017 about replacing things I’ve grown out of and this definitely includes some of the books on my shelf. Some of the unhealthy-perspectives-teenage-girl-drama needs to go.

5. Complete some of the unfinished series on my shelf!

Not even close! Apart from finishing the Harper Connolly series in August, which I started in April, I didn’t finish a single series. Although, I did give up on a lot of series. It was time to finally admit that I’m never going to finish the Princess Diaries series, for example.

6. Read 16 books!

My number-loving heart is pleased with the 61 books I read. But, if I’m honest with myself, I’m a little sad that I didn’t do as well as I did in 2015 when I read 80. That’s why I made an honest-to-goodness Goodreads challenge this year. But more on that, on Friday when I’m talking about my 7 reading goals for 2017! 
Did you set reading goals for 2016? How did you do?

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