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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5 Things that make me DNF a Book!

DNF. The three letters that strike the heart of every reader. Did Not Finish. I know different readers have different rules; some finish every book they start, some give a book 100 pages minus their age, but I just put a book down when I know I’m not getting anything out of it. Here are some examples with the books I paused in 2014 and 2015! And here are 5 things that make that decision for me…

1. Unjustifiable Racism/ Sexism/ Homophobia
None of these things are justifiable in real life. I just want to shut that down right now. However, if I can tell that the racism/ sexism/ homophobia is leading towards a character realising that it’s not right- then it’s a lesson rather than a bad worldview. If the narration, especially third person is okaying it though, then I’m out.

2. No female characters
I DNF’d a book over the summer that had one female character that spoke. One, who within the 100-ish pages I read, said some really disgusting things about a notable female actress. Aaaaand I’m out. Women exist. They don’t have to be the main character but if I’m reading and I’m thinking it’s a weird dystopia where the female population has died and it’s taboo to talk about- no thank you.

3. Ableism
This is definitely something I pick up on more than I’m older and actively knowledgeable on the subject. Heck, I missed it the first time reading this series. But it’s also something that’s personal, I have physical and mental health issues so when I’m reading and a book attacks or says something awful about people like me- Nope. I get enough of that from the real world, I don’t need that from my escapism.

4. I don’t like the writing style
Writing style is personal. I don’t like a lot of books that people I love and respect do. It’s not like they like books that are bad. So if someone says they don’t like the way my favourite author writes, I’m not going to be bothered. But if I’m reading a book and the writing style isn’t clicking with me, I’d rather put it down and read something else. As a writer, if someone didn’t like my writing style, I would rather they read something else that they clicked with and made them happy.

5. I’m dreaming of other books
Sometimes when I’m reading, I can’t get my mind off another book. Normally this happens when I try and push myself out of my comfort zone or I have to read a certain book by a specific time. Sometimes I ignore it and it works out well, I get into the book I’m reading and forget about the other, but sometimes it’s a constant niggle. If I can’t get another book out of my head, the one I’m reading isn’t holding my attention well enough and it might be time to stop.

A few of these are bendable, especially with classics that were written in the past where people were awful without the same morals we have now. It’ll bother me, but I’ll give it more leeway. And some are solid. Life is too short for books you don’t enjoy.

What makes you DNF a book?
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