Tuesday, 5 January 2016

2016 Goals

In 2015 I did not buy books for myself or my kids for NINE WHOLE MONTHS. Nine. I made a couple of other resolutions, one of which (read more nonfiction) I kept and the other (read more diversely) I didn't do so well with, but I stuck to my nine month long book buying ban and for that I declare myself a winner of 2015. I also gave myself a charitable motivation and raised £181 for Beanstalk who do brilliant work helping to improve kids levels of literacy. Being me, I couldn't stand to leave it at such a random figure so I've donated to push it up to £200, but if you want to throw some pennies at them I'll leave the page up until the end of the week - go here to donate as we all know literacy changes lives!

So now that I've mentioned thaaaat, here are some things I'd like to do this year. Not all of them are bookish, because there are other things of importance in my life!

Shop Indie

You may have seen my post the other day about the #MakeMineanIndie project I've set for myself this year wherein 9 out of 10 of the books I buy must be published by independent publishers or bought from independent bookshops. I've also decided that I want over 50% of what I read to be published by independents. This isn't because I am in any way opposed to big publishers or think that what they publish is less good, it's purely because I want to challenge myself. I feel like in the blogosphere, much of what is published by the big companies I'll hear about because they have bigger marketing campaigns, send out more review copies, and generally get more hype, whereas if I venture into the indie sphere there is less that will naturally cross my path. I also love that indie's often present an opportunity to feel more connected with the publishing process. I just thought that for a year it would be nice to use this platform to bring to your attention some of the brilliant people publishing things in often innovative ways, and some of the beautiful, quirky and wide ranging books that they publish. 

So far I'm doing well with this - I've bought myself two books already, both of which I bought from Waterstone's but are published independently (Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig - Canongate, and The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-Mi Hwang - Oneworld) and am currently reading The Year of Living Danishly by Karen Russell which I got from the library but talked about in my recent Make Mine an Indie post on Icon Books. I'm also excited to visit a fair few independent bookshops on the London Bookshop Crawl in February!


You'll probably have seen that Andi of Estella's Revenge has set herself this challenge this year, and although I've kind of been doing it all last year I'm jumping in! I've got a bit (OK, a lot) of a library addiction so I'm going to try to limit the number of holds I place and actually read the 300+ books on my shelves! As far as I can see I'm in super good company with this and I'm looking forward to seeing what people actually have on their shelves!

At Least 25% Nonfiction

I hit this target this year and I want to keep it up. I have some fantastic nonfiction titles on my shelves and a huge nonfiction wishlist which I will be incorporating into my Ninja Book Swap and OTSP Secret Sister wishlists so it shouldn't be hard to do!

Continue to Attempt to Read More Diversely

I made a book map during the Travel the World in Books Readathon and was appalled by the narrowness of my reading. I'm doing the same again this year and I want it to represent way more of the world! I'm determined!

Exercise 3 Times a Week

I went for my first run in six years totally out of the blue on Sunday and although I'm still aching it made me remember all the reasons I used to put myself through it five days a week. As part of my One Little Word for this year I wanted to find ways to incorporate healthier habits into my life rather than just using the kids as a reason why I can't do things, and I think I could easily do weekly runs together with some other things a couple of times a week and get myself back on the path towards a less sedentary life!

Get Rid of Stuff

We've been moving more and more towards attempting simple living for the past year or so, but since early November we've been purging like crazy. Getting rid of all the things that make us stressed to look at and all the things we love but are never going to watch/read/use/wear again and all the stuff that's just too much. We've got rid of about four bags of toys from the boys playroom and sold a load of DVDs and books on WeBuyBooks.com and honestly the boys are so much more focused and we are so much less stressed without tons of extraneous stuff kicking around. I love it and I may never stop getting rid of things. There's still a lot to go though, so by the end of the year I plan to have got rid of all the stuff we don't need or love and not buy things unless they really make us excited. 

I think it's good to have it in writing so that I can remind myself of the things I said I was going to do and use it as motivation (or something). Happy 2016!


  1. I'm always looking around for things that can be donated, I must admit, just because I tend to get overwhelmed when my belongings get too 'much' and just sort of... shut down. I can't focus, I get unhappy, my environment really affects me whether it's good or bad.

    I haven't 'properly' checked out the #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks project yet, but I've seen a few people mention it recently so I must take a look. I'm trying not to use the library as much this year - mostly because once I start I just keep getting books out and ignoring my own, as well as because my dicky hip means walking to the library isn't so comfortable at the moment - and I don't want to buy so many books. I have a few preorders to wait for, but when it comes to actually being out and about and just making impulse purchases, I'd really like to rein myself in. The ones I pick up from charity shops willy-nilly sometimes end up going back unread, I pick them up because they're cheap rather than because I really think I'll enjoy them, it's such a waste of money and time. Must do better this year!

    1. P.S. And congratulations about/good luck for the rest, obviously! Thought I'd written that at the top then realised too late that I hadn't, oops. :)

  2. Congrats on your book buying ban and also for raising funds for literacy for kids, thats terrific and admirable. I hope you have another terrific year!!

  3. You, Bex, are my hero!! :) For all you accomplished in 2015 and all I'm sure you'll accomplish in 2016!! HERO!!!

  4. I think it is great that you are such a prolific supporter of independent bookshops and publishers. I wish more book bloggers were like you! Great stuff. Thanks, Annika

  5. Wow! NINE months book buying ban! Ouch! That would hurt me. Each time I go to the library w/ my kids (about every two weeks), I get lost in the used book sale corner, and I almost always walk away with at least one book. (It's only a quarter!!!!!)

    Well, good for you that you were able to restrain yourself. We need to practice restraint every so often in different areas of life.

  6. Oh im sorry, there is a place online you can sell books like music magpie?! Hello thing I have been waiting for MY WHOLE LIFE.

    Which is to say, good luck with your goals I'm sure you will do awesomely perhaps and I promise not to let you buy books if you promise not to let me buy books haha