2018 has been one of the best years of my life reading-wise, topped only by 2008, the year when I discovered my love for reading and when I read over 100 books, which is a lot for me. It means roughly 1 book every 3 days… a number that I want to hit again in 2019.
But let’s talk about 2018 first.
2018 was basically the first year when I came back in full force after my long reading slump, when I became aware of the publishing world and kept an eye on everything that was new and when I actually tried to go with the trends and read what was popular (which I don’t consider to be a bad thing).
I started 2018 by reading the book and the series that became my favorite of 2018 and which hit my TOP 3 all time – I’m talking about The Passage series by Justin Cronin. I’ve read all 3 books one after the other in a time when I should have focused on my finals and they were so good that they kept me awake till 5AM, something that hasn’t happened for a long time. So basically I started 2018 by reading the best book and series that I’ve read in 2018.
Not only that, but I was so lucky when it came to picking books this year. So many of them have been 5 stars. I discovered Justin Cronin and Khaled Hosseini. I discovered Steven Bereznai with his amazing I Want Superpowers, a dystopian novel that reminded me of The Hunger Games and X-Men and which was a solid 5 stars. I fell in love with Throne of Glass (I’ve read 7 out of the 8 books in one month!). I discovered 2 other amazing dystopian novels, Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh and One Second After by William R. Forstchen. I discovered The Sophisticates series by Christine Manzari, having read and loved the first book in this series, Deviation (which reminded me of The Darkest Minds, a book that I also read in 2018). Let’s not forget about the Wayward Pines series by Blake Crouch, You by Caroline Kepnes, Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton and Vox by Christina Dalcher. I discovered Archibald Finch and the Lost Witches by Michel Guyon, a middle grade book that reminded me of the good old times.
Goodreads has been a huge help. Reading challenges work! They are not a guarantee you’ll complete them, as I didn’t reach my goal in 2017, but this year I’ve read 56 out of 52 books (maybe I’ll finish 1-2 more till the end of the year) and I couldn’t have done it without Goodreads. The sheer fact of clicking “Currently reading” and “Finished” and then rating the books makes you aware of your reading progress.
My last wish for 2018 is to have a great final read. I cannot hope that it will be as good as my first read, but I hope that it will be at least a very good book.
Now, what are my plans for 2019?
As I said, I want to read at least 100 books. But how can I do that when I’m not in 7th grade anymore and I have way less free time? Well, in 2018 I also discovered audiobooks. There are 52 weeks in a year – there are good and bad weeks, but I think reading one book per week is manageable. Now, my main goal in 2019 is to seriously get into audiobooks. I’m wasting so much time on the commute and while it’s nice to listen to music or check Instagram, I’m the kind of person who tries to be as productive as possible – that’s why it would be amazing if I could listen to one audiobook per week too. So if I’m gonna read 52 books and listen to at least 48 audiobooks, I’m gonna be satisfied.
Also, I want to check off the big series out there that I didn’t get to yet – or I want to at least try them and see if I like them or not – I’m talking about Cassanda Clare’s series, Outlander, and Wheel of Time.
I also want to read more diverse books, foreign authors, and more books about feminism.
Another goal for 2019 that I also had in 2018 and which I kinda hit but not really was to read books in German. That’s still on.
Writing-wise, I want to create the habit of forcing myself to write every day instead of waiting for the inspiration to hit. I’m gonna stay at my desk for 2 hours and look at the white screen and I won’t care if all I’ll be coming up with will be 200 words. That’s 200 words more than before. One thing that I remember from On Writing by Stephen King is that he said that you gotta stay at your desk and force it out. Inspiration will come afterward. That works with everything in life, I’d say. Just start doing it. The perfect moment will never come and you can’t improve if you don’t do the job.