Well, this year happened.

If we’re being completely honest, I’ve had a terrible reading year and a pretty lousy year in general. I’ve found that when things don’t go the way I’d hoped, it helps to analyze why exactly things happened the way they did. So, I’ll lay out some of the reasons why I had a not-so-stellar reading year.

  1. Changing & hating jobs – I had the worst year of jobs I’ve ever had, due mostly to my most recent hellish 6-month-long employment. Being miserable and bored and anxious at work, which turned into being anxious and unhappy after work, did not provide an ideal situation for burning through my TBR. I’m thankful that awful job is behind me and I hope that I’ll be able to recognize red flags for future jobs.
  2. Prioritizing stupid things – I got into the really bad habit of almost always choosing Netflix, or equally mindless pursuits, over reading. It’s not that I think watching TV is always bad, because it’s not. (After all, I’m watching Buffy for the first time and loving it.) But I’ll never get through all the books I want to if I choose watching a TV show over reading 90% of the time.
  3. Politics – Oh hot damn, this took up way too much of my brain space this year. I studied political science in college, so of course politics will always interest me, but my constant need for updates regarding the appalling election season was borderline masochistic. Then the election happened. This added up to my watching the news way too often, stressing about the future of the world, and reading countless articles rather than books.
  4. Not knowing what to read – Usually my to-read list at any particular moment is much more focused than it has been all year. For some reason, I just couldn’t narrow down what I actually wanted to read. I would read something, get through it, not be particularly riveted by it, and then have a hard time committing to my next book. I have about a dozen partially read books that I’m not sure if/when I’ll finish.
  5. Getting behind – This is one of those self-fulfilling prophecies. I would know I was behind in my reading, watching my Goodreads catch-up number get bigger and bigger, and would say “what’s the point? I’m already behind.” Well, this is just dumb. I could have easily narrowed the gap at any given time during the year, but I never did. I have a love-hate relationship with specific goals.

Those are some of the reasons why my reading hasn’t been so great this year, and I’ll be thinking of ways to improve in 2017.

Have you had a good reading year? Let me know! I’d love to hear what things you’ve been struggling with and what’s helped you get past them.

xx bits of prose and whimsy

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