I love the beginning of the year. Iím not one to set
resolutions necessarily because I set goals monthly and quarterly, but I do love the idea of a
fresh start. I am someone who loves a paper planner, and I use more than one, so thereís
something renewing about closing my planners and opening up brand new ones with blank
pages. All the possibilities of things to come is exciting. And one thing I love to prepare for is a
great year of reading.
Iím a writer and have to be pretty intentional about my
reading because itís a main source of writing inspiration and is a way for me to practice self-
care. When I stop reading, things go south quickly. However, itís easy to let reading slide when
Iím under writing deadlines and thereís so much work to do running a business. So each year,
Iím very deliberate about having a robust reading life.
Here are five things I do to make sure that my reading year is
going to be fantasticÖ
1. Choose or create a reading challenge.
I love tracking things and checking off boxes. So what better
way to do that than with a reading challenge? There are many out there, but over the last few
years, Iíve created my own: The Read Wide Challenge
. This is a challenge you can personalize for yourself
(and if you click that link, I have all the details and a template page you can download.) But the
main goal of this challenge is to read outside your normal reading comfort zone.
Iím sure Iím not the only one who gets in reading ruts.
Reading too much in one narrow area can get redundant and can stunt my creativity. So Iíve
found that a good balance of reading what I know I love mixed in with genres and subgenres
Iím not as likely to reach for can be great. A lot of my book ideas have come from reading
outside my comfort zone, so itís paid off.
2. Choose a way to track your reading and/or reviews.
Iím sure many of you keep track of what you read on a
website like Goodreads. I definitely love Goodreads and mark what Iíve read and whatís on my
TBR pile. However, over the last three years, Iíve kept a physical reading journal. This is a little
journal where I can record what Iíve read but also write down what I thought of the book just
for me. I donít have to think about making it sound like a well-written review. Iím the only one
who is going to read it. Thatís very freeing. Also, itís pretty! : ) I love using different color pens
and sometimes adding stickers to the journal. If youíd like to see how I set up my private reading
journal, just click the link to see a full post
about it with pictures. I also have a free downloadable version if you want to save time and print out a pre-made reading journal
and stick it in a binder.
3. Reorganize your bookshelves (or your ebook folders)
If youíre here at Fresh Fiction, my assumption is youíre a
booklover. Which means itís probably highly likely that youíre like me and have a huge,
overwhelming To Be Read pile. I know I own more books than I can probably read in a lifetime.
Iím okay with that. But Iíve found that I can get distracted by new, new, new and forget about
books I was really excited about reading when I bought them.
Iíve found that if I take the time to reorganize my shelves or
ebook folders at the end of the year, I stumble upon books I forgot I was dying to read. Just
having things in a different visual position makes your brain take notice. So give it a try if you
feel like your shelves have gotten stagnant. You never know what gems youíll stumble upon.
4. Do a book swap with a friend.
When you reorganize those shelves, you may find that you
have a number of books that youíve just lost interest in, decided not to read, or have read and
donít plan to keep. Before you donate them, consider doing a book swap with friends. Your
trash may be their treasure. Fill a box with the books youíre getting rid of, meet up for drinks
and snacks at someoneís house, and trade books! Any that arenít claimed can go into the
5. Treat yourself to a bookish accessory
A fun way to start off the New Year is to treat yourself to a
little something to enhance your reading life. I have a whole list of
Gifts for Booklovers if you need ideas, but something as simple as a Book Beau sleeve to protect your
books in your bag or a set of fancy bookmarks can be a nice way to begin the reading year.
Those are the five ways that work for me. Hope you found
some that you might incorporate this year!
Do you do anything special to signify a new year of reading?
The Ones Who Got Away
How hard would you fight for the one you love?
Taryn Landry was there that awful night fourteen years ago
when Long Acre changed from the name of a town to the title
of a national tragedy. Everyone knows she lost her younger
sister. No one knows it was her fault. Since then,
psychology professor Taryn has dedicated her life's work to
preventing something like that from ever happening again.
Falling in love was never part of the plan...
Shaw Miller has spent more than a decade dealing with the
fallout of his brother's horrific actions. After losing
everythingóhis chance at Olympic gold, his family,
almost his sanityóhe's changed his name, his look,
and he's finally starting a new life. As long as he keeps a
low profile and his identity secret, everything will be
When the world and everyone you know defines you by one
How do you find your happy ending?
Romance Contemporary [Sourcebooks
Casablanca, On Sale: January 1, 2019, Mass Market Paperback / e-Book, ISBN:
9781492651468 / eISBN: 9781492651475]
We don't choose
the ones we love...
wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing
about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills havenít
improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. Though sheíll forever be a New
Orleans girl at heart, she now lives in Dallas with her husband and son.
If sheís not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her reading, watching reality
television, or indulging in her unhealthy addiction to rockstars, er, rock concerts. Yeah, that's
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