Friday, January 8, 2016

2015 Challenges Wrap-up

Well, I guess I can’t put it off any longer. I really need to take a look at my challenges and how I did in 2015 so I can plan for 2016. You can see my complete 2015 Challenge tally here. I tried hard not to take on too much, but…  let’s take a look.

This one is simple. You sign up to read a certain number of books — then start reading. I set my target at one book per week, or 52 books. And I reached that target relatively easily! I read 60 books in 2015. My Goodreads tally only shows 59 books, because I haven’t figured out how to let them know I read a book twice last year. I read A Sister To Honor once in February right after it was released, and then again in September for my book club. Read it if you haven’t — it’s a good one!
My Grade: A+

I signed up for Pike’s Peak, or reading 12 books from my shelf in 2015. This one always seems so simple. It is just a commitment to read books already on my shelf at the first of the year. But it’s not! Because I always get new books on my shelf that I want to read NOW and the others once again get shoved to the side. Also, there are some caveats that make it a little tricky; for example, even though that ARC has been on my shelf for six months, I can’t count it because it’s an ARC. But I did clear a book or two off my shelf that way, in addition to the 7 qualifying books I actually read. I also cleared away at least 2 that I started and realized I didn’t like them enough to struggle through them. So off they went. I definitely didn’t complete this challenge, but I think I did pretty good; better than last year, anyway!
My Grade: C

I signed up for the Medieval level for this one, or 15 books. I surpassed that easily, reading 25 books! And I actually reviewed 17 of these on my blog. HOWEVER, I can’t give myself an A on the challenge, as I quite linking my reviews in August. Sometimes I couldn’t find the link for the current month, so I will give myself partial credit here, because I tried. However, I don’t think I ended up linking more than 10 of my reviews. I passed by not perfectly.
My Grade: B-

This one was a simple concept and a challenge I created for myself — to read books from at least ten different genres chosen from previous Goodreads Choice nominees. And that is a problem, because even though I read some genres that I don’t always read a lot of, they were not Goodreads Choice nominees. Still, I didn’t do bad. My goal was to read Goodreads Choice nominees from 10 different genres, and I managed to read 8. (I’m not sure how one actually READS a cookbook, but I didn’t look at this pictures and read through some recipes that looked tasty, so I’m counting it! If I do this challenge again, I don’t think I will want to confine it to Goodreads Choice nominees!
My Grade: B

This is not an actual challenge, but a goal. My book club reads and discussed 11 books each year. My goal is always to read them all. I did very well in 2015, not only reading all 11 selections, but also leading a couple of discussions and attending all but one meeting!
My Grade: A+

I absolutely failed here, because one of the requirements was to post and update at the end of each month! I only posted two updates! But I can still evaluate my performance. Here were my goals:
  1. Review and post reviews for 90% of the books I read in 2015 and cross-post reviews to Goodreads and LibrarCross-post reviews to Goodreads and Library Thing.
  2. Find new homes for books I’ve read to clear space for new reads.
  3. Explore ways to facilitate an online discussions of books
  4. Explore moving my blog to Wordpress
  5. Participate in at least 2 Bloggiestas in 2015.
And here are my results.
  1. I read 59 books and posted 43 reviews, meaning I reviewed only 73% of the books I read. Not bad, but I didn’t reach my goal. I cross-posted a lot of reviews, but kind of got behind in the fall.
  2. I did pretty good here. Each month I pull 5-10 books that I’ve read or that I have admitted I will never get to and offer them to family. If they don’t want them, I take them to my next book club meeting where they are up for grabs. Any that remain unclaimed at the end of the meeting are dropped off at the library on my way home – donated the the Friends of Library group for the big book sale. It’s caught on with my book club and others are starting to bring their unwanted books along. I’ve cleared 50 - 60 books from my shelved in 2015 by doing this! The bad news is that I went to Book Fair in August and bought about 20 books! Baby steps, right?
  3. I looked at this and toyed with the idea of starting another blog just for discussions. I may still do this at some point, but for now, I’ve put the idea on hold. There doesn’t seem to be a big demand for it, and with my IRL book club and the nonfiction book club hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey Decimal, I feel like I don’t need another outlet to discuss books at this time.
  4. I also looked at this, but unless I want to go to a pay site, there doesn’t seem to be an advantage to Wordpress over Blogger, and in fact, in many respects I think Blogger is better. I did start a genealogy blog on Weebly and it is working pretty well. If I decide Blogger isn’t working, I may consider moving to Weebly, but for now I plan to stay right here!
  5. I participated in both Winter 2015 and Fall 2015 Bloggiestas, so I met my goal!
My Grade: B+

I didn’t do so well on this one. I kind of gave up on it in March. I went to Florida for spring break and I never really caught up on my blogging this year! However, I did participate in Jan and Feb and it was only a 6-month challenge, so that should count for SOMETHING, I am right?
My Grade: D

Well, that’s it! My year of challenges all tallied and analyzed! Now….on to 2016!

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