Wrapping Up For The Year…

As each year comes to a close I have the same feeling of needing to wrap up (pun slightly intended) my reading, the blog and just my life in general. I have always been a fan of seeing every New Year as a new start. Out with the old and in with the new, sort of. The feeling has suddenly come upon me late this year as it only really hit home that we don’t have much of 2013 left earlier today, twice.

Firstly I had the pleasure of interviewing Christos Tsiolkas (who is bloody lovely) about his new novel Barracuda for You Wrote The Book. The book isn’t out in the UK till the beginning of January and the podcast will follow, but it suddenly made me realise 2014 wasn’t far away at all, despite the fact that in my head it is months away – a small wake up call. Unlike some bloggers (who I call show offs, ha, ha) I haven’t started reading books of 2014 unless they are to record podcasts or the like for next year – there are too many books from 2013 (and actually EVERY year before that but I won’t freak myself out) I still haven’t read yet!!

This was followed this afternoon by recording the penultimate episode of The Readers for 2014 and my last with Thomas (as Gavin is back for a special episode discussing the books to look out for in 2014 – there it is again – on the 31st) before the new year starts. We were discussing books we would like to get for Christmas and books we would like to give, the latter being some of our individual books of the year, another reminder it was nearly over. Then the second section of the show really hit the fact home as we discussed resolutions for 2014; what mine are shall remain a secret for a little while longer. But it really hit home and I had a mini panic.

Had I got my lists of Books of 2013 ready? No. Have I reviewed all the books that will make my list of books of the year? No. Have I worked out how many reviews I can fit in within the last few weeks of the year? No. (I have a weird habit of not liking to review books I read in the year before the following year, even if in fact it was read a few days ago. I also have a weird habit of not allowing myself to be mid-read as the New Year starts.)Have I read all the books that I meant to before I start afresh in 2014? No. And that was just the tip of the panic iceberg! I then realised I start a new job next Monday so how will I fit all this in, what with Christmas to and oh… oh… oh!

Several hours later I am much calmer. There are piles of all the books I haven’t reviewed yet and should, of which there are over twenty; some will be reviewed alone, some in bulk, some not reviewed at all – sorry about the latter I have either forgotten them or enjoyed them but don’t have enough thoughts to make a blog post on. Then I went through a selection of books I have on a secret hidden shelf, the unfinished books, and simply popped them on a pile to give away. After my time with The Luminaries I have decided I need to be tougher, better at letting go and just ditching something that isn’t working. Unreviews will have to start next year though as some of these have been half read for months and my thoughts on them are a little hazy and nonchalant – probably why I have never gone back to them.

So now I can get my house, well blog, in order for the New Year which will be a new start both in my reading and my blogging (which is really going to change next year – I have been mulling and plotting the blogosphere and my blog for some time now) and now the only question is which books do I think I want to spend the rest of the year with? I feel it is time to head for some old favourites or new comfort reads? Not quite time for any more books of 2014 just yet, they can wait – it is time for some simple self indulgence. What about all of you though? Do you feel you that the oncoming of a new year signifies a time to put your reading thoughts in order? An ending of one reading year and a start of another and all the experiences it will bring? Do you read more comfort reads and old favourites over the festive season?  Do you have any end of year reading traditions of ticks like I do?


Filed under Book Thoughts, Random Savidgeness

10 responses to “Wrapping Up For The Year…

  1. gaskella

    I don’t have any particular tics, but I will be starting the New Year, as I have done for the past three years, by taking part in CB James’ Triple Dog Dare – only reading from my TBR pile until the end of March. It’s like going on a post-Christmas diet, but so much more fun.

  2. OMG…your weird habits!!! we are weirdo reading siblings, I think. I was nodding along as I read.

    Also curious, what are you mulling and plotting the blogosphere? Do you have plans to change up your blog?

  3. I agree — I have some of these weird reading habits too — not wanting to be in midread as the year turns over, rushing to get this year’s reads all reviewed this year, and definitely turning to comfort reads in the last week of the year. That week between Xmas & New Year’s is like a week out of time for me — simply there to revisit favourites of all kinds.

  4. I too become all mother hen like at the end of one year and try to get my (thinking/reading) house in order. I’ve finished most of my official reviews for Crime Fiction Lover, so I can relax and read for pleasure. Like you, I don’t want to get cracking on books for 2014 – plenty of time for that – so I found a treasure trove of Patricia Highsmith novels at a local library and some quirky ‘local fiction’ in French. Just easy, fun reading to see the year out.

  5. David

    I’m with you on not wanting to go into the new year mid-read, Simon. Actually, I’m worse as I don’t like to go into any new month mid-read and keep on hand a good supply of novella-length books just in case I only have one or two days left at the end of a month!

    As for traditions, for many years I would read ‘A Christmas Carol’ in the week before Christmas but it got to the point where I could almost recite huge chunks of it I knew it so well, so I’ve not read it for a few years, but maybe this year I’ll pick it up again.
    December, January and February are often my favourite months reading-wise: with few new releases, the (self-imposed) pressure to keep up isn’t there and so I’ll do a little catching up on the books I haven’t got around to from the past publishing year (and there are a few from 2013 I still want to get to); but also pluck random books from my shelves that have been languishing there for years (during a recent tidy-up I came across Matt Cohen’s ‘Elizabeth & After’ which won Canada’s Governor General’s Award back in 1999 – I’d forgotten I had a copy but really fancy reading it); and also get to some of those books that I’ve been wanting to read for years – so at the moment I am reading (and absolutely loving) ‘Lonesome Dove’ and am toying with trying some DH Lawrence.

  6. kaggsysbookishramblings

    I *will* try to round things up tidily I think, and my end of year aim is to finish the Anthony Powells I’m working through. Then I might just have a rest and read something cosy! I’m seriously going to limit any challenges in the new year tho, as I’ve found the few I’ve undertaken this year just too much! I have committed to the LT Virago Group Great War reading event, but apart from that I’m just going to try and read from my shelves!

  7. I feel better now. I really like to have everything wrapped up at the end of the year and to be finishing a book on Dec 31 so I can start something new on Jan 1. I usually fail at that though, and have a great deal of angst about which year I read a certain book because I started it in late December and finished in January. Honestly, it’s a little ridiculous.

  8. I know what you mean about being mid read at New Year. I have a book journal and write down what I read each year. If I am mid read at New Year then if I am over half way through a book it counts as a read for the New Year. Under half it is this year. At this time of year I always reread The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe. It brings back a lot if very happy memories

  9. To answer your questions:
    No, no, no and no. 🙂

  10. Caro Bleue Violette

    I also see the every New Year as a new start and I do have end of year reading traditions : since the beginning of the last decade I’m used to re-read Harry Potter (yes I’m still a fangirl even though I’m 31 :D) – but this year, as I’ve been re-reading the series with a few other bloggers along the whole year, it’s just going to be book 7 ! And I’m used to start the new year with one of my favorite novels, this time it’s going to Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen.

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