Christmas Wrapping Up; Reviews, Christmas Culls, Books of the Year and Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda Reads (aka Pre-Christmas Panic)

Blimey that might be one of the longest titles of a blog post in the history of Savidge Reads, it does nicely sum up the mild sense of panic I have as the festive season looms ever nearer though. In a weeks time Christmas will have been and gone (phew, Boxing Day is my favourite festive day) and in under two weeks we will have said goodbye to 2015. It is at this time of year when I start to look back, look at the present and look to the future and have a mini book breakdown. Why have I piles of books to review that I still haven’t done? Why did I not read x, y and z book this year? What are my favourite books of the year? What do I want 2016 to hold for me book and reading wise? And it goes on and on. Breathe. Let’s take stock and chat about it, I have even made an agenda that is how organised and how desperate these times are, ha!

This is not my tree, I have shamefully stolen it from the internet. The worry of needed a book at the bottom would haunt me all Christmas.

This is not my tree, I have shamefully stolen it from the internet. The worry of needed a book at the bottom would haunt me all Christmas.

Item One: Reviews

I have piles and piles of books that I have yet to review. I am also a real stickler for trying to review all the books I read in the year, that I want to review as some you just don’t, going into the New Year with a clean slate. I like a New Year to be like a new notebook, pristine and ready for scribbling, which is why I can’t start a new year halfway through a book. I am aware this is some kind of madness. I am also making ‘break with old habits’ one of my general resolutions, and so whilst the new book for a new year stays as is, the review thing can go out the window (with a coat because it is quite chilly) to be honest. Because there has to be method in my madness I will be saving some reviews till the paperbacks come out, the rest I will either round up, bin off (because I don’t have much to say) or be up and live before the year is out. That is called ‘letting go’, albeit slowly.

Item Two: The Great Christmas Cull of 2015

I can’t pretend I have made my mind up of all my reading resolutions for 2015 BUT I am formulating some ideas in my head, loose ones. Something I think might help that is a big old book cull. I know, it is painful and really I could double stack a considerable amount more books yet I think for clarity, and possibly sanity, maybe I should be able to see all the spines and actually know what books I own and have space for more. I want to use a dreadful word, I want to ‘curate’ my shelves a little better – more on that when the shame of using the ‘c’ word has died down and I have a clearer understanding of what I mean. I think I want my shelves to be like my perfect dream bookshop stock. Maybe… I’ll know once I have done it!

Item Three: Books of the Year  

A few, I can’t say lots as it sounds bigheaded, people have kindly asked where my list of my books of the year are? The answer is that they are coming, it isn’t the end of the year yet and who knows what I might read in the next twelve days. I can confirm (David will be pleased) that there will be two lists one of the ten books published in 2015 and one of the ten books published before then, last year I did one list and David was right, it wasn’t quite, erm, right. These are being curated (I said it again!!!) now which is quite painful and will be up on the 30th and 31st of December.

Item Four: Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda Reads of 2015

This I hinted at earlier and in item three. I have a huge stonking selection of books that I swore I was going to read this year and haven’t. This is mainly because I am very naughty and there are far too many good books out there, let’s blame the books and not my naughtiness. I am now wondering if these books should be the first books I read in 2016 as penance for being such a silly sausage or if I wait for the paperbacks or, revolutionarily, just read them when I want in 2016 – which is more in keeping with the direction I have planned anyway. Wow, look at me, throwing caution to the wind. Ha!

Item Five: Savidge Reads in Summary

Basically I am mad is what this all means and am in some bonkers panic that Santa, who delivers millions of presents in a single night would be ho-ho-hoing at me with ridicule. If only I could review lots of books in just one night. Anyway, I guess I am saying I will be more reviews and less chatter in the festive lead up. Now as always I would like to hear from you lot… If you blog what are your thoughts on the reviewing issues? Does it matter if a review of a book was from the year before, even if really it was only a few weeks/months? Does anyone else get review meltdown? Are any of you having a cull over Christmas or are you using the festive season as a reason to stock up on as many books as you can? Do you have any books you’re kicking yourself for not reading in 2015? Have you got your favourite books of the year or any plans for 2016 yet?

Finally, any other business that needs addressing?

15 Comments

Filed under Random Savidgeness

15 responses to “Christmas Wrapping Up; Reviews, Christmas Culls, Books of the Year and Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda Reads (aka Pre-Christmas Panic)

  1. I always try to rush and review all the books I haven’t reviewed yet, most years I get them done.

    There were so many books I wanted to read this year but didn’t get to. Some I’ve added to my list for 2016. We’ll see how that goes.

  2. I so agree with you on every single point! I took a month off reviewing when my Mum had pneumonia – she’s fine now – but kept reading, so I’m shamelessly behind on reviews. I’ll practically have to re-read some books! And I’ve got a good dozen plus books I still want to read! And like you, my end-of-year list will appear at the end of the year (or even the start of the next, depending on how the reviewing catch-up goes!) My priority is obviously to review the books that’ll be in the Top Ten (or however many) list – some may well have to wait until next year for a review. I’m a bit OCD about reviews so I’d like to get them all done eventually! It’s good to know I’m not the only one who gets in a flap over such things! xx

  3. holly

    I prefer reviews of books that have been out for a while – even years old. It’s how I discover those overlooked gems.

  4. Ann

    Love the Christmas tree made out of books. Good idea!

  5. I review books soon after I read them – sometimes I have to force myself to sit down and write a post when I’d rather be reading – because I have a terrible memory so I really need to write about them while they’re still fresh in my mind. It’s important to me to post about every single book I read because I’m a librarian and I frequently refer to my own posts to jog my memory when recommending books to patrons.

    I’m SO glad that you said you can’t start a new year halfway through a book. I go to great pains to finish whatever I’m reading by the end of the year, but as close as possible, so I’m not tempted to start a new book before the clock strikes twelve. I thought I was insane, and maybe I am, but at least I’m not alone🙂

  6. Take a chill pill, Simon 😉

  7. David

    I am pleased. I am also right. I am, in fact, right pleased.

    I too have to start a new year (or even a new month) on a new book, otherwise it messes up my reading list – if I read most of it in 2015 but finished it in 2016 does it count as a 2015 read or a 2016 read? The sort of thing that would keep me up at night that.

    I did a cull a couple of months ago and came to the conclusion that I’d already got rid of everything I could bear to and what I actually need are more shelves (or ideally more rooms) so I’ve reconciled myself to the piles of books everywhere and try not to do too many google searches regarding the maximum amount of weight you can put in a room before the floor collapses.

  8. I’m trying to catch up on books I meant to review but haven’t yet, beyond a certain point I’d have to read it again so anything from more than a month or so ago I’m abandoning. The reviews themselves might not appear till well into next year though (I review old books as well as recent).
    I agree with you on the carrying books across the midnight divide, I do try to start a new year with a new book, but I end up reading doorstop fantasy novels in the Christmas hols so it doesn’t always happen. I’m looking forward to returning to Anthony Trollope in 2016 – I challenged myself to go without 19th century novels for a year.
    And the trick with the tree is to build it using the collected works of Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown😉

  9. I’m very late to this, but I agree 100% about getting the reviews out and the new blank slate for the year. Also you should check out Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” chapter about books, it helped me when I cut about 25% of mine out before moving this past fall.

    • I’m not sure I like the sound of this Magic of Tidying Up Book, it seems to send people into deranged culling. Hahaha.

      • Haahaa fair enough. I also appreciated the “if it’s your hobby you won’t get rid of nearly as many.” That kept the anxiety at bay.

      • Hahaha. Maybe I should read it… With an arched eyebrow.

      • We’re moving in the Spring, well March to May, and I’m dreading the book cull. I’m already thinking of asking my parents to keep some boxes for me, just in case I want to read them again (unlikely, I rarely read books twice!) My mum still has all my Malcolm Saville/Chalet School/Pullein-Thompson sisters pony books from my childhood. It’s lucky they live in a big old rambling farmhouse otherwise she’d end up on one of these hoarder programmes. Plus she knows exactly where everything is!

      • There is always that option. My other halves mother offered one of their spare rooms as storage for me… Dangerous. So far I have declined. So far.

      • Oh ok. She’s not a complete witch then.

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