Farewell 2015, Hello 2016 (and Reading Resolutions)

I have to say both book wise and in the real world (notice how I put the real world second, it is so inferior to books, ha) I think that 2015 might have been one of the best years that I have had in a while. Yes okay, so I had the worst reading slump in the history of ever but there was so much else that was brilliant.

I got to judge Fiction Uncovered (one of my favourite prizes) with some wonderful people and found eight fabulous winners, and many more corkers along the way. I worked with New Writing North and took part in some great events in Newcastle and Ikley (meeting more wonderful people) and mentoring some brilliant young writers, bloggers and journalists before being the inaugural blogger for Durham Book Festival where I hung out with more lovely people. I left a job that was making me miserable with the worst boss in the world and moved to a lovely one where I am working on projects I love, two future and slightly secret ones will be VERY book based, with really lovely people. I stayed at the hotel in The Shard. I read some amazing books and one of the most affecting books of my reading life and then met the author, Hanya Yanagihara, afterwards. I worked on one of the Green Carnation Prize’s strongest years with the wonderful folk at Foyles and a corking judging panel AND got to meet (my future husband) Marlon James in the flesh. I got to chat to lots of authors and all of you lovely lot on here, twitter, podcasts etc about lots of brilliant books and made some wonderful new friends online and in real life. And then there was my road trip with Thomas around America and meeting, you guessed it, lots of wonderful people on that trip especially at Booktopia Petoskey, which was probably one of the highlights of the year. Blimey, that is quite a lot. Catches breath. It was a very good year. All this happened in some way or another thanks to this blog and thanks to books and lovely bookish folk.


So 2016 has a lot to live up to doesn’t it? I have no real idea what it will hold, which I think it rather exciting. I do have some aims though and have fingers in lots of pies working on lots of projects and one huge one which I am hoping might come to fruition but who knows? I can say reading wise it has already started brilliantly and I am already on book two of the year. I guess I like the idea of the year being open to anything and everything and don’t want to put too much pressure (just the right amount) on myself, which leads to my reading resolutions.

Now my resolutions for 2016 off blog are ‘to do lots of different things and lots of things differently’ and ‘stop bloody procrastinating’. The latter is self explanatory and anyone who knows me will attest this is good self aware advice. The former is a bit vaguer, basically I think we all need to shake things up sometimes, so let us see how I get on. For the blog I have decided, it came to me whilst whatsapping Nina the other day (hairdresser to the literary greats, and me) and it is relatively simple, like me, It is this… 2016 is going to be the year of foraging for quirky books.

Yes, I am just going to see where reading, bookshops, bookish chat on social media and the like just takes me for a year. No pressure, just see where it all goes and what adventures I go on through the pages. The blog will reflect this, it will just carry on being a diary of sorts of my thoughts on books as I read them and other bookish musings that come up as I go along and talking with you lot about them. Okay, that is a second resolution – I will be much, much better at commenting.

So that is it. Simple. 2016 is going to be the year of foraging for quirky books. And I will comment much more. Nothing earth shattering, nothing too challenging or outrageous. Just reading, pondering and talking to you lot about it. Unless I end up judging another book prize in which case it might all go out the window, that isn’t currently on my horizon… Yet!

What about you all? What resolutions both bookish and not bookish have you made for 2016?


Filed under Random Savidgeness

40 responses to “Farewell 2015, Hello 2016 (and Reading Resolutions)

  1. sharkell

    Mine are the same as last year – do the triple tbr dare and read at least 12 books each of translated fiction and non-fiction.

  2. lovely post. happy new year simon! here’s to a great 2016.

  3. Karen B

    Happy New Year, Simon! Thank you for for being a welcome distraction during a somewhat rough year in my life. I’ve enjoyed listening to you and reading your blog and tweets. I especially love getting your book recommendations! In 2016, I hope to read a greater diversity of books rather than falling back on some of my safer reads. My mind and heart needed simplicity and nothing too dark the last few years. I hope to change that in 2016. I also hope to procrastinate less and read more. I never understand why I do that! Anyway, I hope 2016 treats you well and that it’s a fantastic year for you!

  4. Pam

    I like the idea of finding quirky reads. I plan on reading more of the books I’ve bought, I’ve been collecting them as I have a little more free time to enjoy them this year.

  5. A helluva year Simon… I look forward to seeing what quirky books you find, happy foraging 😊

  6. Sounds like a marvellous plan! I’m planning to do similarly, just taking it all as it comes – but maybe with a bit of a out-of-my-comfort-zone challenge thrown in as well. 🙂

  7. I love how you wrote out your plan on the blog Simon! Kind of gives you a place to check back and see where you are (and you have witnesses – hehehe!). For me, the plan will be less pressure to reach that Goodreads goal of 50 books. I put so much pressure on myself in 2015 – especially when I felt like I had to read a book because the publisher was nice enough to grant me access to an ARC. So, for 2016 I’m shooting for the same 50 book goal, but I’m not going to force myself to read something I’m not enjoying, or to read something that I feel obligated to. Inspiring post – thanks! 🙂

    • My GoodReads challenge is the lowest it’s been so I don’t feel I’m racing against that either. Which oddly I end up doing. I’m still happily takin ARCs I’ve always done so on my terms ha! I learnt judging Fiction Uncovered that your initial feelings on a book rarely change. Especially the more you read.

  8. Sounds like you had an amazing year. I hope 2016 is as good or better. I am keeping my 2016 goals to a minimum really. I want to get back to my classic club list – and I will be reading Virginia Woolf quite a bit for my #Woolfalong. My reading totals were down a bit in 2015 and although I don’t think numbers are that important I would very unhappy if they dropped further. Happy new year.

  9. Glad to hear you’ve had an exciting year, hope this one is even better for you. I’m always in awe of reading challenges and resolutions, If I verbalise my reading ambitions, I’m scared they’ll go the same way as my other resolutions (tits up two weeks in!) Good luck with your future projects and happy reading 🙂

  10. Liz Janet

    I am mostly concerned on my reading, I want to (after I finish the horrid Penguin Little Black Classics) read less books, but better books. 2015 was the year of many books, but of mostly bad and average books. I want to read more awesome books.

    • Horrid Penguin Little Black Classics? Tell me more…

      Interestingly when I got to my end of year list of favourites it was the easiest it’s ever been as whilst I read some ‘books of a life time’, two in particular, mainly it’s was a 3 star year for me.

      • Liz Janet

        It was the same for me, not the greatest year. The Penguin Little Black Classics are some of the worst translations I have ever read, (Metamorphoses, Odyssey) as well as the worst selection from major works. They picked the worst they could from Dante’s Divine Comedy, the poetry of Keats and Whitman, Nietzsche and more. Their English selection was actually not bad, but it was a minority from their 80 books. I could rant about it for long time.

      • Oh no really? I thought they would be rather good. I meant to collect them… But forgot.

      • Liz Janet

        I would read reviews of them or read some at the store before buying them, just in case.

  11. It’s seems you had a busy but fun year, so I hope 2016 will bring you more of the same. Foraging for quirky books is a good idea, and I look forward to reading about your discoveries. My reading plans for 2016 include reading the books I already own as well as dipping into some Russian classics as well as other translated fiction.

  12. I should to comment a lot more too. 🙂 Maybe this can be a good start? 😀
    But pressing just the Like button is so much easier

  13. Marlon James is very hot, definitely. I think you’ve always got lots of great book-y ideas, btw, whilst I’m very unimaginative – read, review. Hopefully as I’m moving to Glasgow this year it’ll be easier to get involved in more bookish events! I think the reason I enjoy your blog so much Simon is that it very much reflects your personality – I assume! – and you’re so unpretentious and likeable. I hope we all have a wonderful 2016 – and bookish-life is more important than real life, definitely! All the best!

    • Awww that’s lovely to say. Thank you so much. That might be the nicest comment of the year 😉

      The move to Glasgow sounds exciting. I love both Glasgow and Edinburgh. In fact I love Scotland full stop. I need to explore some of the wilder parts too.

      • We’re in the wilder parts at the moment – no graffiti, no burglaries – but I’m not a pensioner yet (although some mornings I feel like one!) and there’s very little culture, and few really good job opportunities. Dreading moving house though – the worst thing EVER (especially for a book addict!)

      • Try and see it as a really tough reason to cull. That’s what I do. And will be doing if we move this year… Actually I lie we might get something bigger but I’m culling regularly now.

  14. chatebooks

    Happy New Year, Simon! Glad to hear that you had a fuitful 2015. I hope you’ll have an even better 2016. Looking forward to your quirky finds!

  15. Happy Belated New Year! If you haven’t figured it out yet I’m still working through my backlogged blog feed! Sounds like you’ve got a great plan for 2016 and I’m basically mirroring it, read what I have, find fun stuff to read that’s different and enjoy time offline as much as I do online 🙂

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