Happy New Year & Happy Birthday (to me)!

happy new years

2013 has been quite the roller coaster, with both ecstatic highs and frustrating lows. While I’m thankful to have accomplished quite a lot, I must admit that this past year definitely paved the way for room for improvement. So sayonara, 2013, and HELLOOOOOO 2014! I’m excited for the next 365 days and am determined to make this year better than the last.

I’m still working on my list of resolutions, but of course I’ve got a few bookish ones sprinkled in there. Like I said, last year was quite the roller coaster, resulting in a neglected blog and a reading slump that lasted WAY too long. I refuse to let that happen again. Books are my life (she says dramatically) and I need to get back to what makes me happy. As for this blog, I need to write for myself and stop worrying what others think and whether or not they do(n’t) like it. As much as I LOVE the book blogging community (another resolution is to become more involved with commenting, social media, etc.), it’s easy to get caught up in comparing my blog/reading speed/ARC piles to other bloggers. My plan is to look to others for inspiration, NOT envy. Besides, the only person who can do RtR justice is moi!

Along with today being the start of a new year, today is also my birthday! Talk about a starting-fresh double whammy! While today was pretty low-key, I made sure to do two of my most favorite things: browse the bookstore and eat cupcakes. I also indulged in a personal birthday prezzie to myself, but I’m keeping it hush-hush until it arrives a few days from now. Needless to say I’ll be obsessively stalking the “track my package” until then…

…Starting now! Kidding (maybe). But I do hear a red velvet cupcake calling my name. Happy New Year, lovlies, and here’s to a healthy, prosperous, and BOOKISH 2014!

happy new year

2013: The Year of the Bibliophile

Happy New Year!

A new year calls for new goals, new resolutions, and… a new site! I finally got around to giving RtR its own domain, which means I’m now a .com instead of a dot-wordpress-dot-com — much easier to remember & say, yes? Yes! There are still a few wrinkles that need to be ironed out and things that need to be transferred from the old site, but for those following me (Bueller? Bueller?), please update your list to include:


In addition to a new site, I also have a list of bookish resolutions for the new year. I’ve been in a bit of a reading rut lately and I’m not only determined to fall back in love with reading and all the perks that come with it. That said, I’m proclaiming 2013 the Year of the Bibliophile! The List:

  • Become more involved in the book-blogging community. That means making more of an effort to comment of blogs I love and also to participate in book hops, challenges, and read-a-thons.
  • Read a minimum of 50 books this year. I fell short in my quota last year and I’m determined to hit my goal this time around!
  • Review all books at least two weeks after reading them. Even if it’s a short review, getting my thoughts down on paper (er, computer) right away will make it easier to write the review and I’ll be less likely to forget what I liked/didn’t like about the book.
  • Create a blogging schedule and post at least 2x/week. This will be a bit challenging for me, at least in the beginning. I really want to become more regular with posting and I think having a schedule and queue of topics would help me achieve this.
  • Read 3-5 books outside my comfort zone. Not necessarily boring books I’d dread reading, but interesting reads I wouldn’t usually pick up. This includes genres I don’t usually flock to, like non-fiction, dystopian, historical romance, etc.

I’m likely to add more to the list as the weeks go on, but (for the time being) these are my top five bookish goals for the year. As for the new site, please bear with me as I continue tweaking things here and there. My Type-A side won’t let me relax until everything is *just right* — which means multiple late nights ahead!

ROAMING QUESTION: Do you have any goals or resolutions (book-related or otherwise)? If so, I’d love to hear ’em!

Update: 2012 Reading Goals

It’s me again! Remember when I discussed my reading goals for this year? Since we’re about a quarter of the way through the year, I figured it was time for an update on how I’m holding up so far with the challenges I set for myself.

Goal 1: Read books outside my comfort zone — While the majority of the books I’ve read thus far have been romances, I did give in to peer pressure and read the Hunger Games trilogy, a YA series about a girl who is sent to fight to the death against other teenagers in the annual Hunger Games competition. With the movie coming out and all the hype surrounding the books, I just had to see what all the hoopla was about. While the first book was just okay (reminded me too much of Battle Royale), I was completely entranced with books two and three, consuming them both in less than a week. I dabble in YA every now and then, but these books were a bit outside my normal realm of reading because of the dystopian theme and violent nature.

Goal 2: Read more — Well, as of now I’ve read 13 books since the beginning of the year. According to my (okay, Goodreads’) calculations, I’m four books ahead of schedule, which I’m taking as a sign that I’ve been reading plenty. Plus, there’ve been many a night when I’ve curled up on the couch with my Kindle and read while the beau watched T.V. After about ten minutes, I’m in the zone and so caught up in my book that don’t even hear what’s playing in the background.

Goal 3: Visit my local public library — I’m very proud of this one, as I just happened to have taken a trip to the library this past weekend! I admit, I was a bit jaded when I walked in (bad past experiences), but all my doubts were quickly squelched when I came across book after book that I just had to read. In the end, I only checked out five books, but believe me, I had my eye on many more than that.

Goal 4: Blog more — Sigh. Okay, so I haven’t been doing so well with this one. I really need to start carving out time to blog and sit down and force myself to write. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about — in fact, I have a whole list of post ideas — but I just need to develop a blogging routine so that I can be somewhat regular with posting. I’ll try harder, I promise!

And finally, I’ve decided on a reading challenge number for this year. Drum roll, please… My goal is to read *50* books this year! It’s the perfect number between reasonable and slightly pushing myself. So far I’m ahead of schedule, which I hope to maintain, but if not, it’ll be good to have a buffer if something ever comes up and causes me to take a reading break for a bit. Oh, and If you’re ever interested in keeping tabs on how far along I am with my reading challenge, my progress meter is conveniently located on the sidebar. For more detail about which books I’ve read or the reading challenge in general, just clickety-click on the appropriate links.

I know it’s only March, but I’m doing pretty darn good on keeping my goals so far! *Pats self on back* Hopefully I’ll stick to it as the months tick by, but only time will tell. I plan on doing another update in another couple of months, so be sure to keep a look out for part II.

Roaming Question: Did you make any goals for the new year? Have you kept up with them?

Diving Head-First into 2012

Wow, it’s been a while since my last post. I didn’t intend for my hiatus to be so long, but then again, I’m all about the “absence makes the heart grow fonder” philosophy. That said, instead of harping about the past, let’s dive right in — Happy New Year! Despite what the Mayans thought, I believe 2012 will be *my* year. My reading drought has finally passed (hooray!) and I’m adding books to my TBR list at lightning speed! Speaking of TBRs, am I the only one who gets just as much pleasure from looking for books as I do from actually reading them? I can literally spend hours surfing Amazon, Goodreads and the bookstore just skimming through books and deciding whether or not to add them to my constantly expanding list of books to read. What can I say, I just love books — paperback, e-book, hardcover… If it has words, count me in!

Which brings me to my next point: my 2012 reading goals. Goodreads has a section where you can set your own personal reading goal, in which I plan on participating. The thing is, though, I haven’t quite decided what I want my numerical goal to be. Fifty books? Twenty-five? Sixty? I’m still mulling it over, but in the meantime, I have made up my mind about other reading goals for the year. This is only a quick ‘n dirty list of what I’ve come up with so far, so I’m sure this will change and expand as the days weeks go on:

1. Read books outside my comfort zone. As if it wasn’t obvious from the title of this blog, romance is my favorite genre. However, I know there are other amazing books out there and I don’t want to limit myself simply because it falls outside my “happily ever after” expectations. I plan to test the waters with YA, thriller, comic books — anything that I normally wouldn’t jump to read, I plan to.

2. Read more. This sounds absurd since I already read a lot, but believe it or not, there are times when I choose to watch TV or surf the ‘net instead of picking up a book. Don’t get me wrong, I cherish my TV/internet/etc. downtime, but there are times when I’m mindlessly flipping through the channel when I could instead be getting lost in a good book.

3. Visit my local public library. I go back and forth with this one. Not because I don’t like libraries — I love them! In fact, I used to check out a dozen books a time when I was younger — but because of the state of them nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, I completely empathize with the whole lack of public-funding, catering-to-everyone ordeal, but the last few times I went to the library my experiences were less than stellar. For instance, a librarian asking “Who?” when I asked where the Jane Austin books were (don’t even get me started on that day). And of course there’s the likelihood of them not carrying a book I want to read or the “checked out indefinitely” status. Plus, it also comes down to the lack of instant gratification. Why would I put myself on a months-long waiting list to read a book when I could just go out and buy it? Nothing against those who do, and I’m definitely no Mr. Ms. Moneybags, but buying books is something I will always allow myself to do. And also why I bought a Kindle.

Well, that’s about it for now. Three things may not seem like a lot on the surface, but it’s definitely enough to keep me busy in the next upcoming months. Oh! There is one more:

4. Blog more! Or should I say, blog more regularly. I did a decent job last year of updating RtR, but I don’t want to fall into another three-month dry spell. Plus, perhaps blogging more could help me through my reading droughts (which is inevitable in every reader’s life). I won’t set myself up for unrealistic expectations and vow to blog every day, or even every other day (if I do, though, great!), but a minimum of once a week seems manageable.

Okay, so there you have it. My reading/bookish goals for the year. When I decide on a numerical reading goal or if I think of more general goals, I’ll be sure to fill you all in. In the meantime, I’m off to add more to my TBR list. It’s times like this I’m proud to be a bookworm!