I use my Goodreads account a lot and this is where I'll talk about it in relation to some books, though I try to keep everything as spoiler free as possible. You can also keep track of other things I read on there. If you like reading and don't yet have a Goodreads account, I'll advise you to do it. It's a lot of fun.
For the last two years, I've been doing the reading challenge the website uses and I've found it's a brilliant way to mark what I'm reading, check my progress as I go and is also a fun way of being part of the reading community.
This year, I set a goal of 30 books. A nice easy number. I set the same goal last year and read 32. I was one away from completing it in 2015.
Regardless of these statistics, I was well behind for the first half of the year. The combination of my final year of university and my mental health left me with the holes of reading and writing blank, void spaces yawning around me. I missed these activities, but even when I DID have time to read, couldn't find the energy within myself.
Then the summer came and all I was doing was waiting for my results to see if I'd graduate. That glorious summer left me with three months to catch up on reading. I slowly pulled myself back on track. They were great words to read on my challenge: "You're on track."
More books passed and I found I was gaining momentum. A lot of it. So much that I could slow down a little and really immerse myself in worlds and with characters.
Then I finished it.
As of September 2017: I've read 33 books out of 30.
Since I've been reading for as long as I can remember, books hold a lot of importance to me in my life. This year, they've helped keep me sane when I thought I was going to break, given me new friends and reunited me with old ones, made me realise I can do anything I want and so much more.
So here's a massive shout-out and even bigger thank you to the authors who have written these books. And the authors who have written any books, ever. As an aspiring writer, I know how hard it is and I salute you all for being able to do this and carry on in the high and low times. Thank you for helping me out with a really tough several months of 2017.
And to readers everywhere- you're all amazing and are stronger than you know. Wherever you are in whatever journey you're on...Keep Going.
I've loved the books I've read so far and felt all emotions whilst reading them. If this year's Goodreads challenge has taught me anything, it's that I can persevere when everything seems to be going wrong. In life and in reading.
These books will be there whenever I need them to pick me back up again. It's only now a few days into September. I'm excited by the other books I'll read for the other four months of 2017.
And there's far more to come.
Below I've linked my Goodreads account. This will save you time if you don't want minimal spoilers which I try my best to avoid anyway, especially if you haven't yet read a book/series I'm talking about and want to. Most reviews on here are the same, but I will sometimes go into more detail on this blog.
However, Goodreads currently doesn't have the option of half-stars, but I really wish it would. On some, I'll write if I've given it a half star, instead of (usually) either four or five stars.
I will talk about the book of course, and if you really don't want to know much beyond a blurb, then I've listed my rating system below for you to go off instead.
1 Star- Didn't like it. Did Not Finish.
2 Stars- Didn't really like it, possibly also a DNF. (Just as an aside, I don't usually put up book reviews of 1 and 2 stars.)
3 Stars- Liked it, but there were also elements I really didn't. May take a long time to read and for that reason, the book didn't have my whole attention.
4 Stars- Really like it. Would recommend and probably re-read at some point.
5 Stars- It was amazing! A definite re-read (maybe several times and recommendation). I want it to be real and the characters to be my friends. (It would be great to find someone to share my enthusiasm with of these books. :))