Mid-Year Blogging Update and Goals

Posted July 2, 2016 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 11 Comments

2016 midpoint headerHOW????? Seriously this year has flown by. I can’t believe we’re already in the warm months, let alone being halfway done with 2016. I feel like we all say this all the time, but it’s so true – where does the time go? I love doing recaps because I’m lame, so obviously I’m here to sum up my 2016 reading life so far! I also will revisit some of the bloggy goals I created and catch up on progress.books read As you see in my monthly wrap-ups, I keep my stats updated each time. The spreadsheet I use is definitely the reason for my organization. I use this time of year (in addition to the end of the year) to REALLY go all-out with my stats. It also helps me create new goals or update existing ones. I may decide I really should read more fantasy or more books from my own shelves. I’ll highlight all of the books I’ve read so far in general too.

All of the Books Read So Far



Books completed: 99
Books read:
Books reread:
Books DNF’ed:

Pages read: 32940

Number of different authors: 75
Number of new “favorite” books: 9

Dual/multi POV: 12
Male narrators: 8


Average rating: 3.92
Average pages per day:
Average pages per month:
Average spending per month: $30.43

Age Targets

Young Adult: 67
New Adult: 4
Middle Grade:

Series vs. Standalones

Number of standalones: 47

Number of books in a series: 52
First in a series:
Last in a series:
Number of different series: 29


Hardcover: 12
Audio Mix: 


Contemporary: 45
General/Misc.: 14
Fantasy: 10
Mystery/Thriller: 8
Paranormal: 6
Retelling: 6
Dystopia: 4
Graphic Novels:
Science Fiction: 
Historical Fiction: 1


Female: 74
Male: 23


five-stars 8

four-half-stars 23

four-stars 34

three-half-stars 19

three-stars 11

two-half-stars 3

two-stars 1


Books read that I own: 12
Books read from the library: 36
Books I preordered: 6
Books I borrowed: 19

Random Fun

Smallest book read: We Should All Be Feminists (49 pages)
Largest book read: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (759 pages)
Most read author: Lemony Snicket (13)

Books read 300 pages or under: 28%
Books read over 300 pages: 72%

Most pages / books in a month: 7108 pages / 23 books in April
Least pages / books in a month: 4271 pages / 12 books in May

blog faves

I always wish there was some master list of my favorite blog posts from each year but I haven’t gotten around to doing that yet. Maybe I’ll add that under my “about” page or something. Regardless, I went through the last six months and pulled together some of my favorite blog posts I’ve done!

challenge statusAs you know, I love challenges and tend to participate in them quite a bit. I always sum them up in my wrap-ups, but this time of year is great to kick my ass into reading more for them. Some are complete already (go me!) and some have a ways to go. I think I can reasonably finish them all!!


Debut Author Challenge

Goal: 12 books ||| Read so far: 12

Firsts – Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Liars and Losers Like Us – Ami Allen-Vath
The Distance from A to Z – Natalie Blitt
Arrows – Melissa Gorzelanczyk
Dreamology – Lucy Keating
The Way Back to You – Michelle Andreani, Mindi Scott
A Study in Charlotte – Brittany Cavallaro
Winning – Lara Zeises Deloza
True Letters from a Fictional Life – Kenneth Logan
Seven Ways We Lie – Riley Redgate
The Marked Girl – Lindsey Klingele
Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here – Anna Breslaw

Contemporary Romance Challenge

Goal: 21+ books ||| Read so far: 37

Firsts – Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Liars and Losers Like Us – Ami Allen-Vath
The Distance from A to Z – Natalie Blitt
The Score – Elle Kennedy
Arrows – Melissa Gorzelanczyk
Dreamology – Lucy Keating
The Wrong Side of Right – Jenn Marie Thorne
Second Time Around – Beth Kendrick
Linny’s Sweet Dream List – Susan Schild
Wanderlost – Jen Malone
What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty
After I Do – Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Way Back to You – Michelle Andreani, Mindi Scott
True Letters from a Fictional Life – Kenneth Logan
Secrets of my Hollywood Life – Jen Calonita
Autofocus – Lauren Gibaldi
The Memory Book – Lara Avery
Right of First Refusal – Dahlia Adler
When We Collided – Emery Lord
Two Summers – Aimee Friedman
The Lost and Found – Katrina Leno
A Season for Fireflies – Rebecca Maizel
Where We Fall – Rochelle B. Weinstein
Just a Girl – Ellie Cahill
Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here – Anna Breslaw
The Selection – Kiera Cass
Ask Me How I Got Here – Christine Heppermann
Out on Good Behavior – Dahlia Adler
On Location – Jen Calonita
The Elite – Kiera Cass
The One – Kiera Cass
The Islanders Vol 1 – Katherine Applegate
Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
Mystic Summer – Hannah McKinnon
History Is All You Left Me – Adam Silvera
One True Loves – Taylor Jenkins Reid
Summer Days and Summer Nights – Stephanie Perkins
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend – Katrina Bivald

Backlist Books Challenge

Goal: 20 books ||| Read so far: 22

Hex Hall – Rachel Hawkins
Saga #3 – Brian K. Vaughan
The Dream Thieves – Maggie Stiefvater
Of Beast and Beauty – Stacey Jay
Second Time Around – Beth Kendrick
What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty
After I Do – Taylor Jenkins Reid
This One Summer – Jillian and Mariko Tamaki
The Martian – Andy Weir
Secrets of my Hollywood Life – Jen Calonita
Blue Lily, Lily Blue – Maggie Stiefvater
Liars, Inc. – Paula Stokes
Ruby Red – Kerstin Gier
The Selection – Kiera Cass
On Location – Jen Calonita
The Elite – Kiera Cass
The One – Kiera Cass
The Islanders Vol 1 – Katherine Applegate
Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas
All the Summer Girls – Meg Donohue
The Assassin’s Blade – Sarah J Maas

In Progress

Flights of Fantasy Challenge

Goal: 20 books ||| Read so far: 15

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – JK Rowling
The Imposter Queen – Sarah Fine
Reign of Shadows – Sophie Jordan
Of Beast and Beauty – Stacey Jay
Dream On – Kerstin Gier
Cruel Crown – Victoria Aveyard
My Lady Jane – Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, Brodi Ashton
The Marked Girl – Lindsey Klingele
Ruby Red – Kerstin Gier
Queen of Hearts – Colleen Oakes
The Vanishing Throne – Elizabeth May
The Forbidden Wish – Jessica Khoury
A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas
The Assassin’s Blade – Sarah J Maas

Rock My TBR Challenge

Goal: 20 books ||| Read so far: 8

Saga #3 – Brian K. Vaughan
The Wrong Side of Right – Jenn Marie Thorne
What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty
Ruby Red – Kerstin Gier
A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J. Maas
The Islanders Vol 1 – Katherine Applegate
Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

goal progress

At the beginning of the year, there was a TTT for your 2016 resolutions – bookish or otherwise. I always use that topic to explain the reading, blogging, and personal (but somewhat bookish) goals for the year. I usually don’t revisit these too much but I hope this midpoint check-in is enough to make them top of mind again. I’ll talk about my “progress” on each of these goals/resolutions and let you know if I consider it a pass, fail, or ehhh attempt.reading goals

Read less…and give myself time to focus on other hobbies

MOSTLY PASS • At times I’ve been over 20 books ahead of my Goodreads challenge so it really doesn’t sound like I’m listening to this resolution. I did lower my reading challenge though, so it kind of evens out to about the same as last year? What I really meant by this goal (which I’ll talk about later) is that I wanted to read less just so I could focus on other things and not make myself feel bad for watching TV. I definitely read less in general – usually just for a little before work and before bed. Overall, I’m mostly passing this one!

Stop messing around with books I’m not 100% interested in

PASS • I don’t usually DNF books and I’ve DNFed three so far this year! I’m proud of that number even though it’s smaller compared to most people. I wanted to be able to focus on books I legitimately enjoy and I think I’ve done that so far this year. We’ll see how I finish the year!

Complete all my challenges and focus on personal projects

MOSTLY PASS • I’m giving myself a medium rating here. For challenges, I’ve already completed most of them! I just have two more to finish by the end of the year. That’s a major win. The whole “focus on personal projects” part is supposed to be primarily the Nostalgia Project I introduced. I am in the process of my next series so I think that’s a good start, but I was hoping to have some more done by this point in the year.

Keep up with my general lack of book buying, use the
library a lot, and read books on my effing shelves

PASS • I’ve been a library addict but haven’t read as much on my shelves. (That’s one of the 2016 challenges I need to finish by the end of the year!) I’ve been soooo much better about acquiring books lately. I hardly ever buy them and only get them (1) on sale, (2) as gifts, or (3) ebooks on sale specifically. May was a big month because of preorders, but otherwise I spend around $20-30 a month on books! I’m giving myself a pass for this one because I have done a good job of not acquiring too many books.

person goals

Focus on other hobbies instead of reading 24/7

MOSTLY PASS • As I mentioned above, I’ve done a better job of reading less. My biggest reason was that I was sick of feeling pressured by my TBR and my Goodreads challenge. I like to watch TV, build Lego with Chris, and just relax sometimes! The biggest thing I’ve done to cut down on reading is not read unless I’m in bed (either in the morning before work or right before bed). If Chris is playing a video game or something after dinner, I’ll probably read on the couch. In general though I’ve eliminated that I NEED TO BE READING feeling that I used to have. It feels great, even though I know I could do a better job of it.

Get out more and see friends

MOSTLY PASS • Within the last two or three months, we’ve been a lot better about getting out of the house and being less hermit-y. I’ve seen my friends from college for dinner and games, my best friend for a night in with her kids and taco dip, and Chris has been back hanging out with his best friend. I could definitely improve on this though. There are some times where I choose to stay in and be lazy when I shouldn’t.

Listen to more music and less audiobooks

KINDA PASS • I got addicted to podcasts for a little bit last year and am trying to get back into them. I’ve been watching bad movies with Chris lately because we love the How Did This Get Made? podcast. So, I tend to listen to those the day after we see one of the movies they talk about… but I’m not listening consistently. I did go through a two-ish week period where I only listened to music in May, so that was wonderful! After binging two series on audio, I knew I needed a break. I would like to limit my number of audiobooks down to a certain amount per month so I can focus on music sometimes. I forget how much I enjoy it!

blog goals

Organize my folders on Dropbox to make blogging easier

MOSTLY PASS • I started lumping things together and separating my graphics in Dropbox, so that’s been pretty good! I still think I need to sloooowly go through and further move things and categorize. I’m probably being anal retentive but I want to be able to search better through my stuff. There are some folder that could go elsewhere and some things that still need to be moved. Overall though, I’ve done a good job of getting most of it done!

Keep up with my organizational and planning methods

FAIL • Yet again, I’ve fallen off the planner girl wagon. I talked about it so much recently but have just had no energy for that shit lately. I loved bullet journaling and really have been trying to get better at it, but I kept putting pressure on myself to make all the pages pretty for no reason. I need a bare bones bujo to take notes, write lists, and plan out certain things. I keep making plans for each weekend and then forget them! I hate using my phone calendar too. So overall, definitely a fail. I recently bought a new Day Designer (loved my first one except for the huge size) because they came out with a smaller version that fits nicely in my purse. We’ll see how that goes!

Post more discussions and original features… and less reviews

MOSTLY PASS • Hmmm, not bad. Could definitely be worse. I’m combining more books into mini review posts or just multiple books per post, so that helps. I used to have three review posts per week but usually can get that down to two. I definitely feel like I have more space on my blogging calendar in general! I did read a lot of eaaaarly ARCs at the beginning of the year so I have some things scheduled out for the rest of the summer, but those slowed way down within the past couple of months. August and beyond have opened up a lot!

looking aheadI have to say that I’m really impressed with myself for mostly passing the majority of my goals! I’ve been sticking to my “resolutions” (really all except one!) without even looking back on them at all. Going forward, I’d like to make some edits to my goals or at least adjust my focus around a little bit. Here are some more really specific things I hope to continue with and/or start on for the next half of the year.

  1. Read more books I own instead of ARCs or library books
  2. Only listen to 2-3 audiobooks per month or less
  3. Let myself marinate more on books before jumping to the next one (at least one sleep)
  4. Collaborate with another blogger on something else, maybe a blog series of posts
  5. Work on a legitimate holiday feature (again maybe with another blogger?)
  6. Find a planning strategy that works for me
  7. Post only 2-ish book review posts per week to have more room for fun
  8. Get better at taking instagram pictures and participate in more challenges
  9. Finish organizing my Dropbox folders
  10. Start and finish a Netflix show I’ve been meaning to start binging
  11. Cover an entire bingo cards

11 responses to “Mid-Year Blogging Update and Goals

  1. This makes me statistics heart cry from joy, Lauren! Gah, I’m in love with this post! I also keep a spreadsheet with all my reading stats. It’s just great to be able to reflect and see what I’ve actually been reading. I love that you’ve reflected on your resolutions too! I find way too often that I don’t stick to my goals so it’s good to look back and see how you’re going. Good luck for the rest of the year! I’m sure you’ll manage to hit these goals.

  2. Girl – you’re rocking it! I love seeing all the reading you do – although you’re trying to so a little less reading – I’m trying to do more!

  3. It is pretty crazy that summer is here already! I feel like it was just yesterday that I was sitting in class trying to sneakily read a book on my Kindle. Also wow, you’ve read so many books!! It seems like you’ve done quite a few challenges as well which is great. As a mood reader, I’m always struggling to actually stick to my tbr and complete a challenge when/if I end up committing. I’m just way too spontaneous I guess?? I have to be excited about a book to read it. (Excited as in I just read 20 positive reviews about it & and all the bookworms are obsessed with it & everyone is talking about it.) It’s also great how you started DNFing books! I used to be obsessed with ‘finishing’ a book but that was before I started blogging and started coming across so many great reads..Anyway, congrats & good luck on all your goals!

    • I’m a mood reader too! I tend to pick challenges that are reasonable for me to meet. I know I’m going to read a certain amount of certain kinds of books so it usually works out well for me! I love coming up with TBRs but don’t follow them too often haha.

  4. Wow – what a great mid-year update! How did you pull all that great states and summary info? I’m searching Goodreads, but I can only figure out how to create a cover cloud.

  5. You are pretty much killing it at your goals and resolutions! I think that’s incredible. And yay for nearly hitting your Flights of Fantasy goal! YOU GO GIRL.

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