What Are You Reading in 2015?

readingchallengeAfter traipsing all over Northeast Ohio for sixteen years to attend library book sales, I assembled a nice collection of hardcover books for myself. Other than my Janet Evanovich books, I can count on one hand the number of books I’ve actually read from my bookshelves.

Enter the era of the eReader.

Rich bought a Nook for me in 2011. Many of my blogging friends had books available only at Amazon, so I bought a Paperwhite in January of 2013. This past summer, I couldn’t pass up a great buy on a Kindle Fire.

The amount of free, public domain, and purchased books on those three devices would fill a small house. I’ve only read a few of them.

I used to be an avid reader. I always had two or three books going at one time, and I could usually read a book in a day.

I don’t know when I stopped reading. I’ve made a few attempts in the past to read again, but I simply couldn’t find the time.

When I recently logged into Goodreads, I saw the notice for the Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge. I set a goal of twenty-five books. I thought one every two weeks sounded just about right for me. I had no idea the challenge would light a fire under me to start reading with zeal again. As of this morning, I’ve read eight books this month. I suspect I’ll be increasing my goal soon. (Side bets may be taken now for how soon I’ll peter out.)

books2015I’m finding out some things about my reading habits …

I like reading in bed at night until I fall asleep, which could be after five minutes or after several hours. I read for at least half an hour before I get out of bed every morning.

I keep a hardcover book on my desk downstairs and one on my desk upstairs. Depending upon whether I am editing (downstairs) or writing (upstairs) determines which book I’m reading. For most of my day, I rotate around writing/editing for an hour and reading for twenty minutes.

I tend to drag my Kindle with me around the house. If I decide to take a longer break and land somewhere else for a bit, I have a book with me.

I have no problem whatsoever dumping out of a book and deleting it from my eReader simply because I don’t like it. I’ve tossed three so far this month. One was written in a style I didn’t enjoy. I was gone at the 8% mark. I settled down fully prepared to love the second book. I loved the writing style and the dialogue was great. However, the subject matter was dry and depressing. I managed 32% before giving up. This author has more books in the same series. I’ll probably try another one later. The third started great, but devolved into nothing more than descriptions of criminal acts and a pretty blatant attitude against women. I hit the delete button on this one at 11%.

The only books I’m listing on my Goodreads challenge are books I’m currently reading and confident I will finish. When finished, the book is going to get five stars. I read for enjoyment; I don’t read to critique. If someone is a good storyteller and has entertained me for the few hours it took to read the book, they get five stars from me. Thank you for the good read.

The next book to be added to my list? A fifty-cent book sale find – a 1964 Erle Stanley Gardner hardcover with a dustjacket, The Case of the Phantom Fortune. I love a good Perry Mason mystery.MasonPhantom1

How many books do you hope to read this year? Have you signed up for the Goodreads challenge? What are you presently reading? Do you read more than one book at a time? Do you give up on books that don’t entertain you? What are your reading habits like? Chime in!


51 thoughts on “What Are You Reading in 2015?

  1. I really need to get into reading again myself. I haven’t sat down and read a good book all the way through in a few years. I’m a sucker for good leading ladies. I love JD Robb. Her Eve Dallas is my kind of leading lady. It’s hard to concentrate lately, with everything going on in my life right now. I’m hoping things settle soon, or at least this year. lol
    I may have to check out the challenge. Nothing like a good challenge to get one’s butt in gear. LOL

    • So true – a good challenge can light a fire under you. I am enjoying reading again. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a hard time putting a book down. I’ll have to check my shelves to see if I have any JD Robb/Nora Roberts. The saying is true – so many books, so little time.

  2. “I read for enjoyment; I don’t read to critique. If someone is a good storyteller and has entertained me for the few hours it took to read the book, they get five stars from me.”—I love how you put this, because that’s kind of how I feel. Although I do give four stars, too and even occasional three stars, for the most part, I’m easy to please. Weave me a story that keeps me turning the pages, and I’m happy. If I think a book is only worth one or two stars, I won’t finish it (with the rare exception being a book club selection).

  3. Maddie I’m so happy to see you back!
    I usually have five or six books going at the same time stationed all over the house, mostly nonfiction, art and all the other things I’m fascinated with. I read at lunch at work too on the Kindle on my phone. I love it when I find a book of fiction I can’t put down. I just finished Confessions of a Pagan Nun by Kate Horsley, got it from the library. Also a few months ago What Happened Here by Bonnie ZoBell, an old friend from my San Diego dog training days, my first Basset Gracie loved her Golden, Jupiter. It is a novella and collection of short stories about how the mid-air crash in 1978 over her North Park neighborhood is still effecting all of them. It made me miss San Diego. I need to listen to audio books so I can get some work done at the same time. Welcome back Maddie!!

    • Hi Pam! It’s good to see you, too! 🙂

      I love reading more than one book at a time. It’s fun having them all over the house. I checked Amazon for both books you mentioned, and they look fascinating. I might try audio books later this year and see how I do with them. Hope you and all your critters are well!

  4. Hi Maddie,

    I hope to read at least 24 books this year. Currently, I’m reading a YA book written by an author I met via our publisher. I, like you, enjoy Evanovich books, so I’ll read anything she releases this year, and then of course I plan to read more books written by my friends such as you, and many authors from my Wisconsin romance writer’s group:)

    My smile stretched from ear to ear when I saw my book cover on your blog! Thank you so much for your continued support.


  5. I signed up for the challenge, too! I’m going for 40. You’ve read a lot more than I have so far! I have a lot of the same habits you do. I like to read before I go to bed and when I wake up, if I’m able. I like to read more books at a time, with at least one lighter one. I just finished reading Prep. Great book!

    • Forty is a great goal! I lost a lot of my follow links while I was off, so I was just over to your blog to hit the follow button again. I enjoyed your review of Prep and am noting it as one to read in the future.

  6. I’m so glad to see you back blogging as well! 🙂 It does feel good to read again. I read a lot in grade school until I graduated, then life was really busy and I rarely picked up a book other than a textbook or kid’s book. LOL

    I loved finding Goodreads in 2012 and it did help to get me back to reading because of the challenge. I have a wall full of books I bought when I was not reading, kept telling myself when I am retired I will read them. LOL I am now finally reading some of them. I also go to the local library and check out two books at a time. I have them usually on the end table in the living room. I have my Nook with several ebooks and I also have the Kindle app on my phone. No excuses to not read anymore! 🙂

    I will read anytime it strikes me. Lots of times I will read a book within a few days time, maybe not in a row. I never thought I would read more than one at a time but I did start doing that back in 2012 with the challenge. I did not meet my goal in 2012 but it was a great start, 2013 I exceeded my goal, last year I didn’t meet my goal but did get halfway, this year I lowered it but I have already read 4 this month so I might surpass all previous years. I am secretly hoping for that. 🙂

    I give short status updates on my reading rather than a full review. If the author asks for a review I will go do that. I am not a long review person though. I honestly do not read anyone’s that is a full page review. I do not want to know what the book is about but rather if it was enjoyable or not and what type of read, mystery, etc. My star rating is usually a five star if it was wrote well and a good story. Even if it is normally not my kind of read I will still give a five star for ability to write and keep me reading. A three would be if it was one that was confusing and boring. I don’t even know if I have ever gave under three because to me if they can write a story and have the guts to publish it, it deserves a three. 🙂 I have tried to not finish a book because I didn’t like it, but I have that drive to know how the heck it ends! LOL. And I keep thinking, maybe it will get better, and actually a few have ended up better at the end then the beginning. 🙂

    • Grade school! I remember starting with the A’s in the fiction section of the library one year, and thinking I could read my way through to the end by the end of the year. I think I read two and a half shelves. 🙂

      I see your comments about your reading come through on Twitter. I enjoy reading your thoughts as you go. That’s a good idea.

      I know several people who always read books to the end, but I know every book isn’t for every person, and with so many books to read, I’d rather move on than stay. You are far kinder than I am. 🙂

      Good luck with your challenge. I think you’ll surpass it, too!

      • Thank you! I bet you will get your goal as well! I tend to judge a book by it’s cover at times so I wouldn’t have been able to start at the beginning of the shelve. Bad me. I have done where I start with my favorite authors and begin in the A’s then go to the next but it’s not always every book. I like to mix it up. 😉

  7. I don’t find enough time to read, but love it when I do — my book club meets every other month …. and the last read was Margaret Atwood’s short story collection, “Stone Mattress” — wonderfully vivid writing! And next time we meet it is “All the Light We Can Not See” by Anthony Doerr. I do tend to have a couple books going at a time … many times, a fiction and non-fiction book, or two different genres. Goodreads is such a great reading resource to network with friends, but I have avoided challenging myself with a set number of books, and instead just try to make sure I keep making time to read, and periodically challenge myself to stretch and read something I might not typically pick up. Fun to read the other comments!

    • I think reading different genres is the key to reading more than one book at a time. I could see me mixing up the players in two mysteries.

      Stone Mattress has wonderful reviews. I rarely read anthologies or short stories but should probably add one or two to my list. I read in bursts, and it would be nice to complete a story in one reading.

  8. It’s nice to see you posting again, Maddie! 😀

    25 is a good goal. I think it was the first goal I set for myself on Goodreads before I was brave enough to increase it. This year I’m planning to read 60 books and I already feel like I won’t be able to make it!

    Currently I’m reading Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography. It’s fun so far! I keep reading it in Barney Stinson’s voice, haha. I usually read one book at a time, and will continue reading it to the very end even if I don’t like it. You’re more generous than I am with your stars! I like to give critique. Whenever I buy books, I look to the reviews to see if the book contains something I wouldn’t enjoy, and they’ve helped me avoid unpleasant books on more than one occasion, so I like to think that someday a review I wrote might help someone avoid a book they wouldn’t enjoy.

    • That Neil Patrick Harris book likes like a hoot! Every now and then, I go to YouTube and watch the opening of the 2013 Tony’s. I think his opening number was fantastic.

      I appreciate that others give reviews and critique. I’m like you and tend to read reviews for anything that might upset me, but I’ll give just about anything a chance – even if it has bad reviews.

      It’s nice to see you again, Zen!

  9. I’ve been in transition for the last six months so reading has been less. I read in bed after I journal until I can’t keep my eyes open. I’ve never counted how many books I read in a year. I’ll have to check that out. I have 3 or 4 going at once, always. Many are non-fiction. But now I’m finding I like like to read light, fluffy stories especially at night. I carry the stories into dreamland with me. Which is why I don’t watch news or gory shows late. I’ve read everything J. Evanovich has written.
    I too, have deleted books that left me flat partway in. I do my blog reading in the morning, listen to audio while I sew, and have my kindle on one device or the other for those moments that I’m sitting and waiting. There is always a book and a notebook handy. Now I will try and stay conscious of how many I get read. I loved the one of yours I read and have planned to read more as soon as the sand quits shifting. I think we go through phases with how much we read and what we like at that moment. Glad to see you back.

    • Hi, Marlene! Your days are certainly busy. It seems our reading habits are similar. I’m with you in that I don’t watch news or gory shows late in the day. Hubby does and has wicked dreams all night long. I don’t and have dreams they could make musicals from. 🙂

      I generally like my reading to be on the lighter side. Chick lit and mysteries are my first choices. Most of the non-fiction I choose are books about writing or biographies. I love biographies of famous people. It gives me a glimpse into another lifestyle.

      It’s nice to see you. I’ll catch up with your blog soon!

  10. I haven’t set a goal for number of books, but I have started keeping a journal of what I read. My mom got me the journal for Christmas and I’m enjoying that. I write down my impressions of the books, where I got it, anything special about it and what I’ve done with it next. (I’m a big Bookcrosser, so release a lot of my books into the wild.) So far in 2015 I’ve read 6 books. Seems like a lot to me, but it’s probably about average. I’d read all the time if I could. 🙂

    • A very good start with six! I remembered that you leave books all over the globe. I’ve been keeping track of the books I read in a notebook. That’s a good idea to leave notes on your impressions. I’ve only been doing that with the books I don’t finish, but I shall start dropping positive notes, too! Thanks! 🙂

  11. I’m not a big reader of books. Just finished Bill Nye’s Undeniable: Creation and the Science of Evolution …. getting ready to start Letters to a Skeptic (Gregory & Edward Boyd) … so two books so early in the year is unusual, thus not a new trend. 😉 …. but my wife is the prolific reader.

    • If you’re not a big reader of books, two is great! I’m a Bill Nye fan. Because we homeschooled our son, we watched his shows on PBS all the time. We learned a ton of great science from him.

      Oh! And Professor Julius Sumner Miller. Did you ever see him? He was a fabulous, quirky character on PBS. His show was Demonstrations In Physics. He gave off such a “mad scientist” vibe, and we laughed while we watched him, but we learned a lot from him, too. Some of his videos are on Youtube.

  12. I don’t plan to read any. My TBR list is growing at a dpressing rate but I pick up a book from near the top of the list, read it, then pick up another one. I don’t track numbes or times or deadlines. In fact my To-Be-Written list of books is escaping me, too! I do aim to finish the briefcase story I’ve been working/procrastinating on for ages. Although I might have to change it to satchel given that thing I found a few weeks ago. Can’t believe it was sitting under my nose that whole time. Wife was going to chuck it out during a cleanup! She actually thinks the briefcase I describe in my novel would be almost impossible to find, even in antique stores. So for a cover, that thing might have to do. That’s my focus for 2015. Hopfully just the Jan-June part! And I got a tentative Yes from my potential cover model, too! Whoo-hoo! Now to fix my camera…

  13. No Kindle for me, just paperbacks I pick up at library book sales. I usually have about 6 going at once.

    Currently: Thomas Merton and C.S. Lewis readers, a Harry Bosch novel by Michael Connelly, a bio of composer Richard Rodgers, a Preston & Child Agent Pendergast thriller, and I just finished “Fatherland” by Robert Harris. The latter is set in 1964, and its premise is that Germany won WWII– one of the most unique and flat-out exciting plot lines I’ve ever come across. Oh– and “A Hard Day’s Write,” which has little stories and anecdotes about all the Beatles’ songs.

    In other words: the usual mix of inspiration and hooey!! : )

    • Don’t you love library book sales?!!! Do you ever go on the first night – or on a preview night? Have you ever been caught up in a fight for books? Oh, the good old days. I do miss the library book sales. 🙂

      I love your mix of inspiration and hooey. Everything on your list sounds interesting to me. I’m currently loving Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Livin’. I’m reading Everybody Kills Somebody Sometime alongside it. It’s a mystery set in Vegas with the Rat Pack when they were shooting Ocean’s Eleven.

      I’m a third of the way into The Emperors of Chocolate, Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars. On the Nook, I’m reading Quinn Checks In by LH Thomson (indie author).

      Are you on Goodreads? I’d love to keep up with what you’re reading.

  14. I definitely read more than one book at a time. I have the Kindle app on my phone. These days, though, I have to take it one minute at a time, so I don’t think I’ll be taking any reading challenges. Right now I am reading “Murder is Where the Heart is” by you. (Just finished Buckeye Hunter–sorry to see those books end) and “Maui Widow Waltz.” I just finished “With Every Letter” and “On Distant Shores,” WW II historical romances about nurses during the war (my dad was a medic)–these books are very good. Love to read different types of books at the same time, say, cozy, humorous mystery and an emotional book like the WWII ones. I try to read at least the first three chapters before I give up.

    • Nancy, thank you so much for the lovely review on Buckeye Hunter. I appreciate it very much! ♥

      I’ve been reading in short bursts like you. Sometimes, all I can get in is few pages before I have to put the book down. Historical romances about nurses during the war sound really good. I was drawn to books like these when I was younger. I see the need to vary my selections. I’ll definitely look into the books you mention.

      I’m reading a book now that I haven’t listed on my challenge yet. I’ve been chipping away at it for three days now. I’m up to Chapter Four, but I’m not enjoying it at all. I’m going to see if things pick up before I completely give up. 🙂

      Thank you for reading Murder Is Where the Heart Is! Now that I’m reading so much again, I’m reading books of my blogger friends. I started Three Strikes-You’re in Love tonight!!

      • You’re welcome, Maddie–I loved Buckeye Hunter. I forgot to mention Duck Hutton’s name–that cracked me up. Hope you enjoy “TSYIL”–I had fun writing those stories.
        Susan Sundin’s books are very good–I know you will like them.
        I recently read a few books where I only got as far as the first three chapters–I hate to do that, but sometimes, a book just isn’t for me.

  15. Not reading much fiction these days. I have a number of books in the que, but mostly non-fiction.

    I’m looking forward to Butcher’s latest Dresden book, but other than that I’m slacking off in the fiction department, mostly because when I feel like reading some, I instead write what I want to read.

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