Bout of Books: Let’s start the year off right!

December 25, 2016

bout-of-books-18It’s time for the next Bout of Books– #18, to be precise!

I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately. And it’s been hard. As 2016 has wrapped up, I’ve found myself lagging on many of my yearly challenges. Part of the reason I’m lagging is that I’ve overcommitted. The other part is that I’ve left all the books I wasn’t really interested in reading in the first place until the end. Silly Jackie. Why would you do that to yourself?

I have many plans to help alleviate this for 2017. I’ve been coming up with grand plans and resolutions for the upcoming year. We all know 2017 can only improve upon the year we’ve just had. That said, I know I need to start my book journey on the right foot. So, I’ve decided to commit to Bout of Books 18! 

From their website:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01 am Monday, January 2nd and runs through Sunday, January 8th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 18 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I feel like challenges are better with goals. So, here are mine:

  • I will read for at least 60 minutes each day, including at least 4 straight hours on at least one day.
  • I will finish a book which I am currently reading.
  • I will read one book from start to finish.
  • I will participate actively on Twitter and on my blog.

Honestly, this is a pretty low bar for me in a read-a-thon. But, as I mentioned above, I need a bit of a reboot after the last 6-8 weeks of reading. Hopefully, this is the kick in the butt I need!

Bring it on.


  • Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks December 26, 2016 at 2:59 am

    Best of luck for this challenge! I find that reading 4 straight hours has to be quite AWESOME, I can never manage to do that, haha. I really should as well! 🙂

    • Jackie B December 26, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      I don’t know if I’ve ever done it, actually! Well, unless you count reading when I should be sleeping… O_o That’s why it’s on my goal list! I wonder what it would be like… 😉

  • Books, Vertigo and Tea December 26, 2016 at 11:19 am

    I dream of the day I can kick back for 4 hours and just read haha 😉 Happy reading and challenge <3

    • Jackie B December 26, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      Right?! I have been thinking quite a bit about my resolutions for 2017 around reading. I want to schedule more time for myself and reading. Since I don’t have kids yet, it’s mostly about forcing myself to respect the time I set aside for it. Perhaps by doing this I can start a trend of lazy weekend mornings reading in my comfy chair. 🙂

  • whatthelog December 26, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    If I didn’t have so much uni work to do, I would have totally participated in this. 🙁 Ah well.

    I hope your slump ends soon! Could you skip to a book you’re really looking forward to reading, even if it isn’t in any of your challenges? Might make the less exciting books a bit easier to tackle afterwards.

    • Jackie B December 26, 2016 at 9:41 pm

      Wendy, you are so right. I’m just too stubborn. I want to win! But, I don’t want to win badly enough to push forward and get through it. As Jacques, from Finding Nemo, would say: “I am ashamed.” I want to finish them successfully, and at this point, I only have two more books to read before the end of the year to make them. But I’d rather read YA fantasy. Oops. 😉

  • Laila@BigReadingLife December 27, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    I’m interested in the books you didn’t really want to read in the first place that you left until now. Have you decided to abandon them? Do you feel guilty if you let them go? I’m always interested in why people read what they read, and how we make those decisions.

    • Jackie B December 29, 2016 at 10:42 pm

      Some of the have been abandoned, and some I am carrying over into early 2017. For example, in my From Fiction to Reality challenge, I have two non-fiction books I plan on still reading. I put them off because non-fiction and I don’t have the greatest relationship. But I’m trying to correct it! So, I feel guilty about these books, but I’ll trying to stick to them still.

      Meanwhile, I am working on the Rory Gilmore Reading challenge. That’s the 339 books she read/held/talked about during the original series. I am abandoning some of these (my original goal was to read 10 books from this list in 2016) because I’m… well, not as enthused as I originally was with this challenge. Life is too short to read books I’m not interested in, and I’m finding these books to be amazing hallmarks of literature (well, in many cases)— but I’m just not in the mood. I don’t feel guilty about this, but perhaps a bit embarrassed? In the end, I’ll keep working on reading the books I’m interested in as the fancy strikes me, but I won’t make this a hardcore goal any time soon.

      The long and short of this is that I want to continue to love reading, and I’ve realized over the course of this year that I can’t push myself as hard to branch out and still love reading. I refuse to let it be a chore. This year I hope to participate in fewer reading challenges, but read more “hype” books so I can stay active in the discourse between bloggers. I will still challenge myself but with less vigor.

  • jlennidorner January 1, 2017 at 9:29 am

    I’m excited about Bout of Books 18. Best of luck to us both on meeting our reading goals. Let me know if I can help you with anything along the way.
    Happy page turning and happy New Year!
    Oh, and if you come across a 2017 debut author, please let me know! – J, #BoutOfBooks expert

    • Jackie B January 1, 2017 at 10:00 pm

      Thanks, J! As a newbie, I am certain I’ll look to you for some guidance on this journey. I can’t wait to get started! 🙂 Counting the seconds to midnight here…

      As for 2017 debut authors, I recently heard of The End We Start From by Megan Hunter. This is her debut novel about motherhood in a dystopian London suffering from extreme flooding. It sounds really interesting. If you are into YA, I am looking forward to Caraval by Stephanie Garber, as well. It’s gotten great reviews from the ARC reviewers.

  • jennielyse January 3, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    I’ve been in a huge slump too. I’m hoping bout of books will help! Good luck with coming out of your slump and getting a lot read this week!

    • Jackie B January 3, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      Thank you, Jenni! I wish the same to you– being in a reading slump is the worst.

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