Lowdown On… A Bookish End of the Year

This post won’t be like a lot of the earlier Lowdown posts where the topics are either controversial or heavily discussed. Part of that is in keeping with the happy vibes of the season, and part is to talk about how as a book community we tend to closeout a year in the only ways book crazed people can. When we start a year or are working to complete our reading goals/challenges in the year we are like crazy/hyped up people spouting all these different ways to reach the same endpoint; completion. What does it sound like to others? I really don’t want to know since I’m slowly getting deeper and deeper into this world myself.

I guess the first thing that comes up in this type of discussion is Goodreads. The big Goodreads challenge is a hard one to miss as everyone in the beginning of January starts posting their new Challenge, and how many books they’ve committed to. Some go for easy, success driven numbers, and others shoot for the moon. Some know they’ll read hundreds of books, while others may only be able to open a handful. There are literally all types in this challenge, and in the beginning it’s definitely exciting as you “commit” to your number and decide on how you plan to tackle it. At the end of the year? Either you are just on track, well ahead, or like I’ve been this year; somewhat behind. We don’t have to admit how behind, but there is a point where you start to look at the number, the year you’ve had, and make some decisions. This time, I made what may be a controversial decision to lower my goal, so I could relieve my stress, and still complete what before had been a daunting task. I rarely touch the overall number I commit to, but when I do it is for my mental health, not my ego. I read about 3-4 books a month on average, with some months being better or worse, but I knew deep down that I wouldn’t be able to even touch my original goal, so changes were made. Regardless of changes, I hope everyone is having a good goodreads challenge this year, even given the craziness that has been 2020.

So, beyond the Goodreads Challenge, how does the book community celebrate the end of year? Well, another big one are the top reads list for the year! There are top releases for the year, top overall picks, and all kinds of lists around books you may or may not have heard of just in time for Christmas! I love a good book wishlist as I read different book synopses, add them to the list, and then imagine myself some point early next year getting to enjoy it. This year I don’t quite get to peruse the aisles at my local bookstore, but I think that just makes this community more important since we can easily find out what’s good, what could be good, and what pre-orders are worth looking into. I for one, have not had the easiest time finding new books online, at least not like going inside a store and just looking at books I’ve never heard of. Other creators have been a great source for finding books I myself had yet to pick up, or authors I needed to give a chance to.

Truly part of the end of the year, and perhaps less attached to finishing all our books at the end is Vlogmas on Booktube, and all the Seasonal Tags that are released on Instagram, Youtube, and Blogs. As content creators these are some of the funnest pieces to get to make in the year and experience as viewers as well. There isn’t any completion stress for things like challenges (except for Vlogmas of course), it’s just picking books based on prompts related to a Holiday, and seeing what other creators do with the same prompts. I’m also excited since I’m doing some tags this year that I didn’t do since I first started blogging, so it’ll be fun to see what’s changed for me in that span of time. What are some things you’ve associated with the Book Community’s end of the year? Let me know in the comments below!

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