Celebrate: That Last-Minute Race to Finish Reading Goals

celebrate link up

Ruth Ayres hosts a weekly celebration on her blog. I appreciate this invitation to look for the positives in my week.

I have been to three libraries, one bookstore, and all over Amazon in the past week in an effort to acquire the books I need to finish off my 2014 reading goals. My TBR piles are literally toppling all over the house. I have made half a dozen lists in my notebook as I plot out the Newberys and Shelf of Shame books that I have a chance–however small–of completing in the next 11 days. I love all of the planning and stacking and collecting and acquiring and sorting and maneuvering and sampling of books that happens in December as I try to reach my reading goals.

IMG_2702_2I’m 16 books away from my overall book total goal for 2014 (200 books, not counting picture books). I realize that’s more than a #bookaday between now and December 31, but I’m an eternally optimistic reader. I can always do a bit of last-minute padding of totals with graphic novels (Little White Duck is made for this kind of reading emergency), verse novels, and early chapter books if I need to. Given that I’m in the middle of twelve books right now, I feel very confident that I can complete these sixteen.


I recognize that some of my specific goals may not be met. My Newbery goal seems all but out of reach, given that I’ve read a whopping one book of the twelve I challenged myself to read. The remaining four books on my #MustReadin2014 list are dauntingly fat. I do still plan to finish 10 more YA novels by December 31 to wrap up the 60 YA Book Challenge I set, but no more than two are likely to come from my Shelf of Shame, which will leave me two books short there.

Still, I’m not calling it yet on any of my goals. Until midnight on December 31, there is hope. Reading time will be at a premium over the next 10 days. I’m off for winter break, so theoretically there should be lots of uninterrupted time for reading. But my kids are also out of school for winter break, and parenting is often an extreme sport at my house. I’ve decided that devices need to be put away as much as possible. No twittering when I could be reading. My son’s daily hour for video games needs to become my daily hour for reading (not cleaning or cooking or running errands). And I have two beautiful hours at the start of each day when I am up early before anyone else in my house gets up. That’s got to be seven or eight books finished right there.

Whether I finish all my specific goals or not, I know that over the next 11 days, I will read some good books. So today, I celebrate the wonderful reading I did this past week (6 books finished) and the wonderful reading that is to come.

I also celebrate friendship and shared booknerdiness. Just as I’d finished snapping the photos for this post, I got a tweet from Carrie Gelson with a link to her Celebrate post today–which is about the very same topic I had been planning to write about! Here’s to ambitious reading goals!

And now, back to my book!






13 responses to “Celebrate: That Last-Minute Race to Finish Reading Goals”

  1. Crystal Avatar

    Good luck with your reading goals! I am trying to finish off a few more for my challenges, but will be moving some of my Must Read 2014 books to a new list – Must Read 2015. 😉

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Love the idea of moving some of the Must Read 2014 to 2015!

  2. carriegelson Avatar

    We will have to do the December 29th, 30th, 31st count down! I have some fat titles in my #MustRead pile too. Sigh. Last year I finished my 100th novel at 10:30 p.m. on the 31st so I know that last minutes of reading truly count! Rooting for us both!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      LOL, Carrie. Love imagining you reading away the approaching New Year! Having the kids home 24/7 is definitely putting a crimp in my reading style. My son wants my full attention for every second of that 24/7! Clearly, I need to read aloud more to him! Our last readaloud of the year may end up being a title on MY reading lists, LOL.

  3. Linda Baie Avatar

    I think you & Carrie should at least check in on each other about your progress, Crystal. I’ve decided that some of my “must reads” just aren’t going to be read. I have too many others that I really want to read. Best wishes for a grand celebration on Jan. 1st!

    1. Linda Baie Avatar

      How do I do this, Elisabeth? Ugh-here we go again. This time, thought I was reading Crystal’s (obviously)-please forgive me again!

      1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

        Not a problem! I am thinking that one, perhaps two, of my “must reads” aren’t going to be read either. I have started both and made an honest attempt at one and just don’t connect.

  4. Vasilly Avatar

    You’re in the middle of twelve books?! How is that even possible?! 🙂 I’m also 16 books away from my goal for 200 books. I’m still in a bit of a reading rut, so I probably won’t make it. Good luck! I hope you do.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I think I have some sort of reading disease! I really love starting new books, so I usually have 12-15 started. Then one will rise to the top and I’ll put all the others aside to read obsessively on the one. It’s a weird way to read, but it seems to work for me. I hate reading ruts!! I often read nonfiction or something way off my normal radar (like books for grownups!) to get out of a rut. Or a beloved reread. I Capture the Castle, The Brontes Went to Woolworths, and Hilary McKay’s Casson family series just about always do it for me!

  5. Kendra Avatar

    Best of luck to you! We are just getting settled in a bit too, and I was just thinking about reading goals. You have some great titles in your stack! I hope you share more about them! Happy Reading!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I just hope I’m able to find time to read some/most of them! Looking forward to seeing what you finish too.

  6. […] celebrate reading and a last-minute rush to finish my 2014 reading […]

  7. Michele Avatar

    I love reading goals. They are fun to make. Fun to try and achieve. And if you don’t, you smile at what you’ve done and add them to next year’s!

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