Saturday 7 January 2017


2017 Reading & Blogging Goals

It is the New Year, which means people have been sharing their bookish and bloggy goals and resolutions for 2017, like Paper Fury, Bookends and Endings, and Jess Hearts Books. I thought I would join in and share my goals for this year with you all.

Swap ARCs for eProofs

I mentioned this in my Looking Back on 2016, Looking Forward to 2017 post. I am simply running out of space for books. I have five bookcases, books are stacked in most of them, and I still have piles of books on the floor. It's just too much. Not only does it not look good - everyone knows that a bookcase with books spine out is a thing of beauty, but you wouldn't have a clue looking at my bookcases what most of the books are - I'm actually feeling weighed down by all these books. We always talk about how you can never have too many books, but I think maybe you can. So I'm going to have a cull, and this year, I'm going to request eProofs of books instead of physical copies where possible. This isn't going to be possible in every instance, but I think it will for most. This will drastically cut down on the number of books I receive through the post, and I'll feel a lot happier with having pretty bookcases and no books to trip over in the middle of the night. My only problem is that I may forget what books I have on my Kindle, but I'll just have to keep an eye on NetGalley and the Home page on my Kindle.

Fall Back in Love With Reading

As a book blogger, I feel I have a certain responsibility to talk about diverse books (this is something I personally feel, not something I have been told I should do). I have this platform, and with this platform I may help someone who reads my blog to discover the book they have been looking for - in which case, I should be highlighting books they may need.

This has led me to read certain books because I feel I should, rather than because I want to. This doesn't mean I don't enjoy what I'm reading, but that I'm picking up a book not to read for enjoyment, but to bring attention to it. As I said, I'm still enjoying the books I'm reading, but I'm not reading for pleasure - I'm not reading for me, I'm reading for others. It's not about the books themselves, it's about how I approach reading.

I've started to lose the excitment that comes with picking up a new book. I need to read these books for myself first and foremost, for my own enjoyment. I need to approach reading differently; to pick up a book to read because I like the sound of it, rather than because I feel I should read it. Again, I'm not going to change the books I'm reading, I'll still be reading diverse books (because it's important for me, as a white cis-het able-bodied woman to diversify my reading), I'll just be thinking about reading differently. I'll be choosing what I read based on what sounds good in the moment, rather than because it features a character with X identity.

Get Better at Commenting

I have become really crap at replying to comments on my blog. And I don't really know how it happened. I think it's mostly because I check my email a lot on my phone when I'm at work during breaks, but I'm not able to respond to comments then, and I've forgotten about them by the time I can. I need to fix this. It's not really good for the blog itself in relation to engaging with my readers and having them come back - it's not going to increase my followers or encourage people to come back. But more importantly, it's just plain rude. These people - you - have taken the time to visit my blog, read what I have written, and join in the conversation by commenting. It's really disrespectful to take an age to reply. So replying to comments more promptly is something I'm going to work on this year.

Do More to Promote Diverse Books

Until recently, all I did for diverse books was read and review them. And while that's helpful, I feel like I could be doing more to support these books and their authors. As you may have seen, I've already started my Diverse YA & MG 2017 UK Releases list, and I've posted the first of monthly posts highlighting, with more detail, the diverse books coming out in the UK that month. I'll also be holding Twitter giveaways for extra copies of diverse books I have, and I'll be starting an as yet un-named feature where authors of diverse books recommend others. I just want to be a bit more proactive in supporting these books and making sure people know about them. They're so important, and I feel I need to do more than simply review them in order to help them find their way into the hands of those who need them. Hopefully more ideas will come to me as the year goes on.

Write More, Different Content

You may have noticed that for a good long time, most of my content has simply been reviews. Reviews are fine, it's what book blogs are all about, of course, but just reviews? I'm sure for a reader that can get a little boring. And I'd really like you guys to like Once Upon a Bookcase, and want to come back, you know? Writing content other than reviews is something I really struggle with, though. Cait of Paper Fury is the Queen of Bookish Content, always coming up with interesting discussions, or funny bookish posts, and speaking to her about it, I know most of her inspiration comes from what she reads, but also from Oh, The Books' Bookish Blogging: Discussion Topics From A - Z. Even with this advice, I have still struggled. But I'm going to really try to come up with posts you guys will enjoy reading. I'll jot down ideas when they come to me, and see if I can work them into something interesting. I'm sure it'll be fun for me, too, to write other things for Once Upon a Bookcase - I do so enjoy writing!

So those are my reading and blogging goals for this year! What are yours? Let me know!


  1. Good luck with your goals this year! I'm trying to not upgrade to two bookshelves by getting rid of some of the ones I have. It is getting hard to only have one shelf.

    1. Thank you! Oh my god, I don't know how you do it with only one shelf! I have five bookcases, and I still have books piled on the floor! It's just getting out of hand now. I need to have fewer books, ha!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Yes! All of what you said. I need to clear out my bookshelves because I'm running out of space. I also want to read more of what I want to read instead of what I think I should be reading.

    Also, I want to post other content, too. Reviews are fine, but I think you need a mix of different posts in order to keep yourself (and your readers) from getting bored.

    1. Aah, see, I don't want to change the books I'm reading, but why I'm reading them. I'm not reading for me, and I need to start doing that. I've started, and I hope to continue! :)

      But god, I do need so much more space! I am overrun with books, so I really need to cull some of them.

      Exactly, mixing things up a bit keeps things interesting - and I want people to think Once Upon a Bookcase is interesting! And it'll also be more fun for me, like you said :)

  3. I love your goals!! And a lot of these are actually goals I'm kind of working towards too.🎉 I want to read more books for me. Although I tend to get swamped reading review-copies and ARCs I'm just sent unsolicited (which I realise I don't HAVE to read, but I feel beholden to anyway!!) and I want to explore more genres and just pick up whatever I feel like at the library occasionally. :P And also read more eARCs because...shelf space. hehe. So true! I HAVE NONE.😂

    Aww, I'm so glad you like my blog content!! Honestly I think it just takes practise?! Like the more random stuff you write, the more you think of! And tags are fun too. I'm planning a post on how to think up discussion soon, hehe.


    1. Oh my god, the thing with unsolicited review copies is just so annoying. It's even worse when they're not even close to what you actually read and review - when have I ever reviewed an adult crime novel? Why send me a box FULL of them?! It makes no sense! I simply won't read them. But they take up space in my room until I can lug books to a charity shop (finished copies only, of course).

      I love your goals, too, Cait! I have read your posts, and I am mostly up to date, but I've been so busy lately, I've been a lurker rather than a commentor. Sorry about that! I'll try to get back on it soon!

      Your blog is just so awesome, Cait, I do love it! And your content, you're just so creative. But it's so exciting that you'll be writing a kind of discussion tutorial! This makes me so excited! :D

  4. These are great goals - especially swapping out ARCs for eProofs! I only have room for digital now, as much as I love physical books.


    1. Right? There is just no space! And I do much prefer physical books, but what can you do when you run out of room? eBooks are the alternative, sadly.

      Thanks for stopping by!