2019 had been… a year.  In so many ways – good, bad, and ugly.  At this moment I “could” dwell on those last two (bad & ugly)… but No, not going to do that because today is a blank page, an exciting brand-new decade beginning, a new year begun anew so why drag last year’s garbage into this pristine, clean place, right?

Two weeks ago I “had” a grand new plan for Keeper Bookshelf — and then some of that bad & ugly hit and that tossed me for a loop even though I wasn’t directly involved.  I started questioning just about everything I do here on the blog(s), places that are in many ways a safe haven for me, places where I can allow my love of really good stories to take flight.  I “could” let events that had nothing to do with me directly try to steal my joy in this place of mine – it would be so very easy to do that… and for about a week I did allow that.  But no more.  My blog might be small with a not very large audience (now) but that does not mean the uglies get to take it from me.  No, not gonna happen.

I’ve discovered that questioning oneself is a good thing.  It promotes growth, allows us to see our shortcomings, and our strengths as well.  I learned a lot this past year and I’ll be taking those lessons into 2020 with me.  I’m also taking a hard look at what and who I read.  I’ve discovered many new to me voices that I want to hear and make my own mind up about.  I’m letting go of some books, some authors that no longer “fit” me, no longer bring me joy.  I will not, though, deny the enjoyment I once got from those author’s stories, their worlds — I simply know that now, today, I’ve moved beyond them and it’s time to let go.  There are hard reasons here, and I’ve simply outgrown their message reasons as well.  I’m being more careful with the power of my book-buying money these days, and I want to spend those dollars on stories that uplift, educate, amuse, astound, and capture me… for what I consider the right reasons.

2020 will see more of my already bought TBR pile being tackled, less of direct book review requests, less of NetGalley ARCs.  I am very aware that I’ve spent good money on books that I’ve never “cracked the spine” so to speak – and that is foolish, wasteful, and as a reader – just wrong.  It was and still is my plan to clear out that notebook full of titles bought – and add less to the new notebook waiting to be filled in 2020.

That doesn’t mean I’m walking away from NetGalley and/or the amazing publishing houses that I love – oh, heavens no.  Simply that I need to find an equalizing place between ARCs and already owned titles that need to be read and reviewed.  That is a balance I’ll be working on both for Keeper Bookshelf and Shifter Haven in the coming new year.

For those who do not know, I am a woman in my 60s, retired, a life-long reader and I have the freedom to read… a lot.  I make the choice to visit different worlds, countries, cities, personalities through books.  That is my travel adventure.  I also make the choice to pick up, buy, borrow, or request books that I believe I will enjoy so, yes, my book review blog is full of 5, 4, or 3-star reviews.  I DNF many books, but haven’t written about that or why I did – that will change this year.  At this point in my life, I’ve no clue how many good reading years I have left in me either through physically being able to see to read or time left on this planet.  I saw no reason to continue with a book that didn’t hold my interest, or even worse, one that offended me on any level.  And that was wrong, I should have voiced those opinions as well.  That will be dealt with, as needed in the coming year.

Some of the changes I had in mind last month will be taking place gradually.  Others, well – I’m just not certain now, those decisions are still up in the air in my mind.  This past week or so I’ve lost many authors I once admired, gained knowledge of new voices that I want to explore, and taken a hard look at who, what, and how I read and/or report on those titles.  There are changes coming for KB, I’m simply not certain yet what they all will be — but I do know one thing for certain, I will continue holding a book (or a Kindle) in my hand until my final day, Lord willing and my eyesight holds out.  To share those thoughts and opinions with you has been a pleasure, one I will not deny myself no matter how many or how few people visit my blogs.  I’m always thrilled with I see a first-timers comment – I hope to see many more of those this coming year.

My wish for your 2020 is a year, a life full of happiness, success, wellness – and really, really good books that capture your imagination and carry you away for adventures beyond your dreams.  Enjoy.  Indulge.  Keep reading – no matter what the world tosses at you!