I can’t believe 2009 is basically over. Where has this year gone? I had very high hopes for 2009 as far as reading, blogging, and completing challenges was concerned. But reading and blogging had to take a backseat to real-life issues, such as unemployment, transitioning to a full-time job, a death in the family, and my brother’s hasty marriage (literally, he went from first date to married with a stepdaughter and a baby on the way in less than three months). I sometimes wonder how I had time to breathe, let alone read or blog.

But I’ve survived, somewhat intact. And 2010 is a new year, right around the corner. So here’s a look back at the highlights of 2009 and what is coming for 2010 here at Reading and Ruminations.

2009: It Just Wasn’t Meant to Be

When 2009 started, I think I signed up for probably 10 different challenges. And over the course of the year, I managed to complete exactly one of them. I had lofty dreams of reviewing books constantly and reading as much as I could. I set a goal for myself of 100 books, fully expecting to read more than that. After all, 10 books a month really isn’t hard to do. And even if I slacked some months, well, there’s some leeway because there are 12 months in a year. Right. I read exactly 41 new books and re-read 5 others. I haven’t even managed to crack my minimum of 50 books.

But I did manage to cross some books off the TBR that had lingered there for awhile (I’m looking at you, Breakfast at Tiffany’s). And I hosted my very first pseudo-challenge in the Summer Reading Blitz, which was my madcap attempt to get caught up on my reading and blogging. I failed miserably at that, too, but it was a fun experience all the same. I participated in both 24-hour Read-a-thons, in spite of the influx of family during the October event (see brother’s wedding above).

2010: Starting All Over Again

So what’s on tap for 2010? Lots! For starters, I am signing up for zero challenges. Zip. Zilch. Nada. I discovered that, rather than leading me to discover new works, my challenges actually limited my reading and made me feel like I had to read certain books. I do have a few goals that I would like to attain, but I’m not setting any hard and fast rules for myself regarding them. I think I will feel a lot less stressed about reading that way.

I am planning to do the Summer Reading Blitz again. Yes, it started out strong and fell apart at the seams within a few weeks. But I think a big part of the reason for that is that I just didn’t give myself enough time to plan. It was a crazy last minute thing, and it showed. But since I have months between now and June, it gives me plenty of time to  work out a game plan.

You may ask why I’m doing this when I’m not signing up for any challenges. After all,  isn’t 30 books in 30 days technically a challenge? Yes, it is. But I had so much fun, and I think that, if properly planned, it could be a pretty fantastic event.

I’m also thinking about bringing back Highlighting History. It was a fun feature to do, and I still get hits off the ones I did. If I do bring it back, I will only be doing it once a month because I don’t have time to commit to doing it once a week.

I’m hoping to add one more feature as well, but this one is also still in the works and is dependent on a few things, mainly time. If I do roll it out, I’m hoping it will make an appearance sometime next week.

I hope 2009 was more successful for you than it was for me, and I wish you all a prosperous and well-read 2010!