Jan 10

Word of the (Reading) Year and a Bookish Bingo

I have been reading several posts about goals and resolutions for the New Year – reading goals and just general life goals. While browsing through these posts I came across an interesting idea that I had not heard of earlier – Word of the Year.

I let the concept marinate in my brain, but could not come up with any single word that I would want to center my life around in 2016. Mostly because I am not sure of how this works. For instance, if I go with the word – Balance (something that I always strive for) – I need to have a plan to ensure that I am able to incorporate balance in my life. I mean I do little things to find balance in all things, even now. So, what would be so different when I select this as the Word of the Year? I know, I am probably overthinking this, but that is just me.

A goal without a plan is just a wish. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery 

Having said that, the concept stayed with me, and I thought about which area of my life I can apply this to; where it will add value and meaning to what I want to do.

The answer was clear – I could use a word to define/set expectations for my reading year 2016, and the word I choose is – diversity.

Word of The (Reading) Year 2016 – Diversity. 

This is the one thing I want to keep in mind while reading this year. Especially because it is easy to set lofty goals, but without a way to track these goals, it is equally easy to get carried away, and indulge in mindless reading.

This year, my goal is to ensure diversity in genres, themes, countries, authors, and even formats (audiobooks-this is going to be the year we meet).

The other thing I want to achieve is – balance. Here is why – until last year, I had not read any Indian authors at all (yes, shameful, I know). Okay, outside of the odd Chetan Bhagat book (5 Point Someone) that I read in my teens.

In 2015, I wanted to address this situation, and I did. However, I got so involved in it, that at the end of the year, I realized that 75% of the books I read were by Indian authors. While this statistic by itself, is neither good nor bad, when considered in isolation, but this is not what I wanted. This was just one of my goals, but it overshadowed all the other goals.

A Bookish Bingo!

So, this year, to ensure Diversity/Balance, I have come up with a plan. I listed all of my goals, and created a Bookish Bingo. Because (like I said in my post about setting reading goals) reading has to be FUN!


P.S. Later this week, I will have a post up discussing these categories, and also my (tentative) picks for them. I would love your inputs too. Please do leave your suggestions in the comments below. I will certainly keep them in mind while I make my list.

P.P.S. I am open to suggestions in all categories, but am especially looking for suggestion for these- A Book Set in the Future, A Book revolving around World War 2, A book in the dystopian genre.

Lots of Love

Linking this post to EveryDay Gyaan’s #Monday Musings Literacy Musing Mondays by Mary Hill



  1. Lata Sunil says:

    Shantala, I love this bookish bingo thing. Its a good idea. Let me try it out too.

  2. Hey, now that’s a terrific idea…The Bookish Bingo! This year, I too decided to read
    …A lot. And thankfully, the books I found turned out to be great! Except The best seller she wrote. I am finding it tough to concentrate on that one! But..looking at your BB..I am going to follow it..rather..follow you. Well, I do need help in selecting the perfect books! So..Thanks dear. Looking forward to your list…

  3. I think that’s a wonderful theme for you goal. You can cover so many genre in that. I need to start thinking about my reading goals 🙂
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…The Pronunciation TroubleMy Profile

  4. This is super cool! I love the idea! And yea, ‘diversity’ is the perfect word too. Would you want to read a motivational book? I just finished reading ‘To Cancer, With Love’, written by Neelam Kumar. It is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Really. It is nothing like I had imagined it to be.

  5. Ooh such a great concept! Good luck with it…I’m not going to take it up due to the 4 challenges I’ve already committed to. Can’t help you out with those three specific genres you’ve asked about but Indian authors — Rohinton Mistry is one of my favourites especially A Fine Balance. Looking forward to checking out what books you read and perhaps adding them to my ever-growing list of TBR books! 😀
    Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life recently posted…Book Review: DaughterMy Profile

  6. Wishing you much success with your reading and life goals. Happy New Year! 🙂
    Debbie D. recently posted…RAVES AND RANTS – #MONDAYMUSINGSMy Profile

  7. Wow, that is detailed! It’s like a fitness plan!!!

    I like the word diversity in this context. And I like the word balance in a whole other context, which I had done a post on long ago in ’12 or ’13.

    As for these genres, I might pick up all of those too, except American politics and the audiobook – I listened to one last year, and felt it beats the purpose of books, which is to read them. But that’s just my opinion.
    Sreesha recently posted…Of The Empaths – Final PartMy Profile

    • Yeah, except I make really vague fitness plans. 😛

      As far as audiobooks go, I know what you mean. For the longest time, I have felt the same way.
      But I haven’t really explored them at all. So, will give it a go, and see how I like it. Staying away from
      fiction though. Sticking to non-fiction/memoir kind of stuff. Plus (if you see my picks for this category) I would love to hear these ladies.
      Shanaya Tales recently posted…Word of the (Reading) Year and a Bookish BingoMy Profile

  8. Cool! I loved the bingo you created. How interesting. I have decided to read at least 50 books this year. May be I should also decide on the categories. Thanks for the idea and good luck, Shantala! 🙂
    Shalini recently posted…Rainbow in My Cloud #SpreadTheVibeMy Profile

  9. I like your idea of diversity, works well as a reader. I wish to read the classics and the prize winners I have missed.
    For the dystopian series I can only recommend Laxmi Harihran Ruby Iyer or another author I read last year Kory M Shrum Dying for a living series. I have read the book 1 for both of them and well I leave the choice to you.
    Inderpreet Kaur Uppal recently posted…#Bookreview The Sheik’s Intimate PropositionMy Profile

  10. Wow! Love the Book BIngo idea! Goodluck with it…:-)

  11. Wow! Love the concept of bookish Bingo. I am curious to see the books you pick for some of the genres. I would like to see if I can pick out a few from your list. 🙂
    Pooja recently posted…Reflections- 2015My Profile

  12. Wow! That’s extensive and quite a plan. And about the word of the year, I’ve read some interesting posts as well. But have never come up with a word for myself.
    Rachna recently posted…Life beckonsMy Profile

  13. Wow! That’s so cool. One the word of the year is wonderful. When reading it’s important to read different genres. So there with you. For personal self too, I could not get a word that I would focus for the year.
    That Bookish Bingo is super cool. Have you read Pearl Buck? The Good Earth and Letter from Peking are both are set around Chinese Revolution and my fav books.
    Anne Frank’s Diary is the safest to start if you are looking for something near WWII but I am sure you must have read that one. Let me think and I will come back. Good luck on your reading goals.
    Parul recently posted…Sunday Punch #53My Profile

  14. Ooh I love your bingo. Wondering who you’d give a second chance as also a different mythology – maybe Chinese?? Just thinking. For the dystopia novel you could try A Brave New World or even Hunger Games. For World War I I – Boy in Striped Pyjamas or The Book Thief. I’m following you for sure.
    Beat About the Book recently posted…Eye tests are good for healthMy Profile

  15. I liked the way you put it -‘I let it marinate in my mind’. Diversity is a great thought when it comes to genres, authors and geographies. I wish you good luck with your reading goals for this year.
    Anamika Agnihotri recently posted…Let me introduce myself…#Monday MusingsMy Profile

  16. Word of the year is new to me. I think am sold to this concept ?
    And would you mind me taking up this Bingo challenge? Like if I put up that image on my blog? I did this a couple of years back and it works out better for me than choosing number of books to read.
    Gayathri recently posted…The House that BJ builtMy Profile

  17. Hi,
    I had been doing the same, reading new year resolution blog posts. Came across this theme/word of the year. I liked your concept of Reading(diversity) year of 2016. I liked this concept of reading books from different genres. Keep it up
    Seeya recently posted…DisciplineMy Profile

  18. That is a very good thing. I could see a teacher using such a thing to encourage her students to read across the spectrum.
    Susan Gourley recently posted…5 Minute Industry NewsMy Profile

  19. Bookish Bingo is so cool. I might take it up and do it along with my Pop Sugar Challenge. Good luck with your reading goals, Shantala 🙂

  20. Oh my! Lovely concept, but I’d fail miserably. Having said that, I really need to get back to reading.
    Nice one, Shatala.

    PS: For some reason, I had been unsubscribed from your blog. Re-did it now 🙂
    Sid recently posted…If only….My Profile

  21. Bookish Bingo is a new concept for me, but I loved it and wishing you luck so that towards the year end…you could shout BINGO 😉

  22. Hi Shantala. Loved the concept of Bookish Bingo! Diversity and Balance are fine WOTY. One definitely needs to broaden the perspectives! One book I recommend is M.J.Akbar’s, Have Pen Will Travel! Also on World War 2, I got a fantastic one from Readers Digest titled: The World At War 1939-45, indepth detail and vivid pictures. Happy reading 🙂

  23. I plan to read book in every genre this year. Every genre has something to offer. The emotional play, the interactions are all different in every genre. Would be interesting to see how it works out.
    Rubina Ramesh recently posted…Book Blitz: Karmic Kids by Kiran ManralMy Profile

  24. What a great idea. I need to make time to read more this year. I am so busy with writing and blogging. Thanks for sharing this with us at Literacy Musing Mondays too. Also, I have nominated you for the Liebster and Blogger Recognition awards. Check out my announcement post. It is linked below.
    Mary Hill recently posted…Mary-andering Creatively Receives AwardsMy Profile

  25. Love your idea of the year. Diversity opens up our mind and heart, I believe! And then making it happen with bookish bingo – awesome idea:-) best of luck and have fun with the reading, my friend:-) I might copy that idea actually.Really liked it.
    Eli recently posted…Love isMy Profile

  26. You must read “Girl on the train” if you haven’t already as the movie is coming out soon. Loved this bookish bingo idea of yours. I might do something like this next year 🙂

  27. What a great idea! It kinda reminded me of Liz Gilbert in ‘Eat Pray Love’ when she tries to peg a word for each country she visits. I have a great suggestion for a WWII book. Do read ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ by Diane Ackerman. You can read my review on my blog. It’s an amazing story set in Nazi occupied Poland. I think you’ll like it. I suggest you read ‘Brain on Fire’ by Susannah Cahalan. It’s a mental health memoir, which I plan to read really soon. It’ll be fun to discuss the book with you 🙂

  28. Interesting thought! I have at least 20 paperbacks in my bookshelf that I haven’t read yet. And another 45 MOBIs on my kindle. Just taking a day at a time 🙂

  29. Shree Janani says:

    Whoa! This is one cool idea actually! May be I should try it too!

  30. Frankly I have never come across such a beautiful thought before. My writing and blogging takes more of my time. To tell you the truth as far as reading is concerned I am shameless to admit that I have refrained myself from going beyond my comfort zone. You did an incredible job with this Shantala.

    • Thank you so much, Paromita. 🙂 I think we all stick to our comfort zones, and it is not really such a bad thing. Sometimes we do need our comfort reads. And then there are times when we feel the itch to diversify. The best thing is to follow whatever your heart wants to do. After all reading is mainly for pleasure. To each his own! 🙂
      Shanaya Tales recently posted…The books I picked for Bookish BingoMy Profile

  31. What a cool post! Your neighbor in the #LMMLinkup also had some cool suggestions for reading broadly. You might want to check out her post, too.

  32. What a great idea! You are being so creative about your reading goals. Cool! Would love to hear how it all goes. As for the WWII books, I will check with my husband and share any suggestions he might have. He is quite fond of that time period in European history. I can only think of one book I read many years ago about that time period, Eichmann in Jerusalem – published much after WW II.
    Beloo Mehra recently posted…Coming Full Circle (by Zephyr Nag) – Part 2My Profile

  33. I am someone who usually stick to my favorite genre- Literary fiction. But harking back, in my teens I used to read books on varied genres. Your post has thrown some light in to the issue. I should also start reading authors about whom I haven’t heard of before too. There are so many good books out there. Also like you, I have been reading a lot of books authored by In dian authors lately. That should change too. I am already on the change there. Now reading Edgar Poe.

  34. Oh yes bookish bingo has been going in my circles as well 😀 But if I do embark on it only time can tell! Hoping you complete it in style 🙂

  35. This is a nice plan… Really diverse as you mentioned…

    Am interested in knowing who is the author whom you have decided to give a second chance to 🙂

  36. Wow, Shantala, I like your Bingo game. I probably won’t get time to do so much reading, but I will definitely check in here t see what you are reading. 🙂 Happy reading.
    Vinitha recently posted…Word Of The Year 2016My Profile

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