We are almost a week into 2018 and that’s when I usually set out my reading goals for the year. Last year I set my reading goal at 70 books, which I did not meet. While I don’t really care about the numbers, not meeting this goal was an indicator for me of my changing reading habits. I used to be able to read 100 books a year pretty easily. However, over the last few years my book count has gotten lower and lower and has sort of settled in the 50-70 range. While I still love reading, the longer commute (2-3 hours per day) I’ve had the last 4 years has really cut into my reading time. My other big hobby is knitting which I also try to find time for (and I can’t read and knit like some people). I also just read a little slower these days. When I read too many books in a row too quickly, I often feel like I am not really absorbing the words and have a hard time remembering the stories later. These days I try to savor the words and let myself read a bit slower so that I actually enjoy what I am doing instead or just racing for the finish line. I also have some non-reading related goals that I’ll discuss below. Here we go.
1. Read 50 books – As I said above, I set my reading goal at a lower number this year so that I could take my time and not feel like I was rushing through every book to meet an arbitrary number. I also want to give myself permission to re-read books (I’m looking at you, Harry Potter) and also dive into some longer books and series that I’ve had on my to-read shelf for a long time.
2. Read more comics – I have a very large collection of comics and graphic novels that I’ve collected over the last few years that have been gathering dust on my shelves. I always seem to forget about them when choosing what book to read next. Some series I’d like to catch up on are Saga, Monstress, Descender, Lumberjanes, Revival, and Crosswinds to name a few.
3. Read at least 1o books from my backlist and read more from books I already own (digital and physical). If you saw my previous post, you’ll know that I am participating in the Beat the Backlist challenge again this year. I’ve given myself a goal of at least 10 books from my backlist. Also, instead of buying more books, I’d like to focus on reading the books that I already have so that I can clear out some shelf space. I am not promising not to buy any new books (let’s be real) but I do want to make a real effort to shop my shelves first when looking for my next read.
4. Read those ARCs – similar to the one above but this one is specifically targeting ARCs that I’ve had for quite awhile now but haven’t been able to read. Hopefully my backlist goals and ARC goals can overlap for maximum efficiency.
5. More diversity – I tend to stick to genres and authors that I know and like, which is great, but I’d like to make more of an effort this year to read books by diverse authors featuring more diverse characters. We Need Diverse Books is a great organization that has a lot of good information if you’d like to learn more about diversity in literature.
That’s about it for my reading goals. I’d really just like to read without a lot of pressure but also want to make a dent in the books that I already own. Now, on to some more personal goals.
1. Save money/budget better – I say this all the time but I really want to spend less money, enjoy what I already have, and hopefully pay off some debt. This means reading books I already have or going to the library (which I already do) and to try not to buy new books unless I really plan to read them immediately or am going to a signing. Otherwise I can just wait to get them book when I am actually going to read it. I also need to use my yarn and fabric stash instead of running out to buy new materials anytime a new project comes up.
2. Travel more – I went to Hawaii for a wedding a few months ago with some friends and it reminded me of how much I love to travel and see new places. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in work and family that I don’t have time to travel and do fun things just for myself. This year I’d like to myself permission to take some time off of work and go someplace new. I will also be renewing my passport soon, which I’ve put off for awhile. This way I can be prepared for any adventure!
3. Watch more movies – While I still watch a good number of movies every year, I feel like I haven’t really taken the time to enjoy them as much as I used to. I just saw The Shape of Water recently (which I loved) and it reminded me how much I love film and going to the movies. I want to make an effort to see more independent and foreign movies.
4. Just breathe – I have a lot of anxiety (about all kinds of things) and I really want to try to chill out a little this year. There’s a lot to be scared of in the world, especially now, but worrying about all the time isn’t doing me any good.
Those are my goals for the year. I think I am going to come back to this post a lot to remind myself of some of these throughout the year. What are some of your reading or non-reading goals for 2018?