2016 In Review & 2017 Reading Goals

5 Jan

Last year I set quite a few reading goals for myself. Enough to structure my reading year and make me feel accomplished, but not enough to be suffocating. I’m really a mood-reader, and I like my goals to reflect that! And it worked, because 2016 was absolutely my best reading year of all time. Which is nice, because it was kind of terrible in almost every other respect. So let’s look at how I did, and set some 2017 goals!

For 2016 I wanted to read 175 books. I ended up with 268 read, so I definitely accomplished that one! I tend to keep my book number goal low because I end up feeling pressured if it’s close to what I read last year. So for 2017, I am aiming to read 200 books.

Like the previous year I did a series challenge, but I mixed it up a little. Instead of trilogies I wanted to tackle some big ones. Initially I had it at 3 series, but I ended up altering my goals pretty early on and read the entire Culture series and Realm of the Elderlings, along with the new Peter Hamilton duology. I am going to do a series challenge again, and right now I plan on reading the Dark Tower series, the Asian Saga, and possibly Kushiel’s Legacy.

My TBR Challenge went much better than what I expected! I set it at 50 books and reached an even 70, so for 2017 I am bumping it up to 75 from my TBR and 25 physical owned books I haven’t read. My Goodreads TBR is massive (over 300 books!!), so I should have no issue picking mainly from it. I’d really like to cut down on impulse reading this year and stick mainly to owned, TBR, and Netgalley books.

In 2015 I attempted a Big Book Challenge, and I failed. I attempted in 2016 and did… a little better? I mean, I got over 200 pages into Infinite Jest, so that’s something. I was supposed to read that along with Gravity’s Rainbow and Ulysses, though. After 2 years of getting nothing done I need to admit that this particular challenge is not working for me. I get intimidated when I feel forced into reading massive classics: I still want to get to them, but I think setting them as a goal made me less likely to pick them up.

I also did an Around the World Challenge, which entailed reading books from authors from 15 different countries. This was both easier and harder than it thought it would be. It was easy to hit 15, but I found that I don’t read as widely as I thought. I got to 27 countries which is good, but not as good as it could be. For 2017 I will not be setting a specific goal or challenge, but I will still track where I read from.

In the middle of the year, I also impulsively picked up Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge, because I realized I’d already accomplished about 2/3rds of it without trying. I finished it, and you can find my full list in the gallery below the jump! I had a lot of fun going out of my reading comfort zone with some of these, so I will be doing the 2017 version of the challenge as well.

And that’s it! It may seem like a lot, but for the most part I’m just trying to structure my reading around things I know I’ll enjoy. Looking back on this year, a lot of my lowest-rated books were ones I picked up because I read one good review or saw it mentioned in a video. Picking things mainly off my TBR or to-read piles makes a lot more sense!

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