2017 In Review & 2018 Reading Goals

10 Jan

While my blogging goals certainly fell by the wayside in 2017, I actually had a pretty decent reading year! Along the way I realized that some of my priorities had shifted, which led to me missing out on a few goals. Shockingly, I am okay with this: the me of a year ago would have been panicked to finish “perfectly.” I think the roughest part was the blogging. Once I got one month behind it seemed like an insurmountable place to come back from, and I stopped writing reviews on Goodreads even. But new year, new me! Or at least new, more motivated blogger-me. Anyway, let’s get on to talking about my 2016 goals.

 

For 2017 I wanted to read 200 books. I surpassed that with 240! However, this is less than last year, and in fact it’s the first time since I started tracking my reading that the number went down. For comparison, here are the past few years: 2013-130, 2014-159, 2015-191, 2016-268, 2017-240. Not a huge drop, and it’s due to 1) reading more dense literary fiction and 2) spending a lot more time doing social activities. I’m fine with the drop and for 2018 I am setting my goal a bit lower at 150 books. Less pressure is always good!

 

My Series Challenge was… okay this year. Well, let’s be honest, I failed! I had planned on reading 3 big series: The Dark Tower, the Asian Saga, and one to-be-determined other chunker. I only read The Dark Tower (all 8 books) and Shogun. So… not the best. BUT about a third of the way into the year I switched my focus to literary prizes and I honestly did not have time for 800-page+ books along with all my other goals. I am dropping this challenge for 2018!

 

My TBR Challenge was probably the highlight of the year. I wanted to read 75 TBR books and I read *drumroll* 95!! I actually kind of improved and expanded this challenge over the year to be “stop impulse reading!” I want to read only books I will really love, so: books from my TBR, owned pile, ARCs, or on Kindle for 1+ month, books from a loved author or series I am already reading, buddy reads, anything that fits a challenge (like Read Harder), book award books, or gifts. This gives me a pretty huge selection, right? And it worked! I read 230 goal books and 10 impulse books. That’s right, only 10! And they averaged a much lower rating than my goal books. So for 2018 I want to read 50 TBR books, 15 physically owned books, and less than 10% impulse reads.

 

I attempted Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge, and it went… okay. I did all but one of the challenges. The thing is, I had more than enough time to squeeze in a book that would fit it, especially since it was one of the graphic novel challenges. But I just didn’t feel like it! So I am proud of what I did but I will not be doing Read Harder in 2018: I found it made me read a bunch of stuff I had no desire to, which is the opposite of my aims for 2018.

 

I have two new challenges in 2018, and they’re kind of related. As a kid I used to mainly re-read books and loved it, so this year I want to re-read my top 10 favorite books of all time and read David Mitchell in publication order. I’ve read all but one of his novels (Cloud Atlas) so most of those will also be re-reads for me.

 

This may seem like a lot less goals than previous years, and well… it is! I want to focus more on reading what I enjoy and less on meeting numbers. All the goals I have set are pretty casual for me, and I have no worries about meeting them. I’m doing a book bullet journal this year tracking all of my stats and goals (maybe I’ll post about it?), which I find a lot more relaxing than the constant “you are 6 books behind!” pressure of 2017 (I was behind on my # goals until April, believe it or not). I am very happy with the direction my reading took last year even if it went off the rails in terms of my challenges, so this year is relatively loose and unstructured. Let’s see how it goes!

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