I love this time of year because reading goals posts are some of my favorite. They’re just so full of excitement and optimism and great ideas on how we as readers can improve ourselves and doing what we love so much.
I’ve had goals in the past that I’ve written down, but a lot of them were kind of vague and therefore difficult to stick to, though I did finish the 2017 Read Harder Challenge and I’ve been pretty good about not letting unread books sit on my shelves for more than a year.
I’m really excited about my goals this year, though, and I’m hoping 2018 will shape up to be a great reading year!
My most important goal of 2018 is to read my books within three months of purchase. So for example, any books I purchase in January 2018 that haven’t been read by the end of March will go on my April TBR. I want this to be my practice going forward, and by the end of 2018, I’d like my physical TBR shelf to only consist of books I can read within the next three months, whatever that number is.
Hand in hand with this goal is to read all of the books that are currently on my shelves by the end of 2018. I’m thinking I should try to read at least three of those books a month, which gives me a good balance of reading books I’ve already purchased with incoming books or library books and will keep me on track to read all of these by the end of the year. I might make an exception for a couple of the biographies on my shelves (specifically the behemoth that is Truman by David McCullough and possibly one of the Eleanor Roosevelt biographies by Blanche Wiesen Cook), but if I do, that means I can’t buy any more biographies to add to the stack until those have been read.
I do want to add the caveat that any books I receive from publishers will not be subject to the three-month rule. I’m planning to put those on a separate shelf and read them when I feel like it (though of course I want to get to arcs before they’re actually published). However, I don’t want them to sit around unread for more than a year, so I’ll revisit that shelf periodically and declutter the books that I’m not interested in and know I won’t read in a timely manner.
In the vein of reading books that have been on my shelves for way too long, I have two books that have been hanging out since at least 2016. My goal is to finally read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte in January 2018 and Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann in February 2018. No excuses! I’m definitely going to finish Wuthering Heights, but I give myself permission to DNF Buddenbrooks after 150 pages if I’m still not liking it.
I also want to make it a goal to reread a book a month. I have a pretty extensive list of books I want to reread, but it’s so easy to forget about them in the face of all the unread and new books, so I really want to prioritize rereading going forward.
Another goal I’m setting for myself is to read more authors of color. I’ve spoke some about how I’d unconsciously read mostly white authors in the past before joining Goodreads and analyzing my reading habits. Now that I’m aware of that fact about my reading tendencies, I want to keep working on changing it, especially in some of my favorite genres — romance, fantasy, and history/biography — where there aren’t nearly enough authors of color. To give myself something concrete to work towards, I’m going to try and make sure that at least 30 percent of the books I’m reading are written by authors of color.
And finally, I’ve put together a checklist of various types of books I’d like to read to make sure I’m reading outside of my comfort zone. This is inspired by the Read Harder Challenge, but I want to tailor it more towards my own specific reading habits and goals.
There are currently 36 items on my checklist. I’ve starred 14 of those as ones that I particularly want to prioritize in 2018, so I definitely have to read books to cross off each of those challenges. I want to complete at least 20 of the challenges on this list in total, though, which means I have to read books for at least six more unstarred ones, though ideally I would read a book for each of these. I want to give myself an attainable goal that won’t stress me out too much, or else I would make that my goal.
- Read a mystery novel
- Read a book about grief
- Read a thriller
- Read a spooky book
- Read a paranormal romance
- Read a Shakespeare play*
- Read a presidential biography*
- Read a banned book (from my list)*
- Read a book that deals with mental illness
- Read a book in which the main character has a physical disability
- Read a book about a war that isn’t WWI, WWII, or the Civil War (i.e. Vietnam, Korea, potentially not involving the U.S. at all)*
- Read a nonfiction book about religion*
- Read a fiction or nonfiction book set in and by an author from:
- Central America*
- South America*
- The Middle East*
- Southeast Asia*
- Read an own voices book by a Native American author*
- Read a literary fiction award nominee or winner from the past two years*
- Read a f/f romance*
- Read a nonfiction book about science
- Read a non-celebrity memoir / memoir by someone I’ve never heard of
- Read a short story anthology by multiple authors
- Read a book from an indie publisher
- Read a book originally published in another language (other than German)
- Read a book by a German author (not Buddenbrooks)
- Read a book about refugees
- Read a self help book
- Read a magical realism book
- Read a western
- Read a book about natural history
- Read a book about sports
- Read a book set in the outdoors
- Read a historical fiction book (not a romance novel)
- Read a book about current events
So yeah, lots of plans for my 2018 reading! I’m really excited about these goals, though, and it’s important to me that I accomplish them.
Let me know in the comments what your reading goals are for 2018 (or link your post if you have a blog)!