I’m so excited to finally be writing this post because I’ve been thinking about it ever since I did my last goals check in! There’s just something about reading goals that I think is so fun to read and write about, so of course I had to kick off my yearend posts by starting with my favorite!
While I’m still pretty excited about all of the different goals I set for myself in 2018, in 2019 I’m going to really pare it back and only focus on one goal: getting to a zero TBR. I think I just distracted myself with all of my other reading plans and made it impossible for myself to accomplish all of them, so for now I’m going to focus on the one goal, and then I can circle back to some of my more longterm goals once I’ve completed this one.
I feel like I’ve been talking for ages about trying to get to a zero TBR, but haven’t really made much progress. You might wonder why it’s important to me; I myself think too many people worry about shrinking their TBRs when they should really just embrace them and stop creating unnecessary stress. But for me, it’s more of a matter of practicality. What’s even the point of buying a book if it’s just going to sit on my shelf for years unread? Especially if I just wind up donating it in the end because I’ve lost interest over time? I just really like the idea of reading books as I purchase them and think it’s a waste to let too many books languish on my shelves. So I’m going to strive for a zero TBR, and 2019 is going to be the year it becomes a reality.
Obviously a good first step towards accomplishing that goal is to institute a buying ban and stop borrowing books from the library, but I think then my goal becomes too restricting, which will ultimately keep me from actually attaining it. Instead, I’m going to start with the end goal in mind: it’s totally ok for me to buy new books, so long as I read them shortly after I buy them. I’ve actually been doing this the last several months of 2018, and it’s been working really well for me. Rather than putting new book acquisitions on my TBR shelf, I leave them on my nightstand. It helps keep my new books in the front of my mind, and it’s a tangible reminder of how many books I’ve acquired recently and not read. As a result, it stresses me out a bit to acquire new books and really makes me stop and think about when I’ll get a chance to read them, and it motivates me to read from the pile if it gets too big.
The other way I hope to achieve my goal of a zero TBR is to reduce my physical TBR by at least five books per month. There are currently 54 books on my TBR shelves (you can see them on my Goodreads shelf here), so if I stick to five per month, I’ll have all of them read by the end of the year. I won’t lie, I’m secretly hoping to accomplish my goal by this summer (June would be amazing), and it might be possible, but I’m only going to really push myself to read (or cull) at least five books per month from my shelves.
Side note: for some reason, I’m not too fussed about my kindle TBR! I think a lot of that is because it’s not sitting there staring at my like my physical TBR, and I’m generally not in the habit of accumulating too many kindle books. I’m actually really good about only buying kindle books when they’re insanely discounted (think a dollar or two) and something I can’t check out from my library via Overdrive. I’m lucky that the New York Public Library has an incredibly extensive collection, so it’s pretty rare that a book I want to read is on sale but not available from my library! While eventually I might turn my attention towards clearing out my kindle TBR, for now I’m not really worried about it.
I do have one other goal that I want to accomplish in 2019 and that is to have at least 30 percent of the books I read throughout the year be by people of color. This is a goal I set for myself (and met!) in 2018, and it’s something I want to continue to do both to help ensure marginalized voices are heard by giving them support and to learn more about different people. Of course, there are a zillion other ways to diversify my reading other than just by focusing on race, and I’m planning to write a post about some of my blind spots in my reading and what I’d like to improve upon, but this particular goal is one of the simplest ways to make a big impact on my reading, which is why it’s the only one that’s an official goal (for now!).
And that’s it! I’ll likely put together a post again with ideas for completing the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, and I recently discovered the Reading Women Challenge, which sounds pretty cool, so I’ll probably research some ideas for that as well, but I’m not going to push myself to complete either challenge, at least not right now. And I still very much want to do more rereading in 2019. But I don’t want to stress myself out with too many goals or distract myself from my primary goal, both things that happened in 2018. So 2019 is going to be the year I finally reach a zero TBR!
What are your reading goals for 2019? I love hearing how other people plan to improve their reading, so please comment below or drop a link to your blog and let me know all of your aspirations for next year!