Do you usually make summer reading plans? I don’t, but because Jenica, Aarya, and I are taking the summer off from running a seasonal bingo, I thought this would be a great time to really try and whittle down my physical TBR! Of course, this post evolved as I was writing it and my summer reading plans now also include realigning on my 2021 goals, so keep reading to see exactly what I have planned this summer in books.
If you saw my post about how I organize my unread books, then you know how big my TBR has gotten! My goal after hitting a zero TBR was to keep my number of unread books around 20 or so, and ideally to keep them in one cubby, and it’s been a while since that’s been true. So I figure reading from my TBR shelf is my top priority this summer.
Above is the shelf in its current state. I’m actually really excited to read pretty much all of the books on my TBR! Though to be clear, I absolutely do not plan to read all of my unread books over the course of the summer. I think my ultimate goal would be to get them to fit in the cubby, but mostly I want to get back on track with my goal of reducing the number of books on my shelf to 20. I originally wanted to do that by the end of June, but honestly, why not push that back to the end of August? That seems like an eminently doable goal, and hopefully I can easily surpass that.
I do want to flag that I happened to look at my instagram posts the other day and realized the last picture I have up is actually of my TBR shelf from May 2020. I’ve read or unhauled a number of those books, but there are still a few hanging around, so I figured I’d try to try and prioritize:
- The History of the World in Fifty Dogs by Mackenzi Lee
- Eleanor Roosevelt Volume II by Blanche Wiesen Cook (technically Eleanor Roosevelt Volume III has also been hanging around, but I’m not going to make myself read both of those in one summer)
- Darius the Great Is Not Ok by Adib Khorram
- The New Odyssey by Patrick Kingsley
- The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
- The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
I also made it a goal at the beginning of the year to reduce my kindle TBR by two per month. I really couldn’t tell how I’ve done on that because I don’t know what number that shelf was at at the beginning of the year. But in this blog post, you can see it was at 80. So maybe I’ll try to get it down to 75 by the end of the summer? 70? I don’t want to stress myself out and I want to keep the focus on my physical books, but I think reducing that number by five is doable.
My plans are actually evolving as I write this post to use the summer to try and realign on my reading goals that I laid out at the beginning of the year, because my TBR was the main one. I also wanted to try and read more nonfiction and SFF since I love those genres but didn’t read them much in 2020, and I think I’ll naturally do that just by reading from my physical TBR, which is awesome. But definitely something to keep in mind as I read this summer!
I also made it a goal to try and read at least 20 percent books by Black authors and 40 percent books by authors of color more generally. I think I’m on track for both of those, but I’d like to try and push for 50 percent books by authors of color. I’m not too far off from that, so it’d be great to get there over the course of the summer! Again, a lot of the books I own are by authors of color, so I think this is totally attainable.
My last goal I’d like to try and touch on is to read all of the arcs that I own. I only have five, so I can totally knock this out! Especially because I own the physical copy of one of them, so that would check off multiple boxes at once and only leave me with four more books. Plus, like I talked about in my post about how I organize my unread books, arcs are multi-homed on my kindle TBR shelf. So just reading those would automatically get my TBR shelf down to 75! Major win!!
So this post started by me just wanting to read my physical unread books, and evolved to trying to use the summer to get back on track with my reading goals. I hope I didn’t put too much on my plate by doing so, but I’m feeling pretty good about this plan!
Just to pile on, though, I lastly want to mention some of the rereads I’ve been doing/want to do. I’m not making this a definitive goal!! This is just a reminder. I’m in the middle of rereading Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove novels and want to keep going with that, and then continue to her Castles Ever After series at some point. I’d also really like to reread the Six of Crows duology after how much I enjoyed the Shadow and Bone series. And I reread the Abhorsen trilogy with my husband via audio on some recent road trips with my husband (it was his first time listening to them and he loved them), and I’d really like to finish up by rereading Clariel and Goldenhand.
So yeah, I think these are some good goals to work towards over the summer! I’m really excited to get my physical TBR down and get back on track with some of these goals.
What are your reading plans this summer? Let me know in the comments! And if you don’t have any, might I suggest the Read the Swoonies Challenge? This is a great opportunity to read books that romance readers voted as some of their favorites! I’m happy to flag a few of my favorites if you want some recs!