2020: A New Year, New Reading Goals

Hello, friends, and happy new year! First things first: I have literally only succeeded at writing the date correctly on the first try one time since the calendar changed. One. Time. I kid you not. The struggle is real.

And now that my complaining is out of the way, let’s chat about something fun: reading goals! I don’t know about you, but I love setting a goal every year. Between the audiobooks I listen to during my work commute and physical copies, I read what I consider to be a decent number each year, so I usually default to 120. (Full disclosure: I prefer the number 125 for no good reason that I’ve come up with, but that doesn’t equal a nice round number (like 10) for each month, so I don’t use it.) And while I use my ability (or inability) to reach this goal to monitor my reading habits, my favorite stat to see at the end of each year is the number of pages that these books have totaled. While 120 books is no small accomplishment, seeing that I’ve read tens of thousands of pages feels pretty badass. Anyone else?

And this year I’m adding some more information to what I’m monitoring courtesy of the Book Riot Reading Log. The spreadsheet allows you space to enter all of the info I consider to be traditional (title, author, publisher, pages, etc), which I appreciate because I don’t have the time (or desire) to create that form on my own, and I really enjoy seeing that breakdown. But the part I really love is that there’s space to keep track of own voice, POC, LGBTQIA, and creator gender. I have repeatedly said that I want to make my reading more diverse and more inclusive, yet have never taken the time to actually check myself on this goal. So this is the year. One other statistical goal: no more than 10% of my reads will be written by straight white men.

Finally, my other main reading goal is to immerse myself in the backlist and read from my shelves. I had great intentions for both of these goals in 2019, and then proceeded to get lost in purchasing oodles of new releases and signing up for a whole bunch of review tours. I’ve already taken steps toward becoming more intentional with my book purchases, and I’m proud of the lack of book buying I’ve done since the calendar flipped. Rather than impulsively snatching up any cover that catches my eye, I’m focusing on why I want the book. If it’s just FOMO, I can get it from the library. If it’s a favorite author or a book that speaks deeply to me, then I’ll get it for my shelves. And yes, I’m still signing up for review tours, but significantly fewer of them. Again: I’m working on being much more selective and signing up for only the titles that I truly want to read, FOMO be damned.

As for the backlist. . . It’s safe to say that most of the books contained on my bookshelves are unread backlist, the majority of which still bring me joy when I think about the potential of reading them (damn you Marie Kondo and your brilliant catchphrase). The books I look at that make me scratch my head or elicit zero response? They’re being culled and donated either to my LFL, the public library, or my bookish pals.

And there you have it: everything you never knew you needed to know about my reading goals and habits for 2020. What about you? Are you someone who sets reading goals each year? If so, what are they? Is there anything you’re doing differently in your reading life this year?

Cheers to joyful reading in 2020!

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