Friday, December 22, 2017

2018 Goals


For the last few years, I've completed the Goodreads Challenge. Basically, pick a number and read that number of books. I started with 50, but I've bumped it up to 100 books since. It's not too difficult to reach that, especially with the amount of graphic novels I read, but it's hard enough that I wondered if I would make it this year.

I also started looking at what types of things I'm reading. Since I didn't use Goodreads shelves to organize titles by genre/age group or anything like that (too many shelves), I copied my 2017 shelf into an Excel doc and started dividing into four categories: adult fiction, adult nonfiction, young adult fiction, and graphic novels/comics. As of today, just under half my total is graphic novels and comics, 25% is adult fiction, 20% young adult, and only 8% nonfiction. While I could break this down further, I feel like it's obvious that things are a bit unbalanced. I'm proud that my adult fiction included more mysteries and even a western, but I'm really disappointed in my nonfiction total. I've also probably accumulated more books than I've read. 

So within the 100+ titles I plan to read next year, I'm adding new goals:

1. More nonfiction. I only read NINE works of nonfiction this year. I'm reading another right now, but nonfiction is great! Ayelet Waldman's A Really Good Day and Kate Moore's Radium Girls are easily two of the best things I read this year. So in hopes of finding more gems like these, or at least learning more, I'm going to read at least one nonfiction title per month. It's still a low number, but putting it more at the forefront should help.

2. Rereading. I really, really don't do this because I have too many new titles to read, but I've started looking longingly at a few past titles that I've wanted to pick up again. I'm still coming up with a way to keep myself from reading too many from my back catalog, but I think it will be a ratio. Five new titles to every one reread might be the ticket. 

3. Classics. So I skipped reading many, many required classics in high school. Despite always reading a ton on the side, required reading was tedious, boring torture. Some of this I blame on the selections, but maybe this was just my tiny teenage rebellion. Either way, it's time to revisit some of them. Like nonfiction, my goal is one title a month.

4. #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks: I'm borrowing this idea from Andi, a book blogger and host of Dewey's 24-hour Readathon. My physical book collection has his the point where my bookshelf devoted to books I haven't read is full. It's time for me to make some room for new material by reading the old ones and by admitting that there are others I will never finish. The best part is that I have nonfiction AND classics sitting on my shelf!

What sort of reading challenges do you set for yourself? Any tips to make 2018 the best reading year ever?

Also, I meant to make a gift guide this year, but since then it has been a busy, fast slide into Christmas with some serious bumps along the way. It's just not going to happen. If you're still looking for a gift though, leave me a comment! I'm happy to help.

Until next time!


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