2017 is almost over and while I’ve had an incredible bookish year I’ve already started thinking about what I want to achieve in 2018. I tend to avoid New Year’s Resolutions as I know I’ll never stick to them but last year I set some reading and blog goals and actually met a lot of them so I want to do the same for 2018.
I’m probably not going to beat myself up over them if I don’t achieve them, reading and blogging should be fun after all, but I’m hoping these goals will give me a little bit of motivation and kick start the year.
Last year my overall aim was to diversify and expand my reading and I want to continue with that in 2018 however I think my main focus is going to be getting more balance. It’s pretty fair to say my reading in 2017 was dominated by ARCs and while I consider myself very lucky to receive them (thank you publishers/authors), it does sometimes feel like I’m on a schedule (albeit self imposed) and I never get to the books I own. I’m not going to stop requesting/reading ARCs (they’re far too tempting) but I do want to get into my backlist a bit more, finish off those series I’m partway through and read some of those books I’ve always said I’m going to. To that end I’ve therefore set myself the following reading goals:
- GoodReads Challenge – Similar to last year I don’t plan on worrying too much about this one. I want my focus to be on quality rather than quantity and I want to read some of those longer or more challenging books I’ve been putting off. I read 180 books in 2016 and managed to cut back to around 150 in 2017 so I’m setting my target for 2018 to 120 books i.e. 10 per month but I’m not going to worry too much if I don’t hit it.
- TBR Takedown – I haven’t done a count in a while but I’m fairly certain that between ebooks and physical books I own over 300 books I haven’t read (oops). If I was in any way sensible I’d stop buying more but they are just sooo pretty and I want them all. So to let me buy more books without so much guilt I’m setting a target to read at least 35 of the books I currently own (around 3 a month). I’m thinking about bringing in a TBR jar to help me pick but I’m not convinced the random pick would work for me.
- Series Completion – I have a bit of a bad habit of starting new series but never finishing them. I’m slightly scared to count how many series I’m mid way through and I suspect I’ve forgotten some of them. There are a few I have no intention of continuing with (expect a post on this at some point) but for those I do, I really want to finish them before I forget what I have read and have to start again. I’m not sure how to set a target on this as it kind of depends on how many books are in the series and how many I’ve read. Umm ok, let’s say I will complete 10 series in 2018 (eek!!!)
- Classics – I set myself the goal of reading at least 5 classics in 2017 and despite that not being hugely challenging I didn’t quite manage it (I’ve read 3). I have however started listening to a few on audio and have been really enjoying them. In 2018 I am therefore committing to read (or listen to) at least 6 classics. I already have a couple lined up (one of which is a chunkster) but I’m open to suggestions for the others.
- New 2 U Authors – I love trying new authors and often choose books at random based on a cover or a blurb so while this may seem a little contrary to my goal of reading more older/owned books I already have a heck of a lot of books by authors I’ve never read. Having just had a skim through my kindle books sorted by author I’ve already counted 17 and I’m only at the letter C. I’m therefore increasing last years target of reading at least 20 (I actually read around 70) to at least 30 books by authors that are new to me with at least 15 of these authors whose books I already own.
- ARC Control – I made incredible progress in getting my NetGalley feedback ratio from 71% at the start of 2017 to 84% by the end of it but I do still have over 30 books sitting on my shelf. My aim is therefore to maintain an 80%+ ratio but also to reduce the number of books on my shelf. I would instigate a request ban but I’m a realist so instead I’m committing to request no more than I read and review in a month. I’m also setting a limit of 5 books a month to try and force myself to only request those books I really want.
I was also considering taking on either Popsugar’s 2018 reading challenge or Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge but I feel like I’ve just finished a lot of books that fit the prompts and I want to read something different. I may track against one of them therefore but I don’t think I’m going to search out books to fit.
In addition to reading goals I also want to set myself a few new blog goals. I feel like I’ve fallen into a rut and have been neglecting things a bit. I therefore want to freshen things up but more than anything I want to get some structure in place so you all know what to expect and I have less last minute scrabbles to pull together posts or reviews.
- Graphics/Photographs – I’ve played around with the design of my blog over the last 12 months and I do think it looks a little better but it’s still seriously lacking in terms of graphics and pictures. I’m probably the least creative or arty person you’ll ever meet but I’m going to try over the next year to get a bit more design and photography into my posts.
- Discussion posts – while I’ve started doing more feature or recommendation type posts through Top Ten Tuesday I would like to try some discussion posts. I’m going to aim for one a month which hopefully will be doable. I just need to think of some topics that haven’t been done about a million times before.
- Regular review posts – I tend to be a little bit erratic in my reviews, not posting any for a couple of weeks and then doing a raft of them in the same day. I’m going to aim for at least one review a week and try to have a set day or days when I post them.
- Scheduling and planning – I’m a bit of a pantser as far as this blog goes and currently do next to no planning. I do a couple of memes on a weekly basis but often only write the post the night before. Reviews are written and posted as and when I feel like and generally from no notes. I therefore want to add a bit of structure and maybe have set days for certain types of posts (and maybe stop posting at 10 at night).
So that’s it. Looking at the length of this post it’s now seeming a lot but I don’t think I’ve put anything down which isn’t possible (I hope). Wish me luck!
Do you set yourself reading or blog goals? Do we have any in common or are you trying something very different this year?