Happy 2023 Everyone!
As is tradition at the start of a new year I’ve decided to set myself some reading targets for the year. As is also tradition these targets will be largely discarded by February but even if I don’t necessarily meet the specific “I will read x books of this type” goals I find it useful to set out what I want to focus on in 2023. This year is mostly about getting caught up and working my way through my backlist books and TBR. I still want to read diversely, venture out of my reading comfort zone and try new authors and genres but my backlist is so out of control that I feel I should really make it my priority for the year ahead.
My Reading Goals for 2023
For me quality is always more important than quantity so I try not to get too caught up in how many books or pages I’m reading. I don’t necessarily want to read more books this year so I’ve set my target at 100 books and 35,000 pages. This is the same target I’ve used for the past few years and should be pretty achievable for me. Given I’ve been listening to a lot more audiobooks over the last year I’ve set a target of 90 hours. It takes me a while to get through a book on audio so this is probably equivalent to around 9 or 10 books over the year.
2. Translated Fiction
I love translated fiction and some of my all time favourite reads (Travelling Cat Chronicles) have been translated from another language. It gives you a real insight into other cultures and often different writing styles. I didn’t do very well in terms of reading translated fiction during 2022 (I don’t think I read any) so I’d like to pick up at least 6 books during the year. I currently have the following sitting on my tbr so hopefully these will be part of my 6.
3. Non Fiction
One thing I did do better than usual in 2022 was reading (or listening to) non fiction. I listened to a couple of absolutely brilliant memoirs, a travel book and a science/self help book. I’m therefore setting myself the goal or reading at least 6 non fiction books during the year. I have a few ideas (below) but if you have any suggestions for a truly fascinating or inspiring book let me know in the comments. I haven’t read much non fic so chances are I won’t have read whatever you have.
4. Debut/New to Me Authors
I’m always on the lookout for a new favourite author and am keen to support debut authors in particular, it’s a crowded market out there so I’m aiming to read one book by either a debut author or an author who is new to me each month. I have a couple of ideas for books to include on the list and one of my book subscriptions (next goal) is mostly debut fiction so I think it should be easy enough to achieve.
5. Book Subscription books
I currently have 3 book subscriptions on the go at the moment, Illumicrates monthly book only subscription, their Afterlight Romance box which is bi-monthly and a signed fiction subscription from Bert’s Books. Basically I get a lot of books through my letterbox which I am not always great at reading. I still have 20 books from 2022 I have yet to read. I also discovered when moving my bookcase a few months ago that I have half a dozen unread books from a Fairyloot subscription in 2016. As I could really do with a bit more shelf space I need to read and unhaul some of those backlist books and get better at reading new books as they come in. I also need to start skipping months so that I’m not receiving books I have no interest in reading. I’m therefore aiming to read 12 books received last year (or earlier) and read each new book I receive within a month. I’ll also skip at least 6 books.
6. Popsugar 2023 Reading Challenge
Every year I have a bash at the Popsugar Reading Challenge and I have not completed it yet. I’m actually okay with that as I use the prompts more as inspiration rather than anything else. It’s led to me venturing out of my comfort zone and discovering books and genres that weren’t even on my radar. This year’s theme is nostalgia so there are a lot of great prompts that should be easy to meet without a whole lot of searching and a few that are a little more challenging but sound fun. There are as always a few that I’m less keen on, ones requiring a specific publication year or something on the cover but I’m happy to skip those.
7. Owned TBR / Backlist Books
I counted the unread books in my bookcase a few months ago and had over 100, and this is just my physical TBR. I’m too scared to look at my ebook TBR. I’m starting to run out of shelf space and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to justify buying new books when I have so many books already that I’ve yet to read. I therefore want to knock at least 2 books that I own and bought last year (or earlier) off my TBR each month. So of the 100 books I hope to read this year I want a quarter of those to be backlist books.
8. Stop Buying Books
Just kidding, this is never going to happen particularly as I have vouchers to spend and I literally bought 6 books today (first day of the month means new deals). What I think I’m going to try is being a little less click happy on that buy now button. I’m going to pause to consider if I will actually read the book. I’m also going to try and resist those pretty covers and sprayed edges on special edition books. A pretty cover and a sprayed edge does not mean the story is one I will enjoy. I’m also considering introducing a new book fund, I saw this on Facebook, where for every owned book I finish I add some money to the pot and use that to fund my book buying
addiction. Not sure if it’ll work but anything is worth a try.
9. And Finally
Read the books I want to read without guilt and don’t be afraid to DNF. It’s too easy to get sucked into reading the books you think you should be reading (the literary ones, the award winning books, the ones everyone is raving about) rather than reading the books you actually want to read. I also have a bit of a tendency to keep plugging away at a book long beyond the point when I should have given up on it as it’s clearly not for me. 2023 shall be the year of guilt free reading and yeeting the books I’m finding a struggle.
So that’s my bookish goals for the year. Hopefully these will be challenging but achievable for me. If you have any recommendations for books I should read for any of these categories, non fic in particular let me know below.
Do you set yourself reading goals or do you prefer to just read what you want when you want?