We all know that 2016 – as a whole – has not been the best year in human history. While that has something to do with the American election, the increase of terror attacks across the globe and the numerous scandals and disaster that shook our bookish community, it was also a pretty shitty year for me personally. I don’t think it’s fair to unburden my struggles here nor do I wish to attract sympathy so how about we all just concede to put the past behind us – as corny as it sounds – and start the year fresh?
I have literally been planning my 2017 goals since June/July of 2016! My main problem is that I have about fifty different options of what I could choose to focus on this year… and I want to do all of them. I did want to focus on reading Aussie authors/#OzYA books, or try and read more diversely. I also thought about solely focusing on reading my backlist Edelweiss/Netgalley eARCs… but instead of doing that, I’ve decided:
- The focus of the year is to reduce my physical TBR as much as humanly possible.
- It’s also to indulge heavily in rereads so I can finish off series on my shelves.
Seventeen Specific Goals for 2017:
Read 150+ books in total
I know a lot of people have been rejecting the premise of the Goodreads challenge in the last year or so but I think it’s a good idea. Yes, we should try to read quality books and not worry about the quantity but I still like to challenge myself! This is a pretty small goal for me personally but since I don’t know how busy the uni workload will make me, I’m trying to keep it reasonable.
Reduce my physical TBR as much as humanly possible
This is my overarching goal for the year as I just talked about. I think 60+ books would be my ideal but I also don’t think there is any real need to add the pressure of a specific number goal.
Indulge in guilt-free rereads
I avoided rereads last year because they seem to waste my time but I miss them so much! This year they’re going to be particularly important because I plan on finishing off a lot of series or at least catching up. For that, I’ll definitely be needed to indulge in rereads.
Read my focus series
My focus series for this year are going to be the Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassie Clare, the Laws of Magic series by Michael Pryor and the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepherd. I plan on finishing them all so *fingers crossed* that’s possible. I have about ten books left in the PPL series so I might try and read one a month, at least.
Read my focus authors
My focus authors for this year are going to be Cassandra Clare and Sarah J. Maas. I would like to try and read all of their books. I haven’t read a single SJM book but I have read quite a few Cassie Clare books, including: the Infernal Devices and the first five Mortal Instruments. I’d like to read to finish the TMI series and read everything in the Shadowhunter Chronicles as well (as I mentioned above).
Listen to at least three audiobooks
While audiobooks are definitely not my favourite format to read in, I do think it’s good to push myself to try them every now and again. They take me an age to get through though so I’ll definitely need to push myself to complete this goal. Hopefully, it’ll be a way of working through my ‘maybe’ shelf.
Attend a regular book club
The YA Circle group (my book club) should still be going strong so I’ll keep attending that. I think it’s really good for me to have this group of bookish friends to socialise with. I’m 100% a loner most of the time – which is just part of my introverted nature – so it’s good to know that I’ll be leaving the house/going outside at least once a month, haha.
Have a bookish purge!
This is really important to me. I definitely plan on reorganising my shelves and going through all of my books this month (January 2017) but I’d like to redo it in December 2017 as well.
Take more Bookstagram photos
This is the goal I am most nervous about. I’m not a massive Instagram user and I rarely participate/post my own photos. I just don’t have any photography skills and while I think that’s perfectly fine – not everyone can be talented at everything – I would like to try it out for awhile. I think my goal for the moment is to take a photo of each (physical) book I read. If that doesn’t work, I’ll adjust it.
Catch Up on Edelweiss eARCs
It’s evitable that I get bored of my goals. I switch between phases of only liking physical books and only liking ebooks. When I’m not in a physical book mood, I’d like to focus on reading old Edelweiss eARCs instead of anything else.
I hate the site with a passion so I have no idea why I still have an account. All it does it make me binge download ‘read now’ books and instantly regret it. It’s time to let go…
If you didn’t know this about me, I’m really bad with keeping up to date with series. It’s just a fact. This year I definitely plan on changing that. I want to keep up to date with all the series that I am currently reading. When a sequel is released, I want to already have it preordered or on request at the library. I also want to limit myself from starting any new series until I can properly marathon them.
A Month of Standalones
Like I just said, series + me = a disaster. I’m much more of a standalone fan and definitely want to set aside a whole month for reading only standalones (or maybe catching up on a specific type of standalone, like eARCs or ones on my physical TBR).
Stay Up to Date With ARCs
There is nothing worse than feeling overwhelmed with ARCs. Well, it’s one of the worst feelings anyway and I definitely want to limit how often I have to feel that. I have – literally – about ten different lists and schedules organised so that I’ll stay on top of release dates (etc.) so I’m feeling good about it already but I think it’s important to make sure I remember to keep this a priority.
Keep Up to Date With Purchases
I really want to make sure that I do not let any book I purchase go longer than three months before being read. This is honestly one of the reasons why I have such a large physical TBR at the moment. I never read them straight away and it’s just silly. Preferably, I’d like to read my purchases within a month but no more than three.
Going along with deleting my Netgalley account, I really only want to request the most needed books from Edelweiss like sequels and favourite authors’ newest release. I’ll have to be strong!
I don’t know if anyone else does this or it’s just me but I love keeping records/stats sheets of what I’ve read. It’s good to be able to look back and reflect on the genre/rating/year of publication etc. that I’ve been reading. Also, I’ll be updating my diversity masterlist and Bechdel Test charts.
I’m not a big fan of readathons, mainly just because I am terrible at keeping up to date with them or even staying interested. My reading tastes are usually too all over the place to stick to one readathon’s rules. In past years, I’ve signed up for 5+ and gotten bored with them by March so this year I am just keeping it simple. Sarah @ The YA Book Traveler is once again hosting the #RockMyTBR challenge challenge and since it matches up with my focus of this year – to reduce my physical TBR – it’s the perfect challenge.
- Read a minimum of one book per month that is currently published.
- This means no ARCs with future release dates.
- Use the official hashtag on Twitter and Instagram posts: #RockMyTBR
- At the end of each month, post some sort of wrap-up
My (Rough) TBR: I don’t want to limit myself to any specific books with this challenge as I find making myself read specific books at specific times is quite off-putting. However, I did make a shelf to track which books I need to read which you can see here. This month’s challenges are A Confusion of Princes (Garth Nix) and Clockwork Prince (Cassie Clare).
Ultimate (Dream) Goals:
Along with these specific goals for 2017 (and I know that it seems like there is a lot), I have a few ‘ultimate’ goals which I hoping to get closer to achieving by 2018.
These dream goals of mine are as follows:
- Reduce my TBR so that it is never higher than 300 books. I think this is the perfect amount because it is just more than I can read in a year. At the moment, it sits between 800 and 850 books. Obviously, it’s going to take me a few years to get it down but that is still the eventual plan. I really want to focus on catching up on the books that I am desperate to read and making sure that I stop adding too many books to my TBR in return.
- Keep my maybe shelf under 30 books. At the moment it is only about 75 books so that is not too bad but I’d still like to get it down. This list should be reserved entirely for books that (1) sounds interesting but are written by an author whose previous books I disliked or (2) books which are not popular/hard to access but I definitely need to remember to read. I’m also going to be trying to tackle this list with audiobooks instead of physical books/ebooks because I’m not that big a fan of audiobooks so it seems like the perfect solution.
- Limit my ‘next book in series’ shelf to sequels which have not yet been released. Normally, this shelf is used to keep track of the series I am currently in the middle of. I’ve gotten it down so much in the last two years but what my overall aim to do is have only releasing series on there. This means that series which are published in full should be left for marathoning only!