Rachel’s 2017 Reading Resolutions

Posted January 8, 2017 by Rachel Lightwood in Personal, Special Events / 9 Comments

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.

Quit Netgalley

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…

Manage Series

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.

Reduce Requests

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!

Keep Records

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!
QoTD: … so that’s it! I have a big year planned out. Normally, I only have one focus goal and a yearlong TBR of specific books but this year, What is your main goal this year and do you make personal resolutions?
Rachel Lightwood


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9 responses to “Rachel’s 2017 Reading Resolutions

  1. Breanne

    Oh my gosh, Rach, you’re so organised, I love it! This was such an interesting post for me, especially being someone who doesn’t set yearly goals/resolutions with reading because I’m seriously slow. Good luck with all of this, I’m sure that you’ll smash it. I feel very inspired to try and cut down my physical TBR now, too, mine is getting out of hand! And, please never stop coming to book club! We love you!

  2. Liza

    Hi Rach! We are here for you for whatever you need 🙂

    I wish I could find a book club nearby. I’m terrible at series too! There are some that I just don’t want to continue, but others that I’ve put off for far too long. My TBR list is out of control! I try to not request as many books anymore because I hate it when I cannot read them on time. I’m planning on making a list of books to review that’s manageable. All the luck Rach! (You’re more organized than I am)

  3. Becca

    Such great goals Rachel! I am with you on staying up to date on ARC’s! I hope that you love Audiobooks when you try them!

  4. These are amazing goals! 150 books for 2017 is bad ass and I do hope you complete it! My goal for 2017 was to also reduce the size of my TBR and after three days, I finally did it! From almost 2,000 titles to now 300. What a relief!!

    Love this post and loveee your blog! Definitely a new follower. 🙂

  5. Nathan

    These are good goals. I mean to catch up with my TBR list of kindle books, and a few series I am reading. I aim to read about as many books as last year if possible, though this number seems small compared to what you read a year. I also find keeping a log of what books I finish a year helps and is motivating to read more and keep record of what i have read. Best of luck with your goals in 2017!

  6. These are some great resolutions! Cutting down on my physical TBR pile is one of my primary goals this year, too. Keeping up with purchases is such a great way to stay on top of that– I’m definitely going to factor that into my “strategy” now, haha. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who takes forever to get through audiobooks! I really do enjoy them, but they are not a time-saver for me in the way that they seem to be for a lot of people who love them. Good luck with all your resolutions this year, Rachel! Happy reading! 🙂

  7. Great list. You just reminded me that I wanted to start reading the PLL series. I’ve been watching the show on Netflix.

    Also, I won’t be quitting Netgalley but I will be more cautious of the READ NOW section. I have a ton of eARCs to review from them. My goal is to increase my % reviewed.

    I really like how you have very specific goals and not vague ones. Good luck with it all

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