For 2020 I made a 20 Things to Do in 2020 list, and I actually didn’t do too bad on the things that I had any sort of control over. But considering the only thing we know about how 2021 is going to shake out is that we’re probably gonna still be quarantining for at least half the year, I thought I’d keep my goals modest and stick to a small number of bookish resolutions rather than an expansive 21 Things to Do list.
→ Read 100 books. Ordinarily I set my Goodreads challenge to something like 70 or 75 books and end up reading around 90, but this year I’m on track to read 124 books, and the majority of those books are chunky high fantasies, so clearly I’m reading more than I have in past years! It’s funny, because I really thought once I started working from home and lost my commute reading time, I would read a lot less, but the opposite happened! Even if getting to a 100 is a little bit harder next year, it’ll be interesting to have my Goodreads challenge actually be a challenge for once!
→ Read more backlist and indie books. This year, unintentionally, I focused a lot on hyped books and new releases, and so my backlist fell to the wayside. This year I really want to focus on some older and less well-known books, which is what I mean when I say indie. I don’t really read self-published books, but I’d like to read more books from small and indie presses.
→ Read the books I own and decrease my physical TBR. This goes hand in hand with the above goal, to be honest — a lot of the books I own, physically and on Kindle, are random backlist and indie books. About 90% of the books I own are unread, and I just keep buying more??? I really do not want to own more than two bookshelves of books, and I’d like to go all Marie Kondo on my bookshelves by only keeping the books that bring me joy, or the books I will want to refer back to at some point, so I’d really like to go through and read a good majority of these books.
→ Start more fantasy series. This one actually will help me with the aforementioned two goals, because a lot of the backlist books I own are the first installments of epic fantasy series! Because my memory is hot garbage, I’d been putting off starting fantasy series until I had access to the whole thing and could binge it all at once, but that is…untenable and is overwhelming and discourages me from starting series. So what I decided to do this year is write my own recaps of the fantasy books I read so that I have something to refer back to if I decide to go back and continue the series! I am really, really pleased I decided to do this, because even if a book has a recap out there, it frequently does not note down the details that I want to remember, or break things down in a way that makes sense to me (i.e. separating out the magic and worldbuilding from characters and plot). So, with this personal resource to help me out, I intend to finish up many of the fantasy books I own.
→ Read some classics. I read only one classic this year, and I didn’t particularly like it. I’m planning a buddy read of Pride & Prejudice with a friend in…January, maybe? And I’d like to read Mansfield Park as well. I also have a bunch of Gothic classics that I own and would like to get to. This isn’t like, a super duper strict goal in the sense that I don’t need to read a specific number, but I’d at least like to read some of the ones I own, which will help in decreasing my physical TBR.
→ Continue reading at least one non-fiction book per month. I did this in 2020 pretty successfully; I think there was only one month where I didn’t read a non-fiction book. I have a ton on my list to read already and I think keeping it to a reasonable goal of one a month is very doable.
→ Use the Book Riot 2021 Reading Log. I am not generally a person who enjoys spreadsheets, but this one has me very excited! I’ll still continue to use Goodreads, of course, but I really like that this spreadsheet generates so many interesting statistics. It’ll be really cool especially to see the age and genre breakdown of the books I read.
→ Read more short story collections. I generally tend not to like short story collections, but I am always tempted to read them. This year, I actually pre-ordered a collection by Marjorie Liu (author of Monstress!) but I’m not usually so enthusiastic about short stories. However, I’d like to read at least a couple in 2021.
→ Continue to DNF liberally. I DNF’d pretty liberally in 2020 (19 books DNF’d!) and to be honest, it feels great. I’ve gotten over the mindset that DNFing a book means I wasted my time reading it, because: 1) if I DNF a book I usually do so pretty early on, like within the first 50 or so pages, because at that point I can generally tell how I’ll feel about a book, and 2) it’s not a waste of time because I’m still gaining exposure to a different writing style/plot/worldbuilding element, even if I don’t see it through to the end.
So that’s it! Very doable, nothing too new, mostly all revolving around trying to decrease my physical TBR and reading more backlist books.