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.
Before I post any goals or bookish resolutions for 2020, I should probably revisit my 2019 bookish goals and see how I did. Continue reading “2019 Reading Resolutions Update!”
I have some very specific goals for this year, so let’s get to it! Here are my 2019 reading goals/bookish resolutions!
Read at least 70 books. I read 90+ books this year and I even reset my Goodreads challenge from 75 to 90, but for some reason I feel like my reading is going to slow down next year? I don’t know why I’m getting this vibe, but in any case, I don’t want to stress out about my Goodreads challenge. I want to spend more time savoring books rather than speeding through them.
Read more adult high fantasy. This might seem like an odd goal for someone who is an avowed fantasy lover, but in looking over my books this year I noticed I only read two adult fantasy books, and they were both in the same series! I did this because one of my 2018 goals was to read outside my usual genres, which I did, but now I want to go back to my roots. I miss fantasy, and I think I’ve dipped my toe in other genres enough that I can settle back into my niches for a while.
Read series in order. Something I’ve been doing for the past couple of years is reading the first book in a fantasy series to get a broad sense of varied worlds and different writing styles. I did this specifically because I was trying to improve my writing. Unfortunately, my memory is crap, which means that I never finish series because I forget what happened in the first book and end up having to reread it. Therefore, for 2019, if a series is complete and I know I want to finish it, I’m going to commit to reading the books one after the other, or at least not leaving too large of a gap between the books.
Read at least one nonfiction book per month (and be less snobby about it). I really dropped the ball with nonfiction this year, and I’d like to fix that in 2019. I’ve already downloaded a bunch of nonfiction books from my library and have been adding a bunch to my TBR. As for the second bit of this goal, what I mean is I usually lean towards nonfiction published by a university press because I’m a snob about research and citations. But I’m going to try to read more commercial nonfiction in 2019.
Do NOT read more than one fiction book at once. I don’t know when I got into this habit of reading three or four books at a time, but I don’t think it does me any good. Instead what I’m going to try and do is read one fiction and one nonfiction book side by side, but never any more than that.
Read more classics. I’m making this goal very general and not committing to a particular number because I don’t know how successful I’ll be at this. I failed at this in 2018 because Jane Eyre took up nearly three-quarters of my year. I’m hoping I’ll fare a bit better at this in 2019 and knock some classic classics off my list. Of course I want to continue reading Victorian literature but I’d also like to dip my toes in to a Russian classic again.
Read three hard science-fiction books. I have a weird relationship with hard sci-fi. I almost never, ever reach for it, but when I do read it, I am absolutely obsessed with it. I think it intimidates me because the books tend to be really long and hard to get into, but they’re usually worth the effort. I don’t have anything specific in mind except for The Expanse series, but I’m open to recommendations!
Read for joy. This is kind of vague, so let me explain. Since I’ve started blogging, it’s hard not to sometimes read performatively. That is, I lean towards new releases or popular books that I know will get a lot of attention. I also shy away from rereading because I feel like that’s a waste of time. I don’t want to be like this next year. I want to read what I want to read, even if that’s weird, obscure 90s fantasy. I want to reread my faves. I want to read books because I’m savoring them, not because I feel like I have a responsibility to be reading them.
Hopefully I can accomplish all this. Next semester I’m going to be producing my Master’s thesis, which will probably take up a chunk of my time, so we’ll see how this goes. On the bright side, I’m going to be graduating in May, so I’ll have the WHOLE SUMMER to read a ton of books.
Before I post my 2019 bookish resolutions, let’s check on how I did on my resolutions for 2018.
1. Read at least 70 books. Success! This year I have read 90 books. I’ll probably finish a couple more before the year is out.
2. Read more outside my preferred genre. Success! Major success! To the point where I think for next year I want to read more fantasy than anything else because I really miss it. But I’ve explored almost every genre/category outside fantasy: literary, historical , romance, erotica, women’s fiction, contemporary, and classics! It’s been an interesting year; I’ve definitely read a ton of books that I normally wouldn’t have touched with a ten-foot pole. But I got some of my favorite reads of the year out them, so there you go.
3. Read more non-fiction! Fail. Major fail. I think I read 4? Ever since I started blogging I just don’t read as much non-fiction as I used to. I don’t know why, but I really, really want to change this; I very much enjoy reading non-fiction! So this goal will be one I carry with me into the new year.
4. Read one book in Arabic. Fail. I mean, I certainly purchased Arabic books, but…I did not manage to read one. I think I will be putting this particular goal on the back burner just because I don’t know if I will ind the time and effort to struggle through an Arabic-language book.
5. Don’t be afraid to re-read! Fail. Major fail! I didn’t reread at all this year. I think I’ll do better at this in 2019, though it probably won’t be an explicit resolution.
So, ultimately, that’s two goals out of five, which is fine, though hopefully I shall do better next year!