Happy New Year, readers! I have a confession. I don’t do New Year resolutions. They never work for me. The problem is that I can resolve to do something all day long, but without a logical and practical plan, I’m adrift.
I’m a planner. Nothing brings me more relief and joy than to write down my daily agendas, goals, and plans in my bullet journal. I keep it with me always, and it keeps me sane (and those who have to deal with me everyday). Though I don’t do resolutions, I do have goals at the beginning of every year, and then I come up with a plan to meet those goals. Sometimes I’m successful. Sometimes I fail miserably. But, having a plan that I can revisit helps.
This year, I certainly have personal life goals (like do more yoga, create more work/life balance, make more time for writing what I want to write, and stressing less). While I’m still coming up with a plan for how to achieve those things( any secrets for the work/life balance and not stressing for this Type A perfectionist?) , I thought I would share some of my reading goals for 2017 and how I plan to accomplish them.
My reading goals for 2017:
- Read at least 55 books this year: I always wish that number was higher, but I also have to be realistic. When I’m teaching, I’m constantly reading (emails, materials for lessons and class, articles, student essays), but those don’t count on Goodreads. In 2016, my goal was 45 (which was higher than the previous year), and I read 55, so I increased the goal this year.
- Expand the genres I read. In 2016, I wanted to read more nonfiction, more memoirs, more graphic novels, and more works by authors of color. I read books in each of those categories, but it wasn’t as much as I would have liked. So, I’ll keep working on this.
- Read more backlist books. In 2016, most of the books I read were new releases (or published within the last two years). I love encountering new books when everyone is talking about them, but I noticed that I also missed my paperbacks and backlist.
- Read Middlemarch. I have always wanted to read Middlemarch by George Eliot. And somehow, I never do. Just when I am in the mood to read it, life or school gets busy, and I get sidetracked. Not this year.
- Read more books on my shelves and from the library (instead of buying so many).
- Write more reviews on this blog, on Goodreads, and on Litsy. It’s so nice being able to revisit my initial thoughts on the books I read because, after having distance from the book, my opinions may intensify or change altogether.
- Track my reading more effectively. I usually keep track of the books I read, but I’m never consistent about my methods.
- Share the book love! (find me on Goodreads or on Litsy @Kmmsellers )
Here are my plans for achieving these goals:
- Reading Challenges: This year, I am participating in three reading challenges. For the last few years, I have participated in the Goodreads Reading Challenge (see my goal above). This year, I am also participating in the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge and the A to Z Challenge on Litsy. Participating in these challenges should help me to meet my numbers goal, genres and diversity goal, and to dive into the backlist on my own shelves.
- Scheduling reading and writing time (hello, bullet journal): Yeah, I mentioned that I have trouble balancing work and life. This is why I need to schedule reading and writing into my day. At the end of a teaching day, my brain is too tired to do much writing, and often I have read so much during the day for work, all I want to do at night is Netflix or watch shows on food network. I’m honestly not sure what my schedule will be like this semester, so I’ll keep you updated on how this works out.
- Serial Reader: I’m considering using serial reader to begin MiddleMarch. Doing so will allow me to read a little every day. The updated app allows the reader to take notes and read ahead, so I’m going to give it a shot.
- Book Buying Ban: This one is going to be hard. I may have to unsubscribe from all of the newsletters and daily deal digests to which I subscribe. But, for at least two months (maybe longer), I don’t want to buy books. I hope this will encourage me to read the books on my shelves and/or visit the library more often.
- Spreadsheets and/or Zotero: I keep track of my reading on Goodreads and usually keep a log in my journal, but I want something more searchable and customizable. To track my reading this year, I had decided to create a spreadsheet (doing so will also help me to write more reviews and will help with blogging, I think), but I read a Book Riot article that explains the way the author uses Zotero for reading tracking. I’ve used Zotero for scholarly reading and writing, but had never considered using it in this way. I’m going to play around with both methods this week and will let you know what I decide. How do you track your reading?
That’s my plan for 2017! I will blog here about my reading challenges and will keep you updated on my progress. If you have any suggestions or want to share your own reading/bookish goals for the new year, I’d love to hear them!