Reading goals are a hot topic for many readers now that 2023 is well underway and the holidays are coming to an end. I read less than 30 books for pleasure over the last year (the rest were manuscripts – I read over 100 of those), and I don’t see myself producing some of the piles and pages I have seen in roundups throughout the community this year either.
I am still going to create reading goals, but they won’t be centred around numbers. Instead, I’m looking more at the types of books I will be reading and reading a lot more intentionally. To help me achieve this, I have decided to stop or slow down on certain activities. A couple of them might surprise you!
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1. I will take part in fewer read alongs
I had a bit of a read along addiction part way through 2022. I loved the friends I made through read along groups, the friendly hosts, and being introduced to great books that I may not have otherwise read. Despite all that, I will do them less frequently in 2023. I found that I often felt guilty if I wasn’t able to finish on time, and when I did finish on time, I worried that I’d read it too fast to really enjoy it! Then there were the occasions where I just didn’t like the book – more guilt! I will check my calendar very carefully before applying for any read alongs or book tours this year.
2. I won’t stop buying new books
There’s just no point in me making a pledge to stop buying new books. I will buy whatever I feel like buying because whether I read it or not, it still supports an author, right?
3. I will continue to use my Google calendar and spreadsheet to organise reads
I started doing this in the last quarter of 2022. I am a mood reader so planning my reads weeks or months in advance doesn’t really work, so I created a spreadsheet on Google Sheets to list books (especially ARCs) and sort out dates for reading. Then nearer the time, I would use a cheery orange block on my Google calendar to allocate time for reading it, around my beta reads. This seemed to work for me, so more of that in 2023!
4. I will get in my own way
By that I mean that my colossal pile of TBR books will be placed in a super inconvenient place so that I keep seeing them and will want to read them! I tend to pass physical books along to someone else when I am done, so if I want them out of the way, I will have to read them as soon as possible!
5. I will go to a bookish event
As a person with anxiety, I have missed out on some really good events because I was too anxious to go it alone and was even more nervous to ask other book bloggers if they were going so that we could attend together! This year, I am challenging myself to take the plunge!
6. I will support more indie authors
One of my sisters commented that I do a lot of sharing on Instagram of other people’s posts. Yes I do! Know why? It’s free! And I’m going to do that even more for indie authors, as well as buy and read more books. I was introduced to some really fun and unusual work through Kindle Unlimited this year, which caused me to seek out other titles by indie authors.
7. I will make better use of my Kindle
I know that there are varied views and opinions on reading via Amazon, but the truth of the matter is, the majority of self-publishing authors can be found on Kindle and many are there exclusively. For this reason I will continue to use my Kindle to read new works.
8. I will DNF* more readily
Partway through the year, I realised that forcing myself to finish books that I wasn’t enjoying offered very little benefit to me. What I learned is that typically, if I have to battle through the first third of the book, it’s unlikely that any twist at the end will redeem it, so this year I will DNF unapologetically.
9. I will read more books by men
I prioritize Black, diverse and women-centered reads, but I think it’s important to read some male books too and support male authors for better range and understanding, especially as a mother to a son. Looking back, most of my reads were by people who identify as women. My intention is to address that this year.
10. I will continue to read diverse books
Last year I read more widely than ever have and I have no intention of stopping. I’m looking forward to learning and discovering through reading this year.
Have you made any reading goals? Or maybe you have some tips for achieving reading goals. I’d love to hear your tips and thoughts!
*DNF= did not finish
Did you know that I created a digital reading journal to use with your note-taking app? Check it out!