2018 Reading Goals
2018 has well and truly started and I finally got around to setting some reading goals for the year ahead. Whether or not they stick is an entirely different matter, however.
Every year I set my Goodreads goal and it’s unusual for me to exceed it by very many books. Last year, I set my goal for 45 books and exceed it by 27 books.
Now I partly owe that to my year living in London as if you take a good look at the books I read, you’ll see a number of them were on Kindle. London tube commuting is good for one thing at least.
This year, however, I have returned to wet wet Wales and am determined that at least one half of my daily commute will be dedicated to writing. Time for constant reading is severely restricted and with that in mind, I have set my goal for 2018 at 50 books.
My goal is that more than half of those 50 books come from my TBR… 90% would be preferred.
If you’ve seen my TBR Challenges tab, you’ll notice I’ve signed myself up to read 24 books as a part of the Mount TBR Challenge. I have also signed myself up to do the #TBRChallenge with the aim of reading 1 book per month from my TBR in line with the monthly themes.
That should mean a reduction of 36 books minimum from my TBR by 2019. Of course, that doesn’t account for me buying new books and I’ve already failed at my book buying ban for the second year in a row.
Reducing my TBR was a goal of mine from 2017 which I achieved to an extent (reduced from 200 to 165 books), however, with Christmas and secondhand bookshop visits, that number rose to roughly 222 books by the 31s December 2018.
Buth nevertheless, in 2018, I will read more books from my TBR.
READ IT, REVIEW IT
I’ve always been terrible at writing reviews for the books I read and until the last month, I hadn’t made much of an effort to review anything or keep track of my thoughts on books.
This year, that is going to change. The reasons for this are twofold.
Firstly, in the last year, reviews have been instrumental in my buying and reading habits when it comes to books which sound great. If the reviews have been consistently bad, I didn’t read the book and focused my time elsewhere. I want to help people decide which books are worth their time.
Secondly, I am finding that I have a very limited memory of books I once loved and devoured. I’ll be able to remember the characters and the overarching story plot but not much else. What’s worse, I can’t remember why I liked the book. I’m hoping that by writing reviews, it will help me remember these details a year from now.
The vast majority of books I buy are secondhand and the only new releases I will pre-order or buy brand new are books by my favourite authors such as Lindsey Kelk and Keri Arthur. Buying a book secondhand, unfortunately, does not support authors – this is one of the reasons I want to support the library more. In the UK, the Public Lending Right scheme pays UK-based authors royalties each time a book is borrowed and the initial request of any book also constitutes a book sale.
Another reason is to support the library itself in a time when funding is uncertain and local budgets are being slashed yet again. Libraries are a local service that we cannot afford to lose.
I’ve had a pile of classics on my shelves gathering dust for a number of years now. All of the books I really want to read. But there’s something about that word, classics, that makes picking them up feel like a terrifying chore.
I don’t know if that’s a subconscious mentality left over from my years secondary and A Level English lit but it’s a phobia I’d very much like to kick. From February, I want to try and read one classic a month and I think I’ll start with Rebecca by Daphne de Maurier.
I want to tell stories for a living, yet I’ve read very few of the classic fairytales (ones not morphed by Disney) and it’s an oversight that needs to be corrected immediately.
In 2018, I want to read more fairy tales. I want to read the Grimm Tales and Angela Carters works. I want to read the Arabian Nights.
I’m not sure if I’ll include retellings in this goal just yet. Mainly because I haven’t found very many that were worth the time… also because I have a retelling planned and I don’t want to be influenced.
By reading more diversely, I mean in terms of genres and countries.
I have a not so secret love for Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. I love them so much, I have five Urban Fantasy novels planned. But I am conscious that there are hundreds of amazing books in various other genres that I am not being exposed to. That’s hundreds of differing perspectives.
I was relatively good at picking up contemporary romance novels in 2017, largely due to my bid to study the New Adult age bracket. I also picked up some crime novels, all of them the Rizzoli & Isles books.
So in 2018, I’m going to try to read more crime, thriller and horror novels. In the case of crime, I think I should be setting my sights beyond Tess Gerritsen and the Rizzoli & Isles series.
The same goes for countries, although I think I’ve done a pretty good job of reading wider than the average person here. Most of my beloved authors are either British, American or Australian, and most of the novels I read are set in these countries.
Branching out beyond this is somewhat daunting because aside from The Night Watch, there aren’t any novels on my radar by non-British, American or Australian writers. Literature in Translation might be my best port of call here.
In 2017, I read more independent authors than I expected. This was largely thanks to my Tube commuting Kindle reading. A good number of Urban Fantasy and New Adult Contemporary authors are self-published and I was able to stumble upon a number I absolutely loved.
I want to continue that trend in 2018. As well as continuing to support Helen Harper and Samantha Towle, I want to find more stunningly good independent writers.
I discovered Booktube in 2016 and have toyed with the idea of starting a Booktube channel since. The sense of community is attractive but majorly it’s a response to the lack of booktubers talking about urban fantasy and paranormal romance.
I’m aware that the reason for this is simply that YA books garner the most reads and appeal to a wider audience. But even so, I’d like to set up a booktube channel talking about predominantly adult books, not YA.
And I have done this. My first video launched today – you’ll find it at the top of this page – and I have videos uploading every day for the next 10 (working) days. After that, I’ll upload every Tuesday.
My last reading goal for 2018 is to participate in a readathon. I think a 24-hour readathon will be most likely in this case. I would have liked it to be Dewey’s 24 Hour readathon but the timeframe clashes with my next TV contract which, by that point, will be 6 day weeks.
Either way, I’ll find a readathon to do. Maybe in December when the television industry goes quiet. Whether I vlog it will depend on how my channel is fairing come that time.
So those are my reading goals for 2018. Feel free to share yours with me.