Once again it’s time to talk about reading goals, this time for the year ahead. Reading is such a huge part of my life that I’m glad that it get specific focus in my rituals for the new year. I’m refining and simplifying my goals from the outlandish goals I set out last year.
2017 was a year of comfort reading – there was so much going on and fluff was all I could handle. In lots of ways that’s still true, but I am also hoping that I feel resilient enough in myself again as the year progresses to read more outside my comfort zone, and challenge myself. That said, reading is my haven and one of the things I do for self-care and to take time for myself so I am going to continue in the same trend as last year and use these goals as things to reach for, but not beat myself with.
Overall reading goal
Once again I’m using the Goodreads Reading Challenge to track this, and this year I’m aiming higher than previous years for 101 books. It’s ambitious, but I am hopeful that having finished my degree I’ll have more time and space for reading for fun. I’m really uncertain whether I can manage this many books in a year, especially going into my Grad Year for midwifery – but nothing ventured, nothing gained! I’m excited to try!
The other thing I’d like to revisit is going back to doing my series on Retro Fiction Reviews – reviews of books focusing on books by women, people of colour, and from a queer or otherwise diverse background, and that are 10 or more years older than the current publishing year. I didn’t get very far on this way back when I started it, but I’ve got more practice reviewing now so hopefully that stands me in good stead.
Australian Women Writers Challenge
Once again I’m throwing my hat into this challenge, I really love it and that it keeps me engaged with and reading new work by Australian writers, particularly women. This year I’m choosing my own level again and I’m going with my previous challenge of read and review 15 books.
In 2018 I’d really like to make sure they include some works by Indigenous and non-white authors, and works telling stories about diverse characters too. Hopefully I’ll be more successful with this – I earmarked a bunch of books last year already, so now to actually go forth and read them. I also want to finish reading through my Twelve Planets project if possible.
Bookclubs and Discussions
I also want to continue enjoying the challenges and discussions put forward by the Goodreads Reading Challenge book club, I really enjoy them and they prompt me to think of my TBR in different ways. Or to consider books I wouldn’t have otherwise considered. The year long challenge I’ve signed up for is the Clear the Shelves 2018 Challenge – my twist on it is that I’m focusing on clearing my TBR rather than not buying/acquiring books. My plan is to essentially follow the same guideline of reading 5 books on my TBR prior to 1st January 2018 for every book added on or after that date. There’s also buddy reads and monthly and quarterly challenges I’ll be participating in.
I didn’t get to do any real participation with the Vaginal Fantasy or Sword and Laser book clubs last year, but I’m hoping this year that will be more possible. Basically if the books look interesting to me I’ll join in, but it’s all bonus and nice to enjoy, rather than a specific imperative.
Bout of Books
I’m going to participate in Bout of Books 21! I enjoyed doing it in January last year and I’m excited to join in again. I had a lot of fun doing it last year and I could use something to get my reading momentum going and to distract me. If you’re interested in a fun, but low stress readathon with lots of participation interaction, this is a great one to join in with. Feel free to sign up on the Bout of Books blog if this sounds like your jam!
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 8th and runs through Sunday, January 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 21 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team
Edited to add a new year long challenge!
Beat the Backlist
I only came across Beat the Backlist #beatthebacklist after I posted my reading goals for the year, but this particular challenge fall into line with another challenge I’m doing. Two methods of participation and accountability are better than one right? My pledge for clearing my TBR is 50 books in 2018 (40 ebook and 10 physical) – so I’m going to use this challenge to help me with that too. I’m also going to see how I go using my instagram @transcendancing to participate. This looks like heaps of fun! I’m not going to pledge to complete any of the other challenges, that will be a happy bonus if it happens. I’m already planning to do reviews of some kind for most of what I read anyway so these align directly with Beat the Backlist and I can piggy-back happily.