Hello everyone, and welcome back!
So it’s December now. Did anyone else’s autumn evaporate? (Or spring if you’re in the other hemisphere.) And while it’s nowhere near the new year (we still have another month for 2016 to get us, so stop provoking it, gosh), I find I have to think ahead if I want to resolve anything. If not, New Year’s Eve will sneak up on me and people will ask, “So what are your resolutions for next year?” and I’ll be like, “Um, to…floss more?”
(I have been flossing more, but you know. It’s pretty unexciting for people who aren’t dental hygienists.)
So to give next year’s reading and blogging some structure, I want to set some general goals and commit to a few challenges for 2017. (I’ll probably sign up to more once I find more that strike my fancy.)
During 2016, I had no goals other than to kickstart my reading by getting through 95 books. Now that I’ve left that number behind me, I feel like it’s time to go for some more specific goals.
Read more diverse books. Any effort I made to read diversely this year was sort of vague. I’m always inclined to read books with queer characters, and I moved some books by PoC up my list. But I’d like to make more of a conscious effort to seek out diverse books of all kinds in 2017. At the end of the year, I’ll do a breakdown of what I read for 2016, so I’ll have a real benchmark to improve.
Read banned/challenged books. There are probably a lot of good reasons to do this, but I have a ridiculous one: I tend to like books that end up on the banned/challenged list. See: The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Speak, the His Dark Materials trilogy, and so on. If someone doesn’t want young folks reading it, there is actually a greater chance I’ll like it. So I’m going to mine the ALA and Freedom to Read lists for new reads.
Read (a little) less YA and (some) longer books. I wanted to immerse myself in YA this year. It was kind of personal revenge because of how not seriously YA is taken in many circles. To spend so much time reviewing it on its own merits is a kind of defiance. But now, I want to stretch that comfort zone reading-wise and not hesitate to commit to longer novels. One of the reasons I read so much YA is that I have a reliable estimate of how long it’ll take me to finish (and then review) it, and I want to worry about that less. Which brings us to…
Read 150 books. I mean, I can use the #95books hashtag again, but I’m definitely shooting higher than that this year; I’m on track to finish at least 125 this year, and that’s in 10 months actually spent reading. But I didn’t want to set this goal too high because I want to do the aforementioned reading-longer-books thing without anxiety about not making the final count. Hence, a cool 150—but I’m willing to go over that if I have time, obviously! I’ll keep accountable with this one through the Goodreads Reading Challenge (once it opens for 2017).
Beat the Backlist. Another blog is hosting this challenge, which is basically all about defeating your TBR, especially if it’s getting dusty. You’re required to make a list of the books you intend to read, and they all have to be from before 2017—no new releases. Since I am in a state of perpetually acquiring books faster than I can read them (and perpetually reading the newer ones first), this is perfect motivation for me to get on top of that unruly shelf. Plus there’s a house competition Hogwarts-style!
Pop Sugar Reading Challenge. This is just a fun checklist of reading “prompts,” essentially, but I’m hoping it’ll push me to read some books I wouldn’t otherwise and get me to engage with a reading community. I also really, really like checklists. Like I’m pretty sure I keep a planner just so that I can make lists and check things off and feel accomplished.
I started this blog midway through 2016, and my goal was just to post something twice a week. “Something” quickly grew in words and variety, and I’m pretty happy with that—but I definitely want to take on more next year.
Post more. I want to have more content going up here. I don’t know if I have the capacity to just read and review loads more books, but I’m going to look for prompts and ideas to make updates here more frequent.
Get some guest posts. This is one way I want to work towards my first goal! Given my background, I do happen to know a lot of people who have a lot of feelings about books. It’d be great to get their takes.
Try BookTube. Obviously, I’m most comfortable in this medium, where I furiously type a lot of words from this side of a screen and don’t have to worry about lighting, sound, editing, camera quality, and the millions of other things that go into video content. But even I follow more BookTubers right now than written blogs; it’s just so much easier to find ones in my niches of interest. I can’t see myself ever abandoning the written review (a part of me dies when review writers move on mostly or wholly to other mediums), but I can see myself enjoying video for a spoiler-packed straight-up rant. And that’d also be a way to add more content!
So those are my 2017 reading and blogging resolutions! Do you have any reading goals for next year? Have you started thinking about resolutions? (It is, for the record, not a terrible choice to floss more.) Let me know in the comments!