I don’t like the idea of making resolutions for the new year, because I like the idea that change can start at any time. It doesn’t have to fit into a calendar year to hit a target. That being said, I’m someone who thrives on task lists and checking off boxes when I accomplish something, so of course I have to make reading goals.
Last year I set five reading goals for myself. I thought it would be fun to reflect on those as well as create new reading goals for 2022. Here are my reading goals from 2021:
1. Read 100 books: done!
I’ve always prided myself on being able to read a ton of books each year, but I struggle to admit that maybe setting my reading goal to 100 is no longer easily obtainable. Each year I think I can do it, and I forget how many nights are spent hanging out with my husband. I forget how often my friends want to go out or play video games together. I forget that I have other hobbies that I get drawn into that take up lots of my time. I forget that I work 50+ hour weeks during the holidays. I forget that I spend so much time with family. My life has changed so much even within just the last five years, and unfortunately it means my love of reading sometimes gets puts on the backburner.
The other problem with setting such a high reading goal is that I’m perpetually in a panic state about how many books I can read. Goodreads and TheStoryGraph are great about reminding me how many books behind I am on my goal, and it takes the fun out of reading for me. In December I read hardly any books, and I had to scramble to read two comics on New Year’s Eve so I could hit my goal. I don’t want the hobby I love most to be stressful and not fun.
2. Read more books by and about POC: sort-of?
I think I tried hard in the beginning of the year with books like Kindred, The Gilded Ones, Conjure Women, etc. I found myself picking up a book I thought was interesting, seeing the white author on the back, and feeling put off by that. Then two things happened. The first was that I felt that same pressure about hitting a certain book count and actively stopped trying so hard to find books by POC. The second is that I started to discover more books by POC unintentionally. Of my 100 books read this year, 14 were written by POC authors. That isn’t as high of a number as I would have hoped for, but I do think it’s higher than I’ve done in the past.
3. Read more books by LGBT authors with those themes: hardly, tbh
I think I only read one book by an LGBT+ author this year, and almost none of the books I read were LGBT-themed either. In my defense, I find that most LGBT characters exist in romance and YA stories, which I read the least. Thrillers were my most-read genre this year, and unfortunately there’s not a lot of romance in them. They certainly aren’t progressive enough to cast LGBT+ characters, either, considering nine times out of ten, the characters are hetero white couples.
4. Read more of my physical books: yes!
When you have a never-ending library, it doesn’t necessarily seem like you’re getting anywhere with the impending doom of your physical tbr pile. Last year I started off with 491 books in my library and had 51 on my tbr, which meant 10% of my books were unread. Mostly through cheap library book sales, I bought 43 books this year, but I also managed to read most of them. I ended the year with 534 books, 44 of them unread, which means only 8% of my library is left to read! Obviously this will change because I got gift cards to book stores for Christmas, but I’m starting to slow down with my book-buying habits (for now, because I’ve run out of space for them!) and finally tackle the pile I have.
5. Read more ARCS // raise my rating score on Net Galley: nope
I think I maybe read one book from my Net Galley shelf this year. My rating went from a 33% to a 44%, and honestly that’s okay with me. I have ARCS that came out in 2017 that I haven’t read yet, and at this point I’m starting to think I never will, because I’ve lost interest in them. I definitely took on more than I could handle when I created an account, and maybe I’ll eventually get it dwindled down, but I also clearly am not beating myself up over it!
Here are my new reading goals for 2022:
1. Read hopefully at least 50 books
Fifty should be easily achievable for me and will take lots of pressure and stress off reading. It feels good to log into Goodreads and see that I’m technically ahead of schedule. I don’t feel guilty about reading bigger books, because who cares if it takes me an extra-long time to read a story that’s 1,000 words? I think this will also help me read books that I genuinely am interested in versus reading to hit a goal.
2. Review the books I want to review
This seems silly, but last year I struggled a bit with this blog because I wanted to review every single book I read. Then I wanted to review every book I read that I owned. I found myself being stressed to write reviews, often hindering my reading process because I didn’t want to get ahead of myself. The truth is, sometimes regardless of my rating on a book, I just don’t have enough to say about it to warrant an entire review. I debated doing mini-reviews, and maybe this year I’ll do monthly wrap-ups so that those books do get some recognition on this blog and not just on social media. We’ll see! The point is that I don’t want to put pressure on myself whatsoever with this blog, because I started it for fun, and that’s all I want it to be.
3. Keep chugging away at my tbr pile
Self-explanatory, and 43 is such a small number!
4. Rebuild my library!
My husband and I have plans this year to move my shelves from my office upstairs to our spare bedroom downstairs, because I’ve run out of space in my office. So this goal includes potentially repainting a room, fully decorating it, buying new shelves, etc. This is the goal I’m most anticipating reaching this year, because it’s always been my dream to have floor to ceiling books everywhere. Don’t worry, I will absolutely be posting photos to brag about it when I’m finished 🙂
2 thoughts on “Reflecting on 2021 Reading Goals + Setting New Ones”
I was the same when I first started my blog with reviewing everything I read and it eventually becoming stressful. I started to just focus on newer books and ARCs the last 2-3 years. I think reviewing the books that you want to review is a good goal and less likely cause you to be so stressed about writing reviews.