owlmoose: (book -- glasses)
KJ ([personal profile] owlmoose) wrote2019-01-02 05:20 pm
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Reading: 2018 wrap-up, 2019 goals

I set myself some reading goals for the second time ever in 2018. I find that I am still learning how to set realistic goals that mesh well with what I want to read and how I want to both expand and limit my book consumption. I want to read more widely, to experience new voices and genres, to support marginalized authors, and to learn more about the world outside of my experience. But I also want to be part of the Hugo awards conversation, and I want to continue to read books by the authors I already know and love. Balancing all of that is tricky, especially when the world is on fire and sometimes I just want to sink into something escapist and easy -- which most often, for me, means television, not books. It's a lot to juggle, and I don't always succeed. But the effort is still worth making, and to that end I'm going to check in on my 2018 goals and make some plans for 2019.

In 2018, according to Goodreads (which might not be complete; I kept discovering books I'd forgotten to add as recently as last week), I read 47 books. This falls just 3 short of the 50 I was planning to read, which frankly is not so bad, especially if you consider that I have 3 DNF books (one that I decided to abandon, one that I might still get back to, and one short story collection I definitely plan to finish).

Other specific goals:

At least 20 books by authors of color. Almost -- 19, and since I fell short on the full number, I actually hit the 40% I was aiming for. Counting by unique authors, I'm at 16 out of 34, or 47% percent.

At least 10 of these by authors who are new to me. I actually beat this goal, with 11 new-to-me authors of color. This is almost entirely due to my reading for Lantix Book Bingo, for which I purposefully chose mostly authors whose work I hadn't read before.

At least 10 books that I already own, with 6 of them (one every other month) to be reviewed for my [community profile] ladybusiness column, Tales from the TBR. Grand total: TWO. And I only wrote one Tales from the TBR column, which disappoints me greatly. The short version is that I deeply disliked the first book I read for this purpose and was not inspired to write about why. And then I liked the second one, but then I got sucked into the new and shiny. I am really determined to do better on that metric this year.

At least 4 graphic novels -- I didn't read a single one in 2017, which makes me sad. Another goose egg here, and not for any particular reason even. Well, actually I know part of the reason: I'm so far behind on all the comic series that I'm reading, that I feel like I need to go back and re-read older collections to have any hope of understanding what's going on, and I've been reluctant to do that. This is the problem with setting reading goals: re-reads don't count, to the point that I've almost given up on them. Me, who used to re-read voraciously and love every minute of it. That's not just reading goals -- it also has to do with keeping up with the new and shiny -- but I've considered whether I should account for it.

But we'll set that one aside for now in favor of scaling the slopes of Mount TBR. To that end, I've set myself the following goals:

  • I've set my annual goal to 50 books once again, and will keep doing so until I reach it. :)

  • For every new book I obtain, I will read at least one book that I already own. You heard me. This is what I want to do, and I am going to do it. In particular, I'm going to focus on finishing some of the book series that I've left to languish over the years.

  • To give myself a better chance of success with the previous goal, I'm going to scale back to finding 6 new-to-me authors of color. But I'm still going to shoot for 50% books written by authors of color overall. Making this plan work will require me to put some thought into what books I buy, borrow, and choose to read off the Hugo lists, and which books I choose off my TBR. But I think it will be worth it.

And that's it. But that's enough. I'm hoping that, between the goals pertaining to authors of color and to clearing off the TBR shelves, I'll be able to do other things as well, like reading non-fiction and graphic novels. And if it fails, at least then I'll know. Maybe next year's goals will involve sorting through my stack to find the books I'm admitting I'm never going to read. But if I can put that chore off a little longer, I'll be happy.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)

[personal profile] forestofglory 2019-01-03 02:32 am (UTC)(link)
I think you should count rereads! I definitely count them.
oracne: turtle (Default)

[personal profile] oracne 2019-01-03 02:07 pm (UTC)(link)
I find other people's reading stats so very satisfying. Is that weird?
zahraa: (Default)

[personal profile] zahraa 2019-01-04 06:31 pm (UTC)(link)
It is a really hard balance trying to participate in the Hugo nominations and still read anything else!
zahraa: (Default)

[personal profile] zahraa 2019-01-05 12:36 am (UTC)(link)
I try to read enough stuff to be able to nominate intelligently, but I can really only do that in one category, and I picked Novel.
lassarina: I'm not coming out until the stupid people have gone away.  ....I can wait all day. (Default)

[personal profile] lassarina 2019-01-06 05:07 am (UTC)(link)
...it's interesting to me how much this is overlapping with my own videogame goals - I used to love replays, and did them all the time, but then I let the tyranny of the backlog numbers convince me to only play new things, and I've gotten sick of it. I'm going to replay things this year. I'll try to hit one new game per replay, but dammit, I want to play Zodiac Age, and maybe replay FF6, and play some Dragon Age!