At the end/beginning of each year, I sit and think on any goals or ambitions I might have for my reading in the coming new year. I generally keep these filed away in a random part of my mind, thinking about them only rarely, when it is convenient for me or when I am reminded of them. Thus, it is often that I do not reach said goals or lofty ambitions that I set for myself – surprise, surprise. I’m going out on a limb here and sharing with you my Bookish Resolutions for 2016 in the hope that seeing these words in black and white will make them more real to me, and thus more attainable – and also, because a little accountability and fear of public failure/humiliation is always good for motivation from time to time…
1. read a minimum of 150 books in 2016.
As part of the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge, I have pledged to read 150 books by December 31, 2016. In past years I have read: 171 in 2015, 225 in 2014, and 213 in 2013. We had a few bumps in the road in 2015 that ate into my reading time, bringing my total down quite a bit from past years. As certain issues are yet to be resolved, I’m going to play it safe and keep my challenge goal down to a manageable number since I just don’t seem to be able to keep up with my former pace as of late.
Two words, y’all: PIE CHARTS. I’m so jealous of the book bloggers that keep such meticulous records that they are able to produce pie charts outlining their reading habits at the end of each year, and have been telling myself for ages that I am going to do the same: This. Is. The. Year! Amanda Nelson at Book Riot tracks her reading via The Ultimate Reading Spreadsheet in Google Docs. She shares the template for her spreadsheet here. I have downloaded it to Excel and, after making various personalizations, will be recording the hell out of my reading in 2016 so I can get my pie chart groove on next January…
3. read the books I own.
I continue to amass a collection of novels (mainly on my Kindle) that then remain unread as I continue to aggressively read library checkouts and NetGalley selections. While my situation is not as dire as my friend Cathy’s over at 746 Books, if I don’t take action now it could certainly grow to such an outlandish situation. How am I going to achieve this? I’m not yet sure. So many new releases are tempting me, as well as all of those goodies on my TBR list – I must be strong, y’all. I’m thinking… Maybe one book I own for every one or two library/NetGalley books, perhaps? I’ll have to fine-tune my process over the next month or two and will return here for an update. Andi over at Estella’s Revenge has started up a “read whatcha got” reading effort for 2016 called #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks. As she says, it’s totally a choose-your-own-adventure, no rules type of thang – if you’re interested and would like to join in, you can link up here.
4. Continue to read more diverse books.
I thought I was making a conscious effort to do this in 2015, but apparently not, for I failed miserably. Out of 171 books, only 28 of them could truly be classified as diverse literature. However, it is a new year and time for a fresh start! I’ve read nine books so far in 2016, and three of them can be classified as diverse literature. Over at the website for We Need Diverse Books, I have pledged to read a minimum of fifty diverse books this year – that would mean, if I were to reach my goal of 150, that 1/3 of those books would be written by or about people of all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. This is equal to about four to five “diverse” books each month. Personally, I think it should be more than that and plan to be a bit more intentional about the books I read in order to try to increase that amount, but I will ultimately be satisfied if I reach my original goal of fifty, because I can always improve upon that in 2017!
5. Join a book club.
I’ve always wanted to be in a book club. Always. Alas, no one I know (IRL) likes to read the way I do or would ever consider forming a book club with me. Boo-hoo. Rushing in to save the day, however, is Amy Allen Clark over at MomAdvice.com! Amy recently created the MomAdvice Hangout (join us!) over on Facebook, a group of which I am a part, and which I adore! We chat about all kinds of things, of course, but an oft-discussed topic is books, books, and more books. The best part is that Amy has created the MomAdvice Book Club, which began in January, 2016. Our first book, chosen by Amy herself, is The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende – it was a great read, and I can’t wait for the discussion to start!
These are my top five resolutions for 2016 – as they relate to reading, that is. It’s going to be a great year full of great reads, I can just sense it (my TBR list is telling me so, as well)!