Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish resolutions

Starting this week, Top Ten Tuesday is now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Her first topic is “Bookish resolutions and goals”. I sometimes put a post like this together at the beginning of January but didn’t get round to it this year, so I’m posting it today instead.

I don’t set goals in terms of numbers (apart from the Goodreads Challenge which I use more as a way of keeping track of what I’ve read rather than an actual ‘challenge’) so I prefer to call this a list of resolutions. Some of these are the same as my resolutions from previous years (most of which I didn’t manage to keep) and others are new.

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1. Make more time for re-reads. I say this every year and never seem to do it. I re-read three books last year, because I needed to so I could finish my Classics Club list, but there are many more old favourites I would like to revisit as well. I will definitely try to re-read some of them this year!

2. Make some progress with my new Classics Club list. I posted my second list in November after completing my first one. The new list has 50 classics on it and a target date of 14th November 2022. So far I have only read one book from the list – Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather – but there are a lot of others I’m excited about reading.

3. Continue to work on my Walter Scott Prize project for which I’m working my way through all of the shortlisted titles since the prize was first awarded in 2010. This year’s shortlist will be announced in March, but I still have some from each of the previous years’ lists to read too.

4. Read more books set in different countries. Reading can be a great way to learn about the culture and history of countries other than our own. When I posted my analysis of the historical fiction I read in 2017, I found that the majority of the books I read last year were set in Britain, with the USA, France and Italy also well-represented. This year I want to include more books set in countries I know less about.

5. Join in with other bloggers’ projects or events which sound appealing e.g. Jane’s Birthday Book of Underappreciated Lady Authors (for which I’m currently reading Britannia Mews by Margery Sharp) and Karen and Simon’s club years (1977 Club is coming in April).

6. Request fewer books from NetGalley and get caught up with my backlog. I have had the opportunity to read some great books through NetGalley but it’s easy to find yourself requesting more than you know you’ll realistically have time to read. This year I want to limit the number I request until I’ve read all the books already on my NetGalley shelf.

7. Continue to work through some of the series that I’m in the middle of reading. I’m very good at starting them but not so good at continuing with them!

8. Read the books that I really want to read. There are a lot of books that I’ve been wanting to read for years and am sure I’m going to love, but that I’ve been avoiding reading because I’m ‘saving them for later’ or ‘want to have something to look forward to’. I’m aware of how silly this is, so 2018 is going to be the year I finally read those long-anticipated books!

9. Abandon books that I’m not enjoying. Sometimes I can tell almost immediately that a book is not for me, but sometimes I’m not sure and decide to keep going in the hope that it will get better – and then even when it doesn’t improve I still struggle on to the end.

10. Try to make every book I read a potential favourite book of the year. I know this won’t actually happen, but it’s what we would all like, isn’t it? Resolutions 1-9 should help with this!

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What resolutions, goals or plans do you have for your 2018 reading?

30 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish resolutions

  1. Judy Krueger says:

    My #1 resolution is to read more of the books on My Big Fat Reading Project. Result will be to finish the 1963 list, then start and finish the 1964 list. So be prepared to see lots of reviews of old books on my blog!
    #2 is to read one book a month from the lists I make every year as I learn about books I want to read. That falls under your “read what I want” resolution. I took the last 12 most recent years and made a list of one from each year. My first one is The Secret River by Kate Grenville and I already have it from the library.
    Good luck with your resolutions and have a great reading year!!

    • Helen says:

      Thanks – good luck with your resolutions too. I’ll look forward to your 1963 and 1964 reviews. Your resolution #2 is a great idea! The Secret River sounds like a good one to start with.

  2. Alex says:

    I’ve recently returned to book blogging and we have similar resolutions, especially about DNFs and re-readings (how come they almost always feel so good and yet I rarely do them??).

    • Helen says:

      I used to re-read my favourite books over and over again, but never seem to have time now. I’m determined I’m going to do lots of re-reading this year!

  3. whatmeread says:

    Nice goals. I can relate to the Netgalley goal. I purposefully keep my reading for them down to only one or two books waiting at any time, but I don’t really like reading ebook, so think that seems like too many.

    • Helen says:

      I still have some books on my Netgalley shelf that should have been read last year as well as some new ones that haven’t been published yet. If I could get it down to one or two waiting to be read I would be happy.

  4. piningforthewest says:

    I’m also not good at abandoning books when I really should. I’ve never signed up for Netgalley as it would be a disaster for me, it’s bad enough that I keep going to the library for books recommended by bloggers! That’s an interesting Classics Club list you have. I plan to re-read all of Thirkell’s books in 2018, in order this time.

  5. Jessie @ Dwell in Possibility says:

    Good luck with your goals, Helen! I also want to make time for rereads and read more classics, including the ones on my Classics Club list. Like you, I tend to “save” books that I think I’m going to love, and I need to actually start reading some of them. Hopefully we’ll both be better at reading our long-anticipated books and discover some new favorites this year!

    • Helen says:

      Thank you and good luck with yours. I hope we both find time for some long-anticipated reads this year. I have no idea what I’m saving those books for – it doesn’t make sense to wait when I could be enjoying them now!

  6. Café Society says:

    Well, I’m joining you with the net galley resolution. I am only going to request books this year that I would chosen to read anyway. In the past I have requested far too many on spec and then never got round to them. It doesn’t seem fair on the writer’s to do so.

    • Helen says:

      No, it doesn’t seem fair when the author and publisher are waiting for our reviews. Like you, I’m going to restrict myself to books that I know I would have wanted to read anyway.

  7. Jane @ Beyond Eden Rock says:

    A great set of goals, and I hope they will guide you to a great year of books. My main goal is to focus on the books that I really, really want to read – because life is too short to read every good book – and to read or clear out the unread books that have been sitting on bookshelves for too long.

  8. FictionFan says:

    Excellent goals! I’ve noticed loads of us are talking about limiting NetGalley this year – it’s a wonderful thing but far too easy to get carried way and end up reading a constant diet of new releases.

  9. Kristen says:

    I’ve noticed that quite a few people want to allow themselves to quit books this year. I struggle with that so much! Like you, I also find myself struggling through certain books to the end only to find myself disappointed and angry that I wasted my time and energy on such a terrible book. I should really work on this as well, but I know I’m not there yet. Maybe one day I’ll be comfortable simply saying “DNF” and moving on … But not yet.

    I love reading books set in other countries, so I definitely think this is a great addition to your list of goals! It’s amazing how much you can learn about another place and culture simply by reading a novel.

    Good luck with your goals! 🙂

    • Helen says:

      Thank you. It’s surprising how difficult it is to DNF a book even when you’re sure it’s not going to get any better! It just doesn’t make sense to waste time on books we’re not enjoying when there are so many others waiting to be read.

    • Helen says:

      Yes, there were some great books on the Academy’s recommended reads list last year. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s on this year’s list.

  10. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review says:

    I just abandoned a book I had been really excited about reading, and that was hard for me. I wanted to keep giving it a chance but it just was not an enjoyable or enlightening experience in any way, and I had to face that.

    I hope striving for these goals brings you much joy in the coming year!

  11. Lisa says:

    I am starting to read more e-books, in part because the libraries only have some titles in that format. But I haven’t looked at Net Galley yet, in part because I have so much to read already! But I thought it worked like libraries, where you only have the book for a certain time? (At least with library e-books I don’t have to worry about due dates, they just disappear 🙂

    My main resolution this year is to limit the number of new TBR books – not how many I buy, but how many I buy and don’t read.

    • Helen says:

      If you download NetGalley books to a Kindle they never expire, but with other ereaders I think you only get a month or two. I’ve discovered some great books through NetGalley – both new ones and reissues – but it has also caused a big increase in my TBR!

      Good luck with your main resolution for the year. 🙂

  12. Sandra says:

    Great goals/resolutions! I’ve tried to get a list of my own together for the coming year but I know I keep overcomplicating it. I think the best thing for me is to freewheel this year. I have got much stronger when it comes to abandoning books . Life’s too short and there are too many others out there waiting!

  13. Karen K. says:

    I just really need to read more books from my own shelves and stop getting digital downloads from the library and Gutenberg/ibooks. I have about 200 books in my house I haven’t read and the number never seems to get any smaller! I’d love to read 60 or 70 books of my own this year.

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