2014: Read 37 books.
2015: Read 85. (Goal was 50.)
2016: Read 153. (Goal was 150.)
2017: Read ?? -- I'll update when 2017 ends! (Goal was 200.)
And now, 2018...
Here's what the people of Twitter said:
But, here's the thing. My life does NOT look the same going into 2018 as it did in 2017. I have a new relationship (relationships take time! a lot of time. really good time, but time away from books, nonetheless), a full plate at work, weekly counseling appointments, a new gym membership, evening commitments, etc. Reading a book every two days just isn't realistic anymore, and that's about what reading 200 books a year looks like.
I knew I couldn't possibly (feasibly) do a goal over 200 books in 2018.
I also knew I didn't want to sell myself short and do a low, easy goal either.
(When I polled my bookstagram followers, "lofty goal" won out over "low goal!")
Not having a goal at all wasn't an option either-- something about having that number in front of me and that tracker on Goodreads keeps me SO much more motivated to keep reading, and I love that!
A few things that worked this year:
- I made a bucket list item to read 5 classics.
- I made another item to read 10+ books by diverse authors.
- I set out to read through my One Year Bible again. (The 3rd time!)
- I conquered both of Modern Mrs. Darcy's reading plans (for fun and for growth!) -- here was my game plan, and here are my results!
It comes down to this: I want to care more about WHAT I'm reading than I do about HOW MUCH I'm reading. Because at the end of the day, I want to prioritize quality over quantity, and I want the books I read to make me better, wiser, more aware, more knowledgable, more empathetic, and more well-rounded. I still want to set goals to keep myself motivated and engaged, but I want those goals to help me diversify and deepen my reading more than anything else.
SO, with that in mind...
Here's my plan:
- Read at least 150 books in total.
- Complete Modern Mrs. Darcy's 2018 reading challenge. (12 books)
- Attempt other reading challenges too, just for kicks. (I've gathered my favorites up here!)
- Read 5+ classics.
- Read 5+ poetry books.
- Read the entire Bible again (in 90 days, from Jan. 1-April 1 with my whole church, and maybe once more after that!).
- Host monthly Book by Book link-ups with Kristin of Taz and Belly. (Join us!)
- Scale WAY back on my book buying. (Considering I own about 220 books I have not yet read...)
- And lastly: Read at least 100 books (of my 150 total) that are NOT by white males.
Let me give a little disclaimer here: I do not hate white males. I think they matter just as much as any other kind of person, and my goal to NOT read their books is not because I have some vendetta against white men. But. Here's the thing: White males are in leadership almost everywhere I go, and their voices overwhelmingly fill my life/mind/bookshelves. This goal is a conscious effort to continue building on my efforts to increase the variety and diversity of voices I choose to listen to and learn from. More women, more people of color, more people of different sexualities, more people with disabilities, more people on different ends of the political spectrum, more people who look/act/think/believe/feel differently than I do.
I will still read books my white males this year, I just want to make sure that I'm consciously choosing diversity OFTEN, not just once every now and then. This will be a major shift in my reading, and I'm looking forward to all that I'll learn from the voices I'll be listening to!
If you want to talk more about this, please leave a comment below and I'm happy to discuss!
Here we goooooo!
I'm excited about 2018 and a whole new year of reading -- especially reading that I know will enrich my life and expand my worldview even more.
As always, I'll be sharing reviews of what I read here on the blog (I've tweaked the format slightly thanks to some of your feedback, and we're making our monthly reviews a link-up now so you can join us!) and over on my bookstagram as well-- I'd love for you to join me there!