I think one of the reasons I love interacting with other book lovers is that only they understand the excitement of looking through the possibilities of all the books out there. The beautiful covers, the new ideas and information to be gained, the feeling of accomplishment when you finish an epic novel. Most people I know don't care and don't think about these things. I find it hard to get organized and focus on what my reading plan is going to be when I'm always looking at new material. I'm wanting to get better about loving books but knowing what I can and can't tackle realistically with my work, family balance. Hopefully my fellow bloggers will give me some tips on how they do it :)
4. Try new authors.
This is one I struggle with a LOT. I am loyal to my favorite writers: Gabaldon, Penman, Perry, Plaidy, Weir.....it is hard for me to branch out. I often would rather re-read one of the Outlander books than go with a book being published in the current year. I think I always feel like, what if I try new books and authors and waste my time when I could be reading tried and true stories by people I already love? But the way I discovered these authors was by being willing to try their books in the first place. I need to remember that when I'm hesitant to go with someone new.
5. Stick to my classics goal.
I recently joined the Classics Club and I made a goal to read 50 classic novels in 5 years. While this sounds like a long time, if you do the math, it's really not. That's roughly a book per month give or take. So I need to make it a goal this year to stay on track by reading and reviewing one classic book per month. I can skip maybe a month or two but if I skip anymore, I'm already behind. And these are books I consider important to have read so this is a goal I'm going to work hard to keep!
6. Stop worrying if some books take longer.
This sort of piggybacks on goal #2. I think the reason I abandon some books I'm enjoying is that I feel like I'm not reading them fast enough and I need to finish something already! For example, I'll start a long 600-800 page book, be really enjoying myself and along about page 250 get stuck, realizing I'm barely a third of the way through it. I can get discouraged and stop reading to focus on a shorter book I can finish in a few days. This is partly so I have a new book to review but it's also because I feel like if it takes too long to finish a book I'm not reading it correctly. But that's ridiculous. I spent 6 months finishing Devil's Brood, (another Penman book of course!) and I enjoyed it immensely. The fact that I read many short books in between and didn't rush it only added to my deep understanding of the story. It's okay to read long books in spurts.
7. Be selective about NetGalley requests.
From the other bloggers I've read, I'm not alone in this goal. I only discovered NetGalley a year ago when I started my blog and I was excited to know I could request books that hadn't been published yet. It's heady. But after a few months I began to notice I was dreading the idea of reading and finishing some of the books I'd requested. If a publisher is allowing me to request it and I don't read it in a timely manner, I don't think that's very fair of me to the author who has worked so hard on their material. And even though you do want to keep a certain score in order to continue to be considered for future books, what good does it do to request books you just can't finish? Resist the urge!
8. Sort all my books on Goodreads or in some system.
This one is HUGE for me! I have wanted to do this for awhile. My books are sorted by author or subject in my Kindle but there are lists other places like Libby, Hoopla, etc. not to mention my few hard copy books on my shelves (I don't have many as my eyes don't do well with real books). I want to sort them into lists of TBR or want to buy, etc if I don't already own them. This will take awhile and will probably both simultaneously stress me out and make me feel accomplished.
9. Give up on books that don't interest me.
I fully realize that books speak to us at different times in our lives. There are books I've picked up as a 25 year old and had zero interest in that now I absolutely love as a 40ish year old. But then there are the books that I just know in my gut I will never, ever be interested in and why did I buy them? Impulse. I'm getting better at taming this but in 2023 I want to get them off my radar and quit feeling like a slacker because I'm just not interested in reading them.
10. Get more creative with blog topics.
One of the most interesting things I've found throughout my first year of book blogging is the variety of topics you can discuss. When I started I kind of just wanted to join a challenge to read more and write down my thoughts about the books. Then as I gradually got more reviewing under my belt and read more blogs I started to notice that while everyone reviews, not everyone reviews as often as others. And some book blogs are a lot of fun to read when they haven't posted a review that week at all. Their thoughts on bookish topics are relatable to me and witty and all the things without having to review all the time. I'd like to continue to find ways to promote and discuss reading without everything having to be reviews, reviews. But of course....you gotta have those or what's the point? So again, balance and trying new things.
What are your bookish goals for this year? Even if it is to read 5 minutes a day, or one book a month....I think that's great! We are all at different places but reading is fundamental, as they say, to keeping your mind sharp. Make a goal and get started!