2016: the year of…realistic goals?

Raise your hand if your reading goals for the new year included reading ALL the books, finally getting through your TBR stacks once and for all, and imposing book-buying bans? Yeah, I’m so not alone.

This year, however, I thought hard about what I wanted to get out of my reading and ended up with a set of what I consider to be totally doable, completely reachable and realistic goals.

This is a big one for me: I want to finish audiobooks in a reasonable amount of time! I’m crazy jealous that Matt has a job where he’s able to plug his headphones into his computer and watch cat videos listen to books all day. Last year I got back into audio, but unless I’m sitting at home doing nothing (or am on a long car ride – yay vacations!) it takes me forever to get through a book and more often than not the typical 10+ hours makes me feel it’s not worth it when I can just pick up the book and get through it in half the time.

My library has a three-week check-out…and it usually takes me the entire three weeks to listen to one book. This year I want to get better at making the time to listen – like on my commute.

No gonna lie, once I was done with school I pretty much wiped my hands of classics. Lately I’ve been curious about the books I missed out on, or whether or not my tastes have changed (Jane Eyre, I’m looking at you..) With books like Far From the Madding Crowd being thrust into the spotlight with film adaptations, I can’t help but find myself gravitating toward them.

I think a good, easy aim would be one classic a month, for a total of twelve. I’m making it a little easy on myself though: they won’t necessarily be massive doorstops – maybe I’ll try out some modern classics too!

I’m fairly notorious for jumping around in series (remember when I started Aunt Dimity on book 20?) Okay, sure, when it’s a trilogy, I’ll read them in order, but when the series has been going on since before I was born (sorry, Aunt Dimity, you’re not that old!) well, I tend to play fast and loose with the rules. This isn’t a recent thing either – back in elementary school I fell hard for Redwall and I don’t think I read a single one of those in the ‘correct’ order!

So my goal for this isn’t to finish a series, it’s to continue it. I can’t begin to count the number of series I’ve started, only to let them fall to the side or get bored of the wait for the next book. I’m currently obsessing over Agatha Christie and have been plowing through her Hercule Poirot novels – bouncing around of course, though at the rate I’m going through them maybe this is a series I’ll manage to finish this year!

I love discovering new authors! Even better is when they have an entire backlist of other lovely books just waiting for me to read! …unfortunately, I’m terrible at making good on my intentions and actually reading those novels. Sarah McCoy, Sue Monk Kidd, and Ruth Ozeki are all authors I fell in love with after just one novel. Despite wanting to read more from these ladies, I never made the time. I want to fix that this year.

(Rhiannon Frater, I’m looking at you too! If there’s anyone who can make me enjoy a series about a zombie apocalypse, I have a feeling it’ll be you.)

To be honest, I’m pretty proud of myself. Last year I made a point of thinking before requesting (or accepting) review copies: do I really want to read this or am I simply giving in to the shiny newness of it? While I slacked off a little toward the end of the year and let ARCs pile up (or e-ARCs expire) I’ve overcome my hesitation and reluctance of saying no to publishers when it comes to books that aren’t appealing to me. I’m hoping to keep that momentum going this year – and not let review copies become overwhelming!

4 thoughts on “2016: the year of…realistic goals?

  1. I think these are great goals! The ARCs always get me in trouble too, usually because I do not pay attention to publication dates and then end up having too many to read in one month. I think I have finally gotten to the point where I will turn down something I would love to read if it puts me over X number of ARCs for a month. It makes life so much easier and helps me achieve my other goals of reading some of my own books more often!

    Good luck!

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