2018 Reading Resolutions – Update

On January 3, 2018 I posted a list of my reading goals for this year.  Let’s see how I did!  Spoiler: not great.

  1. Read at least 75 books.  Verdict: Success!
    As of December 19 I have read 128 books, so I’d say I knocked that one out of the park.  But to be fair I purposefully set my goal on the low side of what I thought I was capable of reading so I wouldn’t stress too much about the number.  I’ll probably raise my goal a bit for 2019 but still keep it manageable.  The Goodreads reading challenge is the last thing on earth I want to stress about.
  2. Read at least one book in Italian.  Verdict: Fail 😦
    I avoid books written in Italian for the same reason I avoid long books – I always think about how many shorter books I could be reading in that same amount of time.  I’m not sure this goal will publicly carry over into 2019, mainly because I’d be embarrassed to fail at it two years in a row.  But it will remain a goal in my head.
  3. Use the library more often.  Verdict: Success!
    One of my steadiest sources of books this year was my library’s Overdrive account, which has been a life-saver for audiobooks and ebooks.  But I’ve used my physical library more often as well.  This has presented me with a new challenge though – library holds coming in all at once.  So I still need to figure out a better way to balance my library holds with mood reading.
  4. Request fewer Netgalley ARCs/spend more time reading books I already own.  Verdict: Fail 😦
    The road to hell is paved with good intentions, etc etc.  What can I say – I still haven’t figured out a way to resist the pull of ARCs, even when I have plenty of books on my shelves that I’m also interested in.
  5. Read at least one classic and at least one play each month.  Verdict: Fail 😦
    I was doing SO WELL with this for the first half of the year…. and then I fell off the horse and never got back on.  I did end up reading 11 plays this year, which isn’t very good for me but still makes the one-a-month goal rather feasible, and I think that will carry into 2019.  But I learned that ‘one classic a month’ does not really work for me; I read 13 (with a bit of overlap between plays and classics), but sometimes I’m in the mood to read 3 classics in a row and sometimes I’m in the mood to read none.  As a firm believer in finding books at the right time, I don’t want to force myself to read a classic just for the sake of meeting an arbitrary goal.  So if I do this goal again I might say ‘read at least 12 classics in 2019’ or something like that, rather than one per month.

So, I succeeded at only 2/5 of my challenges, one of which wasn’t really a challenge at all but an arbitrary number I knew I’d hit easily.  But it’s good that I’ve taken the time to check in with last year’s goals before writing 2019’s.  Notes to self: (1) keep it manageable, (2) if you set goals that you know you won’t automatically meet, you need to actually make an effort.

What were some of your 2018 reading goals and how did you do?  Comment and let me know!

26 thoughts on “2018 Reading Resolutions – Update

  1. Congrats on smashing your goal to read 75 books by so much. You may have been reserved in setting that figure, but it’s still a LOT of reading to have got done in a year!

    Using the library more is also a big success as far as I’m concerned. I love the idea of supporting libraries, but I’m such a sucker for owning my own collection that I can’t help but buy (and in fairness, my local library is Tiny™️, which doesn’t help).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true! Even if I had set my goal to 100, I still managed to read WAY more than I had expected.

      My local library is also Tiny™️ so I mainly use it for bestsellers like My Year of Rest and Relaxation etc. But my secret weapon is using one of my friends’ Overdrive accounts for ebooks and audiobooks as well as my own, she’s from Seattle so naturally their collection is far superior. I still buy PLENTY of books though… but I’m glad to have this as a backup so I don’t go completely broke, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done with your goodreads challenge, congrats! I also purposely set mine a bit low, and I’m pretty bad at challenges in general so that’s really the only one I do.

    I love that you challenged yourself to use library resources more too, I always do the same and it makes me really happy! It’s so helpful for the library too. But I know what you mean, balancing out holds that come in with mood reading is tough…I feel the same about ARCs, there’s nothing worse than having to get through something when you’d really rather be reading something else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Do you have a Goodreads account? I have to add you on there if you do! But yes, agreed, it’s really the only yearly challenge I sign up for. I think the ‘read harder’ ones are cool but they always conflict with my constant goal of letting myself mood read more than I do. And I think I do a decent job at reading across multiple genres without imposing all these challenges on myself that I’m not enthusiastic about.

      Libraries are the best! But it’s SO stressful when a hold comes in that you’re not in the mood to read, but if you return the book you know you’ll have to wait months to get it again… I need to find a way to sustain the excitement I feel when I first put the book on hold. And it’s the same with ARCs, I really need to get my ARC collection under control in 2019! It’s a constant source of stress for no good reason.

      Liked by 1 person

      • If you ever find a way of sustaining the excitement of when you first put something on hold at the library until when you finally get it, let me know! I have yet to manage that one.

        I agree, the challenges are great for some diversity in reading material but if you already have interests that incline you towards a wide variety of things it just seems like another source of stress…and my reading list is already so long, I can’t imagine adding even more because of a challenge.

        I had to get the ARC situation under control last year and I felt much better after I did…but mostly I just controlled it by requesting less (and sometimes getting annoyed after reading other reviews at release time and then buying/borrowing books I could’ve requested anyway, so maybe this wasn’t even that effective.) It’s still hard to incorporate it into your schedule with mood reading, I find, but I’m not sure there’s such an easy fix for that!

        Here’s my goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/875657-ren
        (I hope that link works!)

        Liked by 1 person

      • I wish I understood why it’s so difficult! It is baffling to me that I can’t keep up my enthusiasm for a book for even two weeks. It’s like the magpie effect, I’m always drawn to something new and shiny and then I get my hands onto it and I want to move onto other things. It’s so frustrating!

        And the same goes for the ARC situation… I probably have about 15 right now, many of which are past their publication dates… it’s just SO tempting to keep requesting when I see a book on Netgalley that I know I’m going to want to read eventually anyway. And there’s the whole #FOMO element, the more involved you get in this community and the more your friends are reading books published 6+ in advanced the more difficult it is to resist.

        Yay, added you on GR!

        Liked by 1 person

      • PS I just finished Dopesick…omg! I’m so glad I read your review of it because I loved it. I can’t believe I almost skipped that one, so good and really moving. It still managed to feel completely different than the two books about the epidemic I’ve already read, I was so impressed by that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • OH YAY! I’m so glad to hear that! I read the first few pages of American Overdose the other day and I’m definitely going to want to pick that up soon. I’m glad to hear the angle is different from Dopesick, hopefully the two books will complement each other and fill in each other’s gaps. Can’t wait to read your review! Wasn’t that last story (was the girl’s name Tess?) just heartbreaking?

        Liked by 1 person

      • American overdose covered more about the greedy doctors running pill mills and the failures in government to address aspects of the crisis. It has personal stories too, some haunting ones from parents, but still a different tone. I really liked that Macy made Roanoke the focal point of this one.

        That story about Tess was devastating..everything her family tried to do for her, just so sad. And every time I read one of these stories I think how that’s just one out of many, she cited a statistic about 7 people per hour dying of overdoses..the scale of it is hard to grasp. I’m really glad I read it, thanks again for your review that pushed me to!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I loved the focus on Roanoke too. I do really want to read one of these books set in Vermont/New Hampshire at some point though, since the opioid epidemic is such an issue up here, but I’m not sure anyone’s written that book!

        Ugh that story just broke my heart into a hundred pieces. The fact that our society STILL stigmatizes addiction so much is just infuriating when it is so so clear that these people need medical help. There was one statistic about how this epidemic has killed more people than HIV at the height of the AIDS crisis and that was so eye-opening. Also the statistic about how on average it takes addicts 8 years to fully get clean… I just loved how thoroughly compassionate Macy’s book was while still being so factual.


  3. That ARC black hole is always the hardest thing to control… But it’s definitely I’m personally working on to reduce next year. Congrats on reading more library books! We all need to be like you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I always like reading about other people’s goals. I am also SO with you on the whole ARC situation. I did really good some time during this year but recently it got a bit out of control again. But there are always so many great books coming out!

    Liked by 1 person

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