2019 Reading Goals

In case you missed it you can see how I did on my 2018 reading goals here, and since I failed pretty spectacularly at that, time for some new ones!

My 2019 reading goals:

Read at least 80 books.  Again, I’m purposefully setting a low goal (not that 80 books is low – just lower than what I’ve been reading the past few years), because I find stressing about my Goodreads reading challenge to be… not a great use of my energy.

Request fewer ARCs/read more books I already own.  Everyone’s perennial resolution.  Wish me luck.

Read at least two books a month from any of these categories: plays, poetry collections, short story collections, nonfiction.  Trying something new this year.  Last year one of my goals was to read a classic and a play each month, which didn’t quite work for me as I found it too restricting.  But I know I lean more heavily on novels than I’d like so I still needed a way to diversify my reading.  Hopefully this will be a good compromise.

Read my 2019 backlist TBR.  Self-explanatory.  There is no excuse for me to have not read these books by 2020.  (Even The Color Purple by everyone’s newly problematic fave – I was incredibly disappointed to read that and I’m positive it’s going to cloud my experience with the book, but it’s still a seminal work that I’ve been wanting to read for a decade, so I’m going to read it and unhaul it and move on.)

Read at least 12 classics.  The equivalent of one a month, obviously, but hopefully this will be less restrictive and allow me to go on more classics binges without thinking ‘wait I should save this for later.’

I probably have other goals I’m forgetting right now but I think I’ll stop there.  That’s enough to keep me busy for the year, certainly.

What are some of your 2019 reading goals?  Comment and let me know!

35 thoughts on “2019 Reading Goals

  1. These are great goals! I hope you don’t put too much press on yourself. I really want to make time for some of the bigger books on my tbr especially IT but we shall see. I’ve been telling myself that all year and it’s gotten me no where. Good Luck!

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    • Making room for bigger books is such a good one! I’m so bad about procrastinating on reading longer books because I’m so preoccupied with how many shorter books I could be reading in that same amount of time. Good luck to you too!

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  2. Omg I hadn’t heard that about Alice Walker, what the hell!! I mean, on the one hand, I’m also obsessed with David Icke and read/listen to anything I come across about him but it’s because I’m mesmerized by his nuttiness, not admiring of it. A cabal of 12-foot-lizard people who run the world (and the list of who is one is amazing: Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth, for starters) is just always going to be a conspiracy theory I want to hear. I’m so shocked and disappointed that she’s buying his BS because it’s just so, so transparently ridiculous and she seems incredibly intelligent and cultured! And I never realized she’d said anti-Semitic things in the past, either. That’s beyond disturbing. All that said, The Color Purple is a great book and she’s a beautiful writer…but how sad.

    Good luck with all your goals, I love the idea of reading poetry collections and short stories, I find those great for getting out of slumps and easier reads in between heavy ones. And can’t wait to see your nonfiction picks!

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    • Isn’t it so shocking and upsetting?! I have to admit that I just burst out laughing at my own reaction to ‘I’m also obsessed with David Icke’ before reading the rest of that sentence, I think I made the emoji shocked-face irl. I totally feel you though, he is legitimately insane and it’s hard NOT to be compelled by that in a morbid way, but to actually… endorse him?!?!?! I admit to not knowing a whole lot about Walker beyond the basics, but my general impression was that she was cultured and intelligent and progressive so this just came as such a huge shock. It’s also interesting and incredibly sad how we’ve collectively been ignoring her anti-Semitism until now…??? I had NO idea before this whole thing went down, but the fact that this has been a problem for years apparently is rather troubling. Also, isn’t her own daughter Jewish?! I’m just baffled.

      I’m also selfishly annoyed that this story broke RIGHT after I made that list of books I want to read lol! I should have just read this in high school like everyone else so I could look back on the book itself fondly without this ruining the whole thing. Now I’m either going to hate the book or I’m going to love it and have to go off on a whole art vs. artist thing in my review, stay tuned to find out which it is!

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      • I know, I shouldn’t have opened with that, I’m going to end up on some kind of list 🤣 it’s just so hard to believe that he could tell the kind of all-out insane stories he does and someone like her believes and condones it…I also don’t know that much about her personally (and if she has a daughter who’s Jewish, even more baffling) but from reading her writing I had a lot of respect for her intelligence. She wrote the most beautiful foreword to Barracoon, that’s the most recent writing I’ve read of hers, and she has a deep understanding for history and persecution so who knows where the antisemitism is coming from, lizard people beliefs aside. Very disturbing that it’s apparently been ignored for so long too. It’s hard sometimes to separate the author from the work, I had this argument with a friend a few years ago who kept harping that Anne Sexton was a “terrible person” when I was reading through her collected poems, and it’s like, well ok, but there can still be appreciation for their art separate from their behavior. They’re people and people are complicated. It’s not a defense I particularly like making but it’s necessary sometimes and I guess will be the case with Walker..what a shame. I’ll be interested to hear your take on it however you feel about it!

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      • YES I have such similar feelings about the art vs artist debate, I feel like everyone either argues ‘well they’re a terrible person so their work has no merit and we should burn it all’ or ‘I won’t let my feelings about the artist affect my feelings about their work ever’ and I definitely fall somewhere in between those two extremes. When you find out something like this it’s hard if not impossible for it not to seep into their work in some way… but I also don’t want to completely write off this book that has made such a positive cultural impact.

        Also just in general I think the internet is way to quick to label someone ‘problematic’ and write them off completely – obviously antisemitism is very very very harmful and not something I ever want to excuse, but people are multifaceted and contradictory and sometimes have terrible judgement and no one on earth is exempt from that. But of course it’s always disappointing when someone in the public eye takes a harmful and/or ignorant stance like this.

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      • So well said! And exactly, it’s such a case of extremes and real life and real people just aren’t like that! It’s something to be considered but it doesn’t automatically negate everything else a person has done, in my opinion. As you say it’s hard if not impossible to let it affect your reading of their work in some way but not a burn-it-all situation either! But you make such a good point of it being particularly damaging and disappointing when it’s someone with a public platform and influence who takes this kind of stance. I need to read more about what exactly she said.

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      • Definitely! I felt a little nervous about publicly declaring that I was still going to read The Color Purple after The Controversy but I’m glad you share my nuanced views on this. It’s definitely a thorny subject and it’s hard to find an article that goes into a lot of depth… this one links to her disturbing antisemitic poem: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/anti-semitism-is-not-just-another-opinion-the-new-york-times-should-know-better/2018/12/24/7531887a-07b9-11e9-a3f0-71c95106d96a_story.html?utm_term=.7db942d4d446

        I get the impression that a lot of this stems from ignorance for her, and a horrific conflation of all Jewish people with the state of Israel… it’s possible to support Palestine without being an anti-Semite but apparently she hasn’t quite realized that. It’s shocking that her prejudice has gone unchallenged for so long.

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  3. I also plan on reading more varied formats of literature – I rarely ever read plays or short story collections or even classics but I’d love to read more of them! Best of luck in 2019 ❤

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  4. These are excellent goals! I’m particularly excited to see which classics you opt for. And I’d like to read more plays myself, so I’ll keep an eye out for your recommendations there as well.

    Here’s to lots of great reads in 2019! 📚

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  5. Hi Rachel! Yup, reading more books that I own instead of buying new books / checking books out from the library would be a goal of mine in 2019 too 😊 It’s just easy to fall into the hype of books sometimes, especially with new releases coming out all the time! I would also love to read more classics as well, one of them being Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go… I realize that it’s more of a modern book, but I’ve heard amazing things about it and can’t wait to read the copy of the book I bought in Japan! 😆 Best of luck with your 2019 resolutions!

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    • Hi Zoie! Totally agreed, it is SO challenging to resist the allure of new releases! Hopefully this year I’ll figure out how to strike the balance between new books and backlist books… the unread books on my shelves situation is getting out of hand. Never Let Me Go is probably my favorite book OF ALL TIME, so as far as modern classics go you’ve picked a great one! Very cool that you picked up a copy in Japan! I hope you enjoy it and best of luck with all your resolutions as well!

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      • Sadly I do not! I read it for the first time over a decade ago, and I’ve re-read it since then but not since I’ve started this blog. But I think I’m due for another reread in 2019!

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      • That’s the same with me and a lot of my favorite books — since I read them before I started my blog, I don’t have actual reviews for them. 😅 But that’s just another incentive to reread all our favorites, I guess 😊 If you do write a review for Never Let Me Go, though, I would love to read it! ❤️

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      • Yes, it definitely is! I tend to avoid re-reading because it doesn’t seem like the best use of my time, but if it’s for a book I haven’t reviewed yet it definitely feels more productive!

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  6. Great resolutions! I haven’t quite settled on mine yet but will definitely set myself some. I do like the whole new year, new me thing and what better way to celebrate it than setting myself reading goals.

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  7. Great goals! I particularly like your way of compromising by allowing yourself to pick a play, short story collection, poetry or nonfiction.

    I, too, will be setting a lower Goodreads goal in 2019; forcing yourself to hit an arbitrary number really does take some of the fun out of reading!

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    • I’m excited about that goal in particular! I think giving myself the flexibility will help, while still ensuring that I don’t read novels nonstop all year.

      Totally. I know some people like to emphasize the fact that the Goodreads challenge is meant to be challenging, but I think hitting some arbitrary number is not an important thing to get stressed about.

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  8. Good luck with your goals! I can definitely relate to the first two; I don’t feel like fretting over my GR challenge, and if it’s too high, it makes me leave the thicker books. I’ll be setting a lower goal myself.

    And I definitely want to read more of what I have lying around as well!

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    • Thank you, good luck on yours as well! Yes, I’m the exact same, if I set my goal higher I know I’d avoid long books even more than I already do, and quantity of books over quantity of pages is such an arbitrary goal anyway.

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