2020 Reading Goals

Let’s start off this post by revisiting my 2019 goals:

  • Read at least 80 books.  Success!  112
  • Request fewer ARCs/read more books I already own.  lol
  • Read at least two books a month from any of these categories: plays, poetry collections, short story collections, nonfiction.  I did ok at this for a while and then eventually fell off the wagon.  But I did succeed in diversifying my reading (I definitely read more nonfiction in particular than ever before) so I’m not going to dwell on the specifics of this one.
  • Read my 2019 backlist TBR.  4.5/12.  Spectacular fail.
  • Read at least 12 classics.  I actually had to go back and count just now, but no, I did not succeed, I only read 7.  That’s especially low for me so I’m not really sure what happened there.  Oh well.

Some brief personal ramblings, if you’re at all curious why my goals went so badly.  If not, definitely skip these paragraphs.  2019 was… an interesting year for me.  Less than two months into the year the company I’d been working for for 5 years went out of business (long story) and I subsequently found myself unemployed for two months, which was awful.  And I almost feel bad about how awful it was for me emotionally, because I had enough savings that I wasn’t even in a position where I had to rush out and find a job the next day, and I know so many people aren’t as fortunate.  But I’d be lying if I pretended that that didn’t hit me very hard.

In April, I found a job which in many ways was my dream job on paper (I work in editorial and foreign rights for a local indie children’s book publisher), and while I do love my job in many ways, it was… a rather rough transition for me.  It’s a very, very, very different environment from anywhere I’ve ever worked before, and it took a pretty serious toll on my mental health.  Suffice to say, for the better part of the year I was suffering from worse depression and anxiety than I have in years.  I managed to read 112 books, which, yes, is a lot!  But it’s also about 20-30 fewer than I’d been managing in previous years, and I wasn’t even reading particularly long or dense books for the most part, so that goes to show that I was just really struggling in the second half of the year.  All this to say, in 2020 I’m going to be kinder to myself with my goals, because I can’t predict how my work/life/sanity balance is going to affect my reading.  I know it seems like I have a lot of goals here, but a lot of them are pretty basic and easily achievable.

(Sorry if that was all very ‘woe is me’ – I hate and struggle with talking about my personal life publicly, but I do feel like I owe it to you guys to sort of let you know where my head is at when it naturally affects my reading and blogging quite a great deal.)

So without further ado, 2020 reading (and blogging!) goals:

  • Read at least 90 books.  … ok, I was going to go lower, but I couldn’t resist.  I’ve been gradually been increasing my Goodreads goal by 10 each year for many years and I didn’t want to break the pattern.  I know a lot of people feel very restricted by their Goodreads goal, but this is actually one of the goals I care the least about.  If I hit it, great, if I don’t, I’ll change it to a lower number.
  • Read my 2020 backlist TBR.  Again, I don’t particularly care if I succeed at this goal or not, but as of this moment in time, it’s a pile of books I’m really, really excited about.  I also purposefully picked less ‘challenging’ books than the ones I put on my 2019 list, so I think this is more achievable.
  • Read my ARCs ahead of publication date.  At this point it’s an annual tradition to put this on my list and then fail at it.  So.  Whatever.  I’ll give it a go.  The road to hell etc etc.
  • Read the Women’s Prize longlist, and no other literary prize longlists.  I’ve discovered over the years that despite how much I love following literary prizes, I cannot focus my reading around them year-round.  However, I love the Women’s Prize too much to throw in the towel with this annual tradition.  Last year I read through the longlist with a group of friends and we all had such a blast with it that I think we’re all planning on doing it again, and I cannot wait.  If you enjoy my Women’s Prize series of posts every year you can absolutely look forward to that again.
  • Participate in Reading Ireland Month (March) and Women in Translation Month (August) and no other themed reading challenges.  Again, I just can’t focus my reading around community-wide initiatives, no matter how fun or well-intentioned they are.  But despite that, these two have my heart, and I am so looking forward to participating in both.  That said, I don’t plan on reading exclusively Irish lit in March (only because of the Women’s Prize tbh – otherwise I’d love to) or only Women in Translation in August.  I don’t want to restrict myself too much.
  • Unfollow a lot of blogs.  Don’t panic!  If we regularly interact on here, I am not talking about you.  When I first discovered this community, I would follow just about everyone.  I also had a lot more free time back then to read through my WordPress Reader more thoroughly.  I still like to rely on that tool to stay caught up, but nowadays I follow like 600 accounts on here and I find myself scrolling past way more blogs than I actually click on.  This just isn’t a sustainable way for me to stay engaged with the blogs I actually want to engage with.  So I know this seems like a kind of negative resolution, but it’s not, I promise.  This will be a lot better in the long run to focus my blogging interests.  And then, the flip side of this is that once my reader is more manageable, I want to be able to seek out some more bloggers whose reading tastes overlap with mine.
  • Review books immediately after finishing them.  I can’t believe I actually have to write this down as one of my resolutions, because this is something I have never struggled with.  I’ve always written my reviews within an hour of finishing the book.  But unfortunately I’ve been so mentally and emotionally drained lately that I find myself putting it off, and then resenting the process once I do sit down to review.  This just isn’t me.  I need to get back to the basics.

What are your 2020 reading and blogging goals?  Comment and let me know!

17 thoughts on “2020 Reading Goals

  1. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having a hard time – hope 2020 is a better year for you. I’m also looking forward to reading the Women’s Prize longlist (though wondering if I should start a Ducks, Newburyport support club where we all read X number of pages a day until April in anticipation of its being long listed!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am PRAYING for the sake of you and our entire group that Ducks gets left off 😂 Seriously though the more I think about it the more I think it’s not a given that it’s going to be included?! Like – from the Booker we have six options, Ducks, Atwood, GWO, Levy, Frankissstein, and Shafak, and I actually feel like they’re all Women’s Prize books in a way? But 6 is a stupid amount of overlap so something’s gotta give, so IT COULD VERY WELL BE ELLMANN.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I’ve mercifully had a long Christmas break (I was supposed to go back to work today but earlier this week my boss impulsively decided to keep the office closed through Thursday and Friday – I know on Monday I’m going to suffer for it facing down a 5-day work week after vacation but right now it’s exactly what I needed!) So at this moment in time I’m definitely feeling better, and fingers crossed that I can hold onto these relatively high spirits as I go back to work.

      Happy new year to you too, I hope your year is wonderful!

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  2. That sounds like a really tough year. It is so challenging to keep going when you have these big life events going on. I completely stopped blogging when I started a new role last year and I’m only getting back into it now. So I think you should give yourself credit for keeping going both with reading and blogging during a tough period. 😉 I really like your goals and best of luck for 2020!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this post and your goals for 2020. I feel you on having a rough 2019 & you should never be afraid to open up if you’ve been struggling, we all go through it. You’re an absolute trooper for dealing with all of that and still managing to read and blog the amount you have.

    I’m totally on-board with you on unfollowing blogs. Coming back onto this platform after 4 or so months I’m kind of overwhelmed by the number of people I follow whose content isn’t exactly what I’m interested in reading. So I will definitely be unfollowing a number of blogs to this year.

    Happy New Year! I hope 2020 is a good one for you 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! Yes very true – it’s SO hard to find time these days to read and blog, but at the same time it’s definitely been a source of joy in my life so forcing myself to carve out the time has been very worthwhile.

      Oh god I can’t even imagine! Keeping up with this consistently I’m still constantly overwhelmed by the number of people I follow. I really really would like to get down to a small number of people whose reviews I enjoy and whose lives I’m invested in; I think I’ll find this so much more enjoyable without having to wade through all the filler content every day.

      I hope you have a fab 2020 as well!

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  4. I’m sorry to hear the job transition has been so taxing! I hope you’ll feel more settled in and have a smoother time of it in 2020, especially since it’s your dream job on paper! It’s definitely understandable that a big life transition would affect your reading as well, and it looks like your goals are well positioned to be easy if they need to be but could give you more of a stretch if you turn out to want that- a great balance!

    I’m sooo looking forward to the Women’s Prize this year, in large part because I joined the group last year AFTER the prize and am excited to chat about it more while it’s going on this time! Also, with as poorly as the prizes seemed to be going in 2019, I have such high hopes that the judging panels will feel more pressure this year to produce great results.

    Wishing you the best of luck with your 2020 goals, and an excellent reading year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Taxing is absolutely the word! And thank you! I hope 2020 is smoother all around. Fingers crossed.

      YESSSS I’m so glad we thought to add you to the group and didn’t wait until next year’s prize to do it! And I actually can’t remember if Naty was in the group for the entire duration of last year’s longlist or if we added her partway through? But she was another slightly late arrival. It’ll be so much fun to discuss the longlist in a larger group this year!

      And thank you, I hope you have an excellent reading year as well!

      Liked by 1 person

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