2021 has been a really interesting year of reading for me. While I have always been a reader, this year had some new twists and turns.
40 books has been pretty standard for me. And this year I more than doubled that! As I’m writing this on December 27th, I’ve read 91 books. That’s so many books! My reading goal changed a lot over the year, as I joined Bookstagram + Netgalley, and then got approved for some influencer positions. I fully believe that goals should be flexible, and should change as your lifestyle changes. But I also like to reflect on why those changes happen, and if they are for the right reasons.
– Passed my goal of 60 books and read 91 books
– Reached 5,000 followers on instagram
– On track to finish the PopSugar 2021 Challenge (2 prompts to go – 75% through the nonfiction and 50% through the fiction)
– Was approved for 31 books on Netgalley
– Was asked to help review (in exchange for more ARCs) at my favorite local indie shop
– Became a rep/influencer for: The Shelfie Chronicles, Berkley Besties, & SAL Super Fans
Now, I’ve seen a lot of people who really up their goals as they go through this process. Here is why I’m lowering my goal for next year to 50 books:
– I want to give myself the option to read longer books.
– I want to give myself the option to read less romance novels and more dense literature (Hear me out!)
I have binge read some romance novels this year and I have absolutely loved them. I have also had some romance audiobooks playing while I sort of listened and sometimes let my mind wander and didn’t totally pay attention…I absolutely love to this option. There was a time in spring where I absolutely could not get the energy to do chores without a Julia Quinn novel in my ears. And if I space out, I do miss out on plot points and character development…but I can still enjoy and appreciate the story. But romance novels are so delightful and homey and wonderful…and I don’t have to plan or push myself to read them. These are books that I am going to read and enjoy and maybe even re-read. I just don’t want to set myself up for failure if I read fewer romances and therefor fewer books in total. (All love to romance novels. All love to people who exclusively read romance novels. All love to me when I read 60 books next year and 30 of them are romance novels.)
I have also *almost* completed the PopSugar Reading Challenge (just two to go!)….but I am not going to be as committed to finishing the 2022 challenge this year.
– I forced myself to read some books that I was not in the mood for just to finish the challenge. I really need the option to DNF something and/or come back to it later when I’m interested in it. I read a lot of different genres, but mostly because I’m a mood reader and at different times I am interested in different genres.
– I am super over committed to ARCs and need to prioritize those this year! (Again – mood reader! I can only plan so many reads per month.)
Intention: I want my reading life to stay fun, and I want my reading list to be diverse.
– read at least 5 books written by Indigenous/Native American authors
– collect at least 5 books written by Latinx authors
– collect at least 5 books written by disabled authors
– read at least 6 books from the ALA’s 52 Diverse Books Journal
My reading life is always like 6 months behind my book purchasing life. It’s chaotic, but it’s fun, and I’m not changing it any time soon! As I was doing bookstagram stack challenges during different months, I realized that I owned a fair number of Indigenous authors – but I haven’t read many of them! I also realized I owned very few books by Latinx or disabled authors, so I want to prioritize finding more authors who identify with those labels, and will work to read more of those in later 2022 or 2023.
ARC goals: (fortunately, some of these overlap!)
– 1 review/month for The Neverending Bookshop
– Get my Netgalley percentage up to 50%, then don’t let it fall below 40% again.
– 1 review/month for SAL Super Fans
– stretch goal: at least 1 book / month for Berkley Besties?
– at least 1 BotM book each month
– read my Signature book (from Third Place Books) within 3 months of receiving it
– Don’t make it stressful, keep it fun
– 3 posts / week
– Stretch: 1 reel / month? / week? – y’all I’m real lazy and do not want to learn how to do reels. I just want to read books.
– Super stretch goal: hit 10k followers
Is that kind of a lot?
I like setting goals. I buy too many books and need to organize them somehow! So, let’s add it up (assuming no crossover):
5 Indigenous books
+ 6 Diverse books
+ 12 Neverending
+ 4 Netgalley (to get my percentage up – obviously I’ll have to read more or get no more to keep up!)
+ 12 BotM
+ 5 Signature reads
= 44 books!
Which is…basically most of my year’s reading goal. That checks out. I predict that I will be successful keeping up with my Neverending bookshop commitment, and will make progress with the rest of them. I think if I am successful with other goals, I will not do as well keeping up with my Netgalley percentage, and I will have to be ok with that.
I would love to hear about other reader’s goals!
Looking for reading challenge recommendations? Check out my list!