Well, that was...a year, 2017. We kind of thought you'd never end. Just like Elizabeth Bennett, it was sometimes easier to walk around with our noses in a book than face real life. But we did survive, and we read some great--and important--books along the way. So in the interest of self-love and excellent stories, here are our 2018 reading resolutions:
I managed to achieve half of my resolutions this year--I devoured a romance novel (wish I had made time for more!) but didn't take myself out on a reading date. Considering the hellscape of 2017, being one for two still feels like an accomplishment.
The demands of my Grownass Adult Job have slowly robbed me of my literary binging habits over the past few years, which is why you don't see many reviews from me nowadays. Consequently, I'm not as informed about current releases and new voices in the YA world, and I'd like to change that in 2018 by trying to read one book each month that has been recently reviewed on the site. That way, I can benefit from the labor of my FYA colleagues and skip straight to the good stuff.
I keep adding to and modifying my reading resolutions from year to year, but I’m going to make one of the biggest changes yet by reducing my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal. I’ve had it at 80 books for the past four years, but it has become more and more difficult to achieve. (I know it doesn’t actually matter if I can reach some arbitrary number, but much like a lot of nonsensical things that we do for ourselves, it matters to me.) So for 2018, my goal is to read 50 books. Way less stress, and should be doable for me without a now-annual year-end graphic novel binge to pad the stats. (Although obvs I’ll still read graphic novels because I want to, but the Goodreads boost won’t matter as much (even if it’ll still be appreciated).)
I made some progress with my resolutions in 2017, but want to keep most of them around. So I’m resolving, once again, to read more diverse/inclusive books, read the FYA Book Club picks that I haven’t read, and read more of the books in my massive TBR pile/list, rather than getting caught up in only reading new books. This last one can be really hard, considering how much new hotness there is each month, but many of those older books are just as deserving of reads—some even more so!
I’m also taking a page from Mandy W.’s book (heh) and reducing my Goodreads goal. I didn’t make it to 100 books read this year (as of writing this, I’ve only read 87, and three of those were single-issue comics), and I’m trying not to beat myself up about it. The Ravenclaw in me is sobbing a bit, but reading is supposed to be fun, not a chore.
1. Last year, I told myself no Goodreads Challenge, mostly because meeting that goal added stress to my life in places where I didn’t need it. I actually DID do a Goodreads Challenge this year, but set my goal very low, 30 books, so there was never a rush to keep up. I ended up reading 50 books with zero stress. I plan to carry this resolution over into 2018.
2. I also resolved to listen to more audiobooks this year, which I did! This was a great way for me to squeeze in some older books from my TBR list that I’d been meaning to read for years but don’t have time for, since I’m usually busy reading new releases to review. For 2018, I want to broaden this resolution to nonfiction audiobooks.
3. As always, learning to just put down a book and move on if I’m not enjoying it is something I’m always trying to get better about and will continue to work on next year.
4. My biggest resolution this year is reading-adjacent: I have two YA manuscripts I want to finish. One is complete but needs a revision, and one’s a little more than half finished. I didn’t write as much as I hoped to in 2017, so maybe 2018 is my year.
I did an adequate job sticking to my resolutions for 2017--still failed on multiple occasions on not starting a book before bed (in fact, I may or may not have broken that one just last night, though I am on vacation right now, so...I’ll allow it!) and I didn’t get to as many “big” authors as I meant to.
1. I’m setting my Goodreads goal at 80 books again, because that felt comfortable for me. I wasn’t stressing about my numbers at all this year, and some months were more fruitful than others, and it was all totally okay.
2. I still want to continue to read more older titles, but don’t want to give in to the book panic--I can only read so much in a year, and it’s not like any of these books are going away.
3. Continue seeking out diverse authors and diverse storylines.
I resolve to read less YA this year. I hate to say that, but due to my commitments to this site and to the Missouri Association of School Librarians (I help with a YA presentation at our annual meeting), I read almost nothing but new YA books. I’m neglecting my old friends. I haven’t visited Macondo, Arkham or La Republica de Hidalgo in over a year. This is why I appreciate FYA allowing me to review other genres.
I’m also going to be more discerning in what I read. I’ve found myself forcing my way through books I don’t enjoy, simply because I started them. Life is too short for poor writing.
Finally, I hope to be able to read a complete draft of my newest book by the end of the year. It’s about an idiot man-child who goes back to elementary school to prove to his father that he’s mature enough to take over the family business. You’re going to love it.
Last year, I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, which (for me) also includes bouts of depression. Somehow, reading is both my #1 coping mechanism and the first thing I lose interest in when I’m in the Upside Down. A huge part of my identity is centered around being a voracious reader, so I spent a lot of last year beating myself up for not having the energy to do the thing I love the most. This year, I’m not going to try to force it when my heart’s not in it. I’m not setting any goals, not doing any challenges, just reading when I want to and giving myself permission not to when I don’t—and really, that’s its own form of self care.
What are your bookish resolutions for 2018? Tell us in the comments!