Each year, I like to reflect on what did and didn’t work for me the year before, and based on that analysis, I think about some guidelines I want to follow for the upcoming year. At the beginning of 2016, I shared four book-related goals to guide my reading for year. Let’s see how I did.
I set my Goodreads goal at 120 books and thought reducing the number that never really mattered to me anyway would make me focus more on quality over quantity. I wanted to read more of the books I keep saving for a rainy day rather than be distracted by the free books on my Kindle or the latest big thing. This goal was only partially successful because while I read 126 books (less than half what I read in 2015), I’ve managed to finish yet another year without getting to some of the books I still really want to read after years of having them on my shelves. My bad habit of waiting for the perfect time to read and enjoy highly-anticipated books continues to leave me with unread books.
Even though I reduced the overall number of books I wanted to read, I still wanted to read at least one nonfiction book every month, and with the help of Nonfiction November, I can check off that goal. I read 17 nonfiction books in 2016, and two of those (Trace by Lauret Savoy and When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning) were among my favorite books of the year. I’m glad I 100% achieved this goal and enjoyed doing it because my final two goals for 2016 were not successes. I wanted to write more reviews on the blog and thought I’d start by reviewing every book I rated 4 or 5 stars on Goodreads, but I had 22 books in that category and only managed 1 review on the blog. I also wanted to be more active on social media to go along with the increased blog activity (Ha!), and though I now participate in Litsy, Twitter, and Instagram a bit more often, it’s really not enough to call this an achieved goal.
So what will I change in 2017? Not much. I still want to read at least 120 books, read at least one nonfiction book each month, and interact more with other readers. Those basic goals haven’t changed over the past year, but I want to focus more on how I meet those goals. No matter how many books I read, I want to get through more of the books I already own and take the time to read the books I’ve been holding back for some mythical perfect reading time. I’ll also focus on reading more nonfiction that goes a bit deeper into the topics I enjoy. Although I haven’t had great luck writing reviews here on the blog, I will write at least a sentence or two on Goodreads for every book I read, and I’ll post some of those to the blog. I’ll continue to figure out how I want to use social media to talk about books, and I’ll post on Litsy, Twitter, and Instagram when I have something to share.