Are you one of those readers who challenges yourself to read a certain number of books every year? I’m… well, not one of those people. (*lol*) But I do have a consistent reading habit, and the reading goals I set for myself are more or less to guide my book choices throughout the year. For example, I try to prioritize brand new releases I’m interested in so I can stay on top of my favorite genre’s current market. And, as I shared in this post last year, I read at least one poem per day to help me comb through my extensive collection of poetry books.
But what about other goals, like finishing series I’ve already started? Or borrowing books from the library periodically? Yeeeeaaahhhh…. I haven’t been nearly as good with those. So I decided to organize my next year of reading with LOTS of goals. Ten, to be exact. I was a little afraid that creating so much structure could sap the fun out of reading. But now that I see what’s in my queue, these goals might help put a dent in my TBR pile and keep things interesting. Yay!
Without further ado, here are my reading goals for 2019:
#1: Read 50 fiction books
Last year I finished 53 fiction books, which wasn’t too far behind 2017’s total of 56. This year I’m hoping to squeeze in a couple nonfiction books that have been waiting patiently on my shelves (see Goal #6). So 50 fiction books should be doable this year.
And which brand new books am I looking forward to in 2019? Here are three that are coming out in the first quarter of this year:
- King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
- Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse
- The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
#2: Limit purchases of “brand new” books (or books published in 2019) to one per month
Last year I was much better about sticking to a reasonable book-buying budget than I was in 2017. (See some of that evidence in Goals #8 and #9 below. *blushes*) This year, for financial reasons once again, I need to be even more cautious about my book-buying choices. But here’s the silver lining: By sticking to a limit on 2019 books, I’m hoping it will encourage me to focus more on books by favorite authors or ongoing series I want to keep following.
#3: Continue reading poetry books and journals
With poetry, I prefer to immerse myself in each book, even if it means reading one poem from that book each day. So I go through poetry books slowly, but that’s OK. It means I give myself time to truly consider each poet’s style, themes, and messages. Right now I’m partway through Natasha Tretheway’s Native Guard, and later in the year I’m planning to dive into these three books, among others:
- Only As the Day Is Long: New and Selected Poems by Dorianne Laux
- Sweet Husk by Corrie Williamson
- A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver, or one of her other poetry books (especially after last week’s news that Mary passed away)
#4: Borrow one book from my local library each month
This was a habit I started last year, and I kept it going faithfully until the fall, when it… well, it must have slipped my mind. (Oops.) But now that I’m setting a stronger limit on the number of brand new books I’m buying this year, borrowing a book per month from my local library might be a good way to help me stay on budget. That way, if I like a particular book I borrowed, I can always buy my own copy later on.
#5: Read one book on writing each month (or at least 10 by year’s end)
Being a writer, I have waaaaaay too many a fair number of books on the craft or business of writing. The only problem? I still haven’t read most of them. 😮 I started making a dent in that pile last year, though; and for 2019, I’m planning – well, hoping – to get through 10 to 12 books on this subject. These three are the ones I’ll likely tackle first:
- Author in Progress: A No-Holds-Barred Guide to What It Really Takes to Get Published by the contributors of Writer Unboxed, edited by Therese Walsh
- The Emotional Craft of Fiction: How to Write the Story Beneath the Surface by Donald Maass
- The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults by Cheryl B. Klein
#6: Read three nonfiction books that aren’t about writing
I’m terrible about reading books in this category. I guess I don’t prioritize nonfiction if it’s not about the craft of writing. (*lol*) So if I make 2019 the year I finally read these three books, maybe I’ll feel a little less guilty:
- Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
- Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor
#7: Finish three out of four series I previously started reading
Another 2018 reading “oops”: I had several previously published series that I’d started reading and meant to finish. How many did I actually finish, though? One. XD So in 2019, I’d like to finish three out of the four series listed below:
- Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy (The Well of Ascension, The Hero of Ages)**
- Brian Staveley’s Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne (The Providence of Fire, The Last Mortal Bond)
- Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom Series (Abhorsen, Clariel, Goldenhand)
- Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy (Royal Assassin, Assassin’s Quest)
**I recently ran polls on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so friends and fellow readers could help me decide which series to start with… and the Mistborn Trilogy won! So that’s the series I’ll tackle first.
#8: Read three holdovers from 2018
Out of all the 2018 books I bought, these three were the only ones I couldn’t squeeze in before the end of the year. That’s pretty good, considering how many “newbies” I bought in 2017 but never got around to reading before 2018 arrived. (More on that shortly.) Let’s see if I can tick these off the proverbial checklist by the end of winter or sometime in spring:
- The Art of Escaping by Erin Callahan
- For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig
- Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier
#9: Read at least three holdovers from 2017
You don’t want to know how many brand new books I bought in 2017. I don’t even remember how many. I just know I still have a lot of them left to read. (*face reddens*) So I’m going to prioritize these three 2017 titles for reading in 2019. And if I get to any others, I’ll consider that a bonus:
- Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder
- Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor
- The Valiant by Lesley Livingston
#10: Read one novel each by J.R.R. Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, Paulo Coelho, and Ursula K. Le Guin
These four authors have the most books in my library, including a few in my TBR pile. So I’m planning to target a book by one of these authors per quarter (most likely the books listed below) so I can continue catching up on their HUUUUGE repertoires:
- Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tokien, edited by Christopher Tolkien
- Coraline by Neil Gaiman
- Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho
- The Word for World Is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin
What are some of your reading goals for 2019? Which books due out this year are you looking forward to most? Which previously published books are you hoping to read before year’s end? Have you read or been meaning to read any of the books or series discussed in this post?