My Ten Reading Goals for 2019

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:

#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:

#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:

#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:

#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:

**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:

#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:

#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:

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?

25 thoughts on “My Ten Reading Goals for 2019

    • Thanks, Tammy! I was actually thinking a while ago that I might have been overly ambitious with my goals… But, hey, I’ll have fun and be a little more organized about my choices. And those are all pluses, right?

      Yeah. I bought WAAAAAYYYY too many new books in 2017. Those three books aren’t the only leftovers! (*blushes*)

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  1. I like your book buying (or not buying?) goals! I was reading a post a couple weeks ago where someone said they were going to limit their book buying this year and they started out by buying (or preordering!) only like 7 books in January. …Ok? I mean, I have no problem with people buying books, but 7/month seems very interesting to be LESS than before!

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  2. I really liked your reading goals – I think they look very doable, Sara. We have also undertaken to read more library books as I was horrified to discover I only read SIX last year, which isn’t at all acceptable. As for books we have in common – I definitely want to start the Katherine Arden trilogy this year, given all the rave reviews all the books have garnered and I also am looking forward to the coming release in the Leigh Bardugo series – I’ve just completed The Defiant Heir this week and been very impressed. Happy reading:)

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    • Funny, I was just reviewing these goals and thinking I might have been overly ambitious. XD So thank you for your encouragement on the “doable” front!

      Same here regarding library books. I was borrowing one or two books per month last year, up until late summer or early fall and then completely forgot to borrow more. I’m actually on my first rental of the year (The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi – which reminds me, I’ve been meaning to read your review of it), so I’m glad I got right on that goal this year.

      I hope you enjoy the Winternight Trilogy! I just finished the final book over the weekend, and WOW what an ending.

      Have you read any of Leigh Bardugo’s books yet? I can’t remember if you’ve reviewed any of her books… And based on the characters who I’ve heard will appear in King of Scars, if you haven’t read any of her Grishaverse books yet, I’d recommend holding off on KoS and reading the Grisha and Six of Crows series first.

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      • Thank you, Sara – I am glad that my comment is timely! I hope you enjoy your various challenges, as I’m impressed you haven’t let yourself get too carried away by over-ambitious numbers.

        I have read Six of Crows, though I’ve yet to post my review… I did very much enjoy it and look forward to reading the next one. And of course – the Winternight trilogy… 2019 promises to be another great reading year!

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      • Ooooh, I’ll keep an eye for that review then! I still recommend, though, that you read her Grisha Trilogy before King of Scars. Based on what the synopsis implies about KoS, having the background and knowledge from the Grisha books beforehand might be helpful.

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  3. All the best with your goals for the year, especially that buying 1 book a month. It sounds tough but I’m sure you can do it. I was able to cut down my book buying last year by visiting my library more often so maybe that will work for you too.
    Eat Pray Love is one of my favorite nonfiction books and I think it’s good to pair with or even to use to break from nonfiction books on writing. I find it as inspiring as reading a book about the artistic process.

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  4. You’re so organized with your strategy to tackle books in the year. I really am ruled by my emotions when it comes to reading. I read whatever strikes me in the moment. This explains why when I’m traveling and I’m almost done with a book, I have to take five other books to choose from to fit any mood I might be in when I finish the book I’m on. Plus, I’m usually reading five books at a time, so you can imagine the packing problem I constantly face.

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    • LOL! I think part of the reason why I’m setting goals this year is because I’m swimming in too many books. (Not literally, but I’m sure you know what I mean!) Plus, being more careful with my budget is pretty important to me right now, so Goals #2 and #4 were easy ones to set.

      When you say five books at a time, do you mean five fiction books? Or a mix of fiction, nonfiction, etc.? I can do multiple books at once, but they have to be completely different from each other (like a book on the craft of writing, a poetry book, and one fiction book).

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      • It’s funny. I used to be able to read one book at a time. I didn’t want to mix up the storylines. But in recent years, I’ve discovered as long as there are not similarities in the stories it’s not a problem. So I usually have one fiction book, sometimes a poetry book, a writing craft book, and a few other nonfiction books that I might only read a section a day or a chapter a week. Frequently though I’ll read a little out of each book in any given day.

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  5. I’d never thought of making reading goals like this before. This is a really good idea! I really want to finish the Throne of Glass, Red Queen, and Mortality Doctrine series this year.

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  6. You’re so ambitious, Sara! It’s funny, I’m one of those people who sets big number goals for the year, but I couldn’t do what you’re doing and set specific goals for categories or even book lists. I can only hit the big number if I let myself pick and choose intuitively. I have a running list of books I’m interested in (both on my nightstand and on Goodreads) but I can’t force a book I’m not in the mood for. I just completely rebel against that! People who say “I just pick up the next thing on the stack” confound me. I have to have choice with every next book or I’ll just stop reading.

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    • See, that’s the funny thing: I don’t really experience reading moods. I’m always looking forward to whatever book is next in my TBR pile. Though maybe excitement for a brand new book I’ve been looking forward to counts? Either way, every reader has their own process for choosing what book they want to read next, and I understand that.

      And tbh, I think there’s quite a bit of flexibility regarding those goals. My plan is to go back and forth between them, not necessarily knock off each one chronologically. So if I want to read one of the nonfiction books instead of my final 2018 “holdover,” then maybe I will.

      Hmmm. Maybe I do experience reading moods after all. XD

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