My 2018 Reading Goals

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This year, I am setting myself a few reading goals, or reading resolutions, because there are a few things I want to work on. I think it’s important to continually improve myself as a reader, and this past year I really payed attention to my weaknesses and how I think I can improve. Here are the things I want to work on this year:

Put Less Pressure on Myself

This year, I am going completely challenge free (except for the Goodreads reading challenge, of course). I am seriously considering eliminating monthly TBRs altogether (I’m keeping them for the moment because I find them helpful in keeping track of ARCs, etc. and I never really stick to them anyway), but I really just want to read whatever I want this year without all the pressure. Sure, I’ll make exceptions for ARCs – since I need to review them around their release date – and Shakespeare plays – which is a goal I set for myself and really only takes an hour or two each month, so it’s not that bad. And I still want to read one nonfiction book per month, but I’ve gotten so good about that over the past two years that I don’t even have to think about it anymore. I just don’t want to deal with trying to read more from my TBR or all the new releases or avoiding big books so I can read more shorter ones. This year, I want to relax and read what I feel like reading when I feel like reading it. Like a normal person (who doesn’t share her reading habits with the entire internet).

Stop Avoiding the Books that Scare Me

I have so many of these on my shelves (ie The Pillars of the Earth, Jonathan Strange and Mr. NorrellLes Miserables, basically everything by Ron Chernow and Edward Rutherfurd), including several I am drawn to regularly. It’s mostly due to their size, so I put them off because I know they’ll take me longer to read. Which is stupid. If it takes me a month or two to read one book, who cares? I am always reading multiple books at once, so it’s not like I’m not going to finish anything during that time. And I’ve definitely read 1000-page books in less than a week before anyway. I just need to do it.

Read More History Books

Most of the nonfiction books I read last year were memoirs, and I loved them. But I did read a few actual history books, and I’d forgotten just how much I enjoyed just absorbing history. I have plenty already on my shelves to choose from, and I just miss being a history major. Who am I kidding? I miss school. Can I go back to college please? Actually, can someone pay for me to go back to college please? No? Fine, I guess I’ll just stick with the books. (Actually I would like to read a book by one of my old professors this year, because I think that would be cool, and the head of my old history department has written quite a few that look interesting. I am SUCH a nerd.)

Stop Planning to Read Certain Books Later

I have a terrible habit of picking up a book and then deciding, “oh, this would be perfect to read in the fall”, or “I’ll have more room for it in my June TBR”, or “I should wait to read this so it counts for this reading challenge/readathon”. And ninety percent of the time, guess what happens? Yup, that book never gets read. It’s bad. This year, I am going to pick up that book and I am going to read that book. Even if it’s June and the book takes place in the snow. Because who cares? (Small exception may be made for Halloween, because that’s kind of my thing.)

Read at Home More

Over the past few months, I’ve kind of stopped reading after I get home from work, and I don’t like it. Yes, blogging takes up a decent amount of after-work time, but I mostly just watch stupid TV. It’s another bad habit I need to break. I do read nearly every day during my lunch break, and I almost always listen to an audiobook on my commute, but I think it would be a lot better for my mental health to come home and curl up with a book. Marathoning entire ID series about murderers cannot be healthy.

What are your 2018 reading goals?

28 thoughts on “My 2018 Reading Goals

  1. Your reading goals sound great – good luck with all of them!

    And I totally know what you mean about challenges putting pressure on you. I’m limiting myself to one challenge (Around the Year in 52 Books) because I just got bogged down last year in all the possible challenges I could do and it meant it really dictated my reading in a not especially healthy way. I think it’s nice to give yourself the room to just read whatever you want, when you want. If you’re stuck for what to read and want inspiration to help you choose, you can always take a peek at reading challenges without committing to them fully. 🙂

    I’m (unofficially) trying to stop avoiding books that scare me too! I need to finish War and Peace (because I’m so disappointed I didn’t finish it off in 2017) but then I’ve challenged myself to read 1 more Russian classic, at least in 2018. I also REALLY want to finally read Les Miserables from cover to cover because I did my undergrad dissertation on it but I managed to get away with only reading (still pretty sizeable) chunks of it and I’m still ashamed I never read it completely. I found that, so long as you’re prepared for Victor Hugo to digress (a lot and at length) then it’s actually not that difficult to get through. If you were serious about wanting to read it and wanted a reading buddy, let me know!

    I was considering trying to rope people into doing some sort of readalong for the more sizeable classics I have on my shelf (Les Miserables, Anna Karenina, Doctor Zhivago, Count of Monte Cristo, Three Musketeers etc.) but I think I should probably test the waters of what classic people would be up for reading first! 😛

    1. Thanks! I am definitely up for reading Les Mis together. That might actually force me to get through it. I have quite a few ARCs I need to get through this month, but after that I should have time. And I was already planning on reading Doctor Zhivago this year if you want to buddy read or do a readalong of that one, too.

  2. I had to read books over summer and Christmas break due to school. Those were the only times I had room for books. Each year, I am always reading a classics. Because of that, I am always reading at home. The classics I have read for fun (the more older ones from 1800s and younger) are Great Expectations, Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Les Misérables (because of the musical), and Don Quixote. So I have read seven classics already, but am going to be reading another one this summer and instead of by the middle August, I will be able to expand the deadline to end of September since I will be graduated from college in May.

        1. Definitely! I read much less when I was in college than I do now. (But I read even more on grad school because I was procrastinating haha.) Best of luck with everything!

              1. My favorite mystery author is Agatha Christie and my favorite classic is Les Misérables: mainly due to my obsession with the musical.

                Classics, I have read Les Misérables, Don Quixote, Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, and A Christmas Carol. Going to read more but not until summer

                1. I need to read more Agatha Christie. My only experience with her writing is when I stage managed a production of The Mousetrap in high school. And I really want to read Les Mis. Maybe this year…

  3. hahaha yes, someone take murder documentaries off my television, please! I’m in the same boat though, read during breaks and work and audios on my drive but once I get home, it’s hard to find the time to read! Great goals 🙂

        1. I felt the same way until I got a job with a really long commute and started listening haha. Memoirs are one of my favorite things to listen to, it’s always great when the author reads it!

  4. Pillars of the Earth is one of my faves! Don’t let its size intimidate you! Les Mis is such a wonderful story however there is quite a bit of political stuff that kind of bogs it down at times. I would skim those parts. Good luck with your 2018 goals! That is how I’ve always read…read what I want when I want and I think it will serve you well. 😊

    1. Everyone who’s recommended it has said it’s a favorite. I just need to read it… as soon as I find my copy. I am definitely reading it at some point this year. And thanks! I’m already really happy with just reading whatever I want. It’s so nice.

  5. I LOVE my after-work reading time. I highly recommend it. Good self-care because it’s a wholesome reward for myself after stressful days (and preserves reading as pleasure for me). These are great goals!

    1. Thanks! This week, I’ve been in the habit of listening to an audiobook while I knit after work and it’s so relaxing. My house is not very quiet, so I think that’s why reading has become difficult. But the audiobook seems to be working. Hopefully it sticks.

  6. Good luck with your goal-less year! I’m only participating in one challenge besides Goodreads because like you I just want to read what I want. I tend to avoid those longer books too. I’ve read Jonathan Strange and actually took a break at the halfway point, reading a different book before finishing it.

    1. I really want to read that one this year, but it’s way too big to carry around and I get most of my reading done on my lunch break. Good luck with your challenges. And thanks!

  7. Great list! It is crazy how easily reading can become something that is full of pressure and stress and it shouldn’t be! I’m glad you are focusing on not letting it become something you dread this year 🙂

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