If you have been following this blog for a while, you know I like to set reading goals for myself every year. You might notice a lot of these goals are the same (or very similar) to last year’s goals. And that’s because I was actually really happy with them and what I was able to achieve. This year, I do want to relax and enjoy my reading experiences more. I just want it to be more fun, instead of something I have to do because I have a blog.
That said, I do like having these goals in place because they motivate me to read outside my comfort zone a little bit, and search out books that maybe aren’t on my radar. They also help expand my worldview and teach me new things, which I really love. I set myself six trackable reading goals this year, and I’m pretty excited about them. So let’s jump in.
read one nonfiction book a month AND 25% nonfiction total
We all know this goal – I have been setting it for years. It has become a bit of a habit at this point, so I don’t know if it really counts as a goal anymore, but whatever. Last year I did unofficially add the 25% target to my list. And ended up exceeding it! I don’t think I will surpass 30% again (and I don’t really plan to), but I do want to keep that as an overall goal for the year. I really have learned so much from nonfiction books in the past few years, and am excited to see what I can learn in 2022.
However, I don’t want to get lazy and skip out on my monthly goal, either, so I am making sure to still read at least one nonfiction book a month. I will need to read more than twelve books to hit the 25% goal, but hopefully this helps spread them out a bit so I don’t get burnout on nonfiction. Sometimes they’re really fun and exciting to read and sometimes I pick up thousand page history books that take me six months to get through. So I want to balance that out a little bit and hopefully this goal ends up being just as enjoyable as it was last year.
read at least 50% by BIPOC authors
I came so close to meeting this goal last year. I’m gonna blame my reading experiments for this one – I was actually on track until I had to spend a month reading eleven books exclusively by white authors when I read the Harvard summer reading list. Side note, Harvard should really take note of that for this year – I know they were mostly classics, but still. Do better. And I need to do better, too, because I came just short of my goal. Which is kind of sad, because this number really should be more than 50%.
But this year, I am shooting for 50% of my total books read to be written by authors of color. I want to focus on this a lot this year, and work on fitting this in with some of my other goals (though I think it will work well with the next goal on this list). I also want to focus on making the authors I read a bit more diverse.
I did read from a lot of different ethnicities last year, but the vast majority of authors of color I did read were Black (though I did a whole reading experiment where I read only Japanese authors). There’s nothing wrong with that, but I do want to branch out a bit this year and read from a more diverse group of marginalized authors. And I’m really excited to explore more diverse authors and books and maybe read some things I hadn’t heard of before.
read at least 50% books set outside the US
Out of all the goals on this list, I think this one might be the biggest stretch. But I want to see if I can do it. Because while I did read a lot of books by authors of color last year, a lot of them were set in the US. And there are so many other places to explore! So I do want to make it a goal this year that as I’m reading more authors of color, I actually explore more authors of color from different countries.
Pretty sure traveling is out of the question for me in 2022, so I would like to travel the would through books. I’m honestly a little tired of staying here. I want to read more in Asia and Africa and Europe and South America and all of the places I haven’t been able to visit. I also hope this helps open my eyes a bit to other places and people and cultures and just makes for a more exciting and diverse reading year.
read 6 classics
If you happen to remember that this was a goal of mine last year, you would be right. But last year, I laughed in the face of this goal and read twenty-two classic novels. Including several very large ones I’d been putting off for years. So this year, I actually do want to keep that number a little closer to six. I want to spend time with some great classics this year and not have to binge-read The Decameron ever again.
That said, I have really been in the mood for some good classics lately and am working on a (tentative) list of classics I want to check out this year. I don’t think I’m going to attempt anything too ambitious (Les Misérables might have to wait until next year). I just need little bit of a break from the crazy that was last year. I also want to balance this out with the previous goals, so maybe it’ll be the year I read some more classics by authors of color. Definitely open to some more Alexandre Dumas. But I also want to check out Thomas Hardy this year, too. Not sure what I’ll end up reading, but I am looking forward to it.
read 6 books with trans or nonbinary main characters OR by trans/nonbinary authors
This is a brand new goal for this year, and I am very excited about it. I’ve been thinking about just how few books I have read by trans or nonbinary authors and/or featuring trans/nonbinary main characters. But the few I have read I have really loved. Being a cis woman, the trans experience is so different from mine, and I do want to understand it better. And we all know if I want to learn about something, I do it through books.
I actually included two books that fit this goal on my 2022 reading list, so I’ve got a good start of ones to check out this year. But I am looking forward to finding more books to add to my list. I am intentionally keeping this goal fairly small, just because I don’t want to overwhelm myself too much with a very foreign experience. I would rather take my time and learn, and also give myself time to reflect on what I’ve read instead of just jumping into whatever’s next. I also don’t know what I’ll realistically be able to accomplish with the rest of my goals, so I wanted to make this achievable and not stressful. But hopefully the end result is that I end up with a lot more books on my list to read in the future.
read 100 books
My goal for this year is to read 100 books. I am of course, already behind on this goal (though fingers crossed I’ll catch up before this post goes live, because I might finish another book tonight). This sounds crazy for a lot of people, but 100 books fits into my life fairly well, and keeps me motivated to read more things.
…and a few more things
I didn’t set any additional trackable goals, but there are a few more things I would like to try and work on this year if I can incorporate them into the above goals. So I thought I’d discuss them here.
One that I’ve been thinking about for a while is that I want to read more books with disabled characters. As someone who has a disability, I think it’s important to see that in books. I also want to learn more about disabilities that are different than mine, and just want to seek out more books that talk about disability.
I also want to be better at reading new releases that excite me. This is one of the reasons I decided I won’t be doing as many reading experiments this year – I want to have time to pick up those new books I want to read. And maybe get to the end of the year having read at least one of the “best books of the year” instead of staring at them all thinking “those looked good!” but haven’t having read them.
Finally, I just want to have more fun with my reading instead of feeling pressure to read more and read specific books. I want to focus on just reading what I feel like reading and what I’m enjoying. Last year, I read a record number of one-star books and I really want to avoid that happening ever again. Basically, I want to work harder on not letting the fact that I have a blog dictate what I read so much.
And that is it for my 2022 reading goals! I really hope this turns out to be a great reading year, and I’m excited to explore some more books! What are some of your reading goals this year?
And check out my bookshop, where you can buy books and also shop my curated collections of my personal favorites AND all of the books I’ve read for my reading experiments. Or you can just buy whatever books you want to. I get a small commission at no extra cost to you, and you get to support your choice of indie bookstores – it’s a win all around!