2016: The Bookish Goals

Those of you who have been with me for a while will know I haven’t done too well with my bookish goals for the last couple of years (2014 and 2015) but that hasn’t stopped me from having some new goals for this year. I feel the need to be clear though…these are not the kind of goals that make me feel wretched if I don’t reach them. I think of them more as a gentle motivator to prompt me to stop wasting time, to help me out of reading ruts or to remind me of the things I think are important (like supporting local bookstores even when it costs me).  But I have cut down on my goals this year. I’m don’t, for example, have a specific goal about reading things other than crime fiction. If it happens, great; if not, so be it.

AWW2016Once again I’m helping to co-host the Australian Women Writers Challenge and will also be a participant. I’m aiming to read 25 books and review at least 20 of them this year. There is also a bingo card for this year’s challenge and I will attempt to play.

USAFictionChallengeButtonIn what is turning out to be a very languid virtual journey around America for the Reading USA fiction challenge I’m aiming to read 6 books by new (to me) authors set in different states during the year.  I should at least get into double digits (I’m currently at 8 states visited after two years).

To aid my continued dabbling into the older books my favoured genre has to offer I’ll aim to participate in at least 6 of the monthly classic crime reading challenges hosted by Past Offences (where each month participants read a book published in the nominated year). For January the year is 2015 and I have already started reading my selection so I’m off to a flying start with this one.

My mountain of TBR books is smaller than it has been in many years (145) but mostly because I decluttered a lot of them thanks to the magic book I read last year not because I actually read them. This year the goal is to get the TBR (all formats) to less than 100 by the end of the year, either by reading them or further decluttering. No human needs more than a year’s worth of reading material to hand when they have a perfectly wonderful library and bookstore within walking distance of their front door.

I don’t buy many books these days but once again I’m planning that those I do buy are from Australian stores. This does include eBooks but I give myself an exemption for downloadable audio titles as these are not readily available here.

I am not going to read a single book with Girl in the title. Screw the marketing people and everyone else jumping on this bandwagon.

What about you? Any reading or book-related goals for this year? Any secrets for achieving success once you’ve set goals?

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14 Responses to 2016: The Bookish Goals

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    I think it makes a lot of sense to think one’s goals over and narrow them down at times, Bernadette. Reading is supposed to be enjoyable, not a source of too much pressure. I admire the fact tat you’ve got some varied goals, too, so you’ll have the chance to read different kinds of crime fiction. And I especially like it that you don’t plan to read anything with Girl in the title. I wonder what title craze will be next?


    • Wouldn’t it be nice if there could just be books Margot? Instead of crazes? I’m still trying to get over the fact that most of the top ten sellers in Australia last year were colouring books. And the rest were Patterson titles. Sigh


  2. Love your solution to the TBR mountain, Bernadette, and thanks again for all you do for AWW. I hope there are lots of great books to discover in 2016. (I am yet to read Girl on a Train, by the way. I’m wondering if I should bother… as the last carriage of the bandwagon disappears behind said mountain.)


    • I certainly wouldn’t recommend you waste your time with the Girl on the Train Elizabeth but I know the book is hugely popular…we had a bit of a ‘debate’ around the Christmas dinner table as there were lots of fans and only 2 un-fans 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the no books with Girl in the title idea!! I’m bypassing everything that just has the same font and look on the cover. If I have already read the original story, why on earth would I want to read something else that’s ‘just like’ it?

    I’d like to recommend The Life And Loves Of Lena Gaunt by Tracy Farr for your Australian writers challenge. Great novel imagining the life of the world’s first theremin player. A NetGalley read for me, it’s published over here in Jan – perhaps already available over there? – and I will be blogging my review in a few days.

    Stephanie Jane


  4. kathy d. says:

    Hmmm, didn’t like The Girl on the Train, but I did like the so-called fourth book in the Larsson Millennium trilogy by Ledercrantz, The Girl in the Spider’s Web — but other than that, I’ll join your principled stance on books with “The Girl” in the title.
    Glad you’re giving yourself more leeway to read what you want to and not feel so pressured
    by challenges. When reading becomes an assignment, even self-imposed, it’s no fun.
    I’m going to aim to read at least one book from each continent and a historical novel for the 7th, but I’m striving to read books on my piles, to read more books on my huge TBR lists, and to read more books by Australian women writers, as so many are excellent. I had been doing this, but lapsed this year, have to do this again. Will write down your recommendations and Angela Savage’s and try to find them. I’m thinking of breaking down and buying a Kindle to help with global reading.
    Have a great reading year!


    • I like your approach to the Global reading challenge Kathy…I just try to “visit” a fair few countries these days…it’s about the best I can manage

      It’s a shame it is so difficult for you to get hold of books by Australian authors, you should only read on a Kindle if it’s your choice, not because you’re forced to by a lack of options.

      Interesting that you like the 4th book following on from the Larsson trilogy, I’ve heard lots of positive things about it…even if I weren’t avoiding books with Girl in the title I wouldn’t read that one. I have a real thing about not reading series when they are continued by authors other than the original


  5. tracybham says:

    I like all of your challenges. I need to figure out where I am on the 50 states challenge. I am going to do a Vintage Mystery challenge in addition to the challenge at Past Offences. And a challenge on re-reading books because it really isn’t a challenge.

    Oh, and I have to tell you that I made terrific progress on making some space in the garage for our new car and I credit Marie Kondo’s book for helping me. For some reason, I have much less anxiety about getting rid of stuff now than I did before I read it.


    • I’m so glad the Kondo book has proven useful Tracy. I’m still working my way through all my house and have been surprised at what has worked and what hasn’t. I’m still not talking to my socks though:)

      One of these years I must do the vintage mystery bingo…I just don’t have many older books of my own to read and our libraries are not that great for old books.


  6. Deborah says:

    I’d like to refocus on reading as something I love and not something that’s ONLY related to blogging / reviewing. I worry I don’t appreciate what I’m reading as much as I should because as soon as I’m finished I’m stressing about writing about it and moving onto the next thing.


    • This is an excellent point Deborah and something I too need to focus on. It’s easier now that I don’t set myself the task of reviewing everything I read and I’m being more circumspect with accepting books for review but even so it’s too easy to forget why we do this thing 🙂


  7. Rebecca says:

    I’m trying to read more books by women and people of color this year in addition to the long-term US and global challenges. I haven’t kept close tabs on my reading stats for the past year or so, but I know I could stand to read more widely. Happy New year!


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