Here we are for the first Top Ten Tuesday of the year! As you know, this is not a feature I keep up with every week since not all topics are good for me, but I think the next few weeks will actually be fun. To see what I mean, take a look at That Artsy Reader Girl‘s blog, to where this feature has migrated in 2018 (previously it was at The Broke and The Bookish).
Since this new year has just begun a couple of weeks ago, it’s only fitting that readers everywhere are looking back at their reading habits of 2017, and reflecting on what they would like to improve or continue to do in 2018. I gotta say, 2017 was quite possibly one of the worst reading years for me. In 2014, I pledged to read 24 books and ended up reading 39. In 2015, I pledged 30, read 55. I failed my 2016 challenge, but still read 43 books that year. More than that (because really, it’s quality over quantity), even if there were some disappointing reads, I always walked away with big favourites and a nice mix of genres and decades.
This past year I pledged 50, it seemed perfectly doable. Yet ended up reading only 25, and worse, most of them were excruciatingly bad. I’m pretty sure 60% of the time I was trying to get out of a reading slump caused by whatever bad book I had just read, or couldn’t even finish. If I do end up doing a Best Books of 2017 list for the Year Retrospective it will surely feature no more than 7 books, and I probably only feel strongly about three of them. That’s how sad it was!
So please, 2018 needs to be better than this. Honestly, it’s not hard.
Here are the reading goals I have set for this year:
#01 Read more
Seems obvious in light of what I just told you, although also contradictory. A case can be made for reading better instead of more (keep on scrolling and you’ll see it), but what I truly mean here is that I want to read continuously, as I have in previous years. Big reading droughts are the worst, so getting that habit of reading back is crucial for me. Otherwise, it will be harder and harder to pick up the next book! On a side note, and to be perfectly honesty, I got into Youtube in 2017, and I’m sure that too hurt my reading – it’s far easier to turn to a 10min video than a 300 pages book, right?
#02 But most importantly, read better
So I need to read more, but I don’t want to read the crap I picked up last year. Seriously. Get me out of recycled YA, bland chick-lit, and laughingly bad “dark” romances. I don’t need another MC bad boy. No one does! (unless it’s good, then please leave your recs below). So evidently, I need to get better at filtering out the bad stuff.
#03 Get out of my comfort zone
But not go so far that I will be frustrated – because that happens, too! The truth is, we don’t all enjoy the same things, and that’s why I can barely ever finish a family drama, or a dystopian read. Or a teenage romance. And if I get caught in a series of uninspiring books, there goes my reading appetite. Now I’m not one to say I don’t like a certain genre, wether it is books, movies or even music, because there’s always the odd exception. 2016 was the proof of that when I discovered a few YA books that I really liked. So for 2018, I have to do that again – surely with dystopia, hopefully with more genres, like non-romance dramas, adult fantasy.
#04 Also, find really good books in my comfort zone
Because that’s where my next favourite book is. In 2017 I stayed in my most comfortable zone (chick lit, romantic suspense), one that requires no energy at all. Which is fine for a little interlude, but looking at my most beloved genres – horror, classic romance, actually good cult dark romances – I see I stayed clear of them in this past year. WHY.
#05 Go back to reading the classics
So yes, there are all terribly vague but in light of what happened, I think reaching this bare minimum of reading sanity is ambitious enough. I don’t have specific books I want to read just yet (maybe another post!), but I know I need to go back to the classics, and the cult books. The good ones, the ones you can go into expecting to come out the other side with a new favourite to boast about. Last year I focused (well, when I focused) on new releases, ended up not reading a single classic – in fact I’m pretty sure they were all published in the 21st century. Considering how most of my all-time favourites are classics, that needs to change in 2018!